When two games with similar themes come out it is inevitable that there will be comparisons between them, and this happened in 2009 when Infamous and Prototype were released a month apart. I played both games for the PS3 console and initially put them into one section with one after another. The Prototype game have been put together in a package so I bought them both, as for Infamous, Second Son was a PS4 exclusive but none of the PS3 games have (as of yet) been released for the PS4 console.
I have played both games titles and they naturally had their pros and cons. The Infamous games have gone on to have multiple titles in its franchise whereas Prototype has been limited to the original game and its sequel with little to no DLC released for either title. Both games are now available for the PS4 courtesy of the Playstation Network and whilst I have downloaded them the following reviews are based on the versions of the games that I played for the PS3.
However, if when I play them there are any differences between the PS3 and PS4 versions I’ll update the reviews with additional information.
Date Posted: 22/07/18
Since I played Bioshock to death I wanted to have a little break from the world of Rapture before I dived back in to Bioshock 2. I have numerous games in my game library and decided to play Prototype, a game I had for the PS3 back in 2009, and one I downloaded with Prototype 2 in the Biohazard Bundle several months ago.
I did a full review of the original game and initially put it side-by-side with my Infamous review, as the two games were very similar. I compared the two to each other frequently in their reviews. I think one of the reasons that I may have rated Prototype so highly was because Cole McGrath got overwhelmed A LOT by enemies. Grenades would land precisely on his head or enemies would set off a rocket launcher in his face killing him instantly, whereas Alex Mercer of Prototype was capable of taking numerous rockets to the face, he could dodge around enemies like lightening, and could hijack tanks and helicopters whenever he chose. His health could regenerate on the fly and he could scoff down various variants of plentiful enemies to restore his health. If Mercer is caught in a tight spot he can hightail it up the side of a building, putting some distance between himself and his enemies in order to regenerate or replenish his health, so he can return to the fight. Alternatively he can morph his appearance to evade his pursuers and get out of trouble by hiding amongst them. Cole would get shot in the back if he tried to retreat so going from one game in which my super-powered character (Cole) could get so easily overwhelmed by ordinary groups of men with guns, I enjoyed being able to turn around and slaughter anyone in Prototype that looked at me funny.
The Infamous games developed into a bigger franchise with sequels and spin-offs so I eventually separated my Infamous and Prototype reviews placing them in their own sections.
Had I been reviewing Prototype now I may not have rated it so highly…
When I played the game recently I wasn’t comparing it to Infamous anymore, I was comparing it to Saints Row IV, and there is no comparison because Saint’s Row IV is a far superior sandbox to Prototype.
So perhaps the title is more fitting than it first appears, because the game itself is a Prototype for a newer kind of super-powered sandbox. Not surprisingly some things work and have been adopted by other games, and some things didn’t so have been lost to gaming history.
Now me being me, when I loaded up Prototype I wanted to get as many or more trophies than I got when I played the game on the PS3, so that was a goal I set for myself. The majority of these trophies I would be able to get through just playing the game, one trophy for example was shooting down 20 helicopters in a single flight, a side mission involved shooting down as many helicopters as possible so simply shoot down as many as you can (I managed 17) then stay in the vehicle and fly around the city shooting down three more and job done.
Unlocking the Web of Intrigue just meant keeping an eye on the in-game mini map for the Consume icon to pop up as I charged around, and when it did, grab the target and consume them…again just by being aware of your surroundings those trophies would not be too tricky to get either.
So I was confident that I would be able to equal the trophies that I got before, but two of the ones I didn’t get was getting Gold (and then Platinum) in all of the side quests. I think the first time I played the game I made a token effort to do the side quests, I maybe had a couple of tries, if I failed then I just moved on to the next one. In the game the side quests only rewarded you with XP so it doesn’t really matter if you do them or not.
Personally when I unlocked the Blade Power I tended to use that against standard enemies, and bosses. I also upgraded Alex’s whip fist which enabled me to sky-jack helicopters. The other powers didn’t really have much of a look in so I upgraded those as and when I happened to have the XP to do so.
So whilst I was aware that there wasn’t much point or need to play the side missions I didn’t pay it much attention. In my review I focussed on the fast-paced action of the story missions, and for the most part had a blast playing through them (especially when I did the +game mode).
This time around I have noticed far more problems with the game when trying to complete all of these side quests.
There are five or six variations of side missions: Run through markers within a time limit, fight as an ally of the military to defeat infected or fight as an infected ally against the military, consume targets within a time limit, destroy a base or hive, and precision landing on a certain spot.
The Military Consume had three variations, infiltrate a base to consume someone inside, consume a series of targets in a time limit, and consume scientists to locate Karen Parker. As the difficulty level increases you have less time to do the mission, or more chance of being spotted or whatever, generally though I could do these missions within a couple of tries. Plus there was a purpose to do them; you unlock more nodes to the Web of Intrigue giving a greater insight into the history of Hope, Idaho and current events. Alternatively you consumed enough scientists to learn the location of Karen Parker so you can track her down.
Sadly the others have no purpose to them.
In Saints Row IV doing all of the race challenges for example and getting a silver medal in each unlocked a new ability, getting gold unlocked a new outfit, so a silver got you the upgrade and gold got you something cosmetic. Prototype simply gives you more XP for getting a Gold, but as you can complete the game easily using a couple of Powers and abilities, additional XP is not enough reason to do them.
Alex Mercer’s powers enable him to sprint at high speed, jump up skyscrapers, he can unlock a glide ability and double jumps, all of these things are a great help to you when tearing your way around the city or get yourself out of trouble if you’re forced into a corner. Unfortunately if you are trying to perform a complicated series of jumps, and glides to reach a marker in a set time, increased speed, glide and a double jump ability are going to hinder your progress more than help. The amount of times Alex would over jump his objective or suddenly dart forward when I only needed a fraction more forward momentum to get me to my goal, resulted in me rage quitting numerous races in order to return to the main story or outright turning the game off. It is incredibly difficult to get Alex to move in a slower, more precise fashion when everything about his movements is designed to be quick. Plus the markers that Alex must reach are glowing green spheres, and the next one only shows up on your radar when you’ve collected the current one. So for longer challenges you can’t look at your map or pause the game to work out your best route to success because you have no idea where the next marker is going to be until it appears on your map. Sometimes it might be behind you, other times above you, and precious seconds are wasted swivelling the camera trying to lock onto it before you accidentally send Alex hurtling off in the wrong direction. Plus the markers themselves seem to have trouble deciding how close you need to be to them for it to count as you reach them, more often than not certain markers would record you sprinting a few feet wide of them as reaching them, whilst others stubbornly refused to recognise your presence unless you ran through their centres. In pretty much every driving game that I can think of including GTA: Vice City (a game from 2002) the race markers were semi-circles that covered the entire road so as long as you weren’t outside of that range then they counted as you passing them. For something that is already difficult because of the design of Alex’s movements adding small waypoint markers pushes the races dangerously close to becoming un-win-able.
After trying and failing numerous times to do some of the side quests I finished the game and opted to start again on Easy Difficulty in a +game. I figured that this would enable me to do all of side quests I had been struggling with in the same way that dropping the difficulty down in Saint’s Row IV made impossible missions possible. I quickly realised that playing the side quests on easy makes no difference. You have no greater time, enemies don’t seem to die quicker, and so playing the game on Easy makes no difference to the difficulty of the side quests. I guess you could say that locking the difficulty as it is regardless of the game’s overall setting means that people cannot do what I attempted to do but if I have to drop the difficulty level down to make the missions beat-able then surely that means they are too difficult to do in the first place.
I don’t mind a challenge but failing over and over and over again without making any noticeable improvement seems to suggest that succeeding or failing is more down to luck than anything else. I don’t like games that rely on luck. Not being able to kill enough enemies in an allotted time because the game doesn’t spawn them fast enough is a design flaw with the game itself and not with the way I am playing it.
Compared to other games, even ones that were around prior to Prototype the flight mechanics often fall into the woefully bad category. There is a heads up display in which you can select from 3 different weapons, a machine gun, rockets, and stinger missiles. The machine gun overheats almost as soon as you press the fire button, the rockets move so slowly towards the enemy that the target will have time to move out of the way, watch the extended cut of Lord of the Rings and only if they return to their former location will they actually get hit. The stinger missiles are better but the auto-lock on has a very bad habit of locking on to passing leaves rather than the enemy helicopter bearing down on your position.
The auto-lock on is a problem in all of the fighting mechanics with the system deciding that an unarmed and shambling member of the Infected posses just as much threat to you, as a tank, a pissed off mutated Hunter, or some other giant boss-type enemy that would like nothing more than to paint the walls with you.
Naturally with a sandbox game there are collectables around the map (glowing orbs that do nothing but give you XP for collecting them), but unlike other games I could mention there is no way to highlight these collectables on your mini-map. The game doesn’t register if one has entered your field of view, they are simply about and you have to find them, 200 of the damn things. I have gone round a map hoovering up collectables before and if they had shown up on my map or I unlocked an ability to detect them (like Cole can with Blast Shards in Infamous 2) I would have taken the time to find them all. Sadly there is no such ability and whilst I did load up a guide on the internet on where they all are, the map locations were not precise enough to be of much use so I quickly abandoned trying to find them all. Perhaps I could find a better guide but if I am have to look for an online guide to find them, then maybe they should have been easier to find.
Overall whilst I would say that the game is still fun, it is becoming just as irritating, I know that there are ridiculously hard games out there like Dark Souls or Cuphead that pride themselves on squashing you flat the moment you start the game, but even a boss that takes you fifty tries as you learn its patterns is preferable than a challenge that only allows you to succeed if the game feels like it.
I have been thinking long and hard during this article whether I should erase my original view of Prototype because at the time I thought it was brilliant and any dodgy game mechanics did not bother me because I was just playing it for fun not to unlock trophies. Now however, having grinded through the side quests and have finally been able to get Gold in the majority of them I know that it is still going to take me ages to complete the others because success is down to luck rather than skill.
Yes I am only competing against myself, and yes if the game had no trophies I wouldn’t be bothered about the side missions. But why are side missions generally such a grind?? All open-world sandboxes fill their maps with various side activities for you to do if you want, if these make you better able to play the game by unlocking more skills or toys or are just fun then I will happily spend hours doing them. But when they serve no other purpose than to fill a sandbox with something else to do beside the main story that have little to no reason to actually play them, I begin to question why they are even there.
I may consider the topic of Side Missions in a later article. For the moment I have to say that if I was unfamiliar with Prototype and was playing it for the first time (so not competing against myself for trophies) I would probably still rate it pretty highly, simply because I wouldn’t have bothered with the side missions. But now I am forcing myself through them I have to say that the tedious grind, the repetitive nature of the missions, the game tying my hands by forcing me to meet a specific criteria is dragging my opinion of the game down.
Whilst I would still give it a somewhat shaky Thumbs Up, I would definitely have seen the side missions as a blot on the game’s scorecard.
I will keep my original review of the game which will ultimately go below this one once I move it into its proper section. Rating the game when just focussing on the fun stuff justifies the score that I gave it in that review, however, if I had been trophy hunting then, I would probably have scored the game a couple of points lower than I did.
Date Posted: 05/04/15
Open world sandbox, super powered character trying to figure out what is happening to them, sound familiar?? It should because I am hoping you’ve read my Infamous review above this one, and if you haven’t, well, go read that then come back and you’ll know what I am referencing. Unlike Infamous which was released a month prior to Prototype, in this game you have access to the entire city right from the off. This game was released in 2009 and stars the ultimate anti-hero and powerhouse Alex Mercer
There are going to be inevitable comparisons between this and Infamous, that cannot be helped, but I will try to keep the two games as separate as possible. I am looking to review Prototype as a standalone game as much as possible and judge it on its own.
Let’s not beat around the bush, we all want to know what is happening so that I can crack on with talking about the game play, side quests, characters and so on, so what is the gist of Prototype…?
You play the role of Alex Mercer a man who wakes up in the morgue with no memory of what has happened to him. He has been granted phenomenal new powers, he can run faster than most cars, charge up walls, absorb people and their memories, and as the game goes on he develops more incredible powers.
As you progress through the game Alex pieces together what has happened as an infection steadily grips the inhabitants of New York turning them into mindless monsters, clashes with the military who are trying to regain order and battles with other super powered characters.
There is really not much else to talk about regarding the plot, you are super powered, you have no memory and you are set loose in a huge sandbox city in which you can do as you please. There is a radial map that indicates objectives and as usual in this kind of set up there are side missions and quests that you can do as well.
Similarly to Infamous I have played the sequel to Prototype, creatively named Prototype 2 several more times than I have played the original game. As I had played Infamous before playing this one, I was comparing the two in my mind, what I found to be great fun with this game was that unlike Cole who could get overwhelmed by bad guys very easily, Alex Mercer is so over powered that human enemies and even tanks are little more than irritations. This can be considered a good and bad thing because a character that is this powerful it is difficult for them to have enemies that are of any significant threat. Still, I found it a welcome change, in Infamous and Crackdown, being super powered and having to run from waves and waves of bad guys is infuriating, being able to turn around, and slaughter everyone who looks at you funny doesn’t stop being fun.
Another point in the game’s favour is that unlike Cole McGrath, Alex Mercer is never anything less than a stone cold killer, yes there are occasional moments when he comments on the civilians around him but considering he consumes people to regain his own health it is very difficult to see him as anything other than a remorseless killer. You know what though, this is a good thing, Cole being either good or evil depending on your choices was interesting but as the game did not really know what to do with its own concept because when playing as evil Cole the majority of the cut scenes don’t make a whole lot of sense. In Prototype Alex Mercer can and does tear through waves of enemies, and rip tanks apart with his bare hands all the time keeping focussed on the story without a half-baked are you going to be good or evil thing.
The powers are more varied than in Infamous and it is pretty easy to gain xp, therefore fully upgrading Alex and charging around with him having full access to all his powers means that you are not running around trying to find enemies to kill for xp, or exploiting loopholes which happened with Cole in Infamous.
A point against Prototype is in its setting, we are in New York again, and unlike Empire City which is a new creation that can borrow elements from anywhere it wants, in Prototype you are running around in a city that already exists. Okay, I am not saying it isn’t fun, but where is the creativity?? Alex Mercer running around in a concrete jungle is fine but why couldn’t we have a huge map like in GTA: San Andreas that incorporates deserts, beaches, mountains and so on. But no, boring ass New York, and so unlike Infamous where there are huge structures to scramble around on, in Prototype there is nothing so interesting so having powers is great but there is not the scale to really play around with what you have.
Of course, being a sandbox there are side quests, some of them make sense and will grant you xp whereas others don’t really make sense. Why would Alex Mercer do race quests?? Or why the hell would he waste his time running up the side of the Empire State Building then power slamming all the way down to hit a target before a timer runs out?? Context people, that is what I am talking about, a mission that Cole undertakes in Infamous at least makes sense, it grants xp or more powers but race quests in a game like Prototype just don’t seem to fit within the game’s world. Also why would he be running around on top of buildings collecting various…well…collectables but again they are only there to give the player something to do.
The graphics are not as polished as they could have been and a lot of the city will “pop-in” as you run around. The graphics of the decaying city also lack textures that would have made the city feel more alive rather than a background setting for Alex to disinterestedly run through.
There are down sides to Prototype but it has one massive point in its favour that Infamous sadly lacks. This is the ability to do a +game. I have said before that for me the replay value of a game goes up immensely if you have the ability to keep your stuff during a subsequent play through. Restarting the game with all of your biggest and best powers makes the lesser enemies even more trivial but you can actively go and hunt larger bad guys to give yourself more of a challenge if you feel like it.
All in all Prototype is great fun that is let down by some graphical issues and a lack of focus in the side missions. Alex Mercer is a stone cold killer, and I have no problem with that. I like the character and being able to turn around and slaughter anything chasing you is always entertaining.
I feel if I give Prototype anything less than a Thumbs Up will be doing it a grave injustice.
8.5/10 – Alex Mercer is a remorseless, powerful killing machine and you know what that is a real breath of fresh air. The game is relentlessly fun and to play a character that is a complete badass is as enjoyable as it sounds.
Date Posted: 05/04/15
Released in 2012 Prototype 2 returns the player to the world of the Blacklight virus, and presents a very different version of New York seen in the first game. Alex Mercer is back but this time you step into the shoes of new protagonist James Heller who must uncover the truth behind a new virus outbreak.
Last time around we saw Alex Mercer saving New York from a nuclear weapon before disappearing into the sunset. 2 years later the virus that decimated New York is back, and solider James Heller returns home from Iraq to find his wife and daughter dead. He hears that Alex Mercer is responsible for the new outbreak, so after swearing revenge for the death of his wife and child, Heller joins a patrol in the Red Zone. He encounters none other than Mercer himself who infects Heller with his own variant of the virus.
Heller wakes up on a surgical table, escapes and is subsequently told by Mercer that the virus outbreak has been blamed on him and he has nothing to do with it. Heller is confused and decides to discover the truth about who is behind the outbreak and take his revenge.
The promotional material for this game all pointed towards the fact that this time you were going to be playing as a new protagonist. Like I said in my Infamous 2 review, any characters that have superhuman powers it is always going to be a challenge to find enemies capable of fighting them. Infamous 2 opted to take Cole’s powers away, and Prototype 2 goes for a third option which is to play as a new character. The other problem with promotional material is that it gives away a key element of the story immediately.
Look at this…
Now does this look like Heller and Mercer are going to be buddies??
A number of the trailers for the game promoted the idea that we were going to see Heller Vs Mercer, there was even a trailer which had the tagline, Murder your Maker. So what was the point in giving us a build up of one thing and then suggesting that Mercer had actually been framed by Blackwatch? Admittedly when I was first playing the game I thought it could be interesting, throwing the fans a curve ball, and actually we were going to see two super humans teaming up to take on a corrupt government organisation. Yet this idea is thought up, and then dismissed pretty quickly, with evidence discovered that indicates that yep, Mercer started the outbreak after all and Heller is going after him for revenge. So…what was the point in doing it?? I am also a little unsure as to exactly why Mercer infects Heller when Heller attempts to slit his throat and stab him to death when he [Heller] first encounters Mercer in the Red Zone. If you are indirectly responsible for killing his family is it not a tad foolish to give him powers that rival that of your own??
Game play wise it is pretty much the same as before, you build up powers, unlock better ones and so on.
The enemies are a little more evolved and the city itself has been separated into three areas, Green, Yellow and Red Zones which you get to visit as more of the game unlocks. Mercer has been busy during the two years and is starting to create his own race of people infected with his variation of the virus. You also have to contend with various military groups as you untangle the web of lies surrounding the outbreak and the fate of Heller’s family.
In the first game Alex Mercer made no apologies, he was stone cold bad and nothing was going to stop him from getting to the truth about what had happened to him. They give Heller a more sympathetic back-story but strangely do not try to humanise him any more than that, he is out for revenge, plain and simple. He doesn’t care about the civilians around him, and will quite happily gobble them down to replenish his own health. How are we supposed to be on his side and how are we supposed to sympathise with his pain if he is quite happy to sacrifice anyone and everyone to get revenge. I liked Alex Mercer because he is so unapologetically the anti-hero, but I am not sure what Heller is supposed to be, is he the wronged man out for revenge? Or is he a selfish asshole who would push a dozen people under a bus if it meant he protected himself and his family?? Honestly I have to say that I don’t like Heller, he is selfish, cold, cruel and yet we are supposed to be sympathising with him when having him team up with Mercer would have been far more interesting.
In this game the moral choice thing would have made more sense, give the player the option to team up with Mercer if they want or to fight him if they so wish. That would have given us a much better game. Either be an unapologetic badass like Mercer or give us a protagonist that is using their powers to either focus on a quest for revenge or let us use those powers to help those around us.
Stick a pin in the character of Heller for a moment, what is truly great about Prototype and Prototype 2 is the +game mode. The powers are easy to unlock with you never being short of xp, but starting over with your full arsenal is always great. It is fun to charge around the city destroying what you will, when you feel like it, unfortunately because this time you are locked to one area at a time the game lacks the pace of the previous one. Having to sneak into a military base in order to hitch a sneaky ride to the next Zone breaks flow somewhat and whilst we are in New York again, I am not sure exactly how New York has been separated into three island Zones.
I do like the game but I don’t like Heller, as by the end he has so much blood on his hands that he is no better than Mercer. Either make a character an anti-hero or don’t. Don’t try to make a character that is both because it just makes them come across as an asshole that you don’t want to see win. I’d rather the cop-out of Infamous 2 in which your powers are removed than switching to a new protagonist that you know is going to have to fight and kill the character you liked from the previous game…that is not a spoiler. You have to fight Mercer and as Heller is the main character guess who wins their battle?? It is a real pity because I’d much rather have played as Mercer again, fortunately, one of the things you can unlock is a skin for Mercer so you can at least look like him in the game play if you want.
Regrettably it seems that the Prototype series has come to an end and we are never again going to set foot in this world, which is honestly a shame. There were a lot of things that were implied which never went anywhere, a character named Pariah was mentioned in Prototype where it was stated that it “[would] be very bad news” if Mercer and Pariah were to ever meet. Why?? Exactly who is Pariah?? I’d like to know and further more if there was a Prototype 3 we could play as Mercer again, as Heller consumed him, could Pariah not extract him from Heller, which would give us a chance to rebuild our powers as Mercer??
Despite my complaints I still like playing a super powered human that gets to hurl enemies soldiers at helicopters like they are tennis balls but Heller is not a worthy successor to Mercer. Now whilst I don’t like the cop-out of taking their powers away by comparison I preferred that Infamous 2 did this and let us play as Cole again rather than keeping Cole super powered and sticking us with some brooding misery guts that is just completely unlikable.
The powers you can play around with here are dragging my Thumb Up despite my complaints and whilst the player character is a dick, the game is fun, and it is a pity that it seems unlikely we are ever going to step into this world again.
7.5/10 – The powers are the best part about this game, but it lacks the freedom of its predecessor and whilst it is undoubtedly fun I would have rather played as Mercer again
Date Posted: 02/09/18
Radical entertainment has now gone the way of the dodo and it seems likely that they have taken the Prototype franchise with them. The first game introduced us to Alex Mercer, a character so powerful he could probably have given Godzilla or Superman a run for their money in a fight. In the sequel he was consumed in the game’s climax by James Heller who then destroyed the virus that Mercer had been trying to spread.
I played both games recently and whilst I felt the need to do a retrospective of the first game, there was not much more I needed to add to my original review of Prototype 2 so did not do a retrospective for that too. I could have talked about the side quests and how they were more relevant, and more fun to do, so picked up after the overly tedious side quests in the first game. Aside from the side quests I really said everything that I wanted to say in my review.
My question was whether Alex Mercer was supposed to die at the end of the sequel.
If Radical entertainment had not gone down the plug-hole was a Prototype 3 ever going to be a possibility??
After the events of the first game Alex Mercer dumps a nuclear bomb into the ocean and attempts to get clear of its blast radius. He is unsuccessful and is caught in the blast. However, he is able to fully regenerate from a pool of bio-matter after consuming a crow. So we know that he can completely heal himself even if he is only a pool of bio-matter as long as there is something for him to consume. That something doesn’t need to be human-sized. In the final fight with Heller, Mercer has his blade and whip-fist sliced off, and following that both of his arms are pulled off by Heller. He is then consumed. Characters die when they are consumed by an evolved, but if Mercer could regenerate from a pool then couldn’t he regenerate from his severed arms??
Also in that final battle his arms are sliced or torn off but Mercer himself is a duplicate of the original Alex Mercer who was recreated by the virus at the genetic level. The ability to create a blade isn’t in his arm it is in his genetic make-up, he is able to alter his body to form a blade, or a whip, or whatever, so severing the limb shouldn’t prevent him from forming that weapon.
During the game when Heller proves to be uncontrollable Mercer decides to simply kill him, and attempts to consume him but Heller’s DNA is too resilient and he is able to resist the process whilst melting off part of Mercer’s arm. That arm later regenerates. If Heller’s DNA is more resilient than Mercer had anticipated wouldn’t he also become immune to its effects, or absorb its effects if he was blended with Heller on a genetic level??
So if Mercer was unable to regenerate himself from the parts of his body that were severed from him during his final fight with Heller then could he extract himself, or consume Heller’s mind from within??
I mentioned in my review of Prototype that Elizabeth Greene had a child codenamed Pariah, which was never seen in game. It was also said that it would be really bad if Mercer and Pariah crossed paths. I wondered previously if Pariah would have the ability to extract Mercer from Heller and if such a thing was possible that could be how the story continued in the future.
Admittedly Mercer’s character became more of a power hungry megalomaniac in the sequel who was talking about creating a New World and so on, which turned him into a bit of a cliché. However, think of a world in which humanity are connected by one mind, and one body, those made up of the virus have no bones, no organs, they can regenerate almost immediately and can survive impossible falls...don’t suffer from cancers or other debilitating diseases. Mercer lies to Heller about his intentions regarding the virus but what if he had told the truth and said that he was planning on using the virus to create a race of super-humans, wouldn’t that be something worth exploring?? Admittedly Heller is such an asshole that he probably wouldn’t have even considered the possibility anyway but creating a world of Evolved could have been quite interesting.
The question of whether Mercer is alive or not, to me is open to debate, Heller may have consumed him but it doesn’t mean that a part of Mercer couldn’t regenerate from his own genetic material cut from him by Heller. He might be extracted from Heller by Pariah for reasons that would not yet be known, or he might consume Heller from within taking over his mind and body.
It is a pity that Radical has closed its doors because there was a lot of potential for the Prototype franchise, sadly, like Dead Space it seems unlikely that we are ever going to find out whether Mercer is alive except in fan fiction.