Prototype 2 is an open world action-adventure video game, released for consoles on April 24, 2012. Developed by Canadian studio Radical Entertainment and published by Activision, it is the sequel to 2009's Prototype. The game was announced at the 2010 Spike VGA Awards with the tagline "Murder your Maker."
The game features a new protagonist, James Heller, as he goes on a quest to destroy the Blacklight virus. The story is also one of revenge, as Heller wants to kill Alex Mercer, protagonist of the original Prototype, after his family was killed in the outbreak of the Blacklight virus. While the game was a top seller for a period of time, its sales would eventually result in the downsizing of its developer.
James Heller can shapeshift and assume other people's identities and memories by consuming them. Taking people's identities and shapeshifting into them has become more tactical. Due to Blackwatch's actions in the Yellow Zone, if the player assumes the role of a soldier, people will react to him in a way that shows that they want nothing to do with him. To make sure that enemies do not overwhelm the player, Radical has created a dodging system and new, more realistic AI. Heller will be able to use weapons in the game, such as ripping the Gatling cannon off a tank and using it against enemies. Heller can also sneak up on unsuspecting human enemies, inject them with the Blacklight virus turning them into "BioBomb" to blow up spectacularly. Heller also has superhuman strength and agility, near-invulnerability to harm, near-flight leaping and gliding, infinite stamina, increased speed, and has a sonar sense. The sonar includes a new pulse ability that highlights the key features of an environment to make it easier for the player to find someone, instead of looking in a large crowd for a person with an icon above their head. Radical has stated that the powers will be more meaningful, appearing as mutations and upgrades that let players decide how they want to play as Heller.
To give gamers more power in the game, the developers have added tendrils. Tendrils sprout from Heller's arm and can be used for a variety of purposes. Players can use tendrils to smash objects into other objects, such as a car into a tank, utilising the 'Black Hole' attack. Players will be able to dismember enemies, a force that will become more useful as the game progresses. There are many more ways to kill enemies, ranging from throwing a car at a group of Blackwatch soldiers, hacking off a mutant's head or using powers. Consuming has not changed since the original Prototype, with the exception of some enemies, which are consumed upon grabbing them (e.g. Supersoldiers, Brawlers). It has also been announced that Heller can now control a pack of Brawlers (similar to Prototype's Hunters) to attack anything he desires (note: this power is limited to main variant of Brawler). Heller will no longer find 'Events' throughout NYZ, instead starting side-missions by hacking into Blacknet. Blackwatch's system that details military operations and the three areas of NYZ, Heller chooses from a small list of missions at each terminal. Blacknet will allow Heller to find operations that he can disrupt or take control of for his own purposes and find important people that will allow him to learn more about what he has become because of the Blacklight virus. It will also help him find out more about Alex Mercer and what his connections are to his family's deaths. The missions that are selectable can be sidequests or extensions to the main quest that tell Heller more about the Blacklight virus.
Prior to the game's launch, Radical Entertainment announced Radnet for Prototype 2 users who would either pre-order the game or buy a new copy. Similar to Call of Duty Elite, Radnet offers the player weekly in game abilities, events, challenges and avatar items. Upon the launch of the game, first-run copies and pre-ordered copies of the game would include 55 pieces of additional add-on downloadable content (DLC) at no extra cost. Included in the pre-order/launch content was in-game events, additional and optional challenges, avatar items for the Xbox 360 and themes for the PlayStation 3 and behind the scenes videos. In order to make Radnet coherent to players, Activision announced that the events playable in Radnet would be outside of the game's main storyline.
The 55 pieces of DLC would be launched by Radical weekly from April 24 until June 7, with content available forever once unlocked. To earn the rewards given for an event or a challenge for a given week of DLC, players had to achieve at least a bronze medal in events and a minimal score threshold in challenges. To make Radnet more accessible, content will be available to all profiles on the console where Radnet was unlocked.
Blackwatch is the organization that is responsible for the creation of the virus and are in charge of eradicating it from New York City. Heller's main adversary in Blackwatch is Colonel Rooks. Accompanying Rooks is Dr. Koenig, the main virologist at Gentek. Koenig oversees every major Gentek operation.
It was announced by Radical Entertainment that like the original Prototype, Prototype 2 would have a comic counterpart. The three part series takes place before the second video game, acting as a bridge between the two games. To be published by Dark Horse Comics, the first comic was called the Anchor. After eradicating the virus in Africa, Mexico and Russia, Alex travels around the world, wondering about if the virus has made him a human, humanity's killer or its savior. Alex slowly begins to decide that he is the earth's savior and will usher it into a new age of prosperity after he wipes out humanity, however, this changes when he falls for a woman. When the woman betrays him, he decides that he will wipe out humanity and so he returns to New York City and makes it NYZ.
The second comic, dubbed the Survivors focused on a former police officer, Conrad who would join up with Ami Levin, a religiously tolerant person and Marcie, an art student. The three would run afoul of Lieutenant Riley, he would, however, agree to let Conrad see his wife, so long he agrees to work for Gentek. Unbeknownst to Riley, his wife was dead and that he ended up in a project called Orion. The third comic, entitled the Labyrinth introduced Heller and Mike Marcos.
Two years after the events of the original game, Sergeant James Heller, after returning from touring in Iraq, discovers his wife and daughter to be declared dead, causing him to rejoin the military in the fight for NYZ against the Mercer Virus. Heller is briefed on the previous outbreaks in Idaho in the 60's and in NYZ in the events of the first game. He later finds Mercer and begins chasing him. After a series of sudden stops, he is attacked by one of the special infected. He kills it, but Mercer injects him with the virus, for reasons unknown.
Pursuing Mercer for vengeance, Heller is infected by Mercer with a strain that imbues him with similar superpowers. After blacking out, Heller awakens in a Yellow Zone lab where Gentek scientist Dr. Koenig and Blackwatch Col. Rooks are experimenting on him. Heller escapes the Gentek base, when Mercer confronts him and claims Gentek and Blackwatch are responsible for recreating and cultivating the Blacklight virus, making them responsible for the second infection and the deaths of Heller's family. Revealing his plans to take down Gentek and Blackwatch, Mercer offers a truce to Heller. Unsure of Mercer's intentions Heller goes to his local pastor, Father Guerra, for advice and help.
Using information supplied by Guerra, Heller hacks into Blacknet Terminals to find out about and sabotage a number of their operations. Gradually consuming his way through Blackwatch, Heller eventually finds and attacks Koenig, only to find the doctor has superhuman powers similar to Heller, and is one of several "Evolved" agents planted in Gentek and Blackwatch by Mercer. After defeating and consuming the doctor, Mercer reveals to Heller that he intends to recruit him in an attempt to control NYZ. His doubts growing, Guerra then shows Heller a video tape of Mercer releasing the virus for the second time in Penn Station, the same place Mercer originally released and contracted the virus.
Enraged that Mercer lied to him, Heller sets off to the Green Zone to pursue and murder Mercer's accomplices, including an Evolved agent in Gentek named Sabrina Galloway; upon confronting Galloway, however, Heller reluctantly teams up with her when she reveals she can help him take down Mercer. With Galloway's help, Heller soon finds that Mercer plans to infect the entire world through "Whitelight", a contaminated vaccine released by Gentek that actually serves to accelerate infection and evolution rather than prevent it.
Frustrated with Heller sabotaging his plans, Mercer kills Father Guerra; upon finding his corpse, however, a grieving Heller uses Guerra's phone to reach Athena, Guerra's contact who is revealed to be Dana Mercer. Dana explains that Heller's daughter, Maya, is still alive, prompting Heller to head for the Red Zone to take down Mercer and save Maya. After preventing Blackwatch's second attempt to level Manhattan Island, Col. Rooks helps Heller reach his daughter, only for Galloway to betray him and take Maya to Mercer. Upon confronting Mercer, Alex reveals he plans to solve international conflicts and world problems by infecting the entire human race, effectively creating a Superorganism with Maya at the center. After Mercer absorbs Galloway and the remaining Evolved, the two engage in a bloody duel, only for James to emerge victorious and kill and consume Mercer.
Subsequently, Heller wipes out the infected in NYZ along with most of the Blacklight Virus; then using Mercer's absorbed memories, Heller locates and frees Maya and Dana from a vault. The story then ends with the three overlooking New York before Dana questions what to do next.
Development of the game started soon after the success of the first game and was in development for three years. The game was first shown at the Spike 2010 VGA Awards in December. The game was revealed to be the main focus of the April, 2011 EGM Issue. It was displayed in EGM and EGMI in 2011 revealing many new details about the game's plot, characters and gameplay. The game's graphics have been completely updated with buildings being much more detailed and deformation of vehicles, mutants and humans being much more visual. The game was also partially written by Dan Jolley.
To promote the game, Radical Entertainment has launched a Facebook app for the game. The app is called Blacknet, named after the game's mission system, and it allows fans to work together to "hack" the interface. Hacking it will allow the fans to uncover a series of videos, interviews and other behind the scenes content, all in the run up to the game’s launch. Also via Facebook, Radical unveiled that they would announce something huge for Prototype 2 at ComicCon. This was the ability to let people play the game, they also released the first of three trailers detailing the story of Prototype 2. At ComicCon, Activision held a raffle in which the winner won either the jacket worn by James Heller, or Alex Mercer's jacket; and a custom skinned Xbox 360. At ComicCon, Activision employees were handing out PROTOTYPE 2 themed merchandise, including t-shirts, posters, giant foam Heller Blade Arms and more materials based on the game. Activision released for iOS an official game titled ProtoSlice, available free to download. Activision has released a couple of trailers, Radical Entertaintment's team also went to Paris to promote the game in February 2012, and had an video interview with French website Play3-Live.com.
Commercials for the release of the game used the song "Hurt", as sung by Johnny Cash, in the background. The video depicts two live actors (one for Alex and one for James). James falls over the side of a building as if going to commit suicide, while flashbacks of the war, his wife being found dead, and seeing tons of innocent civilians before being infected by Mercer flash across his mind. Just as he hits the ground, he creates a shockwave killing multiple Blackwatch soldiers in the area, showing that he is infected and the suicide was just a misdirection to the viewer. He stands up, unharmed, and looks at Alex (whom is standing a short distance away). Alex looks at James with a smile, who returns with an angry look. Alex displays his claws, and James displays his blade. James then rushes Alex while screaming loudly in rage. The words "The Power of Revenge" then flash on the screen. The video is around 1:27 seconds long.
- ↑ "PROTOTYPE 2 Announced", ComputerAndVideoGames, December 12, 2010. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
- ↑ "Prototype 2's gameplay". Retrieved on June 25, 2011.
- ↑ Blacknet System detailed. Retrieved on June 25, 2011.
- ↑ Makuch, Eddie (January 31, 2012). Prototype 2 Radnet Edition includes 55 DLC drops. GameSpot. Retrieved on December 10, 2012.
- ↑ Prototype 2 Radnet Edition Content: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved on December 10, 2012.
- ↑ "Prototype 2: Here come the bad guys". Retrieved on 26 February 2012.
- ↑ "PROTOTYPE 2 Comic Adaption". Retrieved on 22 January 2012.
- ↑ "Prototype 2 Plot", vg247, April 21, 2011. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
- ↑ Hatfield, Daemon. "Prototype 2's Blacknet Program", IGN, June 3, 2011. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
- ↑ "Nigiller's Briefing". Retrieved on 19 August 2011.
- ↑ Prototype 2 EGMI Issue. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
- ↑ Falcon, Jonah. "Prototype 2 Displayed". Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
- ↑ Tarren, Jamie. "Prototype 2 EGM Review". Retrieved on 4 June 2011.
- ↑ "Blacknet Facebook App". Retrieved on June 25, 2011.
- ↑ "Prototype 2 goodies". Retrieved on 1 August 2011.
- ↑ Good, Owen (2011-11-04). There’s a Free Prototype 2 Minigame on iTunes Right Now. Kotaku.
- ↑ "David Fracchia's Interview". Retrieved on 7 February 2012.