|Review: Prototype 2|
Monday, 07 May 2012 13:00
Sandbox Games have evolved considerably over the past few years with titles like Grand Theft Auto IV and Infamous 2, which took centre stage in this popular genre. This creates a problem for games like Prototype 2 which end up becoming rather forgettable detours in an otherwise memorable category.
The game starts off with new protagonist (and Jay-Z look-alike) Sergeant James Heller returning from duty in Iraq to find that his wife and daughter have been killed during the second outbreak of the Blacklight virus. He blames Alex Mercer (the hoodie-wearing hero from the first game) and this soon spirals into a tale of revenge. This was quite refreshing as you don't usually play games where you have to kill the character you've played.
However, the gravitas could have been so much more powerful had I felt an emotional connection to Heller and his story. He is not likeable in the least, and peppers every line of dialogue with gratuitous profanity in an attempt to come off sounding like a bad-ass, but just ends up being a caricature of sorts. The dynamic of using a priest as a hardened mentor is also clichéd and does little more than remind me of Machete.
The graphics in Prototype 2 seem recycled and muddy, and does not compare with current generation competitors. Unlike games such as Saints Row the Third where the onscreen chaos is over the top yet makes sense, in Prototype 2, there is often a feeling of 'what the hell just happened?' For a game that was three years in the making, the graphics seem to be stuck in the past.
The game has new mutations that Heller can use to wreak havoc in New York, or rather New York Zero, and while some of these are fun to use, they are too sparsely spread out that by the time you get a new mutation, you would have invested so much time upgrading your existing ones that you hardly use them. The game does a good job of making you feel powerful and pretty soon you will be destroying helicopters and tanks with ease. This sense of accomplishment helps the game and acts as an incentive to keep playing.
Prototype 2 is roughly 12 hours long, which places it between short first person shooters like Call of Duty and longer meatier games like Saints Row the Third. These twelve hours are split between the main missions, collecting blackboxes, killing certain soldiers amongst other distractions. The main missions are what really lets Prototype 2 down as most missions are repetitive derivatives of 'get to this place, consume this guy and kill everyone'. This was not bad the first few times but halfway through the second hour it felt too much like the first Assassins Creed (without all the bench sitting).
In conclusion, Prototype 2 delivers similar thrills to the first game, while remaining a largely forgettable experience that does little to push the genre forward.
Pros: Lots of destruction and gore, cool mutations
Cons: Disappointing visuals , boring story, repetitive missions
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