Interview with David Fracchia, Vice President of Radical Entertainment
We ask if helicopter-smashing gets any better. And other things as well.
Sitting down with David Fracchia, Vice President of Radical Entertainment, and having a good old chat about the Prototype series was definitely the highlight of going to London to get my hands dirty playing Prototype 2. This might sound a bit odd to some of you, as a trip to London is nothing to scoff at; but in fairness, it is very rare in today’s world to sit down with somebody who is so passionate about a singular project.
With Prototype 2 Radical Entertainment have unleashed something of a hell fuelled beast with a redesigned engine; spit shined and straight forward storyline; a revamped fighting system; and a new character that literally has the word ‘Hell’ in his name.
What more could you really want from a game? Well read on and find out what’s on offer.
Can you tell us a bit about the storyline of Prototype 2?
It’s now 14 months later and there has been a second outbreak in Manhattan which has essentially taken over an entire zone and because of this it has been quarantined and separated from the entire world. With these new outbreaks happening, we see Blackwatch moving in and setting up their headquarters in Manhattan, and set up refugee camps in the park. Of course they then start realising that they can’t safely have their headquarters in the red zone and move it into the green zone and quarantine that whole area off from the world.
Remaining survivors from the red zone are moved into the yellow zone and are kept in a quarantined camp. They weren’t going to move them into the green zone as these remaining survivors are infected. Now because Blackwatch is a pretty nefarious organisation they think for the most part that the population there (the yellow zone) is doomed anyway, and they start experimenting on them.
It all starts to kick off with Heller, who was in the Middle East when the second outbreak occurred, gets back and finds that his family has succumbed to the virus. At that point, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, he just singularly decides he is going to wipe out Alex Mercer. He knows the military side of the story, and it’s essentially how the second prototype begins. You’ve got Heller being reinstated into the red zone and all he wants to do is kill Mercer or die trying and that’s how we start the game.
Well the truth is we actually started another project after the first Prototype game, so actually as we were finishing Prototype we were starting another project, and you seeing as Prototype was a brand new area for Activision, we didn’t know how well it was going to do originally, and of course with the recession we weren’t sure how well it was going to do. But then of course it sold so well, and with Prototype’s success coinciding with the other project being cancelled we started developing Prototype 2. This was roughly about a year after the release so far we’ve only been working on Prototype 2 for 2 years.
Oh so you’ve really only been working on it for what could be considered a normal amount of time for a sequel to come out, right?
Exactly. Of course, we’ve still taken our time and made it into a great game.
(laugh) Do we get any questions answered in the new game? Let’s say, questions about the virus itself or Blackwatch’s motives?
I don’t want to give any spoilers of course, but certainly there were a great number of holes that were left by the previous game and you know there are some bits and pieces that could be filled, but I don’t really want to go over them unfortunately. We’ve really tried to keep the focus moving forward and keep the story progressing. Anything that we are going to reveal from the past will be something that is going to really affect and change the course of the game. I mean have you played any of the game so far?
Yeah. I’ve played through a bit of the story mode.
Well then I guess you’ve already seen that there is some interaction between Heller and Mercer that already changes the course of the game and the course of action which Heller takes?
Yeah, I did! It was very (at this point I made a strange gesture with my arms to show my excitement). Seeing as we’re on the topic of what I just played, I noticed that the cinematic scenes seem to have a comic book art type of style to them. I would even go as far as to say that the cinematics reminded me of Sin City, especially with the flashes of colour. Can you explain the reasoning behind using this kind of style?
Yeah, well our art director really wanted to pick an art style that has a certain emotional tone. I mean the story is a dark story and yet what was interesting about the virus, its denoted by this red colour, you look at Mercer’s jacket and you look at Heller’s jacket and they’re really that kind of red and greys and we really took that style and put it into our FMVs because it really seemed to have that strong viral and emotional impact. So it was very much an art direction. Chris himself hasn’t initially said Sin City from what I remember, but I imagine Sin City and other comics that have taken tones like that; those have had an impact on him for sure.\
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