Joystick: ‘Prototype 2’ entertains but lacks orginalityPublished 10:00am Thursday, April 26, 2012
3.5 out of 5 stars
For Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Rating: M for Mature
• Fun successor to “Prototype.” Brings back monster mayhem.
• Mutant powers and plot cutscenes still look cool.
• Mechanics, game engine feel rehashed and unoriginal.
If you feel like you’ve played “Prototype 2” before, you’re not alone.
While there’s nothing revolutionary about the latest in the “Prototype” series, “Prototype 2” is a solid action-adventure game with a few enjoyable mechanics.
“Prototype 2” revolves around Sgt. James Heller, a New York man who lost his family to a bioterrorism outbreak and is transformed into a powerful mutant by a terrifying virus. He must go around the Big Apple tearing up as much as possible while finding the villains responsible for this latest threat to New York.
The plot obviously uses tons of tropes and storytelling cliches, but feels fresh enough to stand on its own and is occasionally intriguing. Gameplay doesn’t diverge much from the first “Prototype,” though some of the menus and powers are different. Heller feels superpowerful as he runs, jumps, and glides across New York. What’s more, the first “Prototype” protagonist makes some key appearances throughout the game.
“Prototype 2” is entertaining in a popcorn-filler sort of way. I liked the fact that Heller, a black protagonist, didn’t feel stereotypical even when he was cursing (And the game includes plenty of cursing). His powers look awesome and Radical Entertainment put a lot of effort into “Prototype 2” cutscenes.
What bothers me about this game is its lack of innovation. I played this game last year. It was called “Infamous 2.”
I enjoy the sandbox world-action games, but I’d like to feel challenged by them instead of merely going through the motions.
Case in point: Heller must collect random recordings, kill or consume random army units, and destroy various mutant spawn points throughout New York. While a lot of games keep these sidequests hidden, “Prototype 2” practically gives away each sidequest location through a radar signal if you look at your sidequest collectibles in the menu.
Though it’s nice to get a hint every once in a while, that feels way too easy.
That’s not to say “Prototype 2” is a bad game, but there’s not enough original content to make this title stand out from the rest of the AAA action titles out over the last five or six years.