Prototype 2: Why the hero isn’t just a “generic Caucasian guy”
Blank-faced, shaven-headed Caucasian protagonists are everywhere in games these days, so it’s truly refreshing to see Prototype II fronted by Heller, a hero of African-American origin. Even so Radical studio head Ken Rosman told us that this ethnicity was something no other journalist “wants to touch” during an interview in the current issue of Official PlayStation Magazine.
Rosman admitted the character was originally white. “We started off with an amalgamation of Hugh Jackman and Clint Eastwood, and the resulting render looked remarkably similar to James Marsden – so we were like ‘Okay, scratch that one out’”.
Heller’s evolution in Prototype 2 was apparently a gradual one, “As we were going, there was something about a concept sketch of some ethnicity or other that wasn’t just the the generic Caucasian guy and we were all drawn to it. We started riffing on that character and ended up with Heller.” It’s nothing to do with race however, with Rosman adding, “It’s more about conveying the stature, the position and swagger of a hero”. Activision’s MacLean Marshall also says, “Skin colour is obviously involved and that’s where we ended up but it’s not where we started”.
You can read the full interview as part of our Prototype 2 feature in the latest issue of the mag which is available through a number of subscription offers where you can also nab a free gift. It’s also availible on Apple Newsstand and you can now pick up a digital copy for £3.99. There’s also a range of offers for 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions. You can also get Official PlayStation Magazine UK on Zinio.