Prototype 2: Militant Priests, Lukewarm Rage, and Missing Science Projects

We doubled our attacks, took in the view from the top of the city, and listened patiently in this revenge-fuelled sequel.

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What would you do if you stumbled upon superpowers? Would you channel them into something positive to build a better world and fight for justice, or would you seethe, ball up your fist at fate, and tear humanity apart like a hot chicken? It's a well-trodden path in film and games, and one that Prototype 2 uses to transport you from the previous boots of Alex Mercer, the original game's amnesia-stricken protagonist, to focus on Sergeant James Heller. The new lead role is a husband left alone in a cruel place after his family is taken by the outbreak slowly strangling New York City.

Our demo began with a flashback sequence of Heller's past. He was serving a tour of duty overseas, and the voices of his wife and daughter called lovingly for him to return home soon. Shortly after, the pair were killed, and this act became the driving force behind the revenge that he seeks on Alex Mercer, who is singled out as the cause of the biological situation and is the namesake of the Mercer Virus.

The scene skipped forwards, and we rejoined the present day, with Heller riding in the back of an armoured personnel carrier. Surrounded by young recruits mouthing off, he sat silently, sharpening the blade of a menacing-looking hunting knife. Moments later, the convoy was attacked, and, as consciousness returned, the squad lay dead around us. Alex arrived and requested that we follow. For a man fuelled by murderous rage, Heller was surprisingly cooperative, accepting the request and renouncing his Blackwatch allegiance to step gingerly across the destroyed roadways and pursue the departing Mercer seeking payback.

Eventually, we caught up, and the duo finally tussled, with Heller plunging his blade into Alex with little effect. Mercer's Force-like push knocked Heller back against a wall--and while the mind was willing, the flesh was weak. Once finished playing with him like a toy, Alex eventually grabbed and infected Heller with a viral tendril, disappearing into a nearby building to watch as Blackwatch helicopters swooped in and took the now-infected deserting soldier as a prisoner of the shady organisation Gentek.

Snippets of fever-dream-like conversations gave us titbits to start building the web of deceit at the centre of the story, and--like in the original game--will be expanded on as you consume unwilling human participants and suckle on their memories. When we awoke, we were bound inside an underground lab. Small groups of infected humans were periodically released from behind roller doors to test our reflexes, acting as a basic tutorial that got us up to speed on melee attacks. Button presses caused us to lash out with quick fist strikes, while holding the button winds up sliding high kicks to the face--useful for knocking down multiple targets at once.

Like any good science project gone wrong, Heller immediately got in touch with his new-found brute force, busting out of the compound and again coming face-to-face with Alex. Though sworn to revenge, Heller was again surprisingly patient as Mercer attempted to tell his side of the story, using a nearby soldier as a conduit to show (through visual memories) why he was merely a scapegoat in Gentek's larger biological experiment.

Confronted with this new, conflicting information, Heller sought out an old friend for guidance. His go-to guy was Father Guerra, a local priest with a shady background, who looked like the love child of Ron Jeremy and Vito Corleone from The Godfather. He suggested that while Mercer's motivations were questionable, they ultimately shared the same goal of wiping out the virus and making Gentek pay, so it couldn't hurt for the two to combine forces. Right?

Story setup out of the way, the rest of our demo focused on the same subterfuge, consumption, and shape-shifting mechanics seen in the first game. Each situation could be approached in either disguise to covertly infiltrate without drawing attention, or more verbosely, if you'd rather fight off the hordes of military men who come to the aide of injured compatriots.

One new addition to Heller's utility belt is Sonar ability for finding specific quest individuals across the city. Clicking the thumbstick sends out a wave of energy that selectively recolours the screen in the direction that the target is located on its return pulse. Much less useful at ground level, it appeared to be more effective when done from the height and safety of the city's tall rooftops.

Eventually, we located and consumed the memories of a commanding officer and used the information gained to arrive at what we thought was a safe meeting point. The name should have been a giveaway; Operation Flytrap snared us in a fenced-off area as trucks backed up and let loose some nasty mutated creatures. Late evasion dives were crucial to staying alive, and we ducked and weaved out of their melee strike range. Heller felt speedy and agile, and movements were fluid as we chained together fatal blows on multiple attackers. Killing them rewarded us with our own set of claws: long steel talons that shredded humanoid enemies.

Weapon effectiveness will vary in Prototype 2, depending on what you're attacking. This has been designed to help avoid the trap of learning and then exploiting a single weapon strategy for all enemy types during the campaign. Later in the game, you'll unlock the ability to equip multiple weapons and map them to the face buttons using an easily accessed radial menu system. This will give you the chance to team differing combinations together, such as softening up targets with fist hammers before knocking them into the air and using sword arms to cleave them in two. A little more interesting than simply swiping at them until they die.

While the start of our demo gave us a look at the very early part of the game and Heller getting to grips with some new toys, the conclusion dropped us into New York's Red Zone as a fully fledged super human. Besides being able to use the full suite of arm attachments, we had access to a mutated personal army that--not unlike the Assassin's Recruits in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood--when summoned, swooped in and helped control large crowds and dealt with enemies that you don't want to. Basic commands, such as focused fire, can be given and can keep you on the ground shaking down the army, while they pelt attack choppers with bits of torn-up road on your behalf.

Prototype 2 adds a new main character, extra combat abilities, and the chance to choose the path you follow to exact your revenge, but it remains very much in the vein of its predecessor. If you haven't yet had your fix of superhuman strength, nasty genetic abominations, and making the city your playground, then look for more on Prototype 2 before it ships in the coming months.

Discussion

44 comments
00J
00J

This ultimate Superhero game would not actually be that hard to do. Skyrim is the perfect mold that a true Superhero Roleplaying game would fit into. Replace the log houses and castles with Skyscrapers and modern buildings and you would have a Superhero playground. You would have to add flight, teleportation and Superjumping to it but that would be easy since the physics engine is already in place. As are random encounters, weather, day night transitions etc...

00J
00J

@NightFox313 yes, Prototype and Infamous are NOT Superhero games in the sense that you don a costume, take to the streets and try to work opposite a police force to quell a crime ridden city... Prototype is basically a war between two factions, Blackwatch and a runaway genetic experiment, Infamous is basically the same. The protagonist is in a fight against various evil creatures... Infamous is closer to a Superhero game than Prototype, but neither are "true" Superhero Free Roam Games, i would say they are the possibilities of a full scale Superhero game. I guess that's why it's so hard to make "the" Superhero game. Midway was working on just a game until they collapsed into bankruptcy, the game was called "Hero" and would have been THE ulitmate Superhero game... Again poor decisions and management collapsed Midway... The game was to be re-invented and named Awakened by ex-Midway employees but that too fell apart.

D0UBLEJUMP
D0UBLEJUMP

@beeftaco3232 inFamous is awesome. [PROTOTYPE] is awesome. The difference between trolling and having an opinion is that you aren't exactly contributing to the discussion, just annoying everyone and trying to make PS3 owners look like biased idiots.

Gladiator_Sofi
Gladiator_Sofi

@beeftaco3232 I don't know why you're still convinced that you're not trolling. You are trolling a lot, you're trying to get everyone to have the same opinion as you are. You said some arguments that were completely false. PROTOTYPE had many problem which I hope will get fixed in the sequel, but it was very far from a bad game or a rip-off of inFamous, I played inFamous for a small while and it was different from PROTOTYPE in many ways which I won't discuss because the guys who commented before me explained them already.

Black_Id_Jenova
Black_Id_Jenova

@AceBalls Agree mate, btw i rather choose long arm so i can hitchhike Train or Bus for free...

NightFox313
NightFox313

@beeftaco3232 What? You don't make sense - neither inFAMOUS or [Prototype] are "superhero [games] in an open world city". The only thing they have in common are the open-world feature and the ability to get to play as a normal person enhanced with powerful abilities and strengths. Neither games have you playing as a "superhero" - if you committed a massacre in inFAMOUS - would you be a superhero? The same goes for [Prototype]. You've no idea what you're really talking about, are you? Clearly you're wrong when you say that you're always right. I hope you don't act like this in real life - because honestly your false sense of self-righteousness is stunning.

AceBalls
AceBalls

.. btw I want that foam blade arm!

AceBalls
AceBalls

The whole idea of Prototype has been my favorite concept in all video games. If only they landed a good story like Infamous was, and also not made it so difficult in the frigen finale battle hah! .. it could have been a ripper. 2 looks much better!

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

@nightfox313 its a superhero game in an open world city. rip off!!! its ok to be wrong nightfox, every1 who argues with me is wrong. i actually get kind of tired being right all the time, i pray everynight to let me lose just 1 arguement but it never happens, its a curse

supertom221
supertom221

@beeftaco3232 You're the only one who remembers because you are the only one who thinks so. [PROTOTYPE] Rocked, It's a game I still sometimes play up to this day (I play games by the hundreds a year, rarely do I replay a game). I am a big fan of Proto, but I'm also a big fan of inFAMOUS. I used to think Prototype was a poor man's inFAMOUS. Boy, was I wrong. They both deliver immense fun in their own ways. inFAMOUS delivers classic superhero-style comics narrative and story, and [PROTOTYPE] is all about using a wide array of powers to create total carnage and a bloodfest. They are nothing alike. Maybe if you'll drop the fanboy act, you'll realize you are missing on very great games. I'm starting to doubt you even own [PROTOTYPE].

supertom221
supertom221

I want that Paper Blade. GIMME THAT PAPER BLADE!!!!

macpc25
macpc25

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seanbrandowen
seanbrandowen

Looks like the guy from Gears, Come on Make a new character already.

WengKern90
WengKern90

Wow.This games bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "LIKE A BOSS". Nice!

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Dude is slicing people like butcher cutting meat. FLAWLESS!!!

NightFox313
NightFox313

@beeftaco3232 Once again you completely have no idea what you're talking about. inFAMOUS and [Prototype] are two different franchises - I've no idea why people like you have to constantly compare them. Yes, they both have main characters that have superhuman abilities but does that mean that they're complete rip-offs of each other? But like the ignorant comment you've posted that doesn't justify your reasoning at all. You say you're allowed to give your own opinion but you say that [Prototype] was a rip-off of inFAMOUS - therefore you're saying that everyone should abandon a game they like and side with whatever you like. Is that opinion? Sounds like dictatorship to me.

dxBIGBOSSxb
dxBIGBOSSxb

Pretty fun game the first. I just hope the sequel has a little more variety. Yeah, destroying military bases, and hives, are fun and the mini games entertained me to an extent, but I could really use the same thing that makes GTA so great, "Activities". By activities, I mean side missions, jobs, npc interaction and unlockables, not just "Gold Medal" seeker mini games.

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

@nightfox313 you dont agree with me so im trolling? no too bad kid. im allowed to give my own opinion. its called trolling for having my own opinion? wow ur wrong kid, grow up!

cryingdevil63
cryingdevil63

Loved the first one,although the city was kinda lame all shades of brown,hopefully this one is more colorful and fulfilling,either way though I'm getting this for sure

OrNiGhTZ
OrNiGhTZ

a choice of 2 paths, that's new and familiar

pokecharm
pokecharm

I wasn't crazy about the first one, but I'm curious enough to get the sequel...I can't tell if I've succumbed to the hype or not...

NightFox313
NightFox313

@beeftaco3232 Wow - you again? With all of the trolling you do at this rate you'll probably get carpal tunnel syndrome.

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

@beeftaco3232 they were being made and being talked about at the same exact time... they couldn't have copied each other - . -

durt13
durt13

loved the first hope the 2nd one will improve on that!

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

am i the only 1 who remembers that the first prototype sucked. this 1 wont be different, stupid infamous rip off

samus_my_life
samus_my_life

Man , just release it already ..... i can't wait to get my hand into one of the magnificent game of slicing and cutting world yeah i want it so badly

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

It should be fun hope they go deeper to the character

vivaLAbostonia
vivaLAbostonia

first game was great. Most likely a definite buy for me

CarlosRodela
CarlosRodela

how can he focus on answering seriously? i would be looking down constantly and just laughing at my 'prototype' arm.

CarlosRodela
CarlosRodela

i cant believe he kept that thing on his arm the whole time. ha

Black_Id_Jenova
Black_Id_Jenova

New Prototype ehh?? first one is good but i agree with below me, the campaign is too let's say not very much developed... Prototype can be a great game with more complexity for the game

altjay88
altjay88

hope the story is better. the first was just...very rushed. nobody can argue otherwise if they wish to retain any type of respect. it was the most fast paced unexplained story ever. 'oh hi i'm a freak with powers...they progress yadayada, this is my...sister, and thats my girlfriend, she's dead,...i think. oh and at the end, or even 3/4 the way through lets just not talk about any of them. oh and this guy i fought once, he's now the boss, insert semi epic wishfull thinking phrase here.' had fun playing it, but....it was a mess through and through.

Jane_22
Jane_22

loved the first one and im sure gonna love this.

Gladiator_Sofi
Gladiator_Sofi

to the producers of Prototype 2: there are better ways to advertise your game than to make the guy talking about the game hold up a stupid blade-like thing. do they think that now more people are gonna buy the game?

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

Hmm interesting ....... not like the former game in combat although i see no more then Rage mush buttoning (not complaining or something ).

dark_rising76
dark_rising76

Day 1 purchase!! Loved the the first Prototype game and I hope that the shooting mechanics with the guns and vehicles were improved.

Jomsviking
Jomsviking

the segment where he jumped at people with claws... and it cut to a minor cutscene... EVERY time, kinda made me weary, stuff like that just breaks the pace... On a game where the scale is this large, you cannot cut to a attack cutscene every time to smite a minor foe.