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Spork avatar 9:20 PM on 03.01.2009  (server time)
The game I've always wanted to play

So there are a couple of games coming out soon - inFamous and Prototype. They’re both allegedely similar, and they’re both coming out soon, so alot of people have been discussing (read: arguing) over which will be better. For some reason, inFamous hasn’t really caught my attention yet, but Prototype definitely has, and I’ve been wondering why. The games have similar ideas – play a super-powerful hero (or anti-hero) in a sandbox city – so why hasn’t inFamous been interesting me? It’s possible that inFamous will score way higher in reviews, it’s possible that they’ll score evenly, or that they’ll sell just as well as each other and end up being very similar. But I was asking myself the wrong question; I shouldn’t be asking myself why I’m not interested in inFamous, but rather why am I so bloody interested in Prototype? Watching one of Prototype’s more recent commercials, the game’s protagonist – Alex Mercer – told me why: “I can be anything, become anyone”. It hit me. Prototype is the game I’ve always wanted to play. Or rather Alex Mercer is the hero I always wanted to play as in a game.

When I was little I was a daydreamer. If I was on a bus I would imagine a super-hero, or something, running alongside the bus, jumping and flipping around and just generally being entertaining. Often the hero in my head would change from a day to day basis, it just be whatever I happened to imagine at the time, but there was one hero that I consistantly thought of. I never had a name for that character, he was always just “that guy”, but now I know. That hero was Alex Mercer. Radical Entertainment’s character is pretty much identical to the hero I always imagined (aside from his amnesia) – from his insane acrobatics, right down to his shapeshifting, his strength, and all round awesomeness. I’ve never before played a game where in my mind the objective is simply to be awesome, but I’ve always wanted to. There are games that have come close, games where that wasn’t the intention, but it was how I tried to play it, and games where that was the entire point – like Stranglehold – but never have they come close to the character that has always been, in my mind, the best a hero could be. I just hope that the gameplay does Alex Mercer justice.

Now don’t get me wrong, infamous is obviously going to be a good – great maybe – and the protagonist is a great character, but he’s not the great character that I thought of since I was small, and until I was around 12.

So there it is. The game I’ve always wanted to play, but I wonder if this happens a lot. I checked the C-Blogs, but I could only find posts asking what game they should buy/play next. So the next thing I thought about was the devs. How many devs set out as some kind of game designer and end up getting lucky enough to make the game they always wanted to? I immediately thought of Bob and the challenges he’s faced in getting the game he’s always wanted to play up and running (I’m too lazy to tell you about Bob myself, plenty of others have already talked about it), and it’s possible he went batshit insane in the process. And... that’s it. He’s all I could think of. Is that all? Are there no other games like that? It can’t be possible that developers have never made the games they’d always wanted to play – I must just not be able to find any – so if anyone knows about a game that was made this way, I’d love to hear about it. I have a feeling that some developers would have tried to get the games they want to play get made, but often the game that they have always wanted to play is a game that no one else would like. Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe they get released all the time, maybe it happens so often that it’s not worth mentioning.

Back to my point, I’m hoping that Prototype isn’t a let down for me, but I probably will be dissapointed. After all, what’s the likelyhood that Radical Entertainment could recreate a character who I think would be the ultimate hero, a character I dreamed of since small? It’ll be one of my favourite games if it pulls it off.

Have any one out there ever enjoyed a similar experience, or is there a game that’s coming out which looks like it might fit the bill?

tl;dr version? DO WANT

[Update: So, Prototype's out, and I do really enjoy it; the character is everything that I wanted him to be. Not one of my favourite games, I was likely caught up in a gust of hype when I wrote that bit, but a great game to play, none the less. That said, inFAMOUS really snuck up on me - they're both really great fun to play.]

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