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GDC: Prototype 2 Kicks Things Up a Notch
Can Prototype 2 right the wrongs of the original?
It's no secret that the original Prototype's release was met with tepid reception from critics. With a sequel in the works and slated for a 2012 release, developer Radical Entertainment is looking to learn from the mistakes of the past.
In Prototype 2, players will take control of Sgt. James Heller, a man who has lost his family to the heinous virus that infected New York in the first game. The game's first protagonist, Alex Mercer, deems him a worthy successor, subsequently infecting him with the virus and making Heller his own genetically evolved "Prototype."
In the April issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, a few members of Prototype 2's development team shed some light on the new game, confirming that they're looking to take the same open-world, action adventure backbone of the original Prototype and polish it up, making the story more digestible for a wider audience.
One complaint from the first game was that the story was too convoluted to keep track of. One way they're trying to fix this in the sequel is by taking the same conspiracy-heavy story and adding one driving goal throughout the game for players to focus on. This one goal is summed up in the game's slogan, "Murder your maker." In other words, Prototype 2 will, at heart, be a tale of revenge, pitting Heller against Mercer in an epic showdown. Mercer will act as a larger-than-life villain who is, at first, far too powerful for Heller to overcome. Over the course of the game, Heller will eventually gain enough power to finally have a shot against the former-protagonist.
Another step Prototype 2 will take to simplify the experience will be to make it more structured and, in some ways, more linear. While the game will still be open world, certain things will be altered or removed to make it easier for players to progress. The Move Store, for instance, is being taken out entirely. Instead, Heller will acquire new moves during the course of the story, such as by defeating enemy lairs, which are hidden throughout the world. Clearing out different lairs will give players a variety of new powers and abilities, all of which will be physically manifested on Heller's design (for instance, you can upgrade your blade to be bigger and sharper).
The game is also introducing new moves that seek to change up the pacing of the game, including more thoughtful, strategic ones like the sonar ability, which allows you to get a rough estimate of where certain targets are in the world. The development team also wants to ensure that, this time around, all of the open-world content relates back to the main story and main characters in some way, hopefully making for a more cohesive experience than in the first game.
More detail is also being added to the world itself, expanding on the basic model of New York City from the first game and even adding more advanced AI. The tendrils that grow out of your arms can also be used for more massive destruction this time around, allowing you to not only attack enemies with them, but to also ensnare large objects like tanks and other vehicles.
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