"The revelation. It freed me. It killed me."
This article contains spoilers and plot details from Prototype 2.
Read the article at your own risk.
New York City (also known as NYC), as humanity has come to know and love over the years, no longer exists. Due to the viral outbreak supposedly caused by Alex Mercer, the citizens live in constant fear of infection.
After the second outbreak in 2009, the city has been locked by the US Military and Blackwatch. There's no way to get in or out of New York without Blackwatch's authorization. Most of New York has been either destroyed or infected by the virus, excluding the Green Zone. There are various numbers of Infected roaming around New York killing and infecting each citizen. Due to this, Blackwatch populates most of New York and regulates the areas, but they often act as tyrants rather than guardians to the people.
Alex Mercer broke a vial containing a re-purposed virus in Penn Station. This resulted in the death of the citizens within. However, after the escape of Elizabeth Greene from Gentek facility, the infection was accelerated and started to spread around the city. Blackwatch was then deployed to contain the situation.
A constant war is waged between two factions: an army of Infected led by Elizabeth Greene and Blackwatch, a black ops military force trying to control the spread of infection at the cost of many innocent lives.
After the initial outbreak that lasted 3 weeks, the city remained clear of the virus and was starting to rebuild. One year later, Mercer returns to Penn Station, causing the Second Outbreak. Fourteen months later, the city was known as New York Zero (NYZ). New York Zero was divided into three completely distinct zones. Each zone was designed to have a different feel to it. Areas like the Green Zone seemed peaceful, while areas like the Red Zone were unlivable and hopeless to the people.
- Green Zone: Where the people live free of the fear of infection caused by the viral outbreak, yet under oppression from the Blackwatch forces. Most civilians still do what they would before the outbreak, despite the threats of the Infected. This area is mainly influenced and populated by the military. Most threats in the Green Zone are mainly insidious and secretive, unlike the other zones where they are more completely open by the military. Despite being a "safer" zone than the Yellow Zone, it has common Infected roaming in a few parts of the zone. It also has a lot more lairs than the Yellow Zone.
- Yellow Zone: A quarantined zone where citizens are under suppression of Blackwatch. It is heavily influenced by the military and is extremely regulated. If civilians decide to travel, they have to proceed through multiple checkpoints. This zone is overcrowded with camps and shanty towns of refugees while the virus slowly grows here. Blackwatch is also using this zone as a research site. A lot of civilians are found caged throughout the Yellow Zone and are used mainly for research by Blackwatch.
- Red Zone: The Red Zone portrays a nightmarish vision where the Blacklight virus has completely overrun the city’s shattered skyscrapers and population, with infection and the risk of death at every corner. This is the zone where Alex Mercer resides, and is crawling with deadly mutant creatures. It is the largest out of the three zones and is mainly populated by Infected. There are few to none civilians, in the southern and northern parts of the island, respectively.
- The Red Zone is the lower half of Manhattan Island, displayed in Prototype, while the Yellow Zone consists of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and the Green Zone is based on Staten Island. The last two zones contain the most interesting aspect of the different areas and boroughs.
- The upper half of Manhattan is known as the Dead Zone. It was completely destroyed and, thus, it is inacessible.
- In Prototype 2, the Red Zone can be identified by the red haze emitting from the devastated parts of the city.