The AI really isn’t great, and it’s no more evident than when they just run around like idiots after something terrible has happened to one of their fellow soldiers and they have no clue where you are. One little explosion can distract an entire base enough for you to whittle them down one by one.
That pretty low difficulty is a common thread throughout the rest of the game. After the initial period where you’re getting used to the controls and still without too many powers it’s all a little easy as long as you’re reasonably competent – fun, but not really challenging.
Even when you’re presented with new enemies, the game pretty much just tells you how to beat them in a tip on the right side of the screen or with a panned camera that highlights a few convenient rocket launchers in the cutscene beforehand. I played through on normal and I only really had trouble early in the game or at sudden, short-lived difficulty spikes.
This probably rang more true for me than it might for others as I made sure I hunted down all of the upgrades before I progressed to the next of the three zones. Each of these zones is split into a few areas that each contain three types of collectibles (of sorts).
The first of these is the blackbox, essentially the corpses of soldiers with a tape on them containing a short snippet of audio that sheds a little insight into the storyline and are found by utilising a HUD element that appears when you’re nearby, telling you how close they are to your position.
Second up are field ops, groups of enemies found in the field that you must kill. Finally there are lairs, holes in the ground that you enter and have to complete a variety of missions, usually killing something. Both field ops and lairs just appear on your navmap when you’re close by.
Finding all, for example, blackboxes in an area will unlock an upgrade in a specific type of skill (Offensive, Defensive, or Locomotion), allowing you to choose an upgrade that enhances your skills in that category. These can range from increasing the damage you deal to mutants, to gaining an extra air dash for getting around more quickly.
The final way to unlock these upgrades is by completing side missions, typically involving killing scientists, assaulting a base, or collecting data or mutagen that’s been dropped by a crashing helicopter before a time limit expires (by far my least favourite). The side missions are in ‘sets’, completing all the missions in a set will unlock an upgrade in one of the previously mentioned categories.[drop2]This system replaces the one in the previous game, where you gained Evolution Points and spent it on unlocking similar upgrades. Now you gain EP and level up, at which point you can assign a point to one of 5 attributes (each with five levels), which will give you yet more boosts.
Your abilities, such as claws, biobomb and shield are upgraded by consuming enemies that are marked when you’re near them. In all honesty, the collectibles are easy enough to find and you can get most of them in passing on your way between missions, but it might not be for everybody. At least there’s a collectibles map to help you find them all, minimising the need to just run around hoping you stumble upon them.
Perhaps the most unexpected thing included in Prototype 2 are the leaderboards and the embracing of a multiplayer of sorts. Whilst you can’t run around the city with some friends, you can at least compete against them.
When you complete certain feats, such as taking out a large amount of enemies with the the hammerfists’ ground-slam attack, the number of people you killed in that single strike will go onto a leaderboard. If you beat a friend’s previous high score they will be told next time they’re online – or straight away, if they already are.
It was surprising, but once I’d had one of my high scores beaten I was hit with a sudden surge of competitiveness and proceeded to wipe out the high scores on more than half of the categories on the leaderboard. Whilst many may not see the leaderboards as the most natural of additions, they are a very nice inclusion that’s completely out of left field.
- Fast, frantic, over-the-top action that is endlessly entertaining.
- Just getting around the city is great fun, especially when fully upgraded.
- A visual upgrade over the original, shinier but still at a rock-solid framerate.
- The story is pretty good, with some twists you might not expect.
- High-score multiplayer of sorts, with leaderboards amongst your PSN/XBL friends.
- Additional challenges to be added weekly via Radnet until the end of June.
- It’s a bit too easy, even on higher difficulties.
- Heller is difficult to really care about.
- Having to acquire collectibles to upgrade your character will not amuse everybody.
- It’s really just more of the same.
Prototype 2 is nothing if not faithful to the original. It keeps and improves the brilliant combat, upgrades the graphics so it’s at least ‘pretty good’ looking and adds a storyline that’s at least a little interesting, if not earth-shattering. The game is one of few that have no qualms with just making you stupidly powerful and letting you run rampant.
Even if it doesn’t quite scale its difficulty with the power it gives you, it’s all about the adrenaline rush of throwing a van at a helicopter and it’s certainly not missing any visceral carnage. It’s far from the best game in the world but I enjoyed it so much that I’m going to platinum it – the first game with which I will ever have done so. I’m only two trophies away, so if you’ll excuse me…
“The game is one of few that have no qualms with just making you stupidly powerful and letting you run rampant” sounds very Crackdown 1ish or Just Cause 2 from this point of view. Therefore when price inevitably drops, and imagine it could quite quickly, I could be tempted to give it a whirl. Thought those two titles were top fun. Crackdown 2 though not so much.
Now 24.99 from argos.
Will give it a go when it’s cheap. Couldn’t get on with the first, however gonna revisit as playing alongside the brilliant infamous probably took the shine away from it. Great review as always ^_^
I’m more of an infamous guy as it is the better game, but I also loved prototype it was fun the whole shape shifting, will get this as soon as an back in the uk
See i didn’t really like the first one much,but been playing this at my mates and have really enjoyed it
Tempted to pick up the first one and give it a run through. Like a lot of people I went Team Cole last time and didn’t give Mercer a look in.
I’ve been hearing a lot of good and admittedly not so good things about Prototype 2. Edge also gave it at 8, claiming it’s the most open-world fun they’ve had since Just Clause 2. And I really liked Just Cause 2.
I’m also okay with being over-powered. Too many games these days drip-feed the powers right up until the end. Sometimes you just want to go big and blast your way to the end with ease! :)
It looked very very bad from what I saw of it and played. Surprised on the 8!
Found the first fun yet repetitive, and this sounds the same, yet better. Therefore, a must-purchase, when the price hits the £20-£25 mark
Oh,I genuinely did bugger off and get the platinum. I’m now the proud owned of one platinum trophy, courtesy of Prototype 2.
Nice one – but once you get one, you want more. ;)
Good review, I preferred Prototype to Infamous , moving around was just way more fun but i did get frustrated with it after a while. Sounds like the new game is a lot more accessible this time around so i think i’ll see if SSX has any trade-in value left, else i’ll wait a bit as i’m not short of games atm.
When inFamouse and Prototype clashed i think inFamous kicked it’s ass looked better,played better,better story and a more unique style! i hated the first Prototype bought this on a whim and im enjoying it! it’s not brilliant it’s not ad but it’s fun elbow dropping of a building onto a tank! awesome review!