Reviews: Prototype 2
This sequel just ruined the franchise as a whole.
This is my review on P2. I just feel like it was total crud to me in the department of story, characters, and setting. The gameplay and graphics of this game were BADASS but the story and characters despite them being more human were total crap for me. It's like the new team of developers and writers didn't like the story of the first game because they thought that it was nothing new like the idiots on YouTube that are arguing with others of this franchise. I just get the feeling that they missed a mark of what Alex Mercer stood for. Alex is a symbol for a science experiment being better than it's creator and the organization that made it, a harbinger of death upon the scumbags of the world, and a catalyst for fear on the vile creatures on the planet. In P1 they were speaking of Mercer, Greene, PARIAH and other runners as if they were gods that can't be stopped forces of nature in the skins of humans mind you. In P2 they throw all of that out of the window for a crappy game that's a superhero game for the twisted people that hated both P1 and Mercer. This game disrespected the Prototype series to a high degree and the thing the developers said with this 'End of Mercer's story' thing didn't sit well with me as it did the stupid, brainless, heartless, and prideful people who are in reality complete psychopaths. As a stand alone game, this game is pretty good. As a sequel this game is nothing but absolute b-rated Hollywood crud to a very high standard. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying this sequel is bad just not very good as people are making it out to be.
What. Just... what.
I made a preorder for the PC version a few months before this game was released. I'm getting a refund as soon as I get the chance. Honestly? The gameplay looks fun. The graphics are better. Maybe the controls handle better too - I wouldn't know. But this game's mess of a 'plot' is so unfaithful to its predecessor that I'm just going to pretend it never existed. None of the loose ends from the first game are wrapped up. And 'Mercer' doesn't act like Alex Mercer at all. With no ingame explanation, he's turned from 'What (the human) Mercer did... was unforgivable.', 'I know now that releasing Greene was a mistake.' and 'You bastard. You could have stopped this, and you let it all happen.' to a generic villain. He's acting like a combination of the human Doctor Mercer and Elizabeth Greene. Even his speech patterns don't mesh with Prototype's protagonist - he rambles on and on about making the world perfect when the first one was blunt and concise. He's a brilliant plotter - Prototype's Mercer was unable to come up with any plans on his own more complex than 'kill everything in sight'. Antagonist!Mercer abandoned his sister without remorse, whereas the two were devoted to each other in the first game. He's so unfaithful to his first rendition that I really don't have any trouble looking at him and saying 'No, this guy isn't Mercer at all'. Maybe this game's selling point wasn't the plot. But that's what murdered it for me.
A Mixed Bag
This game is ridiculously fun while it lasts. The combat is a lot easier to get a handle on than the original, in no small part due to the tutorial bits you are given whenever you gain a new power. The revamped powers all have their niche, the changes to the consume mechanics were nice (stealth consuming is a lot easier now), the hunting feature is cool, and the new additions (tendrils, biobomb) are all very cool. Moreso than the original, you feel like an unstoppable abomination of science tearing his way through all that opposes you. Blacknet makes hunting down targets a bit easier than just randomly running around Manhattan, hoping for the "Consume this guy" icon to appear on the minimap. Adding the evolved to Blacknet targets was also a cool twist, by the Red Zone, you're never sure if you're chasing a normal human or a shapeshifting monstrosity. However, I burned through it very quickly. I completed the game twice and unlocked all achievements in short order. I wasn't in marathon gaming sessions and my attention was divided, but still, I ran out of things to amuse myself with faster than I did with the original, or any other sandbox game I've owned for that matter. Aside from upping the difficultly to Insane (and the Radnet challenges), there's not a lot that makes me want to return to NYZ. Speaking of difficulty, the game really is rather easy; in my first playthough, by the middle of the Green Zone, the only things that ever posed a threat were Juggernauts. The Brawlers, Orions, and Evolved were fairly easy to deal with, and the military went from a minimal threat to a complete joke by the time you set foot in the Red Zone. Even the much hyped Heller vs Mercer battle was too easy. It looked cool as Hell, but it's awesomeness was undercut by the fact that it wasn't particularly challenging. That said, the gameplay of P2 is rather solid; even if the replayability is limited, it's still a blast to play. As a fairly big fan of the original, I could go on a tangent about the story, but it's easier to just say that though I liked Heller, I liked the original's story and Mercer too, and felt the game dropped the ball in how it continued the plot. All in all, I don't regret purchasing Prototype 2, it is fun; but at the same time, it's got it's fair share of down sides.
A vast improvement over the original.
I'm going to get this out of the way first: Yes, Alex Mercer isn't the protagonist. Yes, some people call "character derailment". If it really bothers you, pretend he's a clone or something and try not to let it ruin your enjoyment of what is otherwise a fantastic game. They took everything that made Prototype less than perfect, and they fixed it. The graphics, a serious weakness of the first game, are absolutely stellar (although they're designed for HDTV, and if you don't have one, some areas will seem a little murky). The range of enemy types is broader - there are twice as many types of Infected - and while Heller doesn't have any more powers than Mercer did, every power he has remains useful throughout the game. While the optimum strategy with Mercer was often to steal a military weapon or run around throwing cars, with Heller you'll want to get up close and personal to use your powers. The side-missions aren't exactly "integrated into the story", but they do at least make sense for Heller to be doing, and they're fun rather than medal-chasing. You might have seen the trailer for the Hunting power - if not, look it up - but you really do have to use it to understand just how amazing it feels. There's nothing like picking your target out of a crowded boulevard, dropping on them from a hundred feet up, and eating them alive to make you feel like an unstoppable monster (oh, that's another thing - the targeting of the grab attack has been VASTLY improved. Consuming people mid-fight or picking up stuff to throw is no longer a crap shoot). Unlike the original, this game has a strong thread of humour. Several moments are genuinely and intentionally funny, and while the overall situation is just as nightmarish as the original, the game itself is nowhere near as unrelentingly dark. As for negative points: The camera can get a bit screwy at times, but no more so than in the first game. A lot of the backstory exposition and conspiracy-theory plot from the first game is missing, which is a shame. The game is definitely easier than the original (although it does have an unlockable Insane Difficulty). You can't choose when to buy new power boosts - you're forced to whenever you level up. Finally, there is a LOT of swearing in this game. You don't want to play this with young kids in the room unless you want to expand their vocabulary.