Prototype 2 (stylized as [PROTOTYPE2]) is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game. 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. Versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released on July 14, 2015 alongside the first game as Prototype Biohazard Bundle. Separate versions of the games became available in August 2015.
The game features a new protagonist, James Heller, as he goes on a quest to destroy the Blacklight virus. The story is 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.
One year after the events of the first game, U.S. Marine 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 Blacklight 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 that Alex Mercer (the main protagonist in the first game) has now lost faith in humanity and begins chasing him.
Pursuing Mercer for vengeance, Heller is infected by Mercer with a strain that imbues him with similar superhuman abilities. After blacking out, Heller awakens in a Yellow Zone lab where Gentek scientist Dr. Anton Koenig and Blackwatch Col. Douglas Rooks are experimenting on him. Heller escapes from 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 Luis 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 confronts Koenig, who claims to be on his side and reveals Blackwatch’s super-soldier program, codenamed “Orion”. Heller prevents Project: Orion’s progress by killing a super-soldier who was injected with his DNA. After consuming one of the head scientists, Heller discovers that Koenig was observing him in order to find his weaknesses. Enraged at Koenig’s betrayal, Heller tracks him down, only to discover that he has powers similar to he and Mercer, 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 at Mercer’s deception, Heller sets off to the Green Zone to hunt down Mercer’s henchmen, 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 confronts him and the two engage in a fight. However, Mercer’s strength proves superior and he easily overpowers Heller. As Mercer attempts to consume Heller, a strange chemical reaction occurs, resulting in Mercer discovering he is unable to kill him due to his ‘annoyingly resistant DNA’, solidifying Heller’s status as a virus-human hybrid. Mercer promptly flees, and Heller receives a call from Father Guerra. Guerra informs him that a large horde of infected have amassed outside his apartment.
Heller arrives at Guerra’s apartment, finding only 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 Heller prevents Blackwatch’s second attempt to level Manhattan Island, Rooks takes Heller’s daughter hostage in Gentek Headquarter and locks it with an unbreakable door, but Heller consumes an Alpha Juggernaut and temporarily obtains the ability to control other Juggernauts. Using this new ability, he breaks the door.
Heller confronts Rooks, who reveals that he has a daughter of his own, and grants Heller free passage to leave NYZ. Before Heller can take Maya, Galloway arrives and kidnaps her, having joined forces with Mercer once more. Upon confronting Mercer, he reveals that he plans to solve international conflicts and world problems by infecting the entire human race, effectively creating a superorganism, with Maya’s unique DNA inherited from her father acting as the catalyst. After Mercer absorbs Galloway and the remaining Evolved, the two engage in a bloody duel, only for James to emerge victorious and to kill and consume Mercer, who says, “Welcome to the top of the food chain”, before dying.
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.