Radical Entertainment’s Dave Fracchia has said the team hopes Prototype fans like the new protagonist Sgt. James Heller and think him less of “a dick” than his predecessor, Alex Mercer.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Fracchia said he personally liked the rampaging scientist in the first game, but in order for him to appeal more to consumers, his character has been give a bit more attention and depth – something the firm’s VP of technology admitted Mercer lacked.
“Some people literally came out and said, ‘Man, Mercer was a dick!’ For me, Mercer was still pretty cool. I’m an ex-scientist myself and a thinking kind of guy. Maybe not so much a socio-path like he was,” Fracchia mused. “I like characters that are interesting.
“They don’t have to be good. In fact, most interesting characters are conflicted good and bad. Even Heller, he’s gone to the point of wanting to go after Mercer, so it’s almost like to the point with post-traumatic syndrome that it’s unhealthy how much he just wants to go after Mercer.
“He’s got his own depth and things he’s gone through. And of course, the loss of his family is a very dark thing to go through. We wanted an emotional connection. In many respects Heller’s more likeable because of his depth.”
However, with Mercer returning in Prototype 2, the team felt he needed an extra bit of depth as well, so players will get a chance to peek into the inner workings of his mind this time out.
“For us, it was just getting into better storytelling,” said Fracchia. “That’s what it comes down to. You have to have depth. The likeability comes from that depth. You could like characters that are, quote unquote, bad, because they’re not necessarily doing what they feel is bad, and they’re interesting.”
Prototype 2 releases in the US on April 24 and in Europe on April 26 for PS3 and Xbox 360. The PC version will be released July 24.