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- "Every living thing you consume makes you stronger. You take their shapes, and you take their memories."
- ―Alex Mercer explains consumption to James Heller.[src]
Consuming is the process by which Alex Mercer and James Heller absorb the biomass and DNA or essence of other entities, copying and assimilating it into their own in order to gain the entity's genetic memories and physical presence.
Consuming is the Prototype's primary means of restoring lost health, as their health only regenerates to a certain point. Most enemies, as long as they are at or near human-sized, can be consumed for health. The amount of health restored is dependent on the size and type of enemy being consumed. Human-sized enemies can be consumed instantly, while larger ones such as Hunters must be weakened before they can be consumed. Certain enemies are immune to being consumed, such as the excessively large Hydras and armored super soldiers.
When consuming a living, non-infected human, the Prototypes can take on their form, allowing them to disguise themselves as that person. They gain the consumed individual's appearance and can imitate their voice at will. This allows them to quickly switch between their default form and the form of another to evade the military or move about as one of them. However while they can use a person's form after consuming a different one later they rarely do so; such as when James Heller repeatedly used Clint Riley's form to get information from Colonel Rooks despite consuming others in that time. In addition to absorbing biomass and physical attributes, Alex and James can absorb the memories and skills of the people they consume. These memories helped Alex to figure out who he is, what the military is planning, and the truth about a past viral outbreak in Hope, Idaho. Similarly, the memories of individuals James consumed helped him uncover the hidden agendas of both Mercer and Blackwatch. It also gave both Prototypes the ability to use all manner of weapons and vehicles.
Using consume is the only way Alex and James can get into military bases, obtain memories, and gain access to new codes to order artillery strikes in the case of Alex.
The consume types vary from each individual power currently activated by the Prototypes. With each power activated, the style of consuming and the biomass gained varies despite the size of the victim.
In Prototype, hijacking or stealth hijacking a consume target's vehicle will automatically consume the target.
In Prototype 2, James Heller is invincible when consuming, and can be used as a tactic to avoid damage.
Performed on large but already weakened enemies, such as Super soldiers (Prototype 2 only) and any infected other than Walkers. A symbol of use key will appear above the targets' head when they are weakened enough, tapping the use key to grab them will enter the consuming move, which Prototype quickly and brutally kill the victim and consume them. In Prototype 2, performing this consume near any military unit will enter the alert instantly.
In Prototype 2, the consuming action will differ by the active weapon.
When grabbing a military personnal who is the mission objective for consuming, player may also perform consume directly without tapping the consume key.
Grab and ConsumeEdit
Performed to human sized enemies, player first grab the victim with use key, then tap the consume key to quickly do a fatal attack on the victim and consume them. This is the only way when patsy, biobomb, or pushing to disrupt enemy guarding pattern doesn't work, and is often used when wanted to start a fight deliberately or to avoid the trouble of finding a gap for stealth consuming.
The consuming animation will differ by the active weapon. In Prototype 2, James Heller also consume faster and less brutal when consuming Marines or Civilians. When consuming personnel with important information or upgrades, Alex or James will throw them on the ground and beat them multiple times.
In Prototype, this will not trigger alert unless player grabbed a military personnal near another military personnal; while in Prototype 2, this will trigger alert if any military personnal other than the victim is around.
Stealth Consume, as the name suggests, allows Alex and James to consume a target without alerting others. It can only be performed when the military cannot see Alex and James and only works on regular humans. When performed, Alex or James will quietly kill their target and absorb them in mere moments, instantly taking on their form. Alex or James will also instantly drop their own weapon if they are holding one, and take the targets' weapon when they are holding one.
Stealth consume can be performed on any uninfected human, if performed on a disguised Evolved, player will be tossed away.
Alex has 2 stealth consume action each before and after upgrading, while James has 1 consume action from the front and 2 from the back.
Upgraded stealth consuming is more like performing stealth kill in combat, James Heller can perform this stealth consume without upgrading from normal ones, due to his military background. Unlike Alex Mercer, James Heller can consume targets even in front of them, as long as himself and the victim are not in other military personal's view, this can be checked by using viral sonar or doing a fail attempt. This usually require player to stay out of cautions mode as they will be constantly watched when military is in cautious. Take extra caution when attempting to stealth consume a human while near walkers or throwable objects as accidentally grabbing them will trigger an alert instantly.