THE FIRST Prototypeproved there’s room in the games market for new ideas. For a fresh intellectual property to go on to sell over 2m copies after arriving in 2009 – during a recession – shows that developer Radical Entertainment and publisher Activision must have done something right. And now they believe the sequel can sell as much as 4m copies worldwide. Prototype was well received by critics for its blend of superhero powers and sandbox-style third- person action gameplay, but drew some strong criticism from gamers for its somewhat unlikeable protagonist Alex Mercer and sharp difficulty curve.
Developer Radical Entertainment has responded to this by creating a new lead character, former US sergeant James Heller, who must hunt down and kill Mercer. The studio has also made the gameplay ‘fairer’ and has given players the tools to cause more destruction, whether this is by flinging enemies off the ground, blowing up tanks or even turning them into organic super weapons. In fact, it’s Prototype 2’s bigger super powers which Radical’s studio VP Dave Fracchia believes are the franchise’s key selling points. In short, he says it delivers ‘the ultimate power fantasy’ to players by making them “feel like a f*cking badass”.
REVENGE MISSION Prototype 2follows the story of Heller, who blames the death of his family and seeks revenge on mutant Alex Mercer.
It’s set over one year after the events of the original Prototype, where the Blacklight virus was unleashed in Manhattan.
As Heller progresses through the streets of New York Zero and its three separate game areas, he can take on new forms and abilities such as an arm blade. This helps him take down hordes of infected and the military on his quest for revenge. Radical says it wants to bring more consumers to Prototypewith this sequel by targeting the masses, not just hardcore gamers. By listening to player feedback and making several key gameplay changes, it’s well on its way to doing so with Prototype 2.
48 March 30th 2012
Activision is expecting very big things from its super power action sequel. Dominic Sacco finds out why it expects to sell around twice as much as the original