Prototype 2 – E3 Impressions

Prototype 2 has been in development since its predecessor was released in 2009, and it aims to be as brutal and thrilling as ever. Yes, you will still be able to glide, climb up walls at lightning speeds, and utterly annihilate targets with a variety of weapons and attacks, but most importantly, it hopes to improve upon just about every facet of the original.

This time around, Alex Mercer, the original game’s protagonist, will be the enemy of interest. Sergeant James Heller isn’t happy about what Mercer has done to ruin his life following the events over 14 months ago, and so begins the drive to vengeance. The hunt to seek redemption for Mercer’s evil deeds will take place in New York Zero, also known as NYZ. Rather than the large and rather vertical island of the original, Prototype 2 will have three islands divided into distinct districts.

The first glaring improvement arrives on the presentational front, where it devours the original, something very exciting especially given the game’s pre-alpha status. Menus and the visual style have transferred smoothly over to Prototype 2, and more importantly, the framerate is smooth which allows for clean execution during combat.

Combat is also at the forefront of major improvements. Biobomb is an incredibly gruesome but effective way to take out a group of enemies in a stealthy manner, and involves causing a victim to become a giant bomb, all while remaining undiscovered. Secondly, a new ability to remove enemy vehicle weapons and turn them against your enemies is thoroughly satisfying, and looks like it’ll serve as both a powerful defensive and offensive measure.

The Blacknet system was demonstrated as a hub for providing rich information such as important military target locations, story details, and more. It will also serve as a location for upgrading your character, and ensuring that mayhem is as astronomical as possible, something the original thrived upon.

Lastly, lairs have been added, and work in the same manner as military bases did in the original. For the most part, they are optional locations that can be cleared out for powerful rewards, upgrades, and more. These, along with the increased variety in the open-world environment, should serve well to keep the game more consistent at entertaining than the original.

One thing is for sure, this is a violent and very mature game. Blood and gore has remained a staple of the presentation, and vulgarism has been amplified. The demonstrator assured us that feedback from the original Prototype has been an important part of the development process of the sequel, and by the conclusion of the demonstration, it appeared so.

Prototype 2 is currently scheduled for a release sometime in 2012.