is set in an open-world post-apocalyptic New York, known as New York Zero; a city struggling to cope with the outbreak of the deadly Blacklight virus. There is only one person responsible for the outbreak of this virus: Alex Mercer, the protagonist from Prototype (Xbox 360)
Alex Mercer was a brilliant scientist who worked for Gentek prior to the initial Blacklight viral outbreak in NYC. He worked directly on the Blacklight virus, increasing its deadliness by 1000%. When news-leaks threatened the security of their work, Blackwatch closed the Blacklight project and ordered the entire staff killed. Mercer stole a sample of the virus and escaped but was later cornered at Penn Station in NYC. Rather than surrender, Mercer smashed the vial. The Blackwatch soldiers gunned him down and he was pronounced dead.
Mercer's body was infected with the stolen virus and was soon reanimated, albeit with complete amnesia. The Blacklight virus granted him super human abilities. He worked to discover his past and later saved the city by defeating Elizabeth Green and foiling Blackwatch's attempt to nuke the city and its citizens. Afterwards, he left NYC and observed humanity, pondering his own status amongst them.
Mercer's plans for the Blacklight virus are personal to him and he does not seem to care about the human cost of those plans. He has killed and infected innocent people without a care. The only people for whom he has ever shown affection were his sister, Dana, and his ex-girlfriend Karen Parker. He later killed Parker after she betrayed him to Blackwatch.
Is Mercer a hero or is he a villain? This will only become apparent when players can finally get their hands on the game. What is certain is that players will not be assuming the role of Mercer. Instead, players will take on the role of Sgt. James Heller.
Sgt. James Heller was a US military soldier who lived in NYZ during the first Blacklight viral outbreak and was stationed in the Middle East during the second outbreak. His wife, Colette, and daughter, Maya, were caught in the initial outbreak and killed. Since Blackwatch was claiming that Alex Mercer caused the outbreak, Heller signed up for a patrol in the infected Red Zone, hoping for a chance to murder Mercer and avenge his beloved family.
Heller has military training. Before he lost his family, Heller had a joyful life. His relationships with Colette and Amaya were close and loving. When they were killed, Heller was a man transformed: he grew grim, rude, and impatient — a dark mirror of his earlier personality. Even so, he is kinder and more sympathetic than Alex Mercer. Heller's goals rarely or even convincingly exceed his own personal desires.
There is one problem though. When Heller finally manages to corner Mercer, the latter's superpowers mean that Heller is completely overwhelmed. Mercer injects Heller with the virus, but his reasons for this are currently unknown.
Heller also now has superpowers, and one of these has been adapted for an exclusive pre-order bonus for North American players who purchase the game at GameStop
in the US or EB Games
in Canada. The Bio-Bomb Butt Kicker is a new take on one of the new viral-powered abilities: the Bio-Bomb. Ken Rosman, Studio Head at Radical Entertainment, explains more:
Butt Kicker is a fun twist on Heller’s already over-the-top new Bio-Bomb ability. Rather than just throwing enemies once Heller has infected them with the Blacklight virus; Butt Kicker allows Heller to drop-kick punt them across the map, turning enemies into projectiles that rain down devastation from above.
Other pre-order bonuses are yet to be confirmed. Prototype 2
is due to be released on April 24th, 2012 in North America and April 27th in Europe. A release date is yet to be confirmed for Australasia. If you'd like to see more coverage of this game, you can find all of the trailers, screenshots and information roundups here