E3 2011: Prototype 2 First Look Preview

E3 2011: We find out why sometimes you don't have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to add bigger spikes to it.

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If 2009 marked the birth and awkward adolescence of new intellectual property, Prototype, the second coming of the game just skips past wondering why hair is growing in places it hasn't before and tears it out by the roots. Prototype 2 introduces a new character who doesn't struggle under the weight of unwrapping a tightly wound ball of lies to uncover his own past. The game strikes first and asks questions later, taking everything fans loved about the original and cranking up the juice.

While original main character Alex Mercer was concerned with piecing together his own story, new lead Sergeant James Heller fights with purpose and is determined to avenge the death of his family who was killed in the outbreak. He holds Alex personally responsible, and the game skips origin and coming to terms with superpowers by going straight to revenge. Like the first game, Prototype 2 takes place in a modern New York City, called New York Zero. This war zone is split into three distinct divisions: Red Zone, the infected bio jungle; Yellow Zone, playing host to survivors; and Green Zone, the most together part of the city that is under heavy military control. Though undoubtedly more will be revealed as we get closer to the game's release, one thing we do know so far is that a new type of biological beast has been found, and though it hasn't yet been identified, it has grown here organically rather than invading.

Our demo began showcasing two of the fundamental tenets of the Prototype series: subterfuge and brutal violence. The mission began with us slipping into something a little more inconspicuous and approaching a group of protesting civilians. Blackwatch guards aren't your neighborhood-friendly organization, and without notice, its members opened fire on the crowd, gunning people down in cold blood. Inside the guarded zone stood a scientist we wanted to chat with, and as we walked toward the group, we consumed a soldier and took on his form. We also got a first look at a brand new offensive weapon: the bio bomb. Not unlike Red Faction's Singularity weapons, the attack bursts forth, skewering any nearby enemies on the ends of giant green tendrils in slow motion before sucking them inward, finally erupting with bloody spray. Not so inconspicuous, but it certainly did the job clearing the space. Our target scientist was unhurt in the skirmish, and we promptly got down to business, consuming his biomass and with it, his memories.

The "web of intrigue" concept from the first game was founded on eating people to fill in the blanks of your own missing memory, and it returns here with new features, including blacknet. These world targets and vehicles reward you with intelligence and are found using the new sonar system. Tapping a button sent out a pulse, scanning the area and blipping targets that had useful information for us to use. In our case, poor Lieutenant Barry Pollock had something we wanted, and after stalking and feeding on him, we were given the coordinates of some nearby artillery.

Weaponization plays a bigger role in Prototype 2, and augmented limbs with blades are always pretty cool, but Heller will also be able to disable and disarm vehicles. Springing into attack, we scaled a building and uncorked a huge elbow drop on a parked armored vehicle. Once atop one of them, we--through repeated button presses--removed a rocket turret and used it as our own cannon. As swarms of Blackwatch came at us to reclaim their stolen property, we launched volleys of missiles before scurrying off, running vertically up a wall and away from the action to shed our threat level.

Another new feature in Prototype 2 is lair; subterranean sections of the city marked by red glowing growth zones. Entering these broken ground areas changes up the pacing completely, temporarily shelving the open-world environments for more confined areas. Ours was an industrial bunker that had been forgotten to time, and as infected scuttled around, we perched on the top of small raised structures. Hunters burst into the room and our job was to put them down. Dismemberment was a key element to ensuring their submission, and after finishing off the first wave, we were set upon by Juggernaut--bigger and nastier versions of the Hunter. The zone came to a climax when we were forced to take two on at once, and it felt similar to the henchman fights in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Butchering and feeding on these brutes granted us some of their attributes and rewarded us with an arm-blade upgrade. The lair moments help add structure to the open-world gameplay and act as a path to level up your skills.

Our demo ended with a brief look at one more new enemy type: the behemoth. This towering creature was several stories tall, black as sin, and covered in bulky armor. After narrowly missing being hit by a car thrown at us, we decided to get out of there quick.

Fans of Prototype will be pleased to hear not only that the game will be getting a second outing, but also that the development team says it is committed to taking the most popular elements from the original and adding a lot more oomph. From what we've seen so far, it's very much in the vein of its predecessor, and we're interested to see more of it as it approaches its 2012 release date on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Stay tuned for more.

Discussion

123 comments
TheDominatorX1
TheDominatorX1

I hope they just don't mess up the pc version like Alan Wake. Alan Wake's 360 version was great but the pc version felt laggy. So as LA NOIRE. If something like this happens to protoype 2 also, people will be very disappointed with RADICAL entertainment for sure.

sam85_
sam85_

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gashoe13
gashoe13

I think this'll be great. The first one was a bunch of fun but lacked finesse in graphics, side-missions, and overall feel. However, I think the movement should be smoother here and the graphics look fantastic. I also like the tighter story here; less mystery and more direction is good.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

First game was good but lacks polish. Pretty sure they'll fix everything with this one

smtgfx
smtgfx

No!!! not this again. I thought this project was dead. I can't believe they gave them funding for this.

abdeslemg
abdeslemg

the first was so nice,i will follow this too!!!!!!!!!!

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

Indeed Alex in game and in cutscenes were two different persons. Ridiculous! At least he acknowledged it.

DemonsWrath11
DemonsWrath11

Sounds pretty awsome. Kinda wish Alex was back though. I didn't feel his story was fully finished, like there were still parts untold. Hopefully this game sheds light both on heller as well as Alex

DemonsWrath11
DemonsWrath11

Sounds pretty awsome. Kinda wish Alex was back though. I didn't feel his story was fully finished, like there were still parts untold. Hopefully this game sheds light both on heller as well as Alex

Pete5506
Pete5506

I enjoyed the first game, I will be following this

newhighscore
newhighscore

Fix the graphics, targeting system, and repetition of missions, and this game is a buy for me. I thought the 1st had a great storyline and concept, it was just a lil rough round the edges. Glad theyre deciding to stick with the things that made the 1st good. Ill be following this game.

Gamma_Fit
Gamma_Fit

Black main character? I love it :)

usermikey
usermikey

I really hoped they would build off Alex Mercer, or give more detail in a new story arc, but whatever....

ZIROPC360
ZIROPC360

@Paliot0maro Interesting fact: humans are one of the least genetically diverse creatures on the planet. While I'd like to play as Alex Mercer once again, I don't really know how they'd go about reintroducing superpowers. Also, I don't think it'll matter what ethnicity the main character is. If it matters to you.... that's fine; realize that racism nowadays alienates yourself more than anyone else.

El_Esbirro
El_Esbirro

racism in videogames....jajajajajajaja how silly can you get. Now, one thing is certain...usually the games where you have a black main character...is a real life rapper and it really comes out as being cliched and over the top. The BEST black main character in videogames to this date is still C.J. from GTA San Andreas!! and THE BEST secondary character with the dope head cousin of his. THE BEST. Not to many black main characters in games though...now that i think about it...hmmm, racism in videogames???

k0k066
k0k066

@paliotomaro p'nai kai gamhsou nomizeis oti eisai esu se 8esh n kaneis ratsistika sxoleia, kai ean nai eisai enas paliomlks k n pareis tn mlkia s k n pas allou n t grafeis oxi se ena gaming site. hli8ie

NavIGOtoR25
NavIGOtoR25

Unfortunetely, from this project I'm waiting only trash with lot's of blood and deads. However, I'd be greatful, if I'm wrong!

simonbelmont2
simonbelmont2

@Paliot0maro You are an ignorant fool and need to fix up your attitude.

sdtrq91
sdtrq91

it seems to be promising but 1st one was AWESOME

ashyankee
ashyankee

Alex Mercer became cool at the end of prototype. I'd have love to enter the second game as the same character and tearing tanks apart.. Like God of War.. Not some guy trying to power up all through the game and beat up an awesome character.. Still I'll play :)

j_kizi
j_kizi

@Paliot0maro we dont need that kinda talk on this website, take your racist comments somewhere else.

kwey
kwey

@Paliot0maro While I appreciate that racism is still CLEARLY alive in the 21st century, your delivery of your two cents was uncalled for. As a person of colour myself, I don't appreciate that kind of disrespect. I'll admit, I would have love to have seen Mr Mercer, return, and I'm sure sa lot of people would have too. But there is no need to be so ignorant and inflammatory. Grow up.

ThexSilentxOne
ThexSilentxOne

Woah, Paliot0maro, take the indifference stick out your ass. It doesn't matter who you play as, as long as it's fun! Oh yeah, rob_dAmAgE, not likely gonna happen. If you don't like the premise then most likely you won't like the game!

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

Two words: ALEX MERCER. Seriously, Mercer was genius to play as because, at the end of the day, he was a remorseless killer. I dont want to be some typical goody two shoes bent on revenge (like i can with 99.9% of games) I want to be the p.o.s. that Mercer was! I really, really, hope that Mercers story continues through this game and that he is a playable character as well...

KingOfAsia
KingOfAsia

hey paliotmaro, Whats skin have to do with it, ever hear of grand theft auto San Andreas. The good GTA which a black guy is a main character :) and black people rock

Paliot0maro
Paliot0maro

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Amaterasu_11
Amaterasu_11

yeah yo have reason, but i think that have the same powers but more strong and maybe have new powers too :D

ash162
ash162

the first one was great but gameplay was a bit overwhelming. Too many powers too many enemies. Hope this is more balanced. Also better graphics

Vozlov
Vozlov

Sounds good. The gameplay wasn't up to scratch in the first one but you could tell that what they were trying was something damn fun and damn cool. Heres to hoping they get the quality to the level of how fun and original the first was.

ReaversRevenge
ReaversRevenge

whens the demo out? the first one was amazing JUST having a shoot out in the infected zones, then you had the epic story.....hope this is up to the firsts increadable standerds.

nimaf
nimaf

why did you change alex mercer???

Shazaaman
Shazaaman

Man I really loved the first one. Second one is going to be a blast too. Being a superpowered serial killing Supervillain is too much fun to pass up!!!

antelegenda
antelegenda

Man, why James dosen't have that cool black hood like Mercer.

AC-FAN-I-AM
AC-FAN-I-AM

The first was great ,the second will be greater

grim0187
grim0187

Never played the first one. Want to, but never did. Prlly will now and then pick this up.

Marasca2
Marasca2

@varunvikram1 How can you play as a dead character?

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

I am psyched about the game but not so psyched about the protagonist. I mean as a sequel I wanted to control alex not some unknown person. I have been waiting for a sequel but now I kinda have mixed feelings.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

I loved what I played of Prototype but I felt Infamous was better; let's see if this can top Infamous 2.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Loved the first one, so I hope this can live up to it

Aderdunn_3
Aderdunn_3

I liked Prototype's gameplay....So deep and so fascinating...Moves like Canonball towards a heli reminded me a lot of superheroes and mutants in comic books....Plus:The option that u can mess with innocent people's lives is just pure evilish fun...I really liked when Mercer was transforming into an old lady and throwing people off the buildings' roofs...The super-violent old chick lolz...