There are three points I ended up not making in the Prototype 2 review.
THING THE FIRST
Y'know how fans bitched about the simplification of RPG elements in Mass Effect 2?
I feel rather the same way about my entitled bitching, when it comes to Prototype 2. One of the first things I say in the review is that "To understand how far Prototype 2 separates itself from its origins, you need to have appreciated Radical Entertainment's Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction back on the PS2/Xbox/GC."
I then go on to detail the dramatic differences between player choice in the two games, and while I don't implicitly state that Prototype 2's simplifications are a disappointment, it's heavily implied. That is, I suppose, because I do feel that nerdy, geeky entitlement - and because it is disappointing to me.
That said, it's important to note that, in this way, Prototype 2 does separate itself from its origins. This may be Prototype's way of sloughing off the expectations of fans and striking out in its own direction, taking with it only what the developers feel is necessary to provide the experience they have in mind.
Perhaps the problem with Prototype is that fans like me can't help but compare it to the sublime Hulk, and by distancing itself from that title, Radical is endeavoring to establish Prototype as a wholly separate experience.
THING THE SECOND
Change isn't necessarily bad.
Prototype 2, to me, asks what a player might think of it if they'd never laid hands on Radical's last two games. It's a gamer and geek's default state to rage against anything that fucks with our nostalgia - anything that's seen as taking away instead of adding - which Prototype 2 definitely does.
It may be, however, that Prototype 2's streamlining of mechanics and simplifications of strategy make it a better Prototype than the original, which hewed closer to Hulk's philosophy of more is better.
It's a much easier game to pick up and play. The mechanics are "(almost) faultless at translating player intention to onscreen action" - and that's one of the greatest things you can ask of any action game.
It's easier - more inviting, more comfortable - to just wallow around in Prototype 2's world, pissing off the military and getting into tussles with tanks.
After each mission, it's very hard to not hold down the jump button and go soaring off into the city, to see what trouble you can scrounge up.
So yes, it's simplified - but it totally maintains the fun factor.
THING THE THIRD
What the fuck, Radnet?
Radnet is Prototype 2's asynchronous multiplayer component. In Prototype there were a bunch of optional challenges in the game, which grant 'evolution points' to be spent on upgrading Alex Mercer. In Prototype 2, participating in these challenge ultimately unlocks in-game rewards in the form of mutations, abilities and skins. It also compares your best times and scores against your friends list, and advises you when a friend beats your time or vice-versa.
I have one largeish problem with Radnet's implementation. You can't just - as of today - go out and try your hand at all the challenges. They unlock in-game on a staggered calendar, with more challenges opening up between the game's release and E3 in June.
...what... ...why? What's the point of that? I just paid full price for your game, at release, and you've got part of the content locked off for the next six weeks.
Content, I might add, which was part in parcel with Prototype. These challenges are identical to the type you'll find in their last game - and the absence of ninety per cent of them at launch further suggests that Prototype 2 is a game with less to do than the last one.
Doubleyou tee eff. I don't get it.