Heller's tendril attacks can devastate the biggest threats throughout a rebuilding New York in Prototype 2.
DETAILS: At its core, Prototype 2 is a revenge drama. Due to the infestation caused by Mercer in the first game, Heller lost his wife and child. Now the former Sergeant wants to "kill his maker" while attempting to eradicate the virus that has brought New York to its knees. To tell the tale, Prototype 2 brings players back to the city 14 months after the original game. What I've seen is only a vertical slice from the planned 2012 release. Prototype 2 takes some of the ideas from the first game and looks to build on top of it, adding more options to what the team calls "the Swiss Army knife" of protagonists. Heller's bag of tricks is similar to Mercer's--all the traversal abilities from the first return, for example. But, he's learned a few new things along the way. A lot of what was shown was tendril based. Heller can fire horrific strings of infected mass at enemies and objects in the world, string them up like Spider-man, and clear the area. In one instance I saw Heller take on two tanks, destroying them and stringing up nearby enemies in a matter of seconds. The new power screams inspiration from comic characters like Carnage and Venom. Radical reps told me they wanted to tackle a different kind of character. Mercer was "emo" and "passive" they say, referencing Mercer's uncanny and unfortunate ability to be both the most powerful being in the city and everyone's errand boy. Heller is different. He seeks out missions to gain information for himself. They want Heller to be driven and to use people as a "tool to get what he wants." It's an ambitious goal for a genre that usually resorts to giving heroes nonsensical quests to pad game time. According to Radical, the original game lost focus, throwing too much at the player without a good sense of pace. There was no middle road. Prototype 2 has been approached with a stronger focus on creating a balanced experience, I was told. My hope is that, while Radical attempts to pace the game more fluidly, it still offers the same level of action and power players felt in the original adventure. [Note: Shacknews had previously posted impressions of Prototype 2; however, the preview included story element errors. Shacknews revisited the game on the floor for the purposes of delivering a new, more accurate preview.] Watch the Shacknews E3 2011 page to follow all our coverage of this year's show. You can also subscribe to it with your favorite RSS reader.