I actually hate pretty much everything Prototype 2 does with the story, and while some people say "who cares about Prototype's story? It's a dumb action game," I actually thought that the first game was pretty intelligently written and had that nice mystery angle with the Web of Intrigue.
My main problem with the game is simply the characters. I can't stand any of them. Blackwatch really only has two types of characters; douchey funny characters (anybody remember "brah" man? That guy's a laugh riot, isn't he?) that are incredibly annoying to listen to (though I'll admit that I had a soft spot for Starnes; he made those tedious undercover missions a bit tolerable,) and characters whose only role is to show you just how ruthless and evil the big bad soldier men are. I found Heller himself to be incredibly generic and I quickly grew tired of his one-liners every time he consumes a mission target. He also really plays up the "stupid tough guy" stereotype far too much; the mission where he has a fit over computers was just irritating. Guerra doesn't really have much character to speak of, and Dana's presence in the game feels kind of forced; you don't have to tie up EVERY loose end. I mean, after all, they only referenced Pariah once in the entire game, so why couldn't they keep Dana as a surprise for Prototype 3? Maybe she could have been researching Pariah in the meantime and be a key piece of that game's puzzle?
The only character I actually liked was Sabrina Galloway. Why? Because her motivations actually made sense. I felt that for most of the game, Heller's quest was actually pretty aimless. The game was supposed to be a revenge story, but Mercer quickly redirects Heller's attention to Blackwatch, and most of the game is spent on a problem-by-problem basis where Guerra just calls you up and says "hey, Blackwatch is up to something, go stop it" and you don't really seem to be achieving anything until you go to the Red Zone. It also gets to the point where Heller goes completely out of character and just goes on missions to murder annoying soldiers who talk about him over the radio, what an asshole!
Galloway tried to make the best of a bad situation and get out; quite frankly it's probably what you or I would do, and I appreciate the realism. Another thing that annoyed me was how instantly-hostile Heller AND Dana were to her, even though she was acting as you'd expect of a person in her position, caught between Blackwatch and Mercer.
Unfortunately, much like Heller's OOC moments, Sabrina goes crazy at the end and first suggests ruling the world with Heller (why would you think he'd go for that? Who'd want to continue working with him? Again, seriously, the dude's an asshole) and even goes back to Mercer, completely throwing out her ENTIRE REASON FOR EXISTING IN THIS GAME, and gets killed for it. Great writing!
Something that bothered me about Radical's approach to the franchise is something they said during Prototype 2's development (unfortunately I don't have a source and am too lazy to look for one.)
They said that people didn't like Alex in the first Prototype because he was "too mean."
What? Too mean? Have you seen what players do when they first get their hands on this game? They look for the oldest granny they can find, so they can piledrive her off of the Empire State building!
The thing is that I feel that their justification for creating Heller is hypocritical. I mean, a common complaint for Prototype 2 is that it's literally the same as the first game. Both are revenge stories; Alex Mercer wanted to kill the people who turned him into a superhuman, Heller wanted to kill those responsible for the death of his family. Both ended up doing stuff for the good of the populous, both had contacts to do research for them and handle civilian matters, both had a rivalry with one of the higher-ups in Blackwatch, it goes on.
I guess the turning point is really Rooks vs. Alex's girlfriend. There was that one scene in the first game, totally optional if I remember right, where you simply went into a building and killed Alex's girlfriend for selling you out. On the other hand, Heller doesn't actually want to kill Rooks if he doesn't have to (though he was fine killing his second-in-command! How about that?) and Rooks actually relates to Heller as a father (I still don't like Rooks because he's such a generic soldierman but I do like those last two-three cutscenes with him)
In the end, I feel that Heller still goes out of his way in normal missions to kill dudes for rather simple offenses...While I can't remember enough of the original Prototype to say if Alex did the same or not, I don't think there was any reason to create a new protagonist and make Alex the bad guy. (For the record I feel that Alex was actually a good guy from start to finish in the first game, but his powers kind of force his hand, you know? He's kind of a tortured "dark hero" or whatever you want to call it. I still dig that scene where Dana first sees his powers and you can tell that he's ashamed of them, and it's fitting that the game ends with him accepting them.)
It seems that their way of making a more likable protagonist was actually to make a completely UNlikable antagonist, hence the constant disgusting audio logs from Blackwatch soldiers, and Mercer constantly coming by to tweak his dastardly moustache at you.
I think the core problem is that they felt that every game has to make you the good guy, right? People liked the first game because it really let you go on a power trip. Even Spider Man games where you get the Black Suit powers, you're still on a "spectrum of goodness." Being a bad dude could have simply been Prototype's thing; even though I think of Alex as a good guy, I'd rather have SOMETHING original compared to Prototype 2's complete rehashing of the first game.
Last edited by Taiyz; 05-03-2012 at 04:03 AM.