Prototype 2 Review
After gliding through the air like a huge flying squirrel made out of death, you land a few yards away from a patrol of Blackwatch troopers and quickly shapeshift to look like one of them. Of course, they react not at all — a specialized meter in your heads-up display indicates they are “suspicious,” but nobody’s shooting you yet — and you set about stealthily cannibalizing each one when the others have their backs turned.
If the soldiers ever start to wonder why there seem to be fewer of their number every time they blink or turn back around, they don’t have time to say so before they’re all dead. And if they did notice and called in reinforcements…well, you’d probably just rip the rocket launcher off a helicopter and turn that on them anyway, so whatever.
That’s Prototype 2 in a nutshell. As James Heller, a shapeshifting prototype virus-infected superhuman kicker of many asses, you’ll split your time between infiltrating military installations in the crumbling New York Zero, and drop-kicking helicopters. Also a lot of ripping off arms, shredding people, and “consuming” your various enemies to absorb their DNA and become more powerful. It’s a game that exists purely to make you feel like the biggest badass ever, and guess what: it succeeds. Brilliantly.
Prototype 2 (2012): Xbox 360 (Reviewed), Playstation 3, PC
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Released: April 24, 2012
James Heller hates Alex Mercer, the protagonist from the first Prototype game, for Mercer’s perceived involvement in the viral outbreak that has mangled New York City and in the deaths of Heller’s wife and daughter at the hands of the mutant monsters that virus spawns. Now referred to as NYZ, it’s split into color-coded zones of various danger. Meanwhile, Mercer infects Heller with the virus and turns him into a shapeshifting monster who can morph his arms into blades, take the forms of his enemies, and absorb information from the people he kills.
Early on, Mercer convinces Heller that the real enemy in NYZ is not Mercer himself, but Blackwatch, the military force that has basically used pharmaceuticals partner Gentek to test the virus as a bioweapon, resulting in the destruction of the city. Heller sets about killing lots of people in Blackwatch to stop them from using the remaining survivors in NYZ as guinea pigs. That provides a huge amount of people to kill and eat. Hooray.