I never played Prototype. Even though Prototype had the look of a great open world, high power game, and it’s something I definitely should have been interested in, it just never seemed to grab my attention in an, “Oh man, I have to go play this game right NOW.” kind of way. Now, with what we saw of Prototype 2 at E3, I’m in.
Prototype 2 picks up approximately 14 months after the final events of Prototype. Alex Mercer has released the virus in New York, causing a massive change in scenery. Now called NYZ (New York Zero, as in Ground Zero for the virus release), the city is divided into three separate, contained sections: Green Zone, Yellow Zone, and Red Zone. Green is the safest, and generally infection free; yellow is for most people, and acts as a quarantine zone; red is where you go to have fun.
Prototype’s protagonist, Alex, serves as this games antagonist. Your new protagonist, Sgt. James Heller, has returned home to find New York ravaged by its war with the virus. He finds his wife and child dead as casualties of this war, and is consumed with a single-minded purpose: vengeance. When he confronts Alex, he is directly infected with Alex’s strain, and develops similar powers.
There are a lot of returning and new elements for Prototype 2. Consuming enemies provides you access to their memories, which is a key element in story progression as well as entertainment. The entertaining example used at E3 was in consuming a little old lady, then wreaking havoc in her form. You have a sonar for hunting specific targets. You bounce a sound out, and if your target is near enough, you’ll see it bounced back. A new tendril attack, called Black Hole, acts as an AoE attack and does what you probably think it does. Activating Black Hole on an object makes it act as a kind of gravity well, drawing in all other nearby objects. Enemy weaponry can be used as well. Military APCs bothering you? Jump on and rip off their missile launchers, get comfortable, and start blowing stuff up.
The gameplay seemed very fluid. Heller can jump from a rooftop and glide down to an enemy, smoothly transition into combat, then run up a wall and glide away. Oh, while fighting, he can dismember his enemies and beat them with their own dismembered limbs; always a good gameplay element to include.
I seriously don’t know why more games don’t include beating enemies with their own dismembered limbs.