Prototype 2: Freshly Evolved, but a Bit Stale

Prototype 2

I’m not sure if Prototype 2 is on par with or better than Prototype, the First. I’ve played, according to my savegame, 54% of the game’s plot, and I haven’t been particularly wowed by anything I’ve seen so far. That shouldn’t lead you to believe that Prototype 2 isn’t worth getting, of course. Considering that I’ve reached 100% on Prototype, and it feels about even with Prototype 2 at 54%, I think the deuce might just prove to be fantastic once I’ve trucked through all the plot and entered the real sandbox mode. Completionism factored in, of course.

So, the first thing I’d like to cover is the airdash/jump controls. They’re a bit clunkier than in the prior installment. Same case with the grab command, but I’ll talk on that in a moment. In Prototype, X button was jump, midair X button was glide, and R2 was the airdash/sprint button. In Prototype 2, X is jump and airdash, while R2 is sprint and glide. I’m sure this makes sense considering the similar nature of the buttons’ actions, but at the same time, it slows things down a bit. Gliding isn’t always guaranteed to happen if you’re falling, and where you could mash the airdash button while jumping to scale walls nearly instantly, Prototype 2’s control scheme has muddled that up.

Prototype 2

Grabbing is less of a concern, really, but still something to complain about. If you’re locked on (L2) to an enemy who has a cache of DNA to absorb, or a new power to assimilate, you’d expect that a grab thrown in their direction will, you know, grab them. However, if anything (and I mean anything) walks between you and your target, Heller will grab that instead. I suppose it makes sense to have grab chaff, but at the same time, that leaves a time gap in which your stunned target may bleed out or be killed by other forces. Bye-bye, upgrade.

Another key different worth mentioning is the removal of the evolution points based upgrade system. Instead of gaining numbers with which to buy new upgrades, the evolution points instead act as experience. Yes, it is a Prototype RPG-style upgrade system. It feels more restricted, and that’s because it is. Despite this, I feel that overall, the upgrade system is superior to Prototype’s.

In Prototype, all the side-missions Alex Mercer performed were relatively irrelevant, earning him nothing but evolution points for completing some meaningless task. In mister sequel, side missions reward evolution points and mutators, which are miscellaneous benefits that make Heller’s life easier. Deflect bullets from small arms fire. Gain an overall 25% health boost. Gain mass for your Devastator by engaging in melee combat. That sort of thing. There are a total of five checklists for different types of mutators, all of which may eventually be obtained by remaining faithful to the laws of completionism. FIND EVERYTHING.

Prototype 2

Oh, and one last thing before I wrap this review up. The graphics are much better. Yes, there are more enemies. Yes, you can still infiltrate bases. You can even infiltrate infected lairs now. How about that? Prototype 2 is an expansion and an alteration, and it has done well in its transition.

So, that’s about all I’ve got on Prototype 2 so far. It’s definitely a step up from the prior installment, but don’t read too much into that. They’re very much the same sort of game, just with little differences in mechanics and, of course, plot. I should say, though. If you’re looking for a game that’s good solely based on sandbox screwing around alone, stick to Prototype. You don’t need to spend sixty bucks to go on a mass murder spree that you could already do in the prior installment. If you’re curious to see what’s new, and you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, then by all means. Could be worth it.

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