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  • Catharsis Factor:
    • For one thing, after picking up a human-class entity, the only usual options are to either hurl them or eat them.
    • The statistics page in the game tells you roughly how much you've vented to date.
  • Complete Monster: The real Alex Mercer was a cold-blooded Mad Scientist who bragged about making the Blacklight virus ten times as deadly as it already was. When asked how he felt about his work being used on human test subjects, he replied "Morality was not my job". Later, after being pursued by Blackwatch agents and cornered at Penn Station, he decided to release the Blacklight virus on Manhattan as he was gunned down, despite being aware that his own sister was in the city at the time; this final act of callousness resulted in the deaths of over 10 million people. After discovering this, the virus itself expresses disgust with Mercer's crimes.
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  • Crazy Awesome: Almost everything you can do in this game. Kick a helicopter to death, throw a car at it, throw another helicopter you just shot down at it, throw people at it... the possibilities are endless.
  • Demonic Spiders:
  • Expy: The Supreme Hunter looks almost exactly like a Tyrant, it's an incredibly blatant rip-off.
  • Fandom Rivalry: There's only [PROTOTYPE] OR inFamous — apparently, you're NOT allowed to like both. Which is all the more ironic that the Devs went the Friendly Rival route.
  • Foe Yay: There's a disturbing amount of this between Mercer and Greene. The Supreme Hunter is effectively created in a metaphorical birthing scene after a metaphorical sexual moment between Mercer and Greene. And given the protagonist's true nature, it could probably be seen as Parental Incest as well.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Blade, which is without question the strongest standard weapon in the game. Any blade attack in general does significant damage. A barrage of normal attacks with the blade will slice through tanks in under 30 seconds. Put on your armor and whip out your blade and you can slice your way through anything. A charged Air Slash move can one-shot Hunters, Super Soldiers, any kind of tank, and helicopters if you can manage to get above them. On Hard mode, it takes two. It tracks almost perfectly over significant distances, too. The charge time does leave you vulnerable, especially against tanks, but if you can get above your targets it isn't too big a deal. Recovery time can also be an issue.
    • The only real problem with the Blade is that it's kinda short-ranged... and that's where the Whipfist comes in. It has absurd range, good damage, and a Herd-Hitting Attack that can be charged for more damage. It sucks against armor, but one of its upgrades gives the ability to grapple in close to a target, meaning that now armored vehicles are one minigame away from getting hijacked (and whatever the Whipfist can't hurt, a barrage of helicopter rockets certainly can).
  • Goddamned Bats: A number of things.
    • First, those damn virus detectors. Their high-pitched whine and very short sabotage period render them almost too much of a hassle to deal with, and they'll be in every army base a few missions after you learn they exist. Worse yet, they get more numerous as you progress, making it near-impossible to shut them all down without getting caught. UAV versions show up, too, which can detect you almost twice as fast and follow you even if you leave their initial scanning range.
    • Next is the helicopter Strike Teams, which are completely relentless. As you get stronger, they come in larger groups, and they eventually come with UAVs to detect you if you try to go sneaky. There can potentially be as many as four helicopters escorting five UAVs in the late-game. Even though they have to be called in by the military, the officers will do this within thirty seconds to a minute after you start a fight, and the window to kill the guy calling in the Strike Team is only a few seconds. What's worse, said guy can potentially be a tank. Thankfully, they're not terribly hard to kill, and it's even easier when you can skyjack the strike helicopters.
    • Third, there's the mid-level Infected civilians you usually fight during missions and events. Normally they're not so bad, just being about twice as tough as a regular Infected civilian and very fast. However, play during one of the events where you have to use a grenade launcher, and they are frustrating. They run around like they're on a permanent sugar high and will constantly run right in front of you just as you fire your weapon, resulting in you blasting yourself onto your back over and over.
    • In New Game+ mode, it doesn't matter where you are - there are a couple of tanks on blow-up-Infected duty right around the corner and they always decide to turn down the street you're on. "Look dude, I was doing just fine cleaning up the Infected on this street all by myself. Why don't you try Lexington Avenue; I hear they're pretty thick over there."
    • Even when you have several powers that can slice through Hunters like butter, they'll continue to be a nuisance throughout the game simply for the fact they can chase you anywhere and can obnoxiously combo you up close if you let them. This annoyance is amplified during the boss fight against Elizabeth Greene, since three at a time will keep spawning and chasing you while you deal with One-Hit Kill shockwaves, thrown debris, homing attacks and having to run away to consume things for health constantly.
      • And during the minigame "events" that require you to kill a certain number of enemies in set amounts of time to get a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal, the ability of Hunters to enter a mode where they swing around blindly and cannot be blocked or stopped makes them frustrating beyond imagining.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "My name is Alex Mercer. I'm the reason for all this. They call me a killer, a monster, a terrorist... I'm all of these things." Come [PROTOTYPE 2], and Alex, aka The Blacklight Virus is indeed responsible for the new viral outbreak and he is, indeed, all of those things.
    • The prospect of a lethal viral epidemic occurring in New York City has become a terrifying reality thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in New York becoming an epicentre of the virus' American outbreak. Even worse is that a biotech company's employee's (unwittingly) spread COVID-19 across America and the many conspiracy theories stating that it's an engineered bioweapon, much like the Blacklight Virus.
  • Memetic Mutation: "You can do a karate kick on a helicopter! WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DO YOU WANT?!" Became an Ascended Meme during promotion for the sequel.
    • The above mentioned Precision F-Strike is answered with the other ability in-game that is equally as awesome, the fact that as Alex Mercer Really the Blacklight virus wearing him, Can and will ELBOW DROP A TANK AND WIN! infact the tutorial section makes you do this.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Alex Mercer, both for his work in making the Blacklight virus, which was nasty enough before he got there, TEN TIMES as lethal as before. Also for unleashing it when cornered by Blackwatch after he stole a sample. The player themselves can gleefully slaughter anyone they please, though civilians don't net you any EP unless they're infected. As well as Blackwatch infecting Hope, Idaho for no better reason than to test out the virus on people. Even the virus itself is disgusted by the actions of Alex Mercer and the higher-ups of Blackwatch.
  • Narm: "Taggart! You suicidal moron!" Really, every all-caps line from Alex during that mission. Very, very well summarised in this Youtube Video.
  • Player Punch: Congratulations! You're The Virus! As an added bonus, even though you're a deadly virus specifically designed to kill people on a massive scale, you're a better person than the original Alex Mercer!
  • Porting Disaster: For the PC, Prototype is very picky about what qualifies as "recommended system specifications". The game only has very limited video settings. It even struggles with maintaining a double digit frame rate on the menus, not to mention in actual gameplay. There were also issues with audio sounding exceptionally muffled even at supposed normal volumes and other issues. Definitely not one of the best ports out there, especially for low-end machines.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • What's so unique about Hint collectibles when they can provide a hefty EP like the Landmark collectibles? Well, Hints give gameplay hints, information that the player may have already knew while playing the game naturally. These became somewhat of a moot when you've unlocked everything else aside from the collectibles - The "hint" would be just redundant with the Loading Screen tips, and the EP can no longer be used once you've fully upgraded Alex.
    • The fact that you get stunned by almost every enemy's attack can be infuriating, especially during combat events where every second is crucial. The time it takes to recover from a missile or tank shell hit can easily screw you out of a gold or platinum medal.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The optional side-quests in this game may seamlessly blend together while you are in Free Roam, which becomes distracting while doing the parkour events. Reaching for that next checkpoint but then notice a nearby Landmark/Hint collectible that you've recently found and a Web of Intrigue citizen just respawned? There's nothing stopping you from accomplishing both while in the middle of the parkour Event (except from trading time). Only the Gliding Events put some restriction on this, as they end once you land from a glide/jump.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • This game is rather similar to Spiderman Web Of Shadows, which came out approximatively a year before this game. The Symbiotes are even pretty similar to some of the infected and Spidey’s black suit’s gameplay and attacks are rather similar to Alex’s attacks in the game. Heck, the two games even have a similar plot: New York, or at least part of New York, is under quarantine for an epidemic that gives people superpowers but also turns them into monstrous creatures. Spidey and Alex are both infected(Spidey with his black suit, Alex with Blacklight). Venom and Elizabeth Greene even have the same goal: To infect the entire world. Also, the final boss battles of both games both take place on a gray-colored military ship/carrier of sorts. Both games also take place in a free roam open world environment and both New Yorks get more and more apocalyptic as the game goes on, which gives them a rather similar background esthetic.
    • For Radical Entertainment's own The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, from which it retained a lot mechanics and further refined the formula.
  • That One Attack: The Tendril Barrage. Not yours, but courtesy of the Supreme Hunter, because it can kill you no matter how high your health is and bypasses your Last Chance Hit Point.
  • That One Boss:
    • The second battle with the Supreme Hunter, aboard the Reagan. It wouldn't be so bad (big guy throws out an attack you can dodge, then hit him while he's recovering), except he's constantly getting shot at by aircraft, helicopters, and rocket-toting soldiers. This does next to nothing to him. But if you try to attack while a missile hits, you'll get knocked back and a decent chunk of health is knocked off. Depending on your luck, it ranges from frustrating to inducing the paranoia that the boss and military are working together to piss you off. The time limit doesn't help either. In Hard mode, the fight gets even more annoying because That One Boss is constantly blocking many charged attacks and happily uses new abilities copied off you such as the ground spikes. Throwing stuff still works, though.
    • Hard difficulty makes every boss That One Boss. Even Cross, the very first boss, becomes a nightmare to fight, if only because the delay between firing and going into counter-mode is vastly shortened, his grenades have a much larger explosion radius, and he both reloads and fires a whole lot faster.
  • That One Level: The three levels where you're infected with the parasite. Imagine the level where you first meet the Hunters times three. The only thing good about the parasite section is that its ending gives you slick armor and the blade.
  • That One Sidequest: Getting Platinum medals.
    • The "Raid" War Event, which requires a time of 1:25:00. For every other event, getting Platinum is mostly a matter of skill (or cheating). Not here. You have to use a grenade launcher, so no powers, and there's 18 Hunters out of 36 enemies to kill. Moreover, the spawns are woefully screwed up. The game will sometimes withhold new targets for as long as 15 seconds, and just to spite you, it will do this on the very last enemy. If that weren't bad enough, it is impossible to succeed on your own. You have to count on a tank spawning to help. Just like the enemy spawns, it is completely unreliable, and you'll be lucky if this thing even shows up until halfway through. Assuming it does, you have to hope Hunters are the only thing on-screen for it to shoot, that it doesn't get bogged down in traffic, and that the Hunters don't gank it on sight before you can get their attention. It's a Luck-Based Mission.
    • "Kill: Street Sweeper" is just as luck based, but also requires much more precise positioning of Alex, lest you not get the kills needed.
    • All of the movement events except for Free Running and Corners (if you know the trick; double air dash in the streets while heading to the 2nd last and last checkpoints). Precise movement is required, with an analog stick at that. In most cases, one small mistake will cost you, and there are plenty of opportunities for a mistake. The worst two offenders are Eaves Jumping and Rooftop Runner. In the former, it's mostly a simple path, except you must run and airdash along narrow rooftop, and moving Alex to the side for a moment, even while not airdashing can cost you. The latter requires several sharp turns, with the camera being not too cooperative in helping you aim as you turn.
    • "Kill: Irony", not because it's difficult to get the points (you can cheat by blowing up a line of hijacked tanks for free points), but because the weak APC is likely to get brought down by RPG-toting soldiers before you can complete the mission and actually get credit for it.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The level in which you fight the Supreme Hunter while a nuke is counting down is called One Thousand Suns, a reference to Robert Oppenheimer, who was himself referencing (or at least thinking of) the Bhagavad Gita, Hindu scripture, after the first successful test of the atomic bomb at the Trinity site (during what was, for extra fun, called the Manhattan Project). In three words, the developers crammed references to world-destroying superweapons, scientific progress and consequences, the phrase "I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds," a religious quote, and two puns... Or maybe they were just talking about the nuke. It's hard to tell.
  • The Woobie: Dana. She's one of the few characters in game who isn't evil or insane, her first scene in the game is a Blackwatch goon threatening to kill her, and things get progressively worse for her from there.


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