“Do gamers want better experiences, or more?” That was the question posed by Prototype producer Tim Bennison as he showed off the game to a GDC audience. “We wanted to provide more, and see if that led to new experiences.”
“A lot of games are doing the same thing better,” said Bennison, who wanted his game to offer a wider scope of possible actions for gamers. He saw FPS games as not making much ground now that graphics were at such a high point. “Open World Gaming” was held up by Bennison has being “the medium” in which the Radical team was working.
It wasn’t until the demo of the game, as played by designer Alex Holmes, that showed us what Bennison meant by all this. The game was The Hulk meets GTA, dosed up with ultra-violence and Parkour running. The lead character could rip the lid off tanks and pulverise the passengers, run up the side of buildings, knock over trucks and cars, or even use bio-weapons to cause flesh spikes to burst out of the ground. The demo ended with the character fighting helicopters, mutants, commandos and out-of-control vehicles in a maelstrom of carnage in the centre of downtown New York. The room exploded into applause.
The movement engine, which allows the super-powered shape-shifter protagonist to leap and skip his way across New York city, showed it’s full potential when the character managed to run up the slope of a truck that had been knocked into the side of a building and then bounce from that onto the roof of a nearby building. Breathtaking, and framed with shocking violence against helicopters and the people in them.
“It’s Tom Clancy meets Stephen King,” said Bennison.