May 2, 2012

Return to Ground Zero

Lasting First Impressions of [PROTOTYPE 2] from Activision

Prototype 2 boxartReleased in 2009, Radical Entertainment’s original Prototype went on to become the top selling game on the Xbox 360 in June of that year and has sold over 2.1 million units world wide.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing the first title, though I never finished it due to its high difficulty level, but the open world adventure this game provided was inherently inviting.  As fun as the game was, I honestly didn’t think we would see a sequel to it.  Imagine my surprise when Activision announced, last year, that Prototype 2 was, indeed, in production and the original team, Radical Entertainment (a Canadian developer!), was helming the project.

In a rather unusual departure for sequels, Alex Mercer, the protagonist from the first title has become the antagonist and is replaced by a new character, Sergeant James Heller.

Returning from a tour in Iraq, James Heller comes home to find his wife and daughter declared dead due to the Mercer Virus and vows vengeance against Mercer for their deaths.  He is soon infected with the same virus that mutated Alex in the first game and that’s when the action really begins.

Prototype 2 screen 1

After watching the incredible opening sequences setting up the back story of Sgt. James Heller and re-introducing the player to the devastation that is New York City, now known as New York Zero, the action immediately engulfs the player and fails to let up.  Once Heller is infected with the Mercer virus, he is immediately so powerful that you feel like you’re invincible.  And it only gets better from here.  Part of the joy of playing this game was the sense of power that is imbued upon you immediately.  Playing through the game, however, this sense will only heighten as Heller’s powers evolve and he eventually becomes an unstoppable juggernaut.  All the amenities of the original title returns, claw arms, tendrils, scaling the sides of building, gliding through the air, massive jumps.  And these are just a few of what you start the game with! Heller is yours to control and customize as you level up the powers you want.

The controls are detailed but simple to learn and master and nothing feels out of the ordinary here.  Just keep your sprint finger ready because you’ll be doing a great deal of sprinting in this game.  The action is fast and furious but never seems impossible.  This is another great change from the first title.  It seems they’ve let up on the difficulty curve so it doesn’t feel too impossible right away.  This is the trouble I had with the original Prototype; the action sequences seemed to get extremely tough very early on in the game.  That is not so here.

Prototype 2 screen 2

Prototype 2 is a beautiful game all around. New York Zero, while a devastated war zone, still boasts the natural colour and beauty of nature all around.  Every little detail has been added to make this a truly living city.  People will react to Heller’s actions around them and, since this is an open world game, you can do anything you want.  Like picking up that crazy loud-mouth on the roof of the building and throwing him halfway across the block, followed by the subsequent absorbing of his equally-annoying buddy. Now that’s satisfaction!

Prototype 2’s incredible gameplay and vivid world is backed up by an equally riveting and immersive story that will keep you eager to pursue the main story missions and forget about the many side quests available.  Radical Entertainment has taken the original Prototype and simply made it better in every way. Everything you loved about the first game makes a triumphant return and those things you didn’t like have been revamped and improved.  This title is well worth your time if you love these open world action titles.

Activision, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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One Comment

  1. Kevin C. Dorff

    Agree. I’m loving it, too.

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