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CES 2009: Prototype is 'all crunch, but no munch'

9:30 PM on 01.08.2009 // Nick Chester

It's been awhile since we've seen or heard anything from Radical Entertainment and its third-person, open-world action title Prototype. In fact, the last time we really heard anything new about the game was last year's San Francisco Game Developers Conference. And then when Activision got its claws into Sierra Entertainment, Prototype's former publisher, Radical Entertainment went dark.

Now, with the game shipping for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this summer and Activision Blizzard taking over publishing duties, they're ready to talk. Today, they've released new screens and a trailer for the game, which reveals a bit about the gameplay and story. More specifically, the game's lead, Alex Mercer, talks about how he can absorb the memories, abilities, and identity of anyone using his mysterious mutant powers. 

He's a mutant for sure, but he's no zombie. More after the jump.

I had a chance to see a live demo of Prototype today, sitting alongside Radical Entertainment's president Kelly Zmak as he showed off their goods. Zmak kept referring to this particular ability using the word "consume." Alex Mercer can "consume" his enemies, he said. Being a longtime fan of zombie films, I couldn't help but picture Mercer chowing down, tearing the flesh from the face of a soldier with his teeth. That's not the case. 

"Prototype is all crunch but no munch," Zmak jokes, assuring me there's no cannibalism involved in Radical Entertainment's game.

After seeing it in action, I get exactly what he meant. In one instance, Mercer snuck up behind a soldier, gripping him around the throat before tar-like tentacles emerged, wrapping around his prey. In an instant it happened -- the tentacles tightened, snapping the soldier, exploding him in a puff and splatter of blood. The soldier had essentially disappeared; Mercer had "consumed" him. 

Not quite the undead-devouring action I had pictured in my head, but violent and satisfying nonetheless. Who am I to complain? 

There are more details on Prototype, including impressions and details from the CES demo, to come. Stay tuned, or whatever it is people do to Web pages that's the equivalent of being tuned in to a television show.

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Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
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