E3 2011: Activision Has PROTOTYPE for MODERN WARFARE

E3 2011: Activision Sequels

 [See all our E3 2011 coverage at our index page!]

Activision skipped the big crazy spectacle for this year's E3 in Los Angeles, California, but that doesn't mean they didn't bring major triple-A titles with them to the show. While we've already previewed X-Men Destiny and Spider-Man: Edge of Time, two sequels also had closed-door presentations to show off new gameplay and give hints at their new stories.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The Call of Duty name, on its own, means a lot. Put that on a game, and it will sell in record numbers: both Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, the last two games of this now-yearly franchise set entertainment sales records, not just video game ones.

With that said, competition for Modern Warfare 3 should be stiffer than the last couple of years. With a major new addition (that's getting a lot of hype) to EA's Battlefield franchise, Activision's dual developing teams can't just rest on their laurels. Unfortunately, we didn't really see anything new in the closed-door presentation that says they're not.

It's not that the presentation was bad, or that the level design, controls, weaponry, or action didn't look cool. It did; it just also looked a lot like Modern Warfare 2. The sequence that was shown in the Microsoft Press Conference, featuring a squad under water infiltrating a submarine, came off as an underwater version of the snowmobile sequence from MW2. Showing that again to kick off the demo seemed an odd choice, and didn't do much to kick off the "wow" factor.

The demo showed another level, but it was again more of the same. Now, more of the same of the best-selling franchise two years running may not be necessarily a bad thing, but it is a little bit disappointing. The game still looks like it'll look good (but not as good as some competitors), play well with tight controls and a gameplay style people are well used-to, and deliver big Michael-Bay-esque explosions and action sequences. It's just unfortunate that we've seen it all before. The locations do promise to be diverse, with events happening worldwide, and it's in a world where basically the war has been lost and now you're trying to move forward from there, so hopefully that exciting-sounding story will bring enough new to keep the game going. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ships November 8, 2011, hopefully with some surprises up its proverbial sleeves. 


[Prototype 2]

A couple of years ago, a game was released featuring a parkour-running superpowered man who was struggling to figure out his powers – and himself – in a world that seemed like everyone was out to get him. No, we're not talking about inFAMOUS, though that came out around the same time as [Prototype]. As similar as the games sounded in their core pitches, they wound up being quite different, with [Prototype] going down a much darker road, leading Alex Mercer into a deep personal hell. As you progress through the game, it becomes more and more clear that you may not be shaping a misunderstood hero or even anti-hero at all, but instead be shaping the world's worst super-villain.

With the sequel, Alex Mercer is still around, but this time that's exactly what he's become. He is the villain of this story, and newcomer Sgt. James Heller is the character you're in control of. Heller's wife and daughter were killed by the virus from the first game, and his new altered biology is out for revenge.

In addition to a new lead, the city is laid out differently with three distinct zones to describe areas of the city: Red, Yellow, and Green; these are also keeping the general chaos, business and residences, and military apart from each other. New moves will let you wreak havoc in bigger ways than before, with devastating area attacks like Biobomb and the Black hole attack taking out massive groups of enemies. You'll acquire new abilities and upgrades through "mutations" to boost Heller along the way.

With new powers, you'll need new enemies to fight, and Radical Studio promised plenty. We saw a couple of big enemies (or what we thought were big) like the Juggernaut when we went into a lair. By the time the demo had ended, and introduced us to "Tiny," a new disgusting female behemoth, it was clear that this game seeks to outdo the first in big ways.

While this was a pre-alpha build, many of the new features were already in place. Heller's movement was already smoother than Mercer's from the first game, and the massive attacks were fun to watch. The game's not due until 2012, so there's plenty of time for lots of polish, but this is already looking like one fine action-adventure.

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