Release Date: 28-Oct-2008
Developed By: Radical Entertainment
Published By: Sierra
ESRB: Rating PendingOfficial WebsiteWhere to buyAdd review
Prototype is a video game developed by Radical Entertainment and based on an original IP developed in-house. The game is intended for release in the summer of 2008 for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms. The game is the first in a planned franchise.
The player controls the character of amnesiac Alex Mercer in New York City, with freedom similar to that of the Grand Theft Auto series and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, in which the player can visit most locations and interact with the environment while not engaged in missions. Alex will clash with the military's Black Watch Special Forces and the effects of a mutated viral epidemic as he works to discover the secrets of his past.
A key aspect of Prototype is the 'disguise or destroy' concept, which is tied to Alex's enemy-consuming and shapeshifting powers. Alex can consume the bodies of those he has killed, which gives him access to their memories, their experiences, and their physical forms. Alex can also shapeshift into more fantastic forms for attack, defense, or sensory enhancement. All of these together are intended to give players multiple ways to complete their objectives. Movement is simplified to allow more controls dedicated to shapeshifting, with Alex automatically navigating obstacles in a manner inspired by Parkour.
The gameplay in Prototype is centered around Alex's superhuman abilities. Alex has superhuman speed, strength, and durability, as well as the abilities of consuming his fallen enemies, shapeshifting his body, and easily moving in the New York City environment. Radical claims that there will be 750 "unique combinations" of powers.
The game Prototype will also feature Co-op multiplayer on PC, Xbox Live and Playstation Network. Both of the players will run around New York city as Alex Mercer, and 'disguise or destroy' together with a friend. Both of you don't actually have to look alike, depending on how far each of you have gotten and who you have consumed, Thus giving you the ability to change your appearance in various ways.
Several aspects of Alex's physique are superhuman. He is strong enough to lift cars or rip light posts off of their moorings and use them as close-combat or thrown weapons. Alex is faster than a normal car and can run right up the side of buildings. He can jump amazing distances, and can fall from great heights without taking damage.
When Alex consumes someone, he gains their memories, their body mass, and the ability to mimic their appearance. Consuming memories will help him unlock nodes of the Web of Intrigue and advance the story. He also consumes useful skills, eventually giving him the proficiency to pilot military vehicles and use various kinds of weaponry. Consuming dead foes and innocent bystanders augments Alex's biomass, enhancing his strength and his ability to morph his body into offensive or defensive forms. Each person he consumes becomes another form he can use as a disguise.
Alex's ability to shapeshift manifests in four different ways: Disguise, Attack, Defend, Sensory.
Disguise - To alter his appearance, all Alex has to do is "consume" a human victim, then he can assume their identity. At its simplest, changing his appearance makes Alex harder to track. More subtly, Alex can take advantage of the relationships NPC's have with the person he is disguised as. For example, when mimicking a military commander Alex will be able to infiltrate military positions without challenge, falsely accuse another person of being the Prototype, or call in air strikes.
Attack - Alex's body can assume nonhuman forms as well. Offensively, he can form clawed hands, bladelike arms, or hammerlike fists that are useful in close-quarters combat. He can also use a ranged attack which causes sharp spikes to burst from the ground and impale people and vehicles.
Defend - Alex can alter his body's defenses to resist damage or ward off attackers. Defenses include sharp spines protruding from his back, bulletproof plates, and a tough shield mounted on a forearm. He can even make his skin into an armor-like skin.
Sensory - Alex can adjust his senses to perceive things in the environment that normal humans would be unaware of. These senses include infrared, nightvision, and the ability to track individual enemies in a crowd.
These abilities can be mixed together to provide Alex with several powers at once. For example, Alex can maintain both an armored body and clawed arms to become a powerful melee combatant.
Movement in Prototype is inspired by Parkour and contributes to the feel of controlling Alex. Alex will automatically maneuver around or through obstacles, allowing the player to move him more easily with the simplified movement controls. In turn, the simplified movement controls allow more dedicated controls for combat and usage of Alex's powers.
Prototype follows the story of Alex Mercer, an amnesia-stricken experiment. As the game opens Alex finds himself on the experimentation table with absolutely no recollection of his past. The confused prototype emerges from an underground lab deep within the heart of New York City, only to discover that there is much more going on in the outside world.
With no knowledge of where he came from or whether he is even human Alex is forced to kill to discover his past and avenge what has been done to him. He soon discovers that he has the ability to consume the power of those whom he kills, taking their memories, skills, and even their appearance.
Above these new found talents Alex is suddenly thrown into a war between himself and two different powers. The Black Watch Special Forces, a horribly mutated virus-infected populace, and the prototype himself all wage war in the streets of New York City.
By interfering in conflicts between the game's factions, or even intentionally leading one force into another and triggering a fight, Alex can control the speed and spread of the virus.
The entire game is revolved around a giant conspiracy in which the developers explain is designed to reflect real world government secrets.
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