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Prototype 2 Review

Paul Goodman | 1 May 2012 22:00
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The one super power that's indispensible is the ability to absorb people, which regenerates your health, and gives you a peek into the victim's memories. You'll be able to assume the form of people you consume, giving you a way to disappear into the crowd if things get too hot or sneak into heavily-armed check points and research facilities as though you were the creature from John Carpenter's The Thing. Unfortunately, the AI isn't terribly suspicious of your actions, and it's kind of weird how none of the soldiers seem to really get weirded out when you fly out of the sky and smash into the ground next to them. You can even start eating the local civilian populace and half the time they'll just shrug and carry on with their business instead of screaming for help.

As much fun as Prototype 2's combat and free roaming is, repetition is probably the biggest problem the game has. The storyline missions more or less follow the same formula of finding and absorbing a target to gain their knowledge to progress the story or to introduce a new ability. Usually these involve killing a boatload of people in the process, which can get old, even when the game starts throwing tougher enemies into the mix. A few missions do break away from this formula by letting you hijack a tank, defend a church or kill off a Gentek experiment or two, but most of them involve hunting down a single guy and eating his brains. They all start to blend together after all while, which is a shame, especially given that Prototype 2's set in a mostly open-world environment and it can feel like you're being limited for the sake of the game's story.

Thankfully though, there is some variety in how you can accomplish these missions. You can follow the usual modus operandi of jumping in and killing everyone and everything in your path to get to your target, or you can act rather crafty and sneak your way past heavily armed guards to absorb your target instead. I personally got a kick out of using Heller's speed and mobility to leap in, grab the poor bastard whose brains I needed to eat, and then hauling ass across the city, dodging tanks and helicopters until I got to a safe area.

There are plenty of side quests and a handful of collectibles to find in each of Prototype 2's three regions, so you'll never exactly run out of things to do, and completing them also nets you bonuses that improve your abilities or help you level up faster. These range from finding military black boxes containing audio logs to taking out lairs full of infected monsters or killing teams of Gentek scientists. They're a nice breakaway from the main missions and give you a chance to explore the game's environment a little more thoroughly. I liked how you can stumble across the extra missions just by hopping around town, so you never have to spend a whole lot of time hunting them down just to get a small boost to your jumping height, unless you're a bit of a completionist.

Bottom Line: Prototype 2 is a decent action-adventure with fun combat, but gets a little too samey here and there.

Recommendation: If you loved the first Prototype or just want a game that lets you slice up bad guys as an amoral anti-hero, Prototype 2 is a excellent choice.

The review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Game: Prototype 2
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK), Play.com(UK)

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