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Prototype is an open-ended action adventure game that puts players in the role of a smart young scientist named Alex Mercer — in a sense, the title role. Alex has been infected with a virus that gives him amazing powers of genetic manipulation, allowing him to alter his physical form. By adjusting his biomass at will, he can leap and safely fall from great heights. He can detect smoke-screened enemies or other infected beings with enhanced vision. He can transform his arms into cutting blades or heavy sledgehammers. He also can take the shape, and even the memories, of opponents he defeats and "consumes." Alex once worked for an innovative and influential genetics research firm, but his memories have been taken from him. He is now alone, in an evacuated New York City. To survive, he must hunt.
What Alex hunts is left largely to the player. Is the true enemy Blackwatch, the Army's special force dedicated to eliminating the virus in every form, including Alex? Or is the ultimate threat the virus itself, which threatens to consume all life on the planet, including humankind? The adventure uses non-linear mission structures and an expansive, open sandbox setting to push players to their own answers. Alex gets around by leap and bounds, and he can make parkour-style runs up the sides of buildings. In combat, His ability to shift his physical structure puts deadly melee weapons and bulletproof shields at his immediate disposal. Often, even greater damage is done through subterfuge, as the ability to assume another's persona allows for deep and deadly infiltration. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide