Destruction is at your fingertips in Prototype 2, and you don’t have to work hard to conjure unbelievable chaos. Through streamlined controls, nonexistent difficulty, and a bevy of impressive-looking attacks, Prototype 2 transports you to a consequence-free world in which you can happily cleave soldiers and smash helicopters to your heart’s content. This relentless accessibility is Prototype 2’s biggest strength and weakness. With nary a moment of genuine challenge to be found, you sprint from one entertaining event to another, laughing at the delightful absurdity of it all. But without any barriers to overcome, there’s little sense of accomplishment. Prototype 2 isn’t the slightest bit novel, but it’s so utterly ridiculous that it’s hard to wipe that mischievous smile from your face.
In contrast to the devil-may-care attitude showcased in the majority of the adventure, the story does take itself seriously. A military force has quarantined a major metropolis under the guise of protecting citizens from a viral outbreak, but their occupancy is far from altruistic. In reality, they are conducting bioweapon research, and the people are just unlucky cattle being led to slaughter. It’s a morbid situation that makes it satisfying to kill your opposition–defense contractor Blackwatch–as you hunt down the higher-ups who ordered this atrocity.
The initial rush you feel when the central plot comes into focus dissipates as you learn more about the conspiracy. Evil stereotypes permeate the cast of characters, but even though there’s proper motivation to murder them all, you rarely feel as if you understand whom you’re tracking down. Scenes of redemption toward the end of the story breathe life into some of these individuals, but by that point you won’t even care what happens to the villains. While character development is lacking, the storytelling is interesting. Most of the dirty details surface when you consume certain people, and the flashes of memory piece together a terrifying puzzle about the inner machinations of power-obsessed heretics who rarely question their horrific actions.