R&D – Prototype 2

Radical Entertainment’s 2009 release of Prototype was welcomed with open arms, even though it dropped a month after the fundamentally similar Infamous. Over 400 thousand people were happy enough to aid in its journey to reaching Platinum status (which it did fairly quickly) for obvious reasons. Being an open world game centered on a biologically enhanced anti-hero capable of scaling buildings and slaughtering entire military units in a fashion that brought to mind John Carpenter’s The Thing, none of this came as much of a surprise.

While that first game offered a significant amount of free-roaming and an abundance of opportunities to cause between-mission mayhem, it ultimately suffered for the same reasons it was a success. Players quickly grew tired of gameplay that had been exhilarating just hours before. It will all laid out on the table too quickly. Even with its fairly gripping story arch, the burning flame at the core of Prototype dimmed all too quickly.

The release of a second Prototype game is cause for excitement because of the things the dev team did well with the first. With the solid framework already laid, and a stronger idea of how to keep people’s interest, Radical Entertainment have the potential to release something truly great.

Well, the above teaser trailer for the second entry in the Prototype franchise was announced way back at the 2010 VGAs, and since then there has been a steady stream of videos and information released about the sequel. And with how long Prototype 2 has been in the works, Radical seems to be taking their time to ensure the issues from the first game don’t show up again; a fact that will benefit the game in the long run, but may have made the task of following the game’s development somewhat difficult. In order to free up some time potentially spent browsing the internet for information, here is what we’ve been shown thus far via trailers.

With the first proper trailer from July last year,  we are reintroduced with post-outbreak New York, and it is implied via newscast that conditions have only worsened in the 14 months since the events in the first game. Mentions of ‘sightings’ of the first games protagonist, walking biological weapon Alex Mercer, let us know that he is still around, and that the press seems to think he is entirely to blame.

Also, we are granted another look at Prototype 2’s leading man, Sergeant James Heller, shown in the original teaser. We’ve previously learned that Heller had returned from war overseas to find his family dead and his former home a warzone. Originally fighting his way deep into the eye of the storm seeking only death, something changed. He now possesses abilities comparable to Mercers, not of the common infested civilian.

Offering a quick re-cap of the events that transpired in the original Prototype, the second cinematic trailer also brings us further up to speed on what has taken place since.

Since the Manhattan outbreak of the Blacklight virus, New York (NY Zero, as it is now referred to) has been split into 3 different sections based on that areas level of affliction. The corporation responsible for the virus’s creation, Blackwatch, has covered up it’s malicious acts by placing blame on Mercer. His actions from the first game, typically based on saving the lives of innocent, are coated in a false sheen of malevolent destruction.

Also, at some point in the 14 months since the Manhattan events, Heller came into contact with Alex, who personally hand-fed him some yummy virus. We are shown footage of Heller acting out against Blackwatch military units in a fashion similar to his predecessor’s work, but with ultimately unknown intentions. Does Heller simply seek revenge against Mercer? Or will these emotions manifest into something far more frightening?

If the game manages to play on the successfully emotional tones of the trailers we have seen over the past year, it could all play out effectively. Activision games aren’t typically known for their ability to strike at the hearts of their players. However, based on what we’ve seen of Prototype 2 so far, it doesn’t seem that Radical Entertain knows this. We’ll find out this April.

Author: Dylan Thomsen Esquire

I put words together in ways that kind of make sense. I like good video games, boring music and awful movies.

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