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Prototype 2 Review

Prototype 2 Review

There are two schools of thought on what makes for a memorable sandbox experience. The first defines the genre by having a variety of things to do in a compelling environment, while the other measures its success by how grand its scale of wanton destruction can aspire to. Prototype 2 clearly has the latter design philosophy in mind, as the powers its protagonist wield create more city destruction than every Godzilla movie combined.

Since the first game, New York has once again been bombarded by the Mercer Virus and its populace is kept under the tight control of both GenTek and Blackwater, both respective organizations being unabashedly evil. James Heller is a soldier returning from war only to find his family dead in the aftermath and swears vengeance on the super-powered Alex Mercer, who has now moved from being a questionable anti-hero to full-blown villain.

Mercer infects Heller for his own nefarious reasons, granting him the same god-like powers. Armed with these new abilities, he sets out for answers and revenge. Despite the game's serious tone, black-and-white cutscenes, and Heller's grief over his family, Prototype 2 is unabashedly aware of just how silly it is and manages to squeeze in some black comedy now and then. Heller himself, constantly exuding seething anger, is at his heart a man who clearly enjoys his job.

Gameplay itself is reminiscent of the first with significant tweaks for the better and some mechanics that needed some tinkering. Progression is much less complicated than the first game, allowing players to choose which abilities they want to upgrade once Heller has leveled up accordingly, rather than micromanaging every tiny aspect. If you want Heller to focus on one particular area of expertise, you can. Leveling up occurs whenever Heller consumes or otherwise dispatches an enemy—mutated and human alike.

There are plenty of bad guys to go through when just grinding through the standard story campaign, so there's really no need to go out of your way to acquire points. Although, you're welcome to dive into a fight with Blackwatch at anytime or amuse yourself with some of the extracurricular activities scattered around the three zones. Gone are the tedious time trials and other banal side quests of Prototype. Instead, Heller can run after scattered Blackwatch packages, infiltrate bases and hives, hunt down key figures, and find hidden recordings that reinforce just how evil all the bad guys are.

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