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Prototype 2: Heller versus Mercer

Company: Activision

I have to admit that I did not play Prototype when it first came out. I'm not sure how I missed it, but I think it was because several other of our reviewers beat me to claiming it. Actually, I didn't play it until I found out I was going to preview Prototype 2 and that was a huge mistake on my part, because it is an awesome game. I would venture to say that it is the evolution of hack 'n' slash, as you don't even need to get weapons to fight with because you are the weapon. To even improve upon that, this time your main character has some new powers in his arsenal, as you might expect, since you are playing as someone different with slightly different mutations.

In Prototype 2, you start as a human. There is a second outbreak of the Mercer virus one year after the previous game and you are playing as James Heller, a solider in the military. His wife and daughter were killed by civilians infected with the Mercer virus. Now he is on a suicide mission to find Alex Mercer and kill him for starting this plague. He requests to be transferred to the Red Zone and because of his current nature, the military agrees to post him there. Red Zones are overrun by the infected with, presumably, no non-infected humans left. They aren't places that any sane human would voluntarily go into. You start the game out playing as Heller in the Red Zone. He finds Mercer and attempts to kill him. Of course, we all know that a human isn't going to be able to take down Mercer and Heller is killed. The military (Gentech) decide to try experimenting on him to control the Mercer virus, so Heller wakes up and finds that he is now infected, like Mercer, which gives him a much greater chance of taking Mercer out, if he can escape Gentech. At first, you will only be stronger than a normal human, but very quickly, you will start to learn how to control and use your new powers.

Speaking of new powers, Heller has Mercer's abilities from the previous game, but he has some new tricks up his sleeve. Devastators are still there, like before, for you to use when your mass meter is full, but now you can also use the mass meter to call in Pack Leader, which will call up some mutants to fight with you. They're really quite powerful and fun to watch. My personal favorite new power is Tendrils. With these, you can shoot out thick red streams and, when they hit anyone, they will rip the body into pieces and string the pieces up all over the place. Tendrils last in the environment for a while, so you can just run around stringing up body parts if you want to be masochistic. You can tell what I liked to do! You can also take those people and turn them into a bio-bomb. Basically, a bio-bomb is a human that you have infected and turned into a grenade, so when you throw it, there is a blast radius that will take out anything in the area. Some things have changed in the game. No longer do things drop health for you to pick up. Instead, you will need to consume people to regenerate your health, which is a lot more fun, anyway! You can also weaponize so many things now, like the missile launchers off of the tank. Believe me, those will take out the annoying helicopters quite quickly! Blocking has been changed, a bit, so that it has become a lot more strategic to the game; you will need to learn to use it effectively. You can even deflect missiles now. The claws and the other weapons from the previous game are still there, as well. Claw pounce has been changed just a bit, so that you can see it in slow motion, up close and personal. They put a lot more detail into the little things this time.

For those of you wondering what happened in that year break between the first and second games, Dark Horse Comics is making a digital comic of Prototype. It is set in-between the two games, to fill in the time gap. It is written by Dan Jolley, a writer of Prototype 2. It is only available digitally, for now, but there will be a trade print out in August. There are three storylines that are done by three different artists. One story stars Mercer, one stars Heller, and the other stars New York City. The comics are dark and violent, just like the game, so they're probably not suitable for kids.

So far, I love what I have seen of Prototype 2. A huge thank you goes out to Activision for giving me the opportunity to get some hands-on time with Prototype 2 at their event in Vegas! Check out the pics below. I cannot wait to have Prototype 2 in hand and get to play more of the game. April 24th is the release date, so keep an eye out and pick up Prototype 2 as soon as you can. You won't regret it!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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