The Evolved were virally enhanced individuals created by Alex Mercer for the purpose of infiltrating and destroying Blackwatch and Gentek, and to further his plans to spread the BLACKLIGHT Virus to mankind. While possessing similar powers to Prototypes, they are not as powerful, and are limited in their shapeshifting ability. While they share these traits, each Evolved has developed a unique ability that sets them apart from the others.
The original purpose of the Evolved was to infiltrate Blackwatch and Gentek as part of his master plot to spread the tainted Whitelight compound, thus transforming anyone inoculated with it into a new Evolved under Mercer's control. However, thanks to the intervention of James Heller, that plot was foiled, reducing the Evolved to agents that accomplish other tasks set out by Mercer.
Upon Alex Mercer's return to New York City, he initiated the Second BLACKLIGHT Outbreak, starting the viral infestation once again at Penn Station. With him directing the infection in an aggressive, strategic manner, he was able to quickly overwhelm military forces on Manhattan island, prompting the virtual abandonment of the island by Blackwatch. They managed to lock Manhattan down in a permanent quarantine, making it difficult for Mercer to spread the BLACKLIGHT beyond the island. Thanks to new protocols and defensive measurements, Blackwatch was able to keep the infection tightly contained in Manhattan, and constantly sniffed out any signs of Mercer.
Taking a new approach, Mercer covertly infiltrated Gentek and Blackwatch over the course of a few months to recruit allies. Knowing that bringing down the city's defenses would be immensely difficut without some help, Mercer sought out some of the best within Gentek and Blackwatch, infecting them with a new strain of the virus. Proclaiming his new allies his "Evolved," Mercer granted them a small measure of his power while twisting their minds to serve him and him alone.
The Whitelight PlotEdit
The Evolved were able to uncover Blackwatch's plan to deploy the Whitelight, a supposed cure developed by Gentek to erradicate the infection once and for all. Instead of destroying the cure, Mercer came up with a clever plan of his own involving the Whitelight; with his Evolved already in place, he would have his allies take samples of Mercer's "Evolved" strain and corrupt the Whitelight supply with it. When Blackwatch would deploy the cure, it would instead infect thousands, if not millions, of civillians with the Evolved strain, turning them into super-powered servants of Mercer. This would give him the strength needed to push the BLACKLIGHT beyond New York and begin his conquest of the rest of the world.
When Mercer infected James Heller with the virus to make him a new Evolved, it instead had a unique effect with his strong DNA and made him a Prototype like Mercer instead. Therefore, Mercer was not able to control him like the other Evolved.
One of Mercer's Evolved, Dr. Koenig, was assigned to recruit the aid of Heller to bring down Blackwatch's Project ORION, another attempt at using the virus to create supersoldiers. While Heller successfully destroyed the program, he learned of Koenig's intent to kill Heller, resulting in a fight that revealed Koenig as an Evolved. After Heller defeated Koenig, Mercer was forced to reveal the Evolved's existence to Heller, trying to create the false image that the Evolved were to help them destroy Blackwatch and Gentek, the ones supposedly responsible for the infection. Heller later debunked this false claim after it was revealed that Mercer was the one who truly began the Second Outbreak.
Heller then came across Sabrina Galloway, one of Mercer's top Evolved. She pretended to help him by providing locations for a few other Evolved, allowing them to be eliminated by Heller.
Mercer's plot to create an army of Evolved was ruined when Heller managed to uncover the fact that the Whitelight was corrupted, and released a sample of it early to demonstrate to Blackwatch that the "cure" was tainted and required immediate shelving. Infuriated, Mercer and his Evolved retreated to the Red Zone to begin their plans for the future.
Ultimately, Sabrina's loyalty was proven false when she captured Heller's daughter when it became apparent that she was in fact alive. After securing her with his sister Dana in a vault, Mercer gathered the remaining Evolved to do battle with Heller and kill him once and for all. The Evolved managed to rough up Heller quite a bit, leaving him vulnerable for Mercer to finish off. However, Blackwatch intervened, releasing Mercer's captives and killing a few Evolved with a powerful strike team before Mercer and the rest eliminated them. Heller barely managed to escape with his life, and both captives were safely extracted from the city by Blackwatch.
Mercer, despite having defeated Heller, was back at the drawing board as far as breaking the virus out of New York. He assigned his Evolved to continue their infiltration operation in order to gleam any useful intelligence they could use against Blackwatch and Gentek, as well as finding them a way out of NYZ. As part of their mission, he allowed his Evolved to help him find new allies they could add to their ranks.
One of these new allies, Samantha Greene, became a part of the group when she was infected by Sabrina Galloway. Testing her as he did all his other Evolved, Mercer assigned her some simple tasks to complete to test her physical adaptation to the virus, her usefulness in infiltration and gathering information, and her loyalty to him. While she proved compitent for his plans, Mercer came to realize that her loyalty lied less with him than it did to Sabrina; he and the other Evolved were able to quickly deduce that the pair had become close lovers. Sabrina was told to keep Samantha on a tight leash if she wanted to keep her "pet."
Over time, Samantha's loyalty to Mercer would come to question more than once, and at one crucial point Mercer had decided his tolerance for Samantha was no more. Assigning each of his Evolved a different mission in pairs, he sent Sabrina and Samantha to the Gentek building in order to retrieve an "important asset" from within. After doing so, he traveled to the building himself prior to their arrival, infiltrated the facility, and freed the captive Elizabeth Greene from her prison. A short time after his departure, Samantha and Sabrina walked into his trap; Sabrina was able to escape, though Samantha had to be left behind, assumed dead by Mercer and the other Evolved.
Defeating the Second "Mother"Edit
However, Mercer's plan to get rid of Samantha backfired; instead of being killed, Samantha was used by Greene to fuel her power overnight, being bread with and mutating into another "Mother" creature similar to one Elizabeth used before. The creature was released into the Red Zone the next day, causing vast destruction upon a military group as well as disrupting Mercer's infected. Mercer and his Evolved went to contain the situation, and successfully killed the "Mother" creature. Samantha was extracted from the beast's body by Mercer just before it was killed; after they finished the beast off, Mercer cast Samantha before Sabrina and commanded her to end her life.
Sabrina was unable to bring herself to do so; her hesitation showed her wavering loyalty to Mercer, who then ordered his other Evolved to kill them both. Sabrina was able to interject, convincing a quarter of the Evolved to turn on Mercer. In retaliation, Mercer called upon a Goliath to distract his enemies, and then consumed the traitorous Evolved one by one. His loyal Evolved fled the area, fearing Mercer's rage and wrath, as Sabrina and Samantha managed to escape. The pair were quickly able to silently slip out of NYZ, running away from the east coast.
The remaining Evolved remain in NYZ, serving Mercer's goal while fearing the punishment of another betrayal or failure. They continue their infiltration efforts through Blackwatch and Gentek, hoping to find some means for the virus to slip past the quarantine and begin infecting the rest of the world.
Known Evolved (First Generation) Edit
Sabrina Galloway was the CFO of Gentek. Galloway was known for her political knowledge and was said to have achieved an extremely powerful position in the corporate sector. After Roland was killed by James Heller, Sabrina became Mercer's second-in-command, remaining in that position throughout Heller's operation in NYZ.
Roland was an important scientist within Gentek, and was once Mercer's right-hand man. Formerly Mercer's second-in-command, he was hunted down and consumed by James Heller. His unique Evolved trait was Stealth, enabling him to remain undetectable by vision powers, hunting, or Sabrina's tracking.
Dr. Koenig was the lead Virologist at Gentek during the Second Outbreak, and was part of Blackwatch's Project ORION, which intended to recreate supersoldiers to combat the infected. He was Mercer's top virologist, and managed to have James Heller destroy the supersoldier project before being killed by Mercer. His unique Evolved trait was unknown.
Dr. Archer was a Gentek Scientist who oversaw the development of the Whitelight compound. She took Dr. Koenig's place in Mercer's Evolved structure, and was responsible for tainting it with Mercer's DNA to corrupt the "cure." She was ultimately killed by James Heller before she could see the deployment of her compund. Her unique Evolved trait was Pack Leader, which enabled her to summon a few Brawlers to aid her in combat.
Commander Gallagher was a Blackwatch Commander who was to oversee the deployment of the Whitelight cure. He was Mercer's top Evolved within Blackwatch, and was also responsible for ensuring that the corrupted compound made it all over NYZ so that everyone could get infected under Mercer's control. However, he was killed by James Heller before the deployment could begin. His unique Evolved trait was unknown.
Dr. Gutierrez was a Gentek Scientist and assistant to Dr. Archer. He was tracked down by James Heller in order to locate Dr. Archer; after Dr. Gutierrez faced Heller in battle alongside a pair of unnamed Evolved, he and his lackeys were killed by Heller. His unique Evolved Trait was unknown.
An unknown female individual was encountered by James Heller while trying to capture Commander Cantrell. Her unique Evolved Trait was Whipfist, being the only one of Mercer's Evolved who manifested a pair of Whipfists instead of a pair of Blades. This gave her considerable reach and long-range attacks, enabling her to slaughter her foes from a distance as well as deal with targets in the air such as UAVs and Helicopters. She was killed by Heller during her attempt to capture Commander Cantrell.
An unknown male individual was encountered by James Heller while trying to locate Dr. Gutierrez. He was chased by Heller and defeated in battle before being killed. His unique Evolved trait was Biobomb, which enabled him to plant a Biobomb within an individual. These Biobombs would rupture their body within seconds, releasing a mass of tendrils to impale and grapple nearby creatures and objects before quickly imploding, pulling everything back together to be immediately crushed under great explosive pressure. These Biobombs could be planted covertly while the Evolved was under disguise to avoid suspicion.
Known Evolved (Second Generation)Edit
Sabrina Galloway was Mercer's second-in-command until her eventful betrayal alongside her eventual lover, Samantha Greene. While no longer loyal to Mercer, she retains her powers and abilities. Her unique Evolved trait was Tracking, enabling her to always be aware of another Evolved's location save for an exceptional few who were able to cloak themselves from her power.
Samantha Greene was an Intelligence Officer who was assigned to infiltrate NYZ alongside the National Guard to gather information on the BLACKLIGHT infection. After getting too close to Sabrina Galloway, Mercer sent the pair on a suicide mission, which forced Sabrina to abandon her to Elizabeth Greene. After being bred by Elizabeth, Samantha was overwhelmed by the will of a "Mother" creature and caused destruction before Mercer and the other Evolved managed to kill it. At a crucial point, Samantha and Sabrina escaped NYZ after betraying Mercer. While no longer one of Mercer's loyal Evolved, she still retains her powers. Her unique Evolved trait was unknown.
The Evolved are intermediate BLACKLIGHT entities; while far more powerful than infected civilians and other viral creatures, they are only slightly more powerful than Runners, and are unable to contend with the power of Prototypes. Unlike infected civilians, Evolved keep their full intelligence and sentience when infected, allowing them to resume 'normal' activities and pass on as uninfected humans entirely unnoticed by society, with their memories and thoughts intact; unlike Prototypes, the viral strain they are infected with do not completely destroy their bodies when they are rewritten into BLACKLIGHT beings, thus they are not killed during the transformation process and therefore remain alive. Instead, when their bodies are altered, their minds are altered as well, becoming viral biomass and their sentient thoughts and intelligence tainted and twisted by Mercer's will. Though they are fully self-aware and not mindless drones controlled by Mercer, their brains are rebuilt to be more inclined to follow his commands, as if what he says is the only right thing to do.
As BLACKLIGHT entities, the Evolved possess enormous amounts of strength, speed, durability, stamina and regeneration. Their senses are far stronger than any human, able to use a sort of sonar to hunt their targets. Evolved can survive grueling injuries and tremendous falls, but not to the extend of Prototypes. The Evolved also possess shapeshifting powers like the Prototypes, allowing them to assume disguises of anyone they consume as well as morphing their limbs into weapons such as claws, hammerfists, blades, shields and whipfists. The Evolved can scale walls by running, cling to surfaces, glide or dash through the air, consume humans and other creatures to increase their power, and heal from almost any injury. The Evolved can also spread the virus, either the basic strain used to turn people into infected civilians, the variant used to create other creatures, or even make more Evolved as displayed by some. They also cannot be detected by the current line of Viral scanners, allowing them easy infiltration into Military installations as well as Blackwatch and Gentek.
Each member of the Evolved also possess a unique power that no other Evolved has; they seem to be traits replicating one of Mercer's additional powers, such as remaining undetected from hunting, use of the biobomb, summoning a pack of a variety of infected creatures (with each Evolved summoning a specific creature), using a devastator, etc.
Despite their power, the Evolved do have limits; they stand no match to a Prototype alone, and even in groups they would be quickly annihilated. The Evolved also do not have command over the creatures of the BLACKLIGHT Virus themselves; in order to use creatures, they have to generate them from their own biomass, a process that takes time and vitality, leaving them greatly vulnerable. Additionally, while their regeneration powers are high, it requires biomass to fuel, thus leaving their regeneration to slow throughout a prolonged battle without consumption. This can eventually lead their regenerative abilities to cease altogether when they run out of fuel, leaving them open to being killed or consumed.