and I will say that I have an abusive relationship with this series. I like and hate this series at the same time. Itís frustrating, especially when you play them back to back, like I did, or compare the two, like Iím about to do.I got both games recently through a deal on Amazon that gave you both games plus DLC for the second game for Steam for only 10 bucks. On one end I wouldíve like to see where this series wouldíve gone if developer Radical Entertainment hadnít gone out of business. On the other end, it was inevitable that they would go under because you canít make a triple A title like the Prototype series at the quality it was. It is.
Lets start with the first game. The first Prototype game is such a mixed bag of a game, I wouldnít be surprised if you told me that it wasnít actually completed or major components and features of the game were taken out at the last minute. First thing I noticed were the graphics. Holy crap is this game ugly. It looks like a PS2 game with its resolution raised so it could pass for high definition. The story is paced like a subpar PS2 action title also. The only thing thatís not last gen is that a game like this wouldnít have been an open world game just because the PS2, Xbox and GameCube wouldnít have been able to do what this game does. It wouldíve been an action title.
The other thing I noticed right away is the controls are really finicky. They are not precise and are real loose. Youíll constantly be doing things you didnít mean to and youíll start to get confused since the camera sucks as well. That being said, when you do have proper control, which thankfully is a considerable amount of the time, you see that the combat is fun. Destroying helicopters in one to two hits was fun and in the chaotic environment the game puts you in, there is a sense of direction. However, overall the story was just too uninteresting, and the side missions were equally unappealing. I had actually rented Prototype 1 before and I had said that the only way I would buy that game would be if I could get it for $10 or less. Which is what happened. This isnít a proper review per se but the first game is definitely mediocre and I would give it a 2.5 or 3 out of 5.
Prototype 2 is definitely better. I have more positive things to say about this game so Iíll get the negative stuff out of the way. The most irritating thing about this game is the protagonist himself. James Heller is such an unbelievable bastard itís really surprising heís not actually the villain at the end of the game. Alex Mercer, the protagonist of the first game and the antagonist in this game, was an anti-hero, as he really didnít care about anyone other than himself. Heller however is just an unlikable person right from the beginning. Heís way too brash, has a rotten attitude and uses the word fuck like itís a punctuation mark. The other issue, and this is really the biggest issue, is the stuff that is here is good but itís not great. Thereís enough to do but none of it is really engaging. Lastly, this may be a minor gripe but itís so strange, Iím willing to call it a glitch. Heller doesnít like grabbing barrels. Iíve had instances where when I try to grab barrels, he runs away from them. Doesnít even grab anything else. This sucks since thereís side missions where all you do is grab barrels but there you go.
Now for the good, which is everything else. The graphics are much improved and the game has a more polished feel to it. The controls are improved and although the game is slower than in the first game, itís for the better as you just have more of an idea of whatís going on. The powers you get are also scaled back but more of them are useful. Plus new powers like the tendrills are just extremely useful. For what itís worth, Heller does feel different from Mercer from the first game. The side missions have you doing things that are more meaningful such as finding recordings that add development to the overall plot or clearing out lairs that usually contain creatures of which absorbing them upgrades one of your powers. Some are still kinda dumb like your diving off of ledges and smashing enemy targets on the ground missions but they are less frequent. The game just feels more organic overall and less forced in its execution. Again, this isnít a proper review but overall, I would score this somewhere around 3.5 or 4.
Overall, the series is still sort of underwhelming. The second game is better and I would actually recommend picking that game up if you can find it cheap (like $30 or less) but considering what the gameís premise is, it couldíve been better. Both the first and the second game fail to deliver on the idea of being this super being with an assortment of powers and flexible abilities while not having to be this beacon of chivalry or wear rainbow colored tights. A series like this that is decidedly second tier wouldíve been fine last generation or even the generation before it but nowadays, there is no space for a second tier game and I have to agree with this gameís lack of popularity. For as much money that mustíve been sunk into this series, they have little to show for it. If you took out some of the more extraneous stuff thatís in the second game, you wouldíve had a great downloadable title. Sure the game would be 12 hours long rather than 18 but Iíll sacrifice length for quality. Oh and the first game just needs work, downloadable or otherwise.
Well, those are my thoughts on Prototype 1 and 2 but what are yours? Let me know in the comments below and Santa will get you a Mega Wii U for Christmas. Thatís a Wii U with a terabyte of internal memory, a touch screen with multi-touch, and Metroid Prime 4, Super Smash Bros U, Legend of Zelda U, and Earthbound U all included before anyone else gets to have it. So, you know, leave a comment. Please. Mega Wii U.