Prototype 2 First Look

Published on January 19th, 2012

What’s the story?

When it comes to crafting openworld power fantasies, no developer is more trustworthy than Radical Entertainment. The Vancouver studio which gave the world the only good Hulk game in existence and obviously its spiritual successor Prototype, is back with a sequel which seeks to rectify all of the issues associated with the original.

continues its apocalyptic story of New York falling into anarchy and martial law thanks to a certain Alex Mercer and his contagious mutating infection, only this time you don’t play as the hoodie-clad victim of circumstance. Instead you embody rogue Sergeant James Heller who has all the abilities of the aforementioned ‘Emo’, including groovy morphing black tendrils, superhuman strength and the ability to absorb humans as well as their tasty and illuminating memories!

But what about Alex Mercer?
The events of the first game left many themes unexplored due to the inevitable sequel, but Radical has left a lot of breathing room, setting the sequel 14 months after the end of the original – the video here explains the bulky fiction in a succinct manner. It’s encouraging to see this dark foreboding universe being filled out to such an intriguing degree, as the atmosphere of Prototype is one of the main reasons why it has remained on the periphery of gamers’ radars for so long.

How does it play?

What propelled development in the original was gaining more and more elaborate abilities to kill soldiers with, take down tanks and deal with increasingly varied enemy types with little effort. From the looks of the recently released Alpha footage, the sequel still has all that only now there’s an increased emphasis on blocking enemy moves, performing counters and looking a bit more stylish when murdering sways of Blackwatch forces and hideously deformed mutants. Players can slice off limbs, decapitate heads and reduce enemies to fleshy stumps. If it needed pointing out at all, Prototype’s somewhat sombre atmosphere
has been maintained and the action definitely veers towards the more sadistic side, especially when it comes to combat.

Structurally the map has also changed a bit. New York is still the starring city, but the Big Apple has been sliced up into three different zones. There’s Green, which despite being under martial law is still where civilians have the best chance of leading a normal life, albeit with the military breathing down their necks. Next up, there’s Yellow which closely resembles a shanty town with Blackwatch forces fighting back regular outbreaks and even conducting experiments on those infected. And finally there’s Red, which is where the virus roams unchecked.

When will we see more?

Activision are putting a lot of faith in Prototype 2 being a massive hit, so
we anticipate that we’ll be seeing plenty more of it before launch, and rightly so.
This franchise’s debut certainly had its issues, but it was a very enjoyable and empowering experience which addressed some really powerful themes just under the surface.

The second game is set to boast all that and more, with Radical taking this dark series into uncharted territory and racking up the carnage even further with a better combat system, more elaborate powers and a protagonist which is even angrier than Alex Mercer. New York really doesn’t stand a chance?

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    Prototype 2 First Look

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