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Prototype 2

Score: 84%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Free-Roaming/ Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

I've never understood why so many multiplatform games come to PC long after the console versions drop. This release of Prototype 2 doesn't change my mind. It is neither inferior nor superior to the console version. It is the same beast: exciting, empowering, and gory as hell.

Options. Always a plus with a PC game. Most console games only give you one graphical option: gamma. The hardware parameters are universal for every console owner. Obviously, the same cannot be said for PC owners. High spec system owners will find a lot to like about Prototype 2's visuals, though even maxed out, they don't particularly pop any more than those of the console versions. Again, those who have played the first game will notice a drastic change in both the draw distance and the variety of the color palette. James Heller animates much like Alex Mercer, but his larger frame and more thorough cycles (jumping, for example) make his unbelievable actions more... well... believable. And, as mentioned before, the game is gleefully violent. Heller is a prodigy when it comes to murder, even more so than Alex Mercer. Lots of this stuff is schlocky and gratuitous, so if you're that kind of person, you will get a kick out of this one.

Prototype 2 is one of those games that makes me wonder exactly what lengths the developers went to in order to deliver an adequately believable representation of what a mutant-infested New York City should sound like. There are lots of explosions and lots of disgusting noises that are generally paired with the destruction of living tissue. It's pure anarchy, but it makes sense. The voice acting is good, and that goes a long way in establishing the game's protagonist as a more charismatic and likable character than Prototype's Alex Mercer. The soundtrack comes as close to matching the idea of being a biological weapon of mass destruction as it can possibly get, so there's that.


Prototype 2 tells a more personal story than the original game did. It's also easier to relate to. I genuinely hope that nobody could sympathize with Alex Mercer; after all, the man was a terrorist -- and that was before he became something straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Sergeant James Heller is a family man. Or, at least he was until his family was killed by the Blacklight virus. So we've got a leading man who literally has nothing to lose. Those are generally fun characters. He wants to kill Alex Mercer, despite the obvious fact that Mercer has borderline God-like powers and is capable of slaughtering over a hundred people in the blink of an eye. So naturally, Heller's plan doesn't go very well. However, Mercer sees potential in our angry hero, "evolves" him with his virus, and enlists him as part of his cause: to rid the world of Gentek and Blackwatch -- the people who are most responsible for the unholy mess to begin with. But can Heller trust Mercer?

Prototype 2 has an awful lot in common with its older brother, but the design philosophy has obviously changed for the better. Starscream accused Prototype of spreading itself too thin. I liked the game more than he did, but I agreed with that particular criticism. Prototype 2 doesn't have that problem. It doesn't try to do too much, and focuses on refining and delivering more of what it does best. I'll get into more detail in the Mechanics section, but all you need to know is that it's a better game.


Prototype gave you too many tools with which to wreak havoc on your enemies, and more often than not, one specific strategy was better than the rest. Prototype 2 lies on the opposite end of that spectrum; it's not challenging at all. Of course, Prototype's difficulty level manifested itself through bosses with unreasonably long health bars, mobs upon mobs of identical foes, and a near-total lack of defensive options. Not only can Heller defend himself with the touch of a button, but he's actually a great deal stronger than Mercer. His arsenal is streamlined but far more potent. As you progress through the game, you unlock upgrades that boost certain attributes. For example, you might receive more health when you consume enemies, or you might reach Critical Mass more quickly than usual. These boons go a long way in making Prototype 2 a game that doesn't have much of a bite.

Game Mechanics:

Damn, is it fun to be James Heller. He runs so fast he makes Usain Bolt look like Fat Albert. He rips people to shreds so indiscriminately he makes Jeffrey Dahmer look like a Care Bear. He swears so angrily and with such hilarious passion that he makes Samuel L. Jackson look like Steve Urkel. Prototype 2 casts you as this ticking time bomb, gives him ridiculous powers, and tells you to go nuts.

Completing story missions naturally upgrades Heller's arsenal at key moments. He gets some really interesting new tools in this game, as well as some classic standbys. Sure, he's got the Claws and the Blade, but he also has the Tendrils and the Bio-Bomb. Most importantly, the game gives you a standard defense mechanism that doubles as a powerful counterattack. Combat simply feels better in Prototype 2; it's less chaotic, which allows you to practice your art. Heller can equip up to two weapons at once. You can unleash a bit of creativity before going in to consume the poor bastard.

Growth is more limited this time around. Evolution Points don't function in the same way as they did last time around. This time, they basically let you level up. Furthermore, Mutations are awarded by completing special objectives and taking out special Blacknet contracts.

If you only own a PC and like open world games, Prototype 2 is a game you should play. It's a shame the game took this long to get to the platform, but it's still a great one.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Minimum System Requirements:

Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66 GHz or similar AMD, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB HDD space, Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible, DirectX: Version 9, 512 MB Graphics Memory, nVidia GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 2900

Test System:

ASUS G74S Series, Intel Core I7 - 2670QM, 2.2 GHz, Windows 7 Premium, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M, 12 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD space Windows 7

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