Prototype 2 Hands-on
Does everything better than the first, one helicopter-punch at a time.
In terms of the actual aesthetics in game; well let’s just say it’s sufficiently better than the first Prototype in all aspects, and while it’s obvious that the developers would have set out to make the overall graphics better on the second time round, I have to say that Prototype 2’s overall final look is way better than Prototype 1’s. While with P1 I felt that the graphics were a bit cartoonish, P2 sees everything take an all together more polished and – dare I use the ‘r’ word – realistic touch. I think for me the most noticeable difference, or at least the thing which has stuck in my brain, is the attention to the buildings in P2. Instead of the boxes with painted on windows that we saw in P1, buildings in P2 look like an actual building instead of merely an obstacle for your character to run around on. It’s quite impressive.
Everything from the people to the trees, to the impending destruction which will happen when you finally get all your powers, looks pretty great, and it’s really one of those things which makes the game all that more enjoyable.
Seeing as I mentioned powers…yes there are some new powers and yes there are some old ones. There are some pretty cool new powers which cause all sorts of hell when used. The tendrils are by far my favourite power, mainly because of the overall devastation, pure horridness, and probably because my mother didn’t hug me enough as a child. One of the new powers allows you to basically plant a bomb on a person and when that bomb goes off tendrils shoot through them and attach themselves to other objects in the surrounding area and drag them towards the initial target. If that sounded confusing, then tough luck ‘cus in my head it looks amazing.
Some of the powers that have returned are the whipfist and blade, with both getting some pretty cool redesigns for Heller’s character, and while both are generally used in much the same way i.e. to cut people in half, the correlating destruction that they create is unbelievably wonderful. If you read my quick over view of the game that was posted a week or so ago you should know that I was partially astounded by the attention to detail when I used the whipfist to decimate and maim a huge crowd of on lookers.
Another new power is something called ‘hunting’. Hunting allows you to tag/find people while playing P2. From what I can tell it’s similar to the tagging system in Crysis, or at least that is how I used it in a mission. It could have other uses in game play but I couldn’t really find any use for it other than during missions when I needed to tell which guy I had to consume, out of the big group of guys. I guess in the end it adds a new dimension to game play but without playing the whole game I can’t really tell you of its complete usefulness.
So you’ve got some new powers and some pretty awesome graphics to make all the gory killings worthwhile but it’s all pointless if the combat system is utter bollocks. Wait. What’s that? Revamped you say? Batman: Arkum City? Wha-wha-what?
Yep. The combat system is a hell of a lot smoother. I don’t know about you but I found P1’s combat system to be lumpy and at times as un-coordinated as blind person with their hands tied behind their back trying to get a brick into an egg cup. Pretty bad is what I’m trying to say.
Prototype 2 feels somewhat like Arkum Asylum but just a hell of a lot crazier, as usually when fighting you are getting shot at by various forms of infantry, tanks, and helicopters. Thankfully the new combat system makes it a lot easier to switch between all of these things that want you riddled full of bullets. There is still a slight problem with what I like to refer to as a sort of in game ADD, which is where there is so many people trying to kill you at once and you, as the controller of the character, think the best method to get rid of all these people is to Ninja Gaiden off of every single living thing with your fist. Before you know it you are on the other side of the zone scraping the remnants of human off your boot. Lovely.
As far as the sequel to Prototype is looking, I’m reasonably content with the way it seems to be going. While they don’t seem as though they are going to break down any barriers in the innovation department, Prototype 2 seems to be a good few steps above Prototype and fans of the original game will be very pleased with the changes made. People who have yet to get into the Prototype series would do best to wait until the second one comes out as there is no point in picking up a game for continuities sake; especially if that game is pretty boring compared to what it looks like Prototype 2 has on offer.