Prototype 2 Review
An action-packed sequel that offers more value to newcomers than original fans
Posted by Alex V (SpectralShock) on May 5, 2012 - 3:22pm EST (May 5, 2012 15:22)
Fans who wanted more of Prototype will get their wish, but it comes as a disappointment because the game is, for the most part, unchanged. You still have the same powers to unlock, ranging from claws to whips and hammer fists, though it feels like the game takes its sweet time letting you have everything. It can be especially annoying to fans who played the original and already know what Heller should be capable of – but when it takes well over half of the story missions to unlock the last few powers, and even something basic like ability to hijack enemy vehicles and choppers – the pace of progression begins to suffer.
The game does make strides for improvement though, most notably with combat. The camera is now more responsive, providing you with precise and satisfying control during fights. Infected creatures are your common foes, though they are fewer in number and take longer to take down, thus eliminating the sometimes frustrating chaos of the original game in favor of more satisfying and coherent brawling. Most of the action now focuses on dodging the enemy attack and then unleashing some of your own, which can be a bit repetitive. Prototype 2 is also rather easy overall, with almost no enemies possessing the ability to reach you in the air – so you can simply perform aerial attacks all day long and barely worry about your health. There are some kind of bird-like infected you may have seen in the promotional material, but these only show up once in the game and you can’t even attack them directly.
Campaign missions in Prototype 2 can be entertaining, but they suffer significantly from repetition. Most are either about sneaking into an enemy base/building and consuming a key person, or destroying a threat. There is some variety, but it arrives far too late into the game to offset the amount of repetitive legwork that you’ve already had to do. Enemies now have a field of view and if you fail to stealth consume someone, the game will helpfully point out which enemies see you and thus must be eliminated or you wait for a better angle. Bases now also have special virus detectors, and if you’re within the scan radius will reveal your disguise after a brief amount of time. It’s a mechanic that was supposed to add some urgency to the infiltration, but it fails to do so as the detectors are easily avoidable (and even if you are caught, the game’s gentle difficulty means you might as well wipe out the whole base anyway).
Being an open world game, Prototype featured a ton of side missions, races, challenges, and collectibles. It wasn’t anything original, but at least it made the world feel a bit more feature-rich. With Prototype 2, that offering is all but missing – most of the side content includes finding and consuming a specific enemy target, who can be found with the game’s “ping” mechanic. By sending out a pulse, you can track down the enemy based on where the wave returns from – it’s a mechanic that only serves to make a basic feature seem more complex. Consuming said target reveals new story elements via a cutscene. You can also collect audio fragments around the city, but these are completely irrelevant to the plot. And that’s about it – with that said, the city map in the game looks bare.