How customizable is Alex?
Tim Bennison: The short answer is... a lot. Alex can customize himself in many different and powerful ways. First, he can consume and 'become' anyone he sees in New York City. The gameplay implications for this are huge, as it enables Alex to disguise himself and slip away into a large crowd, and thus evading capture from incoming military forces.
Alex can also mix-n-match his biological weaponry and sensory powers anytime he wants. For example, if the player has the Claws and Armor powers equipped, they can do a running jump off a building, and, before even hitting the ground, Alex can shape-shift into a 65 year-old jogger. Voila - the heat is off, the military loses you, and you can continue your mission. The trick is to ensure no military or Blackwatch personnel spots you during the consume transformation itself.
We know the plot is very much under wraps. Can you expand on anything about Prototype's story that isn't in the official press release?
Tim Bennison: It's always hard relaying a lot of information about Prototype's story without ruining the key twists and turns. One thing we can reveal is Alex's one true ally he can turn to when the game begins, his sister, Dana. Dana is a journalist, so her access to case files, historic information, and leaked data proves to be a big help for Alex in his search for the truth.
Prototype has been in development for a few years. Tell us about some of the things that have changed since you first showed it, and tell us why they were changed.
Tim Bennison: Due to its open-world nature, we knew we had a really huge task in developing Prototype, so we took advantage of the longer development cycle to bring our initial conception and game vision to life. Polishing graphics and A.I., tweaking missions, balancing enemy types - all of this combined is what will truly make Prototype stand out.
Once the gameplay was ready for focus group testing, some of our earlier ideas needed to be scrapped. One such idea was that Alex would be able to shape-shift into small animals, such as a New York sewer rat. We can make it official right here and now in the pages of PSM3 magazine - playing as a sewer rat is absolutely no fun when you can be a guy as powerful as Alex Mercer.
You've got some famous names doing the in-game voices. Why did you choose guys like Barry Pepper to be in Prototype?
Tim Bennison: Barry really nailed the tone and nature of Alex Mercer. Once we got him into the studio and listened to the audio takes, it was quickly obvious that Barry would be a great voice talent for the role. He has a frightening intensity in his voice that suits the character perfectly. It's been quite fun to see the fans try to figure out who's behind Alex's voice from our trailers.
Finally, what are the main influences of Prototype?
Tim Bennison: We are big gamers, movie buffs, and comic-book fans here at Radical; we're generally influenced by many IPs from these media, both main-stream and obscure. Open-world games are not easy to develop, but we think there's plenty of room to experiment and try out new game mechanics and story structures within the open-world format. Our animation and free-running elements introduced in Hulk: Ultimate Destruction provided a basis for these mechanics. With Prototype, we bring the idea of an "anti-hero" to the forefront and try something totally different in the sandbox format with our conspiracy-driven, thriller structure. Prototype allows gamers to kick ass in a thousand new ways, such as throwing military soldiers through the windshields of attack helicopters. :-)
Now that's comprehensive,
Have a great night