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Videogame: Prototype 2

"My name is Sergeant James Heller, and I will destroy Alex Mercer."
James Heller

The 2012 sequel to the 2009 sandbox game Prototype, once again taking place in New York Zero, but this time with a new protagonist: former US Marine Sergeant James Heller, who returns from deployment overseas, only to find his wife and child dead, victims of a new outbreak of the Blacklight Virus that has left Manhattan in ruins once more.

In his rage and grief, James requests to be reassigned to the New York outbreak, and runs a series of high-risk missions in the hope of being reunited with his wife and daughter in death. Heller thinks he's finally gotten his wish during a mission into the virus-ravaged Red Zone, which leaves his entire unit dead and Heller fighting through hundreds of infected; but unfortunately for him, someone has other plans. Impressed by his resolve, the supposed creator of this new outbreak infects Heller with his own strain of the Blacklight Virus, granting the Sergeant similar near-indestructibility and inhuman powers. Now Heller seeks to use his new-found abilities to destroy the man who made him what he is, the man he holds personally responsible for all his misery: Alex Mercer.

While the game is notable for introducing the new player character of Heller and setting up previous series Anti-Hero Alex Mercer as the main antagonist, it also includes improved area designs and interactivity, increased NPC reactions and animations, a larger arsenal of weapons to take off fallen enemies, and an even bigger pool of abilities.

Starting in February 2012, Dark Horse Comics also began releasing a 3-part comic series that bridged the gap between Prototype and Prototype 2 entitled The Anchor, The Survivors, and The Labyrinth.

On June 28, 2012, Activision announced major layoffs at Radical Entertainment, citing that the Prototype IP "did not find a broad commercial audience"; casting doubt on the possibility of the franchise continuing.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Despite being built like sumo wrestlers and walking at a kind of slow waddle, Juggernauts can leap thirty feet with ease.
  • Action Commands: Many, least of which is to decide what to do with a victim you've just picked up. Also doubles somewhat as an Anti-Frustration Feature by allowing you to dodge/block/deflect incoming attacks.
    • Because of their regular placement and the fact that they occur within-engine, they tend to act similarly to your other Special Attacks, the only difference being, of course, context-sensitivity or lack thereof. Quick-time events and similar don't have that quality, though.
  • Adult Fear: The opening shows, in flashes, Heller returning from his tour to discover the mutilated corpses of his wife, and unable to find his child in his home (assumed taken and devoured by the infected). Just to twist the knife a little further, phone conversations between James and Colette are played over the scene, which are mostly Heller reassuring his wife that everything will be fine, Blackwatch will take care of it, he'll be home soon and then they can go somewhere safe...
    • One of the Blackbox pick-ups records a mother pleading with a Blackwatch soldier that her son is autistic, not infected. It does not end well.
  • A.I. Breaker: Some of which reek of the Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors variety. It almost seemed like the developers preferred that you use a certain way to beat a given foe with little trouble.
    • Super Soldiers are stunned by blocking as they strike, after which you can power bomb them. Even against several at once, this fact makes them trivially easy to kill.
    • Evolved will always fall for the Block/Hammerfist Spike combo, since the latter part has a wide area of effect that can hit them even after they recover. Using the Tendrils combo attack will also force them into their power attack, which stuns them if you dodge, allowing you to grab and toss them. This is even faster and has some nice throwing moves depending on the power used.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Most humans die in one hit from any of Heller's powers, but people you might want to consume have this amazing ability to survive with a tiny sliver of health left, which reduces them to only being able to crawl on the ground where they're much less likely to get hit. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to randomly spawning Brawlers which you need to consume to upgrade your powers, making it possible that a stray missile kills them off and nullifies the last 5 minutes of random wandering to make one to spawn.
    • Also with Radnet, which lets you still have all what you accomplished even if you start another game and you only need to get the Bronze level to get the upgrade.
    • The game now allows you to jump into the air, target an enemy, and press grab to auto fly and pick up the target. This makes instantly grabbing necessary targets ungodly easy, removing the problem in the last game of having to run back and grab them again (hoping they didn't get hit).
  • Anti-Hero: Heller. At one point, Roland, one of the GENTEK scientists and an Evolved working for Mercer mocks Heller for thinking he's a hero who is willing to kill thousands to get at him. Heller's response is "Did I say I was a fucking hero, you piece of shit?!" That said, Heller is still heroic in his own way; many of the missions he takes on involve stopping Blackwatch and GENTEK's sadistic experiments involving innocents, or at least ripping those responsible into tiny pieces.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Some of the Blackboxes are records of Kick the Dog moments. The others are these.
  • Appendage Assimilation: Done in a more obvious fashion than the original game. The game will prompt you to defeat and consume a new type of enemy to gain the power that it wields against you.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: In one conversation between Blackwatch members, it is implied that the organization recruits from people who may be facing prison time, as one member remarks that had he not joined he would be either "in prison or dead".
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Conversing NPCs generally have one of them repeat a piece of dialogue associated with their voice and the other reply with a random comment. Gets funny when they end up being mismatched: this is probably the most apparent with a marine and a scientist, the former of which keeps talking how he signed up to help people, wants to go on a extended vacation and doesn't understand anything anymore, while the scientist replies to everything he says like he was talking about science problems.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Improves upon the Apathetic Citizens syndrome of the original game with more believable civilian reactions to your current disguise for instance. Also, military AI will now take notice of a handful more suspicious movements compared to the original by actually filling the alert meter. However, it turns out that there are still cases of...
  • Artificial Stupidity: You can still evade military pursuit by simply changing to an uncompromised disguise unseen, even if it's a dead end, and your assailants pretty much wonder where the hell you went. Or being relatively unnoticed for gliding around in a military base in a scientist HazMat suit for that matter. Nor do they seem to wonder why the random soldier is running around carrying a helicopter rocket pod or TOW launcher that would presumably be several times his weight.
    • Actually one does, but Heller states he just eats a lot of protein. Which is kinda true...
    • However this is a bit averted when you play Insane Difficulty, as pretty much anything you do will fill your wanted meter extremely fast.
  • Art Shift: many cut scenes, including the opening, once again use stylized real-life photos instead of the in-game engine.
  • Ascended Meme: The flying kick from Penny Arcade is mentioned no less than three times, once in the opening when Alex kicks a chopper in the same fashion as in the comic, the second being one of Heller's new finishers which is compared to it, and the third for doing the standard one, which gets you the "arcade action" trophy.
    • Also during your fight with Alex, he will toss a Helicopter towards you and say "Karate Kick this!" Sadly, you cannot oblige, just jump out of the way.
  • Asshole Victim: Just about everyone Heller targets turns out to be, at the very minimum, a colossal prick.
    • In one mission, Heller finds his targets so disgusting he actually refuses to eat them and instead takes them up to the highest point possible in the map in a helicopter, sheds his disguise just so they know how screwed they are, and then bails out and leaves them to die.
      • In case you are curious, the scientists planned to sterilize poor people and minorities.
    • Some of his targets though seem to be misled by Blackwatch, horribly afraid of Heller, and/or unable to get out of the organization/city. At one point, scientists are used as bait for Heller and the horror the head researcher displays is disturbing. On a more humorous note, some soldiers will beg you to let them live if you pick them up. Some will say things like, "We know what Mercer did to you! Let us help you!" or "We're the good guys!" It can make you feel guilty... except if you do decide to spare them. The second you put them down, they suicidally start raising the alert again and open fire if they have weapons. You can have a humorous cycle where you put a guy up, he begs, you put him down, he starts calling for help, prepares to shoot you, you pick him up again, and he begs for mercy again.
  • Assimilation Plot: Alex's plan to spread the "Mercer virus" and corrupted Whitelight worldwide amounts to this, and creating a Hive Mind.
  • The Assimilator: A major part of Heller's quest to get to the bottom of Blackwatch's and Gentek's "science fair project", and subsequently Mercer's covert meddling. Knowing the truth for taking action is Heller's aim, and gaining those wicked powers (and mutations, evolutions, etc.) is also a pretty handy bonus.
  • Attack Backfire: If you get hit by a certain type of enemy, you can reverse the knockback in mid-air and slam back into them with an attack.
  • Attack Of The 50 Foot Blacklight-Abomination: The Goliaths.
  • Attack Reflector: The Shield power. Taken Up to Eleven with the ability to deflect explosive ordnance accurately back to the shooter, or whatever else you may be aiming at.
  • Audible Gleam: The cutscene where Heller stops his claws short of striking Rooks in the mobile command post.
  • Audible Sharpness: When the Evolved brandish their melee appendages and pose for the camera.
  • Aura Vision: The Viral Sonar (as Heller puts it) reveals who is being watched and who is not.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The ability to punt a bio-bomb-planted person/Infected, from the Gamestop pre-order bonus. It has about the same range as just throwing the victim, and the bio-bomb does the same damage regardless, but the windup time makes it possible to get hit while punting. It is, however, a hell of a lot funnier.
    • The streets are littered by normal civilians you can devour for HP at a moments notice. The problem? They give very little health boost at all, so much so that a single Brawler slap will remove ten people worth of health from your bar. This makes devouring Blackwatch and Infected much better options, as they give a far greater HP and mass boost. However due to the fact that Heller was supposed to come off as a more moral bound character, this was probably done intentionally so you would refrain from using them for heath.
    • Mercer's bullet dive, a preorder bonus, is the devastating divebomb technique Alex had in the previous game. The problem? Just like the last game: its damage does not outweigh its inaccuracy, its damage is based on height, and the Hammerfists Aerial Charge attack is a far better option as Heller will steer himself into his target
    • The shockwave technique from the Excessive Force DLC pack is very cool as it creates a powerful eruption that injures anything nearby, however if you're doing a part in the game REQUIRING stealth, you cannot jump or you have to go into Radnet and shut it off. Not to mention it doesn't do a whole lot of damage anyways...
    • Speaking of the Excessive Force DLC pack, the viral grenade launcher. It shoots a grenade that emits smoke which turns anyone hit by it into Infected. The problem here is that the grenade still explodes and will likely kill whoever you're aiming it first. You also get Chaos Creator Mode which lets zombies loose all over the GZ and YZ, inside buildings, and inside lairs, meaning there really is no point behind the grenade launcher despite its cool effect, and just to be evil.
    • While some of the DLC is unbelievably fun and extremely enjoyable, everything but the player skins automatically shuts off all challenge records and shuts off trophy/achievement progress until you reload the file free of the multipliers. However if you have already got both, go nuts.
  • Backstab: Heller's ability to stealth-consume targets is decidedly better than his predecessor's — he can stealth-consume from the front as long as nobody in the room happens to be looking at the target.
  • Badass Boast: A staple of Heller whenever an NPC advises him over the radio to be careful on his current undertaking.
  • Badass Normal: Mercer decides to transform Heller mainly because the Sergeant fought his way to the center of the Red Zone alone. To put that further into perspective: the average military squad can barely to manage more than a single Hunter. Heller was able to kill one with only a combat knife. That takes some serious skills.
  • Bad Boss: Alex Mercer, often threatening his Evolved with death if they fail their missions (though they're not a normal organisation and often failure would result in death anyway) and even more apparent when consumes his Evolved without hesitation just so he would be stronger to fight Heller. Being what he is, though, he has an unusual approach to life and death - he may have seen that last act as a non-traditional "team" tactic.
    • Colonel Rooks as well. Multiple audio logs will have him berating or threatening a Blackwatch soldier just because they helped an innocent civilian survive an attack from an infected monster. Someone also has to be authorizing the attacks in the YZ, and he's in charge.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: From the original D-code project to the Orion variant, Super Soldiers are still made primarily to be melee combatants with little equal.
  • Battle in the Rain: The final fight with Alex Mercer, on top of a particularly large roof.
  • Beeping Computers: The PDA in Heller's possession makes sure to give audible cues when its GUI is doing something. The computer in Father Guerra's hideout behaves similarly.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever Heller knew of Mercer's involvement with his family's demise, obviously.
    • Later on, whenever Heller is made aware of how his daughter is threatened.
  • Big Applesauce: Now as the Red Zone. Times Square, or Manhattan in general, never seems to catch a break from all sorts of fictional abuse.
    • The Yellow and Green zones seem to be an amalgamation of Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City. There are various landmarks from the aforementioned locations scattered throughout the islands, including faithful depictions of the Brooklyn, Queensborough and Williamsburg bridges (although in completely imaginary locations). Strangely enough, Downtown Manhattan is more or less geographically accurate even if it isn't to scale.
  • Bioluminescence is Cool: Now all viral biomass give off a warm glow.
  • Black and Grey Morality: You're basically a rolling ball of blades that eats people. On the other hand, you're a lot better as a person than most of the people you eat.
    • Interestingly, the trope is not invoked to as great an extent as the last game. Once the Blackwatch, while vicious and completely without mercy in their campaign to destroy the virus, had shades of The Extremist Was Right. Pretty much all their screen-time here involves punting dogs just because. The leader of the Infected, Alex Mercer, in contrast to Greene, is smug, cruel, and megalomaniacal rather than simply insane. The protagonist, on the other hand, has sympathetic motives. It's still hardly Black and White Morality, but it's closer to it than the first game.
  • Black Helicopter: No surprise, Blackwatch still runs heavily armed operations as with the first game. Now more custom-looking compared to the original game's resemblance to real-life hardware.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The original three bladed weapons from the first game return, with new designs. Blackwatch mooks also have a variation of this, though they're never seen using it since getting into melee for them would be Too Dumb to Live.
  • Blatant Lies: Pretty much anything heard on the PA system scattered throughout the Yellow and Green zones, usually to the tune of how awesome, noble, and trustworthy Gentek is.
  • Blood Knight: Blackwatch is full of them. One even admits to Koenig that the main reason he joined Blackwatch was to shoot people, and was disappointed he was instead shooting mutated populace.
  • Body Horror: The grotesque-looking "Evolved Infected" from the first game, based on Alex's strain, are now the regular zombies.
    • The Infected skins from the Colossal Mayhem and Excessive Force DLC packs are insanely gruesome.
      • Try using the Viral Grenade Launcher or the Viral Barrels near anyone who's not infected. They'll vomit blood, fall to the ground, then violently spasm while their flesh breaks apart and leaves behind a shambling monstrosity,
    • The fate of anyone with the bio-bomb on them. They stand still, scream due to the intense shooting pain, then tentacles fires out, grab objects, and violently pull them back at the target which smashes them into a bloody mess. Anything from other people to concrete and tank parts. If it were real you'd have to imagine the thoughts going through the victims head. May double as a Fate Worse than Death since you kill your comrades as well.
  • Bond One-Liner: Heller has a veritable library of these, though he doesn't use them very often.
  • Book Dumb: And computer-dumb too, apparently. In a humorous bit in the first stealth-consume mission, Heller has to use a computer while in the form of a scientist he's consumed, and apparently he has yet to learn how to actually use the brain of the guy he devoured.
    Heller: I'm at the computer, what do I press?
    Guerra: First you need to—
    Heller: I'm pressing the red button. Shit. Now the screen's all fucked up.
    Guerra: Okay, press the alternate key. "A.L.T." Alternate—
    Heller: Alt? There's no fucking alt. I got a fucking squiggly line key, I got a fucking key with a triangle on it... what the fuck kind of keyboard is this anyway?
  • Border Patrol: The Strike Teams from the first game return, but now they're much less forgiving, being a one-hit kill, homing, and you have a very small window of time to get away before it's fired.
  • Boring, but Practical: Infantry weapons. Especially Rocket Launchers.
  • Boss Banter: Bosses capable of speech usually will initiate dialogue mid-fight.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Evolved. They look like any Blackwatch, Gentek scientist, Infected or non-infected civilian. Until they counter your grabbing attempts and brandish their weaponized appendages. They also take a good deal of punishment and dish out comparably.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Weapons are still reload-free as per the first game. Though the Weaponize ability from the Incredible Hulk: UD game takes quite a liberty with the weapons in question, such as a minigun with a Hammerspace "magazine", or a TOW launcher that starts with a basic capacity of twelve.
  • Brain Food: In addition to information, it's good for Heller's health! Literally!
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: As a human, Heller tried to kill Alex Mercer with nothing more than a knife. Mercer was more amused than anything else, and infected Heller with his own strain of Blacklight.
  • Bullying The Dragon: Heller is contacted by a particularly insane commander who brags about how his wife would have liked a gang bang from his men. This was not the brightest idea they could have had.
    Rottweiler: James Heller. My name is Rottweiler. Me and my crew over here were just wondering what kind of fuck your old lady was. Bet she liked it real hard and dirty, right? Woo! But, you know, from a real man, not some AWOL traitor and his pasty hacker cunt. Later, traitor.
  • But Thou Must: Radical said they were trying to give Heller more initiative compared to Mercer, who mostly just received missions from NPCs. Heller, by contrast, gets NPCs to help him by...force of personality, and otherwise has a lot more initiative than Mercer. It feels more like the NPCs are actually helping him instead of just being quest-dispensers.
  • Button Mashing: The stuff of combos for the really experienced pair of hands. Certain powers make you difficult to reach by melee if you keep spamming a single attack.
  • Call Back: Project New Templar. Its goal to sterilize certain ethnic groups based on their genes is basically Project Blacklight, part 2. Appropriately enough, someone infected with the original Blacklight kills those involved.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: See the Appendage Assimilation entry. Also subverted in some cases because despite that you can now consume familiar enemies that the previous game did not allow you to, does not mean you can take on their appearance.
  • Car Fu: It's a Prototype game, which was conceptually an Incredible Hulk game, after all.
    • Heller's squad patrolling inside the Red Zone via APC gets Car Fu'd right as his squad members are discussing their deployment.
      • During chase scenes with Evolved, be aware that they will do this to slow you down.
    • Several times, the nearest high-damage ranged weapon will be either a car, or a hapless civilian or soldier that can be grabbed and lobbed at a target - extra damage if you infect them with a bio-bomb first.
  • Catch and Return: You can now use the shield power to block missiles in midair and send them hurtling back at the launcher.
    • One promotional trailer invokes this trope by demonstrating what was already possible in the original game: Catching debris thrown by a Hydra and hurling it back.
  • Character Level: Or Evolution level in this case.
  • Charged Attack: The game quickly tutors you into practicing your newly-acquired Super Strength by holding down the attack button to perform more powerful, sometimes even different, attacks.
  • Check Point: Not displayed as glaringly obvious as the first game.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rooks' line when asked by Riley/Heller about Maya's location. Not exact, but: "I'd sit her down in a corner, give her a lolipop, and wait for Heller to come to me." The hidden meaning? He isn't saying it with threatening intent. He has a wife and daughter of his own, and it's Heller's drive to save Maya that actually prompts Rooks to help him.
  • Cherry Tapping: You can still damage armor with your claws, despite the game telling you that it is not effective. See Death of a Thousand Cuts entry.
    • Sometimes encouraged by the game for an XP bonus. Of course, after you upgrade your weapons.
      • Admittedly, however, unlike the last game, Heller will flinch every time he strikes armor with any bladed weapons.
  • Chess Motifs: Rooks' callsign is "Checkmate" and his lieutenant's is "Castle". (Likely also a Stealth Pun, since "rook" and "castle" are different names for the same piece.)
  • Closed Circle: The only way to travel between the boroughs are via permitted Blackwatch transportation.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: F bombs are widely and casually used.
    • Precision F-Strike: An interesting variant in a game that's full of Cluster F-Bomb. A mission objective specifically use the expletive in its instruction, the only mission objective to do so in the game.
    Mission Objective: Bail out to fuck over New Templar scientists.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Heller vs. Mercer, two Humanoid Abominations, as is probably obvious.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Manhattan is split into Green, Yellow and Red Zones. The Green Zone is full of heavy military presence and normal civilians going about their lives, the "safe zone." Yellow is Quarantine: nobody in or out without permission. It's densely populated and living conditions are very poor. Residents unlucky enough to be stuck here are justifiably miserable, and are frequently used as "test subjects" (read: food for captured Infected) by GENTEK. The Red Zone is the one place they haven't cleaned out yet of infection, and it's full of dangerous mutants and so on. A Blackwatch narrator in a "briefing" video described it as a "living hell".
    • Similarly, Blackwatch troops all have goggles and other equipment on them that glow blue, while infected enemies have veins and vital spots that glow red. The goggles of the Evolved Blackwatch troopers even change from blue to orange when they transform.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rip weapons off armed vehicles, throw cars, hijack vehicles, throw people, do a Tendril Blackhole on something in the middle of a debris heap, claw pounce on that annoyingly retreating target, spamming Area of Effect attacks on either a single or multiple targets... whatever you need to do to get the job done.
    • To the point where the developers realize that giving an EP bonus for completing a task in a specific manner would help to encourage less monotony as players got too comfortable using a single move incessantly.
  • Combat Tendrils: Now with more emphasis on the term "tendrils". The Whip Fist power and all of its grappling capabilites also make it as much a combat tentacle as the Tendril power are... well, combat tendrils.
  • Comically Small Bribe: When the New Templar scientists learn they're in a chopper piloted by James Heller and they just pissed him off, they offer him a bribe of a hundred dollars, as if Heller needs money any more, before going all the way up to "ten thousand — each!"
  • Continuity Nod: Mercer can do his trademark Body Surf from the first game on you if you don't dodge his pounce.
    • You can do it too, if you do a charged attack from the air without any powers equipped and hold down the attack button. Hilarity Ensues when you're coming out of a glide and use a Blackwatch trooper as a squishy landing pad and his buddies actually pause a moment before raising the alarm, as if they're wondering if you really just did that.
  • Counter Attack: Successfully dodging the aggressive blows by Evolved on button prompt allows a subsequent action command for you to school them hard as they try to get their appendages unstuck.
    • The Evolved have a Counter Attack of their own if you try to attack them immediately after knocking them back, which presumably exists precisely to stop you from stunlocking them with repeated claw-pounces.
  • Country Matters: At one point, Dana Mercer is referred to as "a pasty hacker cunt." Yep, in dialogue and everything. Hilariously mocked when she grouches that she's not "pasty".
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Dr. Archer.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Enforced during two sequences where you pretend to be a Blackwatch soldier for most of the mission. The game degrades you to bog-standard human, save for the ability to pick up already-detached armaments from military vehicles (TOW launchers and the like). The latter is commented upon, but Heller will just pass it off as the result of eating a lot of protein. You get your powers back once the sequence ends.
    Blackwatch Soldier: (referring to the TOW) Shit, dude.
  • Crapsack World: Pretty much everything in the game is oriented towards showing you how incredibly awful Blackwatch is. For example, the Blackboxes pretty much all center around soldiers committing atrocities.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Subverted. The individual soldier is only capable of handling what his shouldered weapon is designed for. However, they appear often in squads, which usually have a mixed of light and heavy arms.
  • Critical Annoyance: You know that sound that tells you that you are about a couple of bullet hits away from losing the helicopter that you are in.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: The bed Heller is strapped to after being infected has a pair of smaller tables that hold his arms out to the side.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Heller.
    Heller to Mercer: What the FUCK did you do to me!?
    • Mercer's other lieutenants do not seem to view it as a curse, apparently.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The ending where Heller apparently wipes out the Red Zone infection.
  • Cutting the Knot: When instructed to "Escape the Alert", Heller can either a) run away, or b) kill everyone chasing him.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Orion Two. The largest of Infected may also come off as this.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The controls for glide and air dash have been swapped around from what they were in the first game. The charge-jumping present in the previous game and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destructionnote  has also been swapped for the far more common variety where holding jump causes Heller to keep ascending until he hits the apex or you release the button. Dodging is also now performed by quickly tapping the jump button and stealth consuming is done by default by just grabbing someone while undetected, which has an unfortunate side effect of blowing your cover both by accidentally pressing one of the shoulder buttons required to stealth consume in the previous game via having Heller ditch his disguise and raise his shields, as well as trying to grab someone too close to a throwable object which causes him to lift it up instead.
    • You can solve the problem with a target being too close to a throwable object by L2 targeting the target. However, if a person or object that is the objective is on screen, then it will target that instead so you have to position the camera so the those targets aren't on screen. Also, you have five basic abilities and only two buttons to use them with (triangle and square on PS3). You can reassign the controls by pressing L1. However, you can easily change the controls by mistake or forget where you put what ability.
    • PC controls aren't spared either. As stated above, the original Prototype used a Sprint/Air-dash and a Jump/Glide setup. The sequel swaps it to Sprint/Glide and Jump/Air-dash configuration, regardless of whichever key is bounded to either pair. PC veterans of the first game are likely to experience skyrocketed frustration levels as they attempt events like Incineration and Recovery without being re-accustomed to the swap.
  • Darker and Edgier: The dialogue in this game is much more melodramatic and foulmouthed than the previous game
  • Dark Messiah: Alex Mercer in the eyes of his Evolved.
  • Deadly Gas: The sabotaged Whitelight substance.
  • Deadly Lunge: My oh my, a handful of new foes WILL try this on you. Better be quick on upon the dodge prompt.
    • Oh, you can also do the same.
  • Death by Racism
    • The first Blackwatch field commander Heller runs into after he escapes; the one that calls him "bro".
    • The scientists working on the New Templar Project. Heller doesn't even eat them, instead he flies the helicopter they are all in up as high as possible and bails out.
  • Death from Above: Back with a vengeance, yep. If not hijacked helicopters, then it's weaponizing yourself as a meteorite. A feature for RadNet events as well.
    • Also if you jump and grab onto the character you are hunting, Heller will pounce and instantly consume him.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: If you find this happening to foes that seem unreasonably resilient to your attacks, consider trying something else or upgrading your offensive abilities. Unless you're in it for the lulz.
    • During the climactic fight with Mercer, having this happen is a good sign you're using the wrong power to fight the one he's got equipped currently.
  • Death Seeker: Heller was trying to get himself killed when he fought his way into the Red Zone.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Most of the cutscenes are entirely in black and white with a splash of primary color (such as red blood, blue back-lit screens, yellow flames) here and there. Think Sin City, but with an even more limited palette, which is also used when Heller is low on health. Viral powers are always highlighted when in use.
  • Desperation Attack: The devastator attack.
  • Determinator: Heller being the prime example among the other characters.
  • Devour the Dragon: Alex does this to increase his strength against the final fight.
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Green and Red Zones don't become accessible until after your first visits there via story progression.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Blackwatch dances right up to the line of being Those Wacky Nazis; pretty much the only thing they don't have is a black logo in a white circle on a red background.
    • After his infection, Heller is captured by GENTEK. During the cutscene, a character speaks part of the Lord's Prayer while Heller is strapped to a very crucifix-looking examination table.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Heller may have been a Death Seeker, but he was still aiming to kill as many infected as humanly possible. When armed with nothing but a combat knife, he goes after Mercer (who's leading him on), stabs a Hunter to death, and when being choked by Mercer's whip-fist his immediate response is to stab the hell out of Mercer's arm repeatedly.
    • Not to mention that he was a solid badass even before being infected. If you pay close attention to the intro cinematic - it's difficult, between gray letters on a white background and the brief time it's onscreen this is very easy to miss - but Heller had been awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star while in Iraq. Then he proceeds to cut Alex Mercer's throat and actually last more than a few seconds in hand-to-hand combat with a Humanoid Abomination that had moments before tossed the remains of his APC to one side like it was a toy chair. It only gets more awesome from there.
  • Doom Troops: Blackwatch troops now look like this. Before, they merely resembled regular soldiers wearing black SWAT uniforms and night-vision goggles. Now they're kitted out with creepy glowing blue goggles, hoods over their heads, and a large, wide shield/blade on their left arms. Regular military personnel in olive kit and tan camouflage fatigues also appear, in direct contrast.
  • Drop the Hammer: Monsters like Juggernauts and Goliaths slam the ground with their heavy limbs. Also, Heller can Drop the Hammer by diving from heights with Hammerfists out.
    Heller commenting on a Juggernaut with Hammerfist DNA: This guy's a walking earthquake.
  • Dynamic Entry: Such as dropping into the party at a Blackwatch base with an Area of Effect greeting.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Heller's appendages for his powers get cosmetically upgraded along with actual improvements.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Well, at least noticeably more super than what he's demonstrated so far: in the second to last mission, Heller consumes a supercharged Juggernaut, which temporarily gives him the ability to control them, makes him glow and allows him to kill even supersoldiers in one hit.
  • Elite Mooks: The Brawlers for the Infected, the Orions for Blackwatch, and eventually the Evolved.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: A pink stuffed rabbit that Amaya Heller carried with her everywhere. James Heller finds it in his daughter's bedroom spattered with blood.
  • Enemy Chatter: A lot of Blackwatch's plans and intentions are made known to Heller as he can hear radio chatter.
  • Enemy Detecting Radar: Only enemies appear on the minimap, while neutral characters like civilians are radar-invisible.
  • Enemy Mine: Briefly between Heller and Blackwatch while Heller disposes the Whitelight containers.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: After shoving Heller into debris for trying to slice his throat, Alex shakes his head at the slumped over Heller and proceeds to walk away. Cue Heller getting up behind and charging at Mercer again. Man is persistent.
  • Escape Sequence: Heller evading his first Goliath encounter.
  • Escort Mission: The ones you need to protect as they make their way are thankfully not made of wet tissue paper.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Heller's persistence in chasing and attacking Mercer at the start shows his massive balls.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Unexpectedly, Colonel Rooks. After hearing Rooks' end of a conversation by phone with his spouse and daughter (mirroring Heller's "When are you coming home?" conversation from the prologue), he stops within inches of killing Rooks. It turns out to be a wise move: Rooks not only retrieves Maya after Heller thinks he's lost her, but he kills two of his own men (as detailed below) in the process of handing her over.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite all he did, Mercer still spares his sister, Dana. She's not even one of his Evolved, when one suspects she would have been his first subject.
    • Rooks doesn't like Heller at all, but he shoots his own men to cover for him to try to escape NYZ with his daughter if he leaves BlackWatch alone.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: For the most part, they help as visual cues.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: As part of the game's wanton destruction potential, this is to be expected.
  • Evil Counterpart: Guess who?
  • Evil Is Easy: Much like Prototype, it is a lot more convenient to chow down on defenseless civilians than it is to go after armed soldiers and zombies (which are rarer in the Green Zone). Also like Prototype, it's only easy to begin with. By the mid-game, it's inefficient or downright pointless based on your healing powers and the greater number of more fulfilling targets.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Alex and his Evolved ascribe to this way of thinking, hence the name.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Once again multiple human eating abominations, insane scientists and fascist military forces all trying to kill each other.
  • Eye Beams: The Medusa's Wrath force multiplier in the Excessive Force DLC.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Alex apparently. He wasn't impressed with what he saw of humanity between games.
  • Faceless Goons: Some soldiers and scientists have partially revealed faces, some fully concealed.
    • Now the civilians and some scientists can be seen sporting surgical-style face masks.
  • Face Palm of Doom: Recycled from the original game, one of the Claw consume animations, combined with Neck Lift.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Alex, right before getting consumed.
    Alex: Huh. Welcome to the top of the food chain.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Both Heller and Blackwatch sport these.
  • Finishing Move: The finishers. Instantly put a vehicle out of commission no matter its health status.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Evolved
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Blackwatch infantry will continue to pour rifle fire into the protagonist until they die or lose sight of him, no matter how ineffective it is. They do this even when he becomes outright Immune to Bullets late in the game.
  • Flanderization: While Blackwatch was already evil in the first game, they at least came off as Necessarily Evil and efficient above all else. They are more casually sociopathic and blatantly villainous in this game, without the efficiency.
  • Flock of Wolves: The grand total of Gentek/Blackwatch high ups you meet who don't work for Mercer is two. And then you consume and imitate one of them.
  • Flunky Boss: A few instances. One particular mini-boss has the Pack Leader ability to use against you. Once you defeat and consume that boss, you gain that ability for yourself, so that you can be a Flunky Boss protagonist too.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Once again, with a large object in your hands as you rush down a crowded alley.
  • Foreshadowing: The game's promotional taglines, one of which is "Murder Your Maker".
    • A throwaway line in the opening cutscene may at first seem like a Call Back to the climax of the first game, but could easily be foreshadowing Project Firehawk.
      Soldier 1: Why're we even here? We're supposed to be peacekeepers. Handling civilians n' shit. Give this Red Zone bullshit to fuckin' Blackwatch.
      Soldier 2: Shit, you wanna leave a patrol mission up to those fuckin' baby-killers? They'd just as soon blow this city to kingdom come.
  • Friendly Fire Proof: Those instances where you have to play along in a military disguise, like one escort mission. If you do shoot one of them they are surprisingly Made of Iron and yell at you to learn to aim.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The developers promised to integrate the Side Quests into the story. Any Side Quests that don't have something to do with the story are the territory of the RadNet challenge missions, most of which are DLC.
    • Also somewhat amusingly, the "Infected Heller" skin from the first DLC pack replaces all of Heller's normal in-game dialogue with zombie-like grunts and growls.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Even after beating the game and killing Mercer, sidequests will still treat him as though he's alive.
    • Though this is due to the fact that if you notice, the game starts off as if you have not completed the last mission. This clearly seen that there are still infected running around, despite the fact a Cutscene Power to the Max showed him eliminating all of them.
    • As in the previous game, Heller can remember every disguise he's gained and switch to them at will. You cannot do this, and Heller's own use of this ability actually replaces whatever your previous disguise was.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Most Blackwatch soldiers are of this variant. The scientists in hazardous materials suits aren't really capable of hostile action towards you, but are otherwise donning their equivalent of gas masks. Unlike the first game, the masks actually work, too, at least in the one mission that fact is relevant in.
  • Gatling Good: The vulcan cannon mounted on the sides of the tanks is almost as effective at tearing up targets as its main cannon. Heller can also hip-fire them if he removes them from the tank.
  • Gender-Blender Name: One BlackNet target goes by the name Marcella Walsh, which confuses Heller initially. He's a guy.
    Heller: Marcella Walsh. Marcella? Not even sure if that's a guy or a chick.
  • Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke: Compared to The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Prototype's prototype, where the Hulk is a product of radiation.
  • Genius Bruiser: Mercer and the Evolved. Heller quickly becomes this the more Brain Food he gets, but it's downplayed on the genius part for him.
  • Genre Savvy: In the stolen memory of one Blackwatch soldier, he is seen reading a file about Mercer. When he tells a friend what he's doing, said friend immediately says he wants nothing to do with it, considering what tends to happen to people who know anything about Heller or Mercer...
    • Similarly, when a scientist realizes he is talking to a soldier with the intel on Heller, and he has been carrying it with him, he hastily declares he has to be someplace else and is seen running away at top speed. Heller gets this memory right after he's consumed the soldier in question.
      PVT Dane Fontenot: These files should be in some archive somewhere.
      Scientist: Huh? Why, what are they?
      Fontenot: Intelligence gathered on James Heller. Here in the Quarantine Zone.
      Scientist: And you're carrying it with you? Uh. Pardon me, I need to be somewhere else right now...
    • Heller immediately figures out that Mercer is feeding him a load of bullshit about cleaning the virus out of New York.
  • Government Conspiracy: Suggested. A lategame cutscene has an agent from some government agency say that the plan to vivisect Maya Heller gets approval from Washington. Where exactly is unknown; however, Blackwatch was said in the first game to be so high up you had to look down to see the POTUS. The fact that Rooks with all his authority considers tangling with them unwise says that the rabbit hole goes really far down.
  • Graceful Loser: Alex Mercer takes having his arms ripped off multiple times and his impending consumption with a subdued, "Huh. Welcome to the top of the food chain."
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Up to Eleven where you can first infect that person with a biobomb then throw him at another person and destroy everything around them. Also, one of the finishers for Brawlers involves ripping off their arm and beating them to death with it.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: The live-action trailer really displays this trope in a way that even in-game deliberate Death from Above attacks cannot fully imitate.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Just like the first game, you can still glide over soldiers and run up walls without getting an instant alert.
  • Guide Dang It: Averted, for the most part. Field Ops and Lairs can be spotted on the minimap from a fair distance, and Blackboxes will alert you when you move within ~150 feet of them. Blacknet targets can be tracked using Heller's viral sense if you don't run into them on the street. The game also benefits from area division, meaning each zone is smaller and thus easier to search. Played straight with consumable targets for upgrades, which are totally random and far more likely to appear inside lairs or during missions. Though the skill upgrades appear in military bases, the Brawlers which give out power upgrades are everywhere and far less likely to spawn as a valid target.
  • Hand Wave: One particular memory of a Gentek scientist and his colleague discussing the diet of infected, which are carnivorous despite infected creatures being based off omnivorous humans:
    Dr. Ben Langham: ...How? What does the virus do that changes such a basic attribute?
    Other Scientist: You might be over thinking this a bit.
  • Harder Than Hard: Insane Difficulty and somewhat subverted. Both Prototype games have this game mode but the first game is significantly harder on insanity while the second has little difference between insanity and easy mode.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Alex Mercer, as his sister Dana makes clear, during the video sequence that plays after Heller consumes him.
  • Healing Factor: Like the first game, but even better with upgrades. Fully upgraded, Heller can heal to full health instantly outside combat, and do the same much slower during combat. By mid-game, you probably won't even need to chow on the military to recover after a mission.
    • Further accelerated if the Radnet mutation, Security Blanket, is active along with shields up.
  • Hellish Copter: Yes, not even being in an armed, airborne machine will save you from Heller.
  • Herd Hitting Attack: A lot of Heller's powers have a large area of effect, but dropping down with Hammerfists pretty much guarantees affecting everything within the impact radius.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: A common strategy for players.
  • Hive Mind: Mercer intends to create one under him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: GENTEK scientists being killed by the products of the very virus they're studying. As Heller puts it during one such assault, "Let's see how you like being trapped in a cage with a monster!"
    • Any time you deflect a rocket back at the source.
    • One mini-boss can show you the receiving end of the Tendril Blackhole.
    • If you're not careful with fighting the Evolved, they can Bio-Bomb you. This isn't fatal as it for humans, but it still hurts like hell, knocking out 1/5th - 1/3rd of your HP, depending on upgrades.
    • Alex Mercer meant for Heller to be part of his master plan. He was eaten for his troubles.
  • Homing Projectile: The TOW is of fire-and-forget type at a given target.
  • Hopeless War: As you uncover more of the story, you realize that it would have been this if not for your meddling.
  • Human Cannonball: The graphic for the Dashing mutation shows Heller being shot out of a cannon.
    • Also mixed with a Call Back, Alex Mercer uses this during your fight.
  • Humans Are Bastards: As revealed in the comic tie-ins, Alex lost faith in humanity after the initial outbreak and traveled the world hoping to find reasons to believe in humans, only to become so disgusted by the selfishness and greed of mankind that he decided to remake the world with the Blacklight virus.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Heller says this to Galloway when she orders him to stop Operation Firehawk "Before anyone important is hurt."
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Sort of, like Mercer. Applies mostly to Mercer and the Evolved rather than humanity, actually.
  • Immune to Bullets: Aside from the really low damage each bullet causes, you can get a mutation which literally makes small-arms fire bounce off. Scratch Damage applies for everything else which should be immune.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Of which there'd be a list:
    • The most egregious example may be the fact that a ripped off TOW-launcher supposedly has a manual trigger for Heller to use. Besides the ridiculous Macross Missile Massacre-style rockets it fires.
      • This is even lampshaded at one point of the game. When you are on a under covered mission as a Blackwatch Soldier and pick up a TOW-launcher, he would be shocked that you can even pick it up. Heller just replies he eats a lot of protein.
  • Improvised Weapon: Borrowing a move from this game's grandaddy, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Heller is able to rip missile turrets and miniguns off of tanks and helicopters and fire them manually.
  • In a Single Bound: With more mileage for every movement upgrade invested.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Mercer uses a few of them during your fight.
  • Inertial Dampening: Fall from as high as you can. Break into a glide just before you hit the ground. Break out of your glide and land with only cosmetic damage to the ground at the most.
  • Instant Armor: Not exactly the full-body type, but with a press of a button Heller can suddenly wield a chunky rocket-deflecting shield per arm.
  • Instant Death Radius: Devastor attacks are really devastating to your immediate surroundings. Unfortunately, you only get the one and its range isn't as good as the one Alex had.
  • Instant Expert: In addition to Heller's Marine skills, he can further improve his weapon abilities by acquiring the relevant Brain Food.
    • Actually averted at one point. Despite Heller just having consumed a scientist, he could not operate the man's computer without help.
  • Interface Screw: Targeting is better than it was in the first game, but still has its shortcomings. It focuses on the closest hostile in front of you, meaning you have to turn and face what you want to kill. Things that are above you are a particular pain, and picking a target out of a large crowd is still annoying.
  • Interface Spoiler: The Power Selection Menu shows the number of powers available in the game.
    • And the mutations subscreen show you what powers those are.
    • "A heart a day keeps Alex Mercer away." That means if you thought he was on your side early in the game...
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Dana Mercer takes offense to being called a "pasty hacker cunt", because she is not pasty.
  • Jerk Ass: The audio logs from Blackboxes reveal many a dick, usually Blackwatch goons mistreating people in general.
    • There's a total of one Blackbox that isn't of a Blackwatch trooper or a Gentek scientist kicking a puppy or feeding it to a Brawler. It's of a trooper being chewed out by Rooks for stopping an attempted rape. It seems like there might be at least one decent guy in Blackwatch, but then you remember that you got this recording off the guy's corpse.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Blackwatch in the first game, under Randall, was at least attempting to contain the infection, if in a brutal, violent, and ruthless manner. By this timeframe, they've reached the point where they're deliberately kidnapping civilians just so GENTEK scientists can run "experiments" on them involving throwing Infected beasts at them and watching them get shredded. Dialogue from the Blackboxes also further underscores Blackwatch's expanding psychopathy, including a recording of a Blackwatch soldier shooting an autistic boy because he wouldn't speak, another Blackwatch soldier shooting a woman immediately after warning her he was authorized to use lethal force if she didn't step back, an officer threatening to discharge another Blackwatch trooper for saving a woman from being raped, a recording from Colonel Rooks explicitly stating that it isn't their responsibility to police the refugees even when they start killing each other, and an officer berating a subordinate for shooting an entire family because he was wasting ammo.
    • Alex Mercer was always an Anti-Hero with emphasis on "anti", but in this game, he's full-on megalomaniacal villain.
  • Karma Houdini: Rooks. He's the commanding officer of Blackwatch, who engage in dog-kicking left and right throughout the game, and who can be heard on audiologs berating a subordinate for preventing a woman from being assaulted and/or raped and letting botulism contaminated food be distributed to the civilian population. Heller spares his life because he overhears Rooks talking to his daughter. He does shoot his own men to let Heller get his daughter, but it's not clear whether it's a Heel-Face Turn or he just wants Heller to take Maya and stop interfering with his plans.
  • Kill and Replace: Heller is enthusiastically aware of this in the following quips:
    Heller talking to Guerra: Think I'll just bodysnatch some poor sucka and steal his seat.
    • And this one:
      Pilot: Catapult, this is Four One. I'll be airborne for the Dana Mercer mission in a couple of Mikes, over.
      Heller: No you ain't. In a couple a Mikes, I'm gonna be wearing your face.
  • Kill It with Fire: Near the endgame, Blackwatch decides to just firebomb Manhattan after the failure of Whitelight.
  • The Lab Rats: Of which several of them within Gentek are Mercer's contacts.
    Dr. Shaffeld: You've ruined everything, you know. Over half of Bellamy's research team — just gone.
    APC soldier: Don't worry, Doc. This city's full of lab rats. We'll get you some more.
  • Kill the Poor: One side mission centers on learning about and destroying Project New Templar, which turns out to be a plot to create a virus that specifically targets the lower classes, "especially immigrants".
  • Laser Sight: Missile weapons now have a blinking blue laser beam indicating that they are locking on to you which turns solid when they fire at you. This serves as both a way to locate the elusive missile troops and as a warning for you to either dodge or fire up your shield.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: When you are trying to figure out which of the five scientist is Roland, you can see that there are four usual scientist model characters with one that is different. Guess which one is Roland?
    • Also if you run into them, that scientist is the only one you can't push out of the way.
  • Lighter and Fluffier: Compared to the first one, that is. The shades of good and bad are more clear-cut, making it so that Heller is more of a Super Hero than Mercer. Despite the saddest trailer since Dead Island, Heller seems to embrace his power without being hung up on his past and have fun with it to the point where it looks like he's legitimately enjoying it, as opposed to Alex's constant (though not unjustified) Wangst. And finally, the game ends on a very triumphant note, and also ends with a touching reunion with his not-dead daughter.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Orion soldiers, Brawlers, Evolved, Mercer, Heller... all of them pack some serious clout in the melee department at the very least and are extremely agile.
    • Goliaths are the largest enemies in the entire game, but are surprising fast and agile.
  • Limit Break: Devastator and Pack Leader abilities require a full Mass meter to use, refillable via consumption. The mass is separate from your health this time, though.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: The Gamestop preorder DLC gives Heller this ability. Superfluous, but funny.
  • Loading Screen: With a brief mission description and randomly cycled tips.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Mercer's lieutenants usually dual-wield cleaver-hand-appendages, but some have more specialized appendages that also serves to reward Heller with new abilities after consuming them.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Side Quests make a return as Radnet. However not only are they completely optional now (you don't even need them to get an achievement), but simply getting a Bronze medal is enough to unlock the upgrade, giving the players far less headaches when they're trying to get them..
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The Shield power can now deflect rockets, even.
    • And if you get the upgrade, using it even heals you.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Now with more gibbing of other types of enemies than the first game.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The TOW launcher does a mini-version of this.
  • Made of Explodium: Brawlers summoned by the Pack Leader ability detonate like Bio Bombs once their time limit has expired.
  • Made of Iron: Before his infection, Heller was able to survive a Megaton Punch from Alex Mercer and keep going.
  • Made of Plasticine: The way in which Heller rips enemies up and dismembering them makes for quite a gory show.
  • Magic Genetics: Consume whatever the game tells you to and voila, a new upgrade, power, or something of benefit.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: As they're part of a tutorial, the first Blackwatch troopers you come across can potentially poke Heller's unmoving body indefinitely ...though it does get boring.
  • Male Gaze: In the scene where Heller first meets Sabrina Galloway, she bends over to show Heller something on a computer, and we are treated to a gratuitous shot of her "bony ass".
  • Marathon Boss: One boss ( Alex Mercer) resets its health with a new set of weapons each time it is defeated in a round.
    • In an inversion in the same fight, due to a total lack of things to consume, so can Heller an exception would be when fighting Mercer on Insanity mode.
  • Meaningful Echo: In the opening cutscene, Heller calls his wife to assure her that he'll be home as soon as his current tour of duty is over. Later, he overhears Rooks having a very similar phone conversation with his wife and decides not to kill him.
  • Mêlée à Trois: There's the Mercer Virus in general, the Blackwatch-Gentek coalition/collaboration, and Heller.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Possibly another Anti-Frustration Feature, Heller is mostly invulnerable when he's consuming something.
  • Metaphorgotten: A soldier describes of what he would do to Heller, stating he would "shove a SAWnote  so far up his ass..." and promptly suffers metaphorical derailment.
    LT Sanjay McElroy: Fuckin' let him try it, man, I'll shove a SAW up his ass so far it'll... he'll have to... I'll shove it really far up there, man.
  • Meta Twist: In the first game, Alex's ex-girlfriend, a Gentek employee, turns out to have been a spy for Gentek, and betrays him after pretending to want to help him. In this game, Koenig, a Gentek employee, pretends to want to help and is actually trying to kill Heller. Heller presumably assumes Koenig was manipulating him to save his own skin. Turns out he's actually working for Mercer, and is himself an Evolved Infected like Heller.
  • Mirror Scare: Rooks, alone, hangs up a phone call only to discover a reflection of Heller in his phone's screen. But just as he turns to look Heller changed into Riley.
    Douglas Rooks: (turns around quickly'') Jesus Christ, Riley, you should wear a fucking bell.
  • Mobstacle Course: Moves like the Blade Tornado are tailored for such situations. Besides the less violent Le Parkour.
  • The Mole: Alex Mercer's Evolved have infiltrated GENTEK and Blackwatch thoroughly, to the point that many senior scientists and officers are actually Mercer's plants.
    • It gets to the point that the twelfth or thirteenth time someone you go to consume turns out to be an Evolved, Heller gives a tired sigh and an "ah, shit," and you can tell that he's wondering if there's anyone at Gentek not actually working for Mercer.
  • Mook Chivalry: Is Heller on the phone? Expect nearby enemies to just linger around until after Heller hangs up.
    • Compared to the first game, you can now consume minor enemies without getting interrupted.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Mainly the major Infected enemies.
  • Morality Pet: Father Guerra.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Mainly the Gentek psychos nonchalantly doing tests on humans with viral specimens. Three of them where even cheering about the money they were going to receive on their virus that would render poor people sterile. Not even Heller wanted to consume them after hearing this.
  • Moral Myopia: The first Orion Super Soldier you fight calls James evil for killing his friend when said person was most likely just another dog-punting Sociopathic Soldier like so many Blackwatch men, and what's to say the Orion wasn't the same before his improvement?
  • More Dakka: Compared to the first game, the tanks are now equipped with a multi-barrelled secondary weapon.
  • Motive Rant: Mercer gives one before his final battle with Heller.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sabrina Galloway.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Mundane fire arms and vehicles are, once again, the safest, most effective and most boring method of dealing with any given problem, especially once the Mutation that buffs them is unlocked. Tellingly the game doesn't allow a player to hijack helicopters until the final act, so the developers were very much aware of this.
  • Mysterious Past: Father Guerra is apparently a skilled spymaster and IT hacker, capable of staying ahead of both Gentek and Blackwatch to provide Heller with pertinent data on both. Heller wonders about how he gained such skills, and Guerra remains enigmatic, though he does at one point allude to hacking to government servers in his youth. Given the fact that he's in his late fifties in a contemporary setting...
  • Neck Lift: The junction by which you decide your grabbed victim's fate.
  • New Game+
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Heller might've gotten his daughter safely and dealt with Mercer on his own terms or not at all if he had just been a little nicer to Galloway, instead of making it clear that he considered her disposable, refusing to trust her, constantly berating her, and driving her back to Mercer. Of course, Mercer would've sent another Evolved to kidnap Maya, or come himself, and Galloway might've gone to Mercer anyway, but alienating one's intelligence assets is almost always a bad idea.
  • No Damage Run: One bonus objective requires you to beat a Goliath without taking any damage from it (the surrounding military forces aren't counted against you, thankfully).
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: How Heller "prepares" some of his more important "meals".
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Initially seems to be played straight with the "Orion Phase Two" supersoldier; Heller destroys the only one that was produced and also destroyed the main facility producing the Orions, thus preventing any new Phase Twos from being produced. However, later on, Heller has to recover the last samples of DNA from the Phase Two (which is actually his own) to prevent the project from being restarted.
  • Not as You Know Them: Alex. His characterization from this game is more in line with Albert Wesker than how he was in the first game.
  • Not Quite Flight: But pretty dang close. The new upgrade to the Glide move in the DLC gives it an extra lift every time it is activated. Making it so you could glide indefinitely.
  • Not So Different: In one memory, Mercer sends Archer back to infect the few remaining "clean" stocks of Whitelight, despite her protests about the high risk. Heller does the same to Galloway. Heller eats Archer, and Galloway defects to Mercer, who later eats her.
  • Obviously Evil: One of the Blacknet targets you have to hunt down is sitting on the roof of a skyscraper guarded by three Brawlers. Gee, could this guy be an Evolved?
  • Off with His Head!: Brawlers, Goliaths, Super Soldiers, and Juggernauts(while using Claws) can suffer this fate when Heller consumes them.
  • Oh Crap: The standard response on just about everyones part when they realize Heller is coming after them, save for the Evolved.
    • Actually the Bio Bomb Evolved has an Oh Crap moment when he spots Heller.
    • Heller gets one as well when he is about to fight Mercer.
  • One-Man Army: As Heller puts it to Guerra:
    "Father, I am gonna stop them and I'm gonna find Rooks — with or without your help."
    • Subverted with the Pack Leader ability, battlefield-wise.
  • The Other Darrin: Mercer's voice actor has changed.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Keep punching somebody, anybody. Watch the amount of blood spill out and subsequently paint the whole floor red.
  • Papa Wolf: Heller blames Mercer for his daughter's death. Look out. Even when he does find out she is alive, he still only works in order to save her from Blackwatch and Mercer.
  • Le Parkour: As awesome/improbable as with the first game.
  • Partial Transformation: All the shapeshifters in the game morph only what appendage is required for the task.
  • Pass Through the Rings: One of the RadNet challenges, in a helicopter gunship.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Chiefly, Heller.
  • Pet the Dog: As a minor gameplay detail: unlike Alex, Heller only uses the more violent consume animations on Blackwatch soldiers and the infected and just quickly "scoops" civilians and marines into his body when he consumes them. He also tends to only punch scientist consume targets only once prior to consuming them, instead of the extended beatdown the soldiers receive.
    • Even some BlackWatch troops get this in the Audio devices. One has it to where he is getting awarded for his bravery in the field, another has it to where he was talking with a psychiatrist over having to kill people for the first time to protect his friend from a vicious mob, and even one where they stopped a rape in progress.
  • Plaguemaster: Alex Mercer again, this time from his very body.
  • Playing with Syringes: The GENTEK motto, or it may as well be. One experiment they're running: what happens when you put a dozen or so people in an enclosed area and then drop a Hunter/Brawler in with them. (It turns out the civilians scream, panic, and get torn limb from limb. Important data!)
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: GENTEK as usual. Special mention goes to Project New Templar, a group of scientists developing a virus to sterilize or kill the poor and immigrants. Heller's so disgusted when they tell him this that he drops the Blackwatch disguise he had on and decides rather than consume them and have them in his head to let them plummet to their deaths.
  • Power Copying: How Heller obtains his powers. Two of them are acquired by defeating specifically villainous enemies.
    • Additionally, an upgrade for an existing power is based off a villain who can counter-attack in a similar fashion.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: Multiple pre-orders that have an array of different bonuses, including unique attacks, weapons, and even alternate costumes.
  • Press X to Not Die: Entirely Optional. To even demonstrate that is one of the options stating to cancel (or dismount) it.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Col. Rooks does this to a couple of his own guys when covering for Heller to escape NYZ and get out of his hair. Justified in that they have thick headgear.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo
  • Protection Mission: Like the dude in a crashed helicopter that even Juggernauts and Brawlers suddenly need considerable effort to wear down.
    • Any fight involving a Goliath turns into this; you have to kill it before it can destroy a given target.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The finishers. The only reasons not to use them are because you want to complete the bonus objective which suggests otherwise, or you just want to toy around with the AI. Justified in that they are not available so early in the game.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: This to the point where even some troops of BlackWatch stopped one from happening.
  • Rated M for Manly: James Heller really doesn't take lightly to others giving him shit, and it will show. With you at the controls.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dr. Koenig shoots this right when Heller catches him. First time playing this through a player can't help but have an Oh Crap expression when they see this.
    • Mercer gets these after he consumes his Evolved and is about to fight Heller.
  • Red Shirt Army: Blackwatch uses the Marines for this very purpose.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Blackwatch and Gentek actually have the chutzpah to hit up the survivors of New York for "cure research".
  • Replacement Artifact: Bloodtox was designed to harm mainly Greene's strain of the virus. Now there's Whitelight, a similar weapon originally intended to harm/cure the Mercer Virus.
  • Research, Inc.: Gentek, we're not playing God, we're just doing His work.
  • Ring Menu: For your powers.
  • Road Runner PC: Heller, with additional movement upgrades to acquire.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Looks like it's becoming a series' trademark. Besides Shapeshifting and eating people.
  • Rocket Ride: The graphic for the Jet Propulsion mutation shows Heller riding what appears to be a rocket.
  • Rogue Protagonist: Mercer. The Anchor puts forth the explanation that he lost faith in humanity, coming to see us as hateful, selfish vermin after his "anchors" betrayed him.
  • Roof Hopping: Comes naturally to Heller's Le Parkour skill in the dense built-up area.
  • Rule of Cool: A massive lot of what Heller can do is simply because it looks and plays like a satisfying meal. That means ignoring many rules and laws of real-world physics.
  • Run Don't Walk: Walking and sprinting must be invoked with an additional key.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Much of the page entry for the first game still applies here. You've probably paused to wonder where all of Heller's tendril matter comes from at some point.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Heller's shirt and jacket disguise is always available.
  • Shape Shifter Showdown: The final battle between Heller and Mercer.
  • Shapeshifter Weapons: But of course!
  • Scary Black Man: Jesus Christ, man... James Heller can be terrifying sometimes!
  • Shield Bash: Anything that tries to melee you will regret it, unless it's with Hammerfists.
    • And later you can upgrade it with spikes to hurt them when they try.
  • Shirtless Scene: Heller gets one after his initial infection, having been experimented upon before escaping. Mercer advises him to cover up.
    Alex Mercer: And for God's sake, man, put some fucking clothes on.
  • Shooting Superman: One of the upgrades can make Heller bulletproof to all infantry guns. Anything stronger than that still hurts him though. Borders on Too Dumb to Live; the bullets will ricochet and can harm the shooter, and they never stop firing until they kill themselves.
    • Averted by Rooks: he finds himself face to face with Heller, armed with a measly pistol (he came in expecting a very different conversation). Rooks is clearly itching to pull the trigger, but thinks better of it.
  • Shoot the Bullet: The "Defend" button prompt, which automatically sends a counter-shot at the projectile being hurled at your vehicle.
  • Shout-Out: Heller comments that "someone's been eating their spinach" when he gets shoved by an Orion soldier.
    • One of the achievements is called "Arcade Action" which is awarded by karate kicking a helicopter. Made particularly obvious by the icon for the achievement being a shillouete version of the strip in question.
  • Shows Damage: Vehicles do not show much signs of degradation until a good chunk of hitpoints have been depleted. Otherwise, most destructible objects have a mix of Types 3A and 3B, with some Type 2 for things like critically damaged vehicles.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: During Mercer's Hannibal Lecture:
    Heller: Enough of your fucking weird, fucking rambling, shit! Give me my daughter!
  • Sir Swears Alot: Perhaps to his USMC background and his grudge against everyone else that isn't sincerely helping his goals, Heller really expresses himself with Cluster F-Bomb, sometimes to hilarious effect.
    • It gets commented on during the final boss
    Alex Mercer... You're a very crude person, aren't you?
  • Smashing Survival: Instead of merely pressing the correct key to counter a lethal tackle from Super Soldiers as per the original game, now you will need to mash a standard key to break free.
    • Basically how your first Brawler encounter plays out.
  • The Social Darwinist: Alex, to a degree, as he believes it's no longer humans that are at the "top of the food chain".
  • Space Compression: The boroughs are likely not to real-life scale.
  • Spanner in the Works: A couple of levels. Mercer with his own plans to screw with Blackwatch and Gentek. Heller doing the same, on his own as well.
  • Spikes Of Doom: Courtesy of certain Hammerfist moves.
  • Spin Attack: Blade Tornado being the most obvious expression of it.
  • Start of Darkness: The Dark Horse Comics tie in mini-series' first part, The Anchor, shows Alex's issues with people turning on each other and betrayal driving him further and further out of touch with humanity. By the end, Alex has decided humanity isn't worth protecting, even from himself...
  • State Sec: Blackwatch with their own regs and protocols, despite being describe as "elite government troops" in the intro newscast.
  • Stationary Mini-Boss: Your first meeting with the Hydra.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: A few, which rewards you with bonus EP for not entering Alert.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: This exchange:
    Soldier:note  This Heller guy, dude, they say he can get into anywhere. Like, he can turn invisible and shit.
    SGT Emery McDonald: Do you realize how fucking stupid that sounds?
    Soldier: Well, then how's he do it, brah? How's he get inside these places? He just shows up!
  • Stealth Pun: When Heller asks Mercer where Maya is. Mercer's response is simply "Safe, for the moment." It later turns out he locked her inside a bank vault...which is to say, a safe..
  • The Stoic: Mission Control. Justified, during high-octane operations in the midst of a viral apocalypse, coordination from high command needs to be disseminated in a level-headed tone as much as possible.
    Red Crown: (nonchalantly) Catapult Four Four, this is Red Crown. You're registering damage, provide sitrep.
    Cantrell: (exasperated) No shit there's damage! Get some fucking ASS out here, ya stupid bitch!
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Heller. See also the Crucified Hero Shot entry.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Apparently a lot of things are Pintos. Even Heller provides this quote:
    Heller: I ate that Orion Two and then... I exploded.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Justified for the regular infected, as their brains (and subsequently, basic rationale) have been fried by the virus.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Subverted, as Heller automatically leaps back out of the water towards the nearest land.
  • Super Soldier: The D-Codes from the first game return, this time as "Orion" supersoldiers, much like the original versions but even faster and tougher. Thankfully, they don't possess an innate virus detector like they did in the first game. Another version, the "Orion Phase Two", is created using Heller's DNA; but Heller kills and eats the first one before they can make more.
  • Super Strength: From Orion troops to Brawlers, Heller has the strength to match them. The Goliath also has enough muscle power to launch itself into the air with considerable hang-time.
  • Super Toughness: The huge infected creatures take multiple rockets to dispatch, with the Goliath having massive amounts of flesh to endure punishment. Orion soldiers have about at least a Blackwatch platoon's worth of hitpoints. The Evolved are also just as tough as Heller.
  • Suplex Finisher: It's not a finisher, but you can do a jumping belly-to-back German Suplex on a stunned Orion.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: The patrol mission to find Roland? You'll encounter a dump of helicopter armaments just before some Hydras show up.
  • Swipe Your Blade Off: One of Heller's post-attack animations when using the Blade.
  • Swiss Army Hero
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The final battle with Alex has shades of this: using the wrong kind of weapon on him and it'll just bounce off, using his current weapon gets you countered automatically, while using the right one ( the one he was just using) tends to stun him more effectively than other weapons.
  • Take Your Time: Story only progresses via mission acceptance. Meanwhile, feel free to complete the side content to make Heller stronger.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: If Heller has his cellphone out and is talking on it, everything from Zombies to Super Soldiers will patiently wait until he's finished. Then again, it is New York.
  • Tank Goodness: Now comes with Gatling Good weaponry.
  • That Man Is Dead: Dana Mercer tells Heller and her own brother Alex that the version of the latter she knew is "dead now". He responds by saying Blacklight puts both he and Heller "beyond death".
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Tendril Blackholes and vehicle finishers.
  • Think of the Children!: The New Templar scientists will try to use this excuse to get you to spare them.
  • Throat Light: Some infected enemies have glowing spines and mouths.
  • Timed Mission: Those that involve retrieving scattered artefacts.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Rottweiler, who is easily the dumbest Blackwatch commander alive. He speaks ill of Heller's mother, specifically trying to goad Heller into fighting him. His death comes quickly and with much collateral damage to Blackwatch.
    • The Project New Templar scientist are also this, since they are not the least bit suspicious that a Blackwatch grunt (actually Heller) knows about their top secret project.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Sort of. The early portions of the game have Mercer giving Heller superpowers and telling him Blackwatch is responsible for the infection. However, pretty much all the pre-release marketing had been hyping the battle between Heller and Mercer, and a few trailers even mentioned that Alex was the one who was spreading the virus.
  • Unblockable Attack: Heller's shields can block most anything, but Hammerfists will get through. The final boss also has special attacks that can break through his defense.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Rooks. After you spare his life twice, he kidnaps Heller's missing daughter and calls him out to come face him. Averted as it is later revealed that he did that just so he could induce Heller to leave by giving his daughter back.
    • Blackwatch mooks that you grab and put down try to shoot you again once they're free, despite begging for their lives half the time.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: On Heller's first helicopter trip to the Green Zone, they pass by a roundabout with Brawlers wrecking havoc. The pilot casually comments about how they must have invaded via tunnels from the Red Zone.
    • Another comments on how Heller's explanation that a previous helicopter pilot (whom he consumed) had his head bitten off by a Brawler "happens a lot around here", and doesn't even bother to question it.
    • Also on display if you use the Skins in the DLC Pack; since they're Cosmetic, people won't bat an eyelash at Heller even if he's shirtless with tubes and cotton strapped to the front of his chest, a walking slab of metal-looking material or even a ZOMBIE. In fact, it's taken Up to Eleven with the Infected skins, since Heller speaks near-exclusively in hisses, growls and general zombie noises outside of cutscenes, and no one will react any differently if they're talking with him.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Subverted, as Heller merely messes with Blackwatch (to Mercer's benefit) to uncover the conspiracy, rather than actively furthering Mercer's goals intentionally. By the time Heller's defeated one of Mercer's lieutenants, Heller outright expresses his distrust of Mercer shortly after.
    Mercer: Be ready. (takes off)
    Heller: (to himself) Lying motherfucker.
  • Up to Eleven: This game features even more abilities (read: ways to kill things) than you had in Prototype.
  • Urban Segregation: The game features three distinct zones within Manhattan: Green, Yellow, and Red.
  • Victory Pose: When Heller earns a RadNet medal.
    Heller: "Hell fuckin' yeah."
  • Videogame Caring Potential: If you pick up civilians or soldiers, you can put them down again without hurting them, meaning you could potentially pull an unfortunate victim out of harm's way. In-game, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it message telling you that pressing down with the d-pad lets you gently put the person down, to the hilarious confusion of Blackwatch.
    • Also, Blackwatch has gathered together civilians in a few areas of the game and put them in cages (presumably to be handed over to GENTEK for experimentation). You can free them by destroying the cage they're in, but you'll get no reward for it. You'll also have to be careful how you destroy it if you don't want to kill anyone inside.
      • Also if you do this by Blackwatch troops, they will immediately shoot the escapes. Unless this is why you did it.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: This game is Prototype turned Up to Eleven. Prototype was Videogame Cruelty Potential turned Up to Eleven. Do the math.
    Heller: (after testing out his blade's tornado attack) Now that's some gratuitous violence right there.
    • In addition to causing the usual variety of mayhem possible in the first game, you can also grab one of the tainted Whitelight barrels found in military bases, hit them so that they start leaking, grab one and run around with it, causing people to double over, puke blood and turn into the Infected. Infecting enough people fast enough in this manner is also one of the Radnet challenges. There is absolutely no in-character reason to do this. The only possible reason it's an option is so the player can be a gigantic dick.
  • Videogame Dashing: The Airdash.
  • The Voice: The "Red Crown" Mission Control to Blackwatch forces in New York Zero. We learn absolutely nothing about her other than the fact that she bears General Randall's former callsign.
  • Wall Jump: A recommended way of quick vertical travel instead of just simply running upwards.
  • Wanted Meter
  • We Are Everywhere: Alex says such a line after you defeat Koenig.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Alex Mercer and his Evolved.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dr. Ragland, despite being last seen looking after a comatose Dana and pretty much the only character in the first game that did not back stab Alex, is not seen, heard, or even mentioned.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Anti-Gravity ability from the DLC. All it does is cause any non-living thing that you touch that isn't nailed down to float into the air.
  • Where It All Began: Two variants: Penn station is where Alex Mercer began the first outbreak, and it's where he begins the second as well. The final battle between Heller and Mercer also goes down on the Station's roof.
  • Whip Sword: The Whip Fist. Also latches on to things to pull over to your spot, or pull yourself towards the target.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Heller asks this question when he needed to find a guy named Elwood Pine.
    Heller: Shit. Who names their kid fucking Elwood? Some fucking parents.
    • And this:
    Heller: Cletus Ransom. No. There's no way that name is fucking real.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: A body-horrific variation called the Bio-Bomb, where Heller sneaks up behind people and implants some sort of parasitic infection inside them that will cause them to scream in agony, fall to their knees, and then explode into tendrils, with all applicable gore and destruction. Or you can toss them like grenades. Really, it just depends on how much you want them and others to suffer. Also with the DLC for preordering, you can even punt them like a football.
  • The Wiki Rule: For both games.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Dr. Gutierrez and co.
  • World-Healing Wave: Occurs after defeating and consuming Alex Mercer
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Be it consuming an important victim or just using a large foe's weight against him/it. For the most obvious expression of this trope, see the entry Suplex Finisher.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Plenty, both from Heller and foes that could attempt to match him in melee combat.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Or viral mutant apocalypse that, as one Gentek memory puts it, has the infected hunger for people. The Mercer Virus zombies are essentially the Walkers from the first game, now with a more zombie-like gait.

PrototypeCreator/Radical EntertainmentScarface: The World is Yours
PrototypeAction AdventureRain
PrototypePlay Station 3 Rainbow Moon
PrototypeXbox 360 Ratatouille
PrototypeSuper HeroSuper Hero Squad Online
PrototypeSteamPsychonauts
PrototypeUsefulNotes/The Seventh Generation of Console Video GamesRock Band
ProteusThe New TensRage
PrototypeWide Open SandboxRed Dead Redemption

alternative title(s): Prototype2; Prototype Two
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