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Prototype
PROTOTYPE.jpg
Developer(s) Radical Entertainment[1]
Publisher(s) Activision[1]
Engine Titanium[2]
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) NA June 9, 2009[1]
AUS June 10, 2009[1]
EU June 12, 2009[3]
Genre(s) Action (Sandbox)
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA 15+
PEGI: 18+
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Download
Input methods Sixaxis, DualShock 3, Xbox 360 Controller, keyboard, and mouse

Prototype (typeset as [PROTOTYPE]) is an action-adventure game published by Activision and developed by Radical Entertainment. The game was released in North America on June 9, 2009, and in southwestern parts of North America as well as Oceania on June 10, and was released in Europe on June 12.

The game is set in New York City as a virus infects people and the military attempts to put an end to it. The protagonist of the story is named Alex Mercer, who has enemy-absorbing and shapeshifting powers. He can take memories, experiences, biomass and physical forms of enemies through absorption. Alex can also shapeshift into more specialized forms for attack, defense or sensory enhancement. All of these together are intended to give players multiple ways to complete their objectives. Parallel to the game's storyline is the ability to play the game as a sandbox-style video game giving the player freedom to roam Manhattan.

Contents

Gameplay

Among the enhanced parkour feats Alex can perform are running up the sides of skyscrapers, jumping hundreds of meters, gliding through the air and sprinting at extreme speed indefinitely. Falls do not damage the player no matter the height, but greater ones will visibly deform the ground. Alex may use various weapons, seize and control military vehicles including helicopters, perform various melee attacks without shapeshifting, as well as more gymnastic moves such as air combos, sliding along the ground using any human enemy's body and a high-speed rolling cannonball attack. Alex can regain health by consuming biomass, though over time he can regenerate to a limited degree out of combat.

Alex's primary superpower is his ability to shapeshift, transforming parts of his body into a selection of martial implements acquired over the course of the game, either as purchased 'upgrades' or being given them. Offensive powers include the large and powerful Blade, fast razor-sharp Claws (which can also erupt large spikes from the ground), the telescoping Whipfist, Musclemass that augments his strength and Hammerfists. Defensive options consist of a large Shield that needs to regenerate after excessive damage, and a full-body Armor that exchanges agility and speed for sheer toughness; both will allow Alex to plow through most obstacles when active. Vision modes include Thermal, which allows Alex to see enemies through smoke and other obstacles, and Infected. Any combination of one defensive and offensive power each may be active, but will give away Alex's presence and drop a disguise if any is in use.

The most powerful attacks are the Devastators, which require Alex to be in Critical Mass - either a state of near-death or having excess stored biomass. These include the Tendril Barrage, which fires impaling tendrils from his body in all directions, the Groundspike Graveyard, which erupts massive spikes from the ground all around Alex and the Critical Pain, which fires a single beam of hardened biomass from his hands to cause damage on a single target.

Plot

System requirements
Requirements
Minimum Windows XP/Vista Requirements
Operating System Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ or better
Memory 1 GB (XP)
2GB
Hard Drive Space 8GB of uncompressed hard disk space (Plus 500MB for swap file.)
Graphics Hardware DirectX 9.0c compliant card with 256 MB 3D hardware accelerator (NVIDIA 7800GT/ATI Radeon X1800 256 MB or better) and support for Pixel Shader 3.0
Sound Hardware 100% DirectX 9.0c compliant card

The game follows the story of Alex Mercer (voiced by Barry Pepper) who wakes up on a morgue slab in the basement of GENTEK, a large and influential genetic engineering company. Alex escapes and sets out to recover his memory and find out exactly what occurred. He soon discovers he now possesses powerful shapeshifting abilities that grant him superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, weaponry and the ability to "consume" people to gain their memories, skills and appearance. With no memory of his previous life, Alex is forced to track down and consume those related to the conspiracy in order to uncover the truth. During his quest, Alex faces two factions. Blackwatch, a Fort Detrick special forces unit dedicated to combating biological warfare, and the Infected, consisting of civilians who have contracted a strange virus and powerful monsters known as Hunters. Captain Cross, a Blackwatch officer, is specifically given orders to find and contain Alex.

Alex makes contact with his sister, Dana Mercer, who assists him in tracking down targets who can shed light on his past, leading to the eventual infiltration of GENTEK headquarters. Alex finds a woman called Elizabeth Greene contained on level 51 of the building, who escapes and takes control of the Infected. Alex soon meets Dr. Ragland - a pathologist linked to the whole matter who also helps him. As the conspiracy unfolds and with the assistance of an unidentified contact, the origins of the virus and Elizabeth Greene are uncovered: in 1969 the government had tested the virus' predecessor in Hope, Idaho, designed to target predetermined races. The virus then mutated into something far more deadly, and the whole Hope population was infected. Elizabeth Greene was the sole survivor; an anomaly whose body accepted the virus, rewriting her genetic code along with that of her son, Pariah. The remaining population of Hope, Idaho was then liquidated by Blackwatch. Greene and Pariah were kept in captivity for further research, later in conjunction with GENTEK.

Soon after Alex discovers his own past: Blackwatch shut down the GENTEK project due to leaks and ordered all project personnel eliminated. GENTEK employee Dr. Alex Mercer took a sample of the virus (Dx-1118 variant A) as "insurance". Eventually pinned down by Blackwatch in Penn Station, he decides to take down as many as he can with him, shattering the tube and releasing the virus ("BLACKLIGHT") onto the unsuspecting city. After he falls from being shot, the virus enters his corpse, consuming and copying Alex's entire body. Upon waking in the morgue at the start, the virus clone, Zeus, believed itself to be Mercer.

The contact and Alex pump the new "Bloodtox" biological agent underground in order to drive the hiding virus above ground where it can be fought directly, causing Elizabeth Greene to emerge as a towering monstrosity, whom Alex defeats and consumes. It becomes apparent that General Randall, head of Blackwatch, is prepared to destroy Manhattan with a nuclear device. The contact, revealed to be Cross, and Alex infiltrate the USS Ronald Reagan, where it is held. Once Alex consumes Randall, Cross reveals himself to be the Supreme Hunter - having survived their last fight and consumed the real Cross to assume his form. Mercer defeats it and moves the weapon out into the Atlantic Ocean, where it detonates safely but catches him in the blast. His remains float back to the city, regenerating after consuming a crow and thereafter musing on what he has become: "I am something less than human, but also something more."

Comic Book

A comic book series made by DC Comics Wildstorm, was released along with the game. It reveals more about Alex Mercer and his adventures. There are total 6 issues of the comic.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 79.76% (39 reviews)[4] (PS3)

79.93% (65 reviews)[5] (360)
84.20% (20 reviews)[6] (PC)

Metacritic 80% (24 reviews)[7] (PS3)

78% (62 reviews)[8] (360)
79% (24 reviews)[9] (PC)

Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B- (360)[10]
Game Informer 7.25/10 (360)[11]
Game Revolution C+ (360)[12]
GameSpot 8.5/10 (360)[13]
GameTrailers 8.6/10[14]
IGN 7.5/10 (PS3)[1]
VideoGamer.com 7/10 (360)[15]

Prototype was released on Steam as well as in retail stores and topped the Steam sales on the week of its release.[16] The Xbox 360 version of Prototype was the top selling game of June 2009 in North America, with over 419,900 units.[17] The game received generally positive reviews, earning an aggregate score of 80% on Metacritic.[18] GameSpot gave the game a 8.5/10, praising the game for its "intriguing storyline and protagonist" and "massive arsenal of moves and abilities", but criticized the game for its "occasionally fiddly controls" and "dull scenery".[19] The Escapist said the game was a perfect "summer fling," praising the combat and movement systems as well as the unique mechanic of the Web of Intrigue.[20] The Onion A.V. Club gave the game an "A" ranking, calling the movement style "exhilarating" and saying it was a "mature, science-fiction superhero fantasy that somehow makes players feel simultaneously powerful and vulnerable." [21] SPOnG.com's Marcus Dyson awarded the game 84%, stating that "The complex controls can be daunting, but once mastered, unveil a huge array of dramatic moves and impressive weapons."[22]

Prototype was released two weeks after Sucker Punch Productions's inFamous, a game with many similar concepts including a character finding himself with super powers, a large open-world environment that can be traveled by climbing up buildings and gliding about the city, and several other comparisons.[23][24] This led many game critics to compare and contrast the games.[25][26][27] In his sarcastic Zero Punctuation review of Prototype, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw compared the two games point for point, and determined that he could not tell which was the better game - Prototype won on open world gameplay and combat, while inFamous won on story and side missions - and challenged the respective studios to "produce the best image of the rival game's main character wearing women's lingerie" as a tiebreaker.[28] To his surprise, both development teams rose to the challenge, producing said images, and forcing Croshaw to call it a near-tie, edging out in favor of Infamous, though still noted that, like their games, both images created independently were nearly equal in the assets that they included.[29][30]

See also

  • Infamous
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Brudvig, Erik (2009-06-10). "Prototype Review". IGN. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/993/993690p1.html. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  2. ^ Jeromin, Falk (2008-04-22). "PCGH interview with Radical Entertainment about Prototype". PCGamesHardware. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,641131/PCGH-interview-with-Radical-Entertainment-about-PROTOTYPE/News/. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  
  3. ^ Purchese, Robert (2009-04-08). "Activision sets firm Prototype date". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/activision-concretes-prototype-date. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  
  4. ^ "Prototype PS3 Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/ps3/942350-prototype/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  5. ^ "Prototype Xbox 360 Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/942351-prototype/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  6. ^ "Prototype PC Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/942352-prototype/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  7. ^ "Prototype PS3 Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/prototype. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  8. ^ "Prototype Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/prototype. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  
  9. ^ "Prototype PC Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/prototype. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  
  10. ^ Lee, Garnett (2009-06-10). "Prototype Review". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3174734. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  11. ^ Reiner, Andrew. "Prototype Review". Game Informer. http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/4FE2551B-856D-45C1-B717-FA978B0F57F0.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  
  12. ^ Costantino, Jesse (2009-06-15). "Prototype Review". Game Revolution. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/prototype. Retrieved 2009-06-16.  
  13. ^ Calvert, Justin (2009-06-11). "Prototype Xbox 360 Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/prototype/review.html. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  14. ^ gametrailers.com "Prototype Review". http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-hd-prototype/51502=gametrailers.com. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  15. ^ Orry, Tom (2009-06-15). "Prototype Xbox 360 Review". VideoGamer.com. http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/prototype/review.html. Retrieved 2009-06-15.  
  16. ^ http://news.bigdownload.com/2009/06/15/prototype-tops-weekly-steam-sales-charts/
  17. ^ Faylor, Chris (2009-07-16). "June NPD Sales: Prototype Tops Another Slow Month". Shacknews. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/59576. Retrieved 2009-07-16.  
  18. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/prototype
  19. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/prototype/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review
  20. ^ http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/6179-Review-Prototype
  21. ^ http://www.avclub.com/articles/prototype,29456/
  22. ^ Dyson, Marcus (2009-06-19). "SPOnG PROTOTYPE Review". SPOnG. http://spong.com/feature/10109936/Review-PROTOTYPE. Retrieved 2009-10-16.  
  23. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2009-05-20). "inFamous Review". http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/infamous-review. Retrieved 2009-05-29.  
  24. ^ Ackerman, Dan (2009-06-17). "Battle of the suspiciously similar superhero games: Infamous vs. Prototype". CNet. http://www.cnet.com/8301-18603_1-10266433-73.html. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  25. ^ Schiesel, Seth (2009-06-24). "Slaughter on 14th Street: Laying Waste to New York by Pressing a Button". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/arts/television/25proto.html?ref=arts. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  26. ^ Cacho, Gieson (2009-07-07). "Why I liked inFamous better than Prototype". San Jose Mercury News. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2009/07/07/why-i-liked-infamous-better-than-prototype/. Retrieved 2009-07-10.  
  27. ^ Kuchera, Ben (2009-06-15). "Prototype review: One thing you can't destroy is yourself". Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2009/06/prototype-review-one-thing-you-cant-destroy-is-yourself.ars. Retrieved 2009-07-10.  
  28. ^ Croshaw, Ben (2009-06-24). "Zero Punctuation: Prototype" (Flash video). The Escapist. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/789-Prototype. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  29. ^ Croshaw, Ben (2009-07-03). "Yahtzee's Prototype vs. InFamous Challenge". The Escapist. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/6228-Yahtzees-Prototype-vs-InFamous-Challenge. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  30. ^ Yoon, Andrew (2009-07-04). "Happy 4th of July! Here's Alex Mercer with boobs, Cole McGrath in a bikini". Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2009/07/04/happy-4th-of-july-heres-alex-mercer-with-boobs-cole-mcgrath-i/. Retrieved 2009-07-04.  

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