Developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment and Activision, Prototype is an action game with a sandbox style of gameplay similar to Grand Theft Auto and Spider-Man. Set on Manhattan Island, players take control of protagonist Alex Mercer, a man with a mysterious past whose true nature is revealed through the course of the game. By performing various tasks in the game world, from story-driven quests to causing random destruction, players earn "evolution points" which may be spent on new abilities. These abilities range from simple stat upgrades to access to new shapeshifting forms.
The game opens with Alex Mercer awaking in a morgue, the doctors having believed him dead. Struggling against a painful case of amnesia, Mercer escapes the morgue in search of his sister, Dana. Working with his sister and other allies, Alex seeks to uncover his powers' origins as well as stop a mysterious viral outbreak that has also appeared on the island.
Unfortunately, Mercer is hindered by the United States military as well as the merciless Blackwatch. These black ops soldiers will stop at nothing to contain the virus and capture Mercer, even if it means destroying everyone and everything in their path. With martial law declared and an iron blockade isolating Manhattan, Alex has no choice but to confront both the viral monsters and the military forces at every turn, all the while uncovering the terrible secrets concerning the nature of the virus and the nature of his powers.
Prototype iterates heavily on Radical Entertainment's 2005 superhero game, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, with both sharing a focus on chaos and destruction. Locomotion is also similar, with both games' protagonists capable of running along the facades of skyscrapers and leaping hundreds of feet into the air. Augmenting Alex Mercer's superior running and jumping skills is his ability to " auto parkour". As long as he is running, obstacles in Alex Mercer's path are automatically leaped and flipped over, providing a single, fluid direction of movement regardless of the path taken.
Prototype also introduces new stealth mechanics where players may literally consume other humans and take their form, using the disguise for both evasion and infiltration. The act of consuming another being also replenishes Mercer's biomass, effectively turning any person into a health boost. In certain points in the game, consuming another being does more than just replenish health. Alex Mercer may also absorb the memories, skills, and even the personality of his victim, allowing Mercer to uncover story elements, gain new skills, and improve existing ones.
Alex Mercer possesses a wide variety of abilities, many of which require manual activation by the player. These active powers are separated into categories. At any one time, Alex may simultaneously equip one offensive, defensive, and visual power. His disguise power, however, may only be simultaneously used with visual powers. Intelligent use of these abilities allows the player to conquer any obstacle the game presents.
- Consume - Alex can absorb the biomass of the humans he kills into his body, replenishing his health. Larger, inhuman enemies may also be partially consumed once weakened. Alex can also absorb the memories of some of the people he consumes; consuming specific targets may improve combat skills or provide insight into various story elements, also known as the "Web of Intrigue".
- Regeneration - If Alex is injured and no longer receiving damage, his body will automatically repair itself and slowly regain health.
- Strength - With superhuman strength, Alex can punch through armoured tanks and hurl the resulting husks at helicopters.
- Speed - Alex can sprint indefinitely through oncoming traffic and straight up the sides of buildings.
- Glide - When running isn't the best option, Alex produces invisible filaments extending from his arms and legs, allowing him to glide short distances.
- Devastator Abilities - By possessing sufficient biomass, Alex may turn his body into a weapon of even greater destruction, hurling his form as ground spikes, airborne tendrils, or a single pillar of death.
- Claws - Each of Alex's fingers becomes a vicious claw. Although significantly more powerful than his fists, these weapons are still relatively weak in melee. However, they grant Alex the ability to send his claws underground, erupting violently underneath an opponent.
- Hammerfists - Alex shifts a great deal of biomass into his hands, transforming them into enormous bludgeons with which he can smash through the protection of armored targets or even turn himself into a human projectile.
- Whipfist - Alex's right arms transforms into an elastic, whip-like tendril with a terminal hook. The Whipfist is best used on multiple or distant opponents as well as latching onto distant obstacles and pulling them closer. Especially useful is its ability to latch onto helicopters to let Alex get close enough to steal them.
- Musclemass - Alex focuses his biomass into both his arms, drastically increasing his strength. While he no longer has access to special moves associated with other offensive powers, Alex's traditional combos and thrown objects now deal increased damage.
- Blade - One of the signature abilities. Alex's right arm transforms into a single elongated blade, deadly against both armoured and unarmoured opponents. Despite its shape, Alex is still able to grab and pick up people with it... somehow.
- Shield - Alex's left arm grows into a shield which extends to cover his front while he runs or locks onto a target, protecting him from damage. However, it can shatter if given enough punishment. It regenerates over time. It also disables his parkour abilities, in favour of holding the shield in front of him and smashing straight through obstacles.
- Armour Form - Alex's entire body becomes encased in an incredibly durable armour skin, reducing all received damage. Such increased mass, however, decreases Alex's mobility. He can no longer parkour or glide and his jumping ability is greatly diminished.
- Thermal Vision - Alex's visual senses attune to the infrared band, allowing him to more easily spot heat signatures through fog and smoke. Drawbacks include reduced visual range and a decrease in auditory feedback.
- Infected Vision - By connecting his mind to the viral hive mind that guides the infected, Alex sees the world as his enemy sees. Enemies become more brightly illuminated, and line of sight is no longer reduced. Auditory senses, however, are decreased to only a low rumbling at all times.
- Disguise - Alex shapeshifts into the form of the last healthy human he consumed (he cannot take the form of the Infected). Doing so has many applications, chiefly evading pursuers and using the shape of military personnel to infiltrate fortified military installations. If no alarm has been raised, Alex may even silently hijack vehicles without breaking cover.
- Stealth Consume - If no military personnel are watching, Alex may consume and take the form of an individual in one fluid motion without raising an alarm.
- Patsy - Only available while in military disguise, Alex accuses another soldier of being Alex Mercer, somehow instantly convincing surrounding allies to open fire on the luckless individual. This initially requires close contact with the victim, but can be upgraded to a simple point.
- Air Strike - Again only available in military disguise, Alex can radio in air support. Alex can only make so many calls, however, before he must consume a military commander to inexplicably restock the ability's uses.
- Jack Helicopters - Once Alex has consumed a helicopter pilot, he can steal choppers from their pilots by leaping onto them as they are flying through the air. He can then fly around freely and use the copter's full arsenal against his enemies.
- Jack Armour - Once Alex has consumed a tank driver, he can steal tanks and APCs by jumping onto them, wrenching open the lid and killing everybody inside. After that, he can freely ride around and he obtains full access to the tank's variety of guns and cannons.
Devastator attacks can only be performed when Alex is in 'Critical Mass'. In order to reach Critical Mass, Alex must consume enough humans or infected to overfill his health bar. The Devastator attack will relieve Alex of this over burden of health, and the results are usually worth it. Each of the devastator attacks has an Air version, purchased separately, that can be executed while jumping or falling.
- Groundspike Graveyard - A massive area of effect attack of spikes piercing out of the ground
- Tendril Barrage - Alex becomes the center point for a large explosions of tendrils that damage everything they touch.
- Critical Pain - The only devastator which is a directed attack; appears to be a horizontal tornado coming out of Alex.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows® XP (with Service Pack 3) or Windows Vista®
- Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4000 or better
- Memory: Vista 2 GB RAM / XP 1 GB RAM
- Graphics: All NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT 256 MB and better chipsets. All ATI Radeon™ X1800 256 MB and better chipsets DirectX®: Microsoft DirectX 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 8GB of free hard drive space
- Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compliant sound card
Xbox 360 Install
Prototype requires 6.8 gigabytes of free space on your Xbox 360 HDD. Installing the game will greatly decrease load times.