Prototype 2 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Prototype 2
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
Prototype 2 360 Review. The game isn’t perfect, by any means. But once you rip your first TOW launcher off an APC and start spraying rockets around, you might be prepared to forgive it its failings.
Rating:
4.25

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.5
Sound 9.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
April 2012
Rating:
MA15+
Reviewer:
Andrew Proverbs

8.5


Prototype 2

While they were making Hulk: Ultimate Destruction a few years ago, Radical entertainment discovered a love of breaking things. The DNA of that game flows through the veins of the Prototype franchise. All of the staples are there: Running up skyscrapers, pummelling tanks and helicopters, slugging it out with enhanced super-soldiers, and generally ruining the afternoon of anyone silly enough to stand in your path. But where Prototype differs is that the destruction is not limited to inanimate objects: Your flesh-and-blood enemies are fair game for you to stomp flat, tear apart or beat to a pulp. And as gruesome as this sounds, there is a unique kind of glee to be had. 

This time around you play Sergeant James Heller, a soldier who is reeling from the loss of his wife and young daughter to the ‘Mercer’ virus. Very early on, Heller is deliberately infected with the virus by Alex Mercer himself, the protagonist from the original game. Rather than destroy him, the infection transforms Heller into a super-powered killing machine. He sets out in pursuit of Mercer, while also trying to end the gruesome research of the Gentek corporation-and the people behind it. 

Probably the first thing youll want to do, on entering the game world, will be to climb to the top of the tallest building and have a look around. The draw distance isnt that great, and you can‘t see far. Things are actually far more impressive down at ground level. The streets are crowded with NPCs and vehicles.

If you stop for a moment you’ll notice mobs of civilians heckling soldiers with placards, or you’ll peek down an alley to see some weird experiment taking place.

The world is alive, and crammed full of incidental details just waiting to be discovered. The streets of Manhattan are overrun with undead, and giant tumour-like growths cling to skyscrapers. 

The controls are very easy to get to grips with. Simply holding the sprint button will make Heller vault over any obstacles in his path. You can jump to great heights, run up the faces of buildings and glide through the air for a short while. As you progress through the game youll unlock different weapons, which can be mapped to the Y or X buttons. Youll also gain a mass meter, which fills by consuming people, and can be used to unleash a devastating area attack. If the game thinks youve forgotten how to perform some mission-critical action, it will remind you with a helpful prompt. 

You might die once or twice because your avatar wasn’t doing what you wanted him to, but most of the time you’ll have confidence in the controls. 

As well as the main story missions, there are side-quests to tackle and collectibles to find. These reward you, either with an upgrade to your abilities or with something completely new, so the incentive to finish everything is high.

To break up the action, there are also a good number of stealth sections. In these you will whittle down a room full of enemies by consuming them, stealing their identity in the process. It makes you feel like a baddie straight from The Thing, or one of the Body Snatchers movies. But these sections are fail-proof, because the game wont let you consume someone who is being watched. It’s nice as a distraction, but its a shame that nothing more could have been made of this interesting ‘body snatching’ mechanic. 

In combat, Prototype 2 hits the sweet spot between making you feel like a badass and being overpowered. No matter how much you level up, the chaotic nature of combat means there will always be some level of danger. 

The biggest thing that keeps the game fresh and interesting, even after youve defeated hundreds of enemies, is variety. You just have so many options during combat, especially after youve unlocked the higher abilities. If your claws or hammer-fists arent doing the job, why not hop in a tank, or pick up a rocket launcher, or call in some infected beasties for support?  

But the most used weapon in Heller’s arsenal is the F-bomb. Every single cutscene, and almost every characters dialogue, is chock-full of profanity. Swearing is fine if its used in the proper context (this is a zombie outbreak after all,) but Prototype 2 takes it way too far, all for the sake of what? Impact? Its a shame, because the gameplay is good enough to speak on its own behalf. 

To be honest, the story is total guff, and not really worth your attention.

But when it comes down to it, the story is only there for one reason: to provide a frame of reference for each mission. It does what it has to do, then gets out of the way- so you can enjoy a giant sandbox full of hellish delights. The scope of what you can do- and hence the opportunity for fun- is broad indeed. The game isn’t perfect, by any means. But once you rip your first TOW launcher off an APC and start spraying rockets around, you might be prepared to forgive its failings.






 
 



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