Prototype 2 Review ( + E3 Video )
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Prototype 2. I was led to a dark theater barricaded with velvet rope. Inside were cushy leather seating and fuzzy blood-red walls. Kind of odd, but it’s E3, one doesn’t ask questions. Also, this is the franchise where Penny Arcade so eloquently pointed out that one can karate-kick the effing helicopers. Anything, it would seem, goes.
They showed me a pre-alpha build, so the graphics as well as everything else were firmly in the sketchy development stages. We won't comment on those aspects of the game here.
The game is broken down into zones. There’s the Red Zone. There’s zero chance for human life. This is where Newt from the film "Aliens" would reside.
Yellow Zone – This is the quarantine or triage zone. We were instructed to think of the movies ‘Children of Men’ or ‘District 9’. Stuff’s still going down, but human beings have escaped the red zone and are trying to get to our last place.
The Green Zone – This one is nearest to normal. It’s Bagdad in the green-zone. Now, it’s not all gravy and sunshine in the green zone. There’s the Blackwatch presence. They’re human beings who represent the military industrial complex. They’re trying to manipulate the citizenry to do their bidding. The guy showing off the game, speaking in front of the group was very excited about the dialogue that was happening between the Blackwatch folks and the human population. They look a lot like cops.
You gather information from ‘persons of interest’ by ‘consuming’ them. Don’t worry, you’re not eating people. You’re beating the crap out of them. Then, when those memories are leaking all over the pavement, then you have access to them. Devs told us they wanted the player to feel more in control of their destiny. So you’ll have quests that you can select. Additional information is provided by a new system called Blacknet. You can hunt down these trucks in the world and beat them up for information, much the same way as those persons of interest. These can also give you side quests.
One of the powers that Heller has access to is a kind of echolocation. Devs didn’t want the standard icon to appear on screen. You actually have to hunt down the person you want to find, and you can definitely choose wrong. They told us it was called the hunting mechanic.
You can also unlock new abilities and powers throughout the game. You can upgrade your bladed weapon on your arm, or grow new tendril like abilities. One of the powers displayed was called the black hole attack, which basically caused a black hole to appear in the middle of the tank the player was fighting. Another attack caused a huge infection in the target, which spun out of control and exploded, taking out a large amount of enemies.
A new aspect to the game is the ‘Lairs’. These are areas underground, which have a high concentration of bad guys within them. They’re usually also mini-bosses. When they’re defeated, you get a little more information on the infection. The combat system in the game has also been upgraded. Devs wanted you to have a ‘smarter’ fight. Enemies now will have certain tells that allow you to defeat your enemy in smarter, more efficient ways. A tactical jump at just the right moment can provide a good opportunity for a counterattack. Enemies will also change as you attack them. If you slice off a limb, that will have a noticeable effect on your enemy. The severed limb might make him weaker, it might just make him mad.
Lastly, we were introduced to ‘Tiny’ who was not so very tiny at all. In fact, he was huge. And he had two huge arms with which he was trying to kick the crap out of Heller. He was just a teaser of a boss battle though, and our presentation ended there.