Radical Entertainment’s design director Matt Armstrong has explained to EGM how James Heller will be able to upgrade his abilities and weapons in Prototype 2, and as revealed at GDC, it has nothing to do with the Move Store.
Radical has not only decided to do away with the Move Store in the sequel to its 2009 action game, but change the way the game’s lead earns mutations and abilities. Rosman compared the Store to dumping a bucket of LEGOs on the floor and telling players to pick some. In Prototype 2, abilities are upgradeable and earned through underground lairs and from enemies as well.
One of the reasons the development team decided on the change, was due to a playthrough Matt Armstrong had after Prototype 1 shipped. He had just finished killing the first boss and 21 new abilities had been unlocked for him.
“My heart just sank,” he told EGM. “I just couldn’t believe we actually shipped with that. I cannot image there was a single player, even the most obsessive-compulsive player in the world, who would sit there and read through the descriptions for 21 different abilities and then figure out which one actually had the most value to them, let alone be able to apply it coherently within the game.”
The aforementioned lairs are just one way to gain abilities. These infected underground chambers will contain a sort of collectible, and players will notice when a lair is near by the light leaking upwards from the ground. Heller can lift up the debris in the area exposing the lair, and jump down into it. Once inside, he can consume entities present to upgrade powers and abilities. The example used in EGM was the upgrade of Heller’s blades, which became more powerful, and larger. The change was reflected not only by stats but esthetically as well.
Another upgrade described for the game was Heller’s sonar ability which will allow him to “ping” trenches, buildings, and facilities for human targets. This ability is needed to find the enemies, and will send a signal of sorts out across the area and return with the location of the target. This allows for the slowing of the action for a few minutes, as a mini break from the hectic pace – something Rosman chatted about during GDC.
Perks are gained through Black Net sets, and these mutations will have their own slots. Once a lair is completed, a mutation is earned and players can input it into an available slot. Similar to Call of Duty’s perk system, there will be a limited number of slots available to players, so you will have to choose wisely.
“You are always going to have more mutations than you have slots for, so you are going to have to make value judgments,” said Armstrong.
The April issue of EGM is available from newsstands now. You should go pick it up for more reading or try out the digital version.
Prototype 2 is slated for release in 2012 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.