Gametalk 7: inFAMOUS 2 vs [PROTOTYPE] 2: The Correct way to make a sequel

I have on my tabs Zombie and some character lists that I wish to post but at the moment, I want to talk about some games so I want to get this down first. My summer is gonna get a little busier so I will try to get…something done. Oh yeah, I’m just making a wishlist page too, so you have to hear me talk about the same stuff I want in the game/anime world.

Today, I’ll be talking about the conflict between the two fanbases between the games infamous and Prototype. These two games were released in the same timeframe and because the two games featured a similar gameplay style (guys with superpowers in an open world game), the two would naturally come into conflict, but I will mostly be talking about the sequel of the two games and the deciding factor on how the sequels changed things for the better.

and of course, spoilers.

Back in 2009, Suckerpunch released their comic-book-noire superhero game inFAMOUS exclusively in the PS3 market. The following month, Radical Games released the dark-conspiracy-anti-hero superhero game [PROTOTYPE]. Both featured a hero in a distressed city where your character is somehow given abilities to combat the madness spreading across the streets. Allow me to summarize the two games very fast

inFAMOUS starts out with Cole Mcgrath, a bike courier who delivers a mysterious package into the heart of Empire City’s largest district. When he arrives, he finds out that the package is a freaking bomb, and like any bomb, it explodes right in his hands. He wakes up later in a blazing crater, finding himself at the epicenter of the blast. Cole leads himself out of the smoldering ruins and meets his friends, Zeke and Trish, on the other side of the bridge. However, lightning somehow begins to strike down the bridge and Cole passes out. Cole wakes up and finds out that he can shoot lightning out his hands. He goes on to explain that the explosion brought along more trouble than it should have. So because of the explosion, a mysterious plague breaks out in and the U.S government decides to put the city in quarintine. With this, gangsters start running wild and the police are suppressed under fear of death. Cole sees that it is his time to clean up the city with his newfound powers, or become an “evil dude” himself to enforce his claim. The box quotes up the aspect of the game, “Save what’s left, or destroy it all”.

[PROTOTYPE] starts out in a more…brutal fashion as it starts out with Alex Mercer waking up inside a morgue in daze. He finds himself with scientists preparing an autopsy. Alex breaks out and finds soldiers outside. As Alex attempts to sneak away from the troopers, he finds out that he has recieved strange abilities that augment his strength, agility, and endurance. He escapes the helicopters and finds himself with no recollection of who he as. Due to another ability of “consuming” other people’s memories, he finds his way to his house. There, he is assaulted by the military once more and after he kills them all, he decides to get to the bottom of this targets key individuals of the government to find out about himself and the events the lead to his powers. He infiltrates the military-lock-downed facility Gentek and meets a lady in containment named, Elizabeth Greene. Alex frees her but he doesn’t realize that she is also infected with the “virus” he also carries. Manhattan is put into quarantine as a special ops force, Blackwatch is deployed to the city to combat the creatures that Elizabeth Greene has let loose on the city. Alex takes it upon himself to stop the infection and find out who he really is

Both have to do with guys getting an extraordinary power through strange means and their city falling into a state of chaos BECAUSE of the event that gave them their powers. As the games progress, the heroes find allies, make enemies, and obtain new powers. So in short, they are very easy to compare to one another, but before moving on to the main bulk of the spoiler filled next section, I would like to point out the actual idea of “being the hero”, because I believe that inFAMOUS wins in the “hero” department.

Cole here has a choice, and that is made pretty clear. Alex however, needs to eat some biomas to survive

While the two games have their style of getting around the helpless town and fighting the evildoers, the biggest factor is being “the hero” for the respective city. Around this time, Arkham Asylum wasn’t out so a superhero game was still quite the delicacy if ever found. inFAMOUS has something that Prototype does not have, and that is the morality system. inFAMOUS made it very clear of the existance of the morality system as it is one of the key gameplay features that it provides. Being the “good” hero will award you with blue lightning, a cleaner (more brushed up) outfit, and more accurate shots while being the “evil” hero will give you red lightning, a more street (dirty) look, and more destructive shots. The game had multiple events that allowed you to be a good/bad guy and that affected the Karma meter. Good actions like healing people and capturing enemies giev you good karma compared to beating random people and draining enemies for energy for bad karma.

In Prototype however, the developers made it clear that Alex was an anti-hero. How so? Well he gains knowledge and information by KILLING and EATING other people and he needs to EAT PEOPLE to gain health. The unconditional role of a hero that these two characters are put in makes inFAMOUS’ Cole, a little more appealing as the actual “hero”. I’m pretty sure I would feel a little sorry for the guy who tried his best to save the city by healing civilians and beating bad guys without casualties compared to the guy who robs military personnel of tanks and firearms to wreak havoc in the city and gaining health through consuming innocent civilians.

Well enough of that, to make a long story short, I would give my favor to inFAMOUS. But this fight was back in 2009, and the sequels of these two games would be released in 2011 for inFAMOUS 2 and 2012 for Prototype 2. I will begin to break down the two games and explain which game is the superior sequel.

Let’s start with inFAMOUS 2 that was released 2 years after the release of the first game. The game puts you back in the shoes of Cole Mcgrath and gives you a new city to either remain the hero/villain you were in the first game, or turn a new leaf and become a better/worse person. Back in the first game, the last boss prophesized the coming of an cataclysmic entity bent on destroying anything it gets its hands on. Cole who was either the tyrant/hero of Empire City vows to become strong enough to face “the Beast” when the time is ready. However, the Beast shows up earlier than expected and Cole goes to face him. While Cole seems to have the upper hand, he realizes that he is too weak to finish off the Beast and retreats. However the Beast strikes back one more time to drain Cole of his powers. Cole escapes and his friend Zeke carries him to get to the city of New Marais, a city where Cole might find the chance to develop more powers.

So the game starts out with a good enough reason to have your karma meter back at neutral and because the Beast drains some of Cole’s powers, Cole is limited to his more “basic” skills. Because this is talk on “sequels” and how the sequel SHOULD be superior to the original, allow me to point some problems in the first game that were addressed in the this one.

inFAMOUS was widely regarded as a great addition to the PS3’s library of games. Some problems plagued it from achieving the coveted perfect score from reviewers. Here are a few problems and awesome points I personally found in inFAMOUS: First off, the city was kind of boring. Yes, there were people who waved at you or threw rocks at you but other than that, there weren’t too many things you could do other than side missions at actually made you feel like a hero. The city’s texture and buildings were overused and I always saw the same graveyard, gas station, ports they had at each edge of the city. While the karma system did have its good points for playing the game twice or giving you some “feel” for the game, the moral system itself was kind of “lacking”. It was either being the good guy or just a complete dick and a cutscene always have a “neutral” dialogue “option” unless a bad/good act was done immediately before. Powers were kind of lacking as they had some cool abilities but not too many worth mentioning

For some positive points, inFAMOUS did sport some fun ways to travel around city with the climbing ability and Cole’s little “flight” power. The story was intact and the controls were tight as hell and it was a solid game mechanics and story-wise. I am just nitpicking at the above paragraph but oh well, it will come to play very soon

I see that  inFAMOUS 2 as one of the best example of a sequel, unlike every other Call of Duty and sports game that get updated every year…

Well, how does Prototype fare?

Prototype in my opinion, was really a Prototype, Why? The game felt, unfinished…The city looked incredibley dull, the moving (aside from the parkour) were choppy, combos weren’t really combos, and the game just didn’t feel refined compared to inFAMOUS. I mean, the story and cinematics were all good. As much as Alex is an asshole for eating people to keep himself alive, he is still a nice character. In the end, Alex makes it clear that he wants to eradicate the virus from Manhattan, while killing some annoying Blackwatch personnels. However, the comics that are set between the first and second game and try to explain why Alex is evil in the 2nd game. Basically, a few corrupt people who kill eachother and this hoebag basically turn Alex into a maniac who ushers in the 2nd outbreak of the virus.

I personally think Alex’s reason for switching sides is kind of weak but it sets the stage for a new protagonist that takes Alex’s places as the “good” guy, this man, is James Heller. Heller is one hell of a violent person as he cusses almost every other word. Heller’s moveset is similar to Alex’s whipfist, blade, hammer, claw, etc. While some new moves exist, the old choppy movement and enviroment returns with no humongous “update” whatsoever. Heller himself either portrays a man who has completely gone insane/hell bent on revenger for the loss of his family or was always this violent but never showed it to his family. I personally had a connection to Alex who I spent a large amount of time wreaking havoc in the first game, and I didn’t feel so hot going against him in this game. I mean, it makes up for some epic confrontation, but I don’t really feel so much for Heller as I did for Alex. If anything, I wanted Prototype 2 to be about Alex figuring out what happened to PARIAH from the first game. The first game was alright, but it wasn’t amazing. Prototype 2 doesn’t really “wow” me because, I will admit, they did nicely in the stuff that made the first game entertaining. Killing shit is fun but when the old problems are not addressed as much as the good parts, it’s kind of lackluster to see that it’s basically the first game only with a minor update.

To be honest, I expected a lot more from Heller’s character. In inFAMOUS 2, Cole actually went through a lot of emotional distress and considerable character development throughout the story. I really thought that Heller would be more of a compelling, more driven character than Mercer was in the first game. Heller had a past, and he worked by himself to bring Alex down. You would think that years of military service would allow him to make more tactical and complex character. The only thing military service has given him are a set of violent trashtalk and

As I have mentioned, a sequel should be superior to the original and inFAMOUS 2 nails that in 90% of the right places. inFAMOUS 2 brings around more powers for both the good and evil playthroughs and a few awesome super moves that can screw a bunch of enemies in an instant. The city itself doesn’t seem to repeat its own buildings (compared to the first one) and it is a vibrant city that has considerably more landmarks than Empire City and has a more, lively attitude. One of the main new features are the random occurences that happen around the city. People getting mugged, bomb threats, special passerbys, and random attacks make the city feel more alive. You are constantly stopping gangsters or terrorizing all who stand in your way and because powers come through doing specific things (like stunts) you are always busy. But they STILL had Cole seem kinda neutral during cutscenes and playing a neutral route will cost you powerful abilities. Storywise, it’s still the same (the neutral part at least, the story was pretty awesome). If you clear the game twice with different karma routes, you can unlock all powers which is freakin awesome.

Both inFAMOUS and Prototype entertained me back in 2009. But as their sequels came out, I was more enamored with what was done with inFAMOUS 2 than I was with Prototype 2. inFAMOUS 2 improved onto the first game with better graphics, diversity, more powers, and some serious character development. Prototype 2 while providing new powers, characters, and some new content, was not as the powerful sequel.

Zombie and more crap coming up, sorry 😛

2 thoughts on “Gametalk 7: inFAMOUS 2 vs [PROTOTYPE] 2: The Correct way to make a sequel”

  1. hahaha what a a super coincidence i just finished prototype 2 like less than 10 min ago and i come here and what do i see? unlike most people i prefer heller than mercer but i have never actually finished the 1st prototype game 1 so GOGO buy play prototype 1

  2. Yeah. The inFamous storyline is stronger, the character’s are more fully drawn and in the alternate universe where I make movies instead of doughnuts I’m more likely to adapt inFamous into a cinematic Opus. Yet… Prototype is a hella fun time killing stuff. It is so obviously an Incredible Hulk re-skinning with Crackdown used as some kind of template. I dont care. Glide, kill, transform, repeat. It’s a kind of “Story? Daddy Crackdown didn’t have one of them fancy sto-rees and he did just fine!” So they threw a government conspiracy and magical virus at you and hoped you wouldn’t care cause you got to kill stuff. And yeah, Crackdown had two sons, but only Prototype got a driver licence.

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