Prototype's Story Holes

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Prototype's Story Holes

Prototype 2 could have been a heck of a lot better.

Read Full Article

This is the problem with reading too much into some games, in a lot of cases you're simply going to be let down by the story the game ends up giving you.

This is what happens when you don't trust your audience, or when you blame them for your failings. If you create an anti-hero that's just too unrelatable, or too unlikeable, it's because you wrote them poorly. You didn't create a character, you created a caricature.

If you want to create a character that people experience the way you intended, write the character better not just harder. Instead, these folks did the polar opposite (write a goody-goody) and turned an ostensibly "grey" character flat-out evil to really drive home the point.

If you want to build a taller building, make it taller. Don't make it the same height, but chop the old ones down a bit and hope the public doesn't notice.

I hate it when even the viewer's assertions of what the plot twist will be are too smart for the game/movie/thing in question. HEY. I'M LIKE, AN OUTSIDER WHO JUST PAID $60 FOR THIS. I SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE MORE COHERENT AND INTERESTING IDEAS THAN THE PEOPLE WHO GOT PAID $6000 TO MAKE THIS.

"Put me on the team, coach, I'm ready"? More like, get out of the way coach, you're fired, I'm taking over, and replacing you all with Eric Wolpaw.

I have to admit, yep that seems like a much more interesting game and makes the gameplay make more sense too.

If they were to commit to that they'd probably need to change the eating mechanic up a bit. Heller should do it differently because Heller would be conflicted about it. Maybe he begins to suffer the same sort of schizophrenia.

Your story shouldn't be a twist reveal though, it should be something you slowly understand more and more of through the game so you really know whats going on before the final battle

Andy of Comix Inc:
I hate it when even the viewer's assertions of what the plot twist will be are too smart for the game/movie/thing in question. HEY. I'M LIKE, AN OUTSIDER WHO JUST PAID $60 FOR THIS. I SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE MORE COHERENT AND INTERESTING IDEAS THAN THE PEOPLE WHO GOT PAID $6000 TO MAKE THIS.

"Put me on the team, coach, I'm ready"? More like, get out of the way coach, you're fired, I'm taking over, and replacing you all with Eric Wolpaw.

It's always the worst thing that can happen. If you try to guess the end and it's different than you expected, then it feels good, it's a bit of a surprise the film beat you, if you guess the ending then at least you can feel smug.

But if the ending just isn't as clever or sense fitting as you expected, in fact there just isn't a twist or a special ending, it feels like the film failed you, the brain power you spent watching it was wasted.

I wish there was a sufficient reason why the stories in AAA games are so poor, bland, and uninteresting. I bet there are plenty of talented people who'd love to use their skill at writing, and I bet there's a bunch of talented people with that skill on these game development teams. It's a shame none of it seems to make its way into the product.

Yahtzee, I feel you're vastly overestimating the minds of Prototype's playerbase. No offence.

Personally, I stopped taking the game seriously around the time the protagonist was "gliding" by bleeding profusely out of his wrists.

Which is more disappointing: That this script proposal was made and discarded by an unambitious and unengaged management team, or that it was never even considered at all?

I really love InFAMOUS 1 and 2 which is why I never bothered giving Prototype a try but after reading this I'm really intrigued with it

is it as good as InFAMOUS 1 or 2?

TheBobmus:
This is the problem with reading too much into some games, in a lot of cases you're simply going to be let down by the story the game ends up giving you.

Yeah, it sucks when people build a game up so much in their minds there's no way to possibly compete.

It's also why games as a personal narrative experience are still a long way off....

Ahhh, I was waiting for someone to bring accusations of racism into this, even if in brief. Not sure if it was intended as a joke or not here, given that the tone of the overall article is serious. :/

That said, I think the relatively low review scores is because Prototype was a fundementally flawed product, scoring an 8 in many cases. Gamestop gave it an 8.5, and the user base gave it around a 7 or 8 on Gamefaqs.

If you consider that Prototype 2 was "more of the same", and on top of that didn't have the same kind of twist holding down the storyline, you can see how it lost a couple of points, simply by being a rehash without notable improvement of the problems of the previous game, and by all accounts what amounts to weaker writing.

That said what we need is a crossover between two currently mediocre game franchises in hopes of reviving them both. Find some way to have Aya Brea from "Parasite Eve" go up against the surviving virus from Prototype, it's kind of what she does. For some reason Prototype always made me think of PE anyway.... of course it's doubtful this crossover will ever happen, but it would be fun if it did.... :)

Somebody get this man a game writing job.

Huh. Admittedly, I was a fairly big fan of Prototype 2, even compared to the original (especially gameplay-wise, as I felt it was tightened up considerably in the second one), but I have to admit that the points Yahtzee brought up do make a lot of sense. And I actually remembered the 'big twist' about Mercer near the end of the first game, but now that it's mentioned in this context, it is kind of odd that they didn't bring it up again in the second one. Unless, of course, it was as Yahtzee said: they didn't put a lot of thought into the plot, and focused more on the sandbox/killing action.

That said, what Yahtzee brought up has actually been done before... specifically in the manga/anime series Inu Yasha, and its primary villain. So something like that in a game like Prototype would've been pretty kickass.

This Prototype existentialist crisis, his original DNF script, the 2nd person perspective horror game... damn Yahtzee, sell your bar and set up a video game studio already!

GZGoten:
I really love InFAMOUS 1 and 2 which is why I never bothered giving Prototype a try but after reading this I'm really intrigued with it

is it as good as InFAMOUS 1 or 2?

Ostensibly, they're pretty similar, which is what led to the 'contest' Yahtzee proposed back during his review of the first Prototype game... which the designers actually went and did.

That said, having played/watched all four games (and having finally finished my second evil/Hard playthrough of the first inFamous game for my Platnium just last week, as it happens), I'd have to say inFamous is *somewhat* the better series, both in plot and playability. Cole McGrath's arguably a stronger character than both Alex and James as well.

Still, if you liked inFamous 1 and 2, no reason not to give Prototype a shot. I personally think of it as inFamous' more goth brother, really.

GZGoten:
I really love InFAMOUS 1 and 2 which is why I never bothered giving Prototype a try but after reading this I'm really intrigued with it

is it as good as InFAMOUS 1 or 2?

Just thought you should know that, in case you didn't catch it, everything Yahtzee said is based on his own speculation of certain plot inconsistencies. The prototype games are an interesting concept but horribly written. The issue is compounded when you look at Proto 1 and Proto 2 as one entity (a series) and see that the writers essentially forgot what they started in 1.

They are fun games, but I would recommend them as budget titles. You can pick up the first for cheap or on 2nd hand... I'd wait for a bit for the 2nd to drop in price though.

Shannon Spencer Fox:

Still, if you liked inFamous 1 and 2, no reason not to give Prototype a shot. I personally think of it as inFamous' more goth brother, really.

That's a pretty good analogy.

Therumancer:
That said what we need is a crossover between two currently mediocre game franchises in hopes of reviving them both. Find some way to have Aya Brea from "Parasite Eve" go up against the surviving virus from Prototype, it's kind of what she does. For some reason Prototype always made me think of PE anyway.... of course it's doubtful this crossover will ever happen, but it would be fun if it did.... :)

Whaaaa? I loved Parasite Eve. Especially PE2.

Wasn't there a PE3 that came out on PSP recently that no one played because no one give a shit about PSP?

GZGoten:
I really love InFAMOUS 1 and 2 which is why I never bothered giving Prototype a try but after reading this I'm really intrigued with it

is it as good as InFAMOUS 1 or 2?

Infamous is more fast pased TPS and prototype is more of a Spiderman game hack and slasher . The only thing in common is that theyr both sandboxes .
Personaly I prefer infamous and if you liked it you should try The Saboteur no matter what YZ said .

Rangerboy87:
Somebody get this man a game writing job.

I have to agree with this. I'm not sure how good the games would be, but at least we'd get some interesting stories out of him.

Raiyan 1.0:
This Prototype existentialist crisis, his original DNF script, the 2nd person perspective horror game... damn Yahtzee, sell your bar and set up a video game studio already!

Huh. What's this 'DNF script' and 2nd-person perspective horror game you're referring to? I don't recall those... although, arguably, the second one's been done before, if you want to get *super*-technical. ;) http://homeoftheunderdogs.net/game.php?id=792

(Unless you meant a current, and arguably *good* game... ^_^)

First thought "pretty interesting take on the story" Second thought "wow, he DOES have a massive popped collar"

And Yahtzee proves his worth as pertaining to story writing again. *Clapping ensues*

Yopaz:

Rangerboy87:
Somebody get this man a game writing job.

I have to agree with this. I'm not sure how good the games would be, but at least we'd get some interesting stories out of him.

They did approach him to write the new Duke Nukem game, but turned his proposal down because he wanted to portray the guy in a more ironic style.

Even if he did write for a game, there is no guarantee that they would actually use what he wrote in production. A friend of mine met Ms. Pratchett, the writer who produced the Mirror's Edge story. She was (reportedly) very jaded over them discarding most of her input.

People send Yahtzee reviews? Are these people masochists looking for some sort of illicit thrill?


Shannon Spencer Fox:
Huh. What's this 'DNF script'

The story, as told to me: A long time ago, Yahtzee was one of the writers asked to write a plot treatment for Duke Nukem Forever. It was apparently a self-aware comedic take on Duke that everyone loved except the decision maker, who didn't like the angle it took and claimed "Duke wouldn't say this!"

Shannon Spencer Fox:
and 2nd-person perspective horror game you're referring to? I don't recall those...

Nor do I. I remember he discussed the "Sightjack" thing in the Siren games as being a rare example of 2nd person gameplay*, and IIRC he ruminated on how it wasn't being used to full effect, but I don't think a game idea came out of it.

(* If you move outside of survival horror, I think it was predated by a boss battle in the Battletoads games that was done in second person. Because it uses the same sprites as 3rd person!)

Micalas:
Wasn't there a PE3 that came out on PSP recently that no one played because no one give a shit about PSP?

Yes, The 3rd Birthday... but, perhaps unfortunately, you can add one person to that, although I've yet to play it longer than 10 minutes. Almost wish I'd waited for a demo first, or even knew of the magic world of custom firmware before buying it, but maybe I just need to give it a better shot.

But hey, don't knock the PSP; it did give us Kingdom Hearts: BBS, after all. Unless you look at it as another KH game NOT being made on the PS3... heh.

Ragsnstitches:
That's a pretty good analogy.

Thanks! I rather like it myself, of course.

Micalas:

Therumancer:
That said what we need is a crossover between two currently mediocre game franchises in hopes of reviving them both. Find some way to have Aya Brea from "Parasite Eve" go up against the surviving virus from Prototype, it's kind of what she does. For some reason Prototype always made me think of PE anyway.... of course it's doubtful this crossover will ever happen, but it would be fun if it did.... :)

Whaaaa? I loved Parasite Eve. Especially PE2.

Wasn't there a PE3 that came out on PSP recently that no one played because no one give a shit about PSP?

Oh, I liked it too, but the game "The 3rd Birthday" got some pretty middle of the road reviews, and allegedly there was supposed to be another game that came out in Japan and never got a US release for the PS-2 which was set in the same universe. Hence why I said it was a mediocre game franchise.

As far as nobody caring, the PSP wasn't a huge platform compared to some others but still had (and still has) decent numbers of users (including me). Plenty of RPGs and such found a home on that handheld, and really it's the game system of choice for a lot of hardcore RPG players like me, we just happen to be fairly outnumbered. Not to mention it being bigger in Japan, and apparently 3rd Birthday didn't do all that well over there either.

I just thought it would be an amusing crossover since Aya is pretty much the living incarnation of an antibody to kill super viruses, and develops all kinds of crazy powers herself at times. While she wouldn't share the same lore as the Prototype storyline, you could see an analogy to an adaptive super vaccine fighting an adaptive super infection, and which was going to triumph in the end. :)

My favorite thing about Prototype 1 story was exactly the fact that we played as this virus entity that considered itself Mercer, while Mercer was dead before the game even began.
Right now, I'm disappointed and not sure I will even try Prototype 2... Plus, I don't want to play as black protagonist to be honest, especially so cliched one...

I like Yahtzee's premise, I really do but the problem here is I think some people would get lost with that much information being thrown at them. It would be too much to take in at once.

While I can honestly say that I still want to play this game, having enjoyed the first one, this article may allow me to enjoy the plot more. I'll probably have my own opinion of it after experiencing the story, but I can at least say that I had fun with (if at all). In my opinion, "reading too much into the game" shows that there is potential for a good story, despite being poorly executed. And it also proves that not all gamers are brain-dead, dude-bros.

maninahat:

Yopaz:

Rangerboy87:
Somebody get this man a game writing job.

I have to agree with this. I'm not sure how good the games would be, but at least we'd get some interesting stories out of him.

They did approach him to write the new Duke Nukem game, but turned his proposal down because he wanted to portray the guy in a more ironic style.

Which, incidentally, would have made the game much better than it ended up being, what with trying to be tongue-in-cheek about everything except the Duke, while simultaneously having functional but bland gameplay and terrible level design.

Lord_Gremlin:
... Plus, I don't want to play as black protagonist to be honest, especially so cliched one...

image
Just what exactly are you saying?

(I'd be careful. We don't like that sort of sentiment on the escapist.)

Formica Archonis:
The story, as told to me: A long time ago, Yahtzee was one of the writers asked to write a plot treatment for Duke Nukem Forever. It was apparently a self-aware comedic take on Duke that everyone loved except the decision maker, who didn't like the angle it took and claimed "Duke wouldn't say this!"

Oh! Yes, Duke Nukem Forever... now I remember that EP column. This is the problem with acronyms, though... ;)

Formica Archonis:
Nor do I. I remember he discussed the "Sightjack" thing in the Siren games as being a rare example of 2nd person gameplay*, and IIRC he ruminated on how it wasn't being used to full effect, but I don't think a game idea came out of it.

(* If you move outside of survival horror, I think it was predated by a boss battle in the Battletoads games that was done in second person. Because it uses the same sprites as 3rd person!)

Ahh, yes, the first boss in that game, as it happens... and now I feel old. But hey, at least it was before the soul-crushing rocket-sled portion of the game!

Anyway, as for the second-person thing, I suppose you *could* argue that the old Sega CD game Night Trap did it as well... maybe. Depends on your definition of 'second-person perspective', perhaps. Either way, it'd probably be rather tricky to pull off, in my opinion. But it could be interesting to see!

Therumancer:
Oh, I liked it too, but the game "The 3rd Birthday" got some pretty middle of the road reviews, and allegedly there was supposed to be another game that came out in Japan and never got a US release for the PS-2 which was set in the same universe. Hence why I said it was a mediocre game franchise.

As far as nobody caring, the PSP wasn't a huge platform compared to some others but still had (and still has) decent numbers of users (including me). Plenty of RPGs and such found a home on that handheld, and really it's the game system of choice for a lot of hardcore RPG players like me, we just happen to be fairly outnumbered. Not to mention it being bigger in Japan, and apparently 3rd Birthday didn't do all that well over there either.

I just thought it would be an amusing crossover since Aya is pretty much the living incarnation of an antibody to kill super viruses, and develops all kinds of crazy powers herself at times. While she wouldn't share the same lore as the Prototype storyline, you could see an analogy to an adaptive super vaccine fighting an adaptive super infection, and which was going to triumph in the end. :)

Well, my personal experience with T3B was somewhat marred by the fact that it was pretty darn tricky, even from the start... but maybe I just suck at playing it, or didn't do something right. Either way. That said, the idea of a PE/Prototype crossover *does* sound interesting... and now I have another Rule 42 check to do. :p

Shannon Spencer Fox:

Raiyan 1.0:
This Prototype existentialist crisis, his original DNF script, the 2nd person perspective horror game... damn Yahtzee, sell your bar and set up a video game studio already!

Huh. What's this 'DNF script' and 2nd-person perspective horror game you're referring to? I don't recall those... although, arguably, the second one's been done before, if you want to get *super*-technical. ;) http://homeoftheunderdogs.net/game.php?id=792

(Unless you meant a current, and arguably *good* game... ^_^)

Formica Archonis:
People send Yahtzee reviews? Are these people masochists looking for some sort of illicit thrill?


Shannon Spencer Fox:
Huh. What's this 'DNF script'

The story, as told to me: A long time ago, Yahtzee was one of the writers asked to write a plot treatment for Duke Nukem Forever. It was apparently a self-aware comedic take on Duke that everyone loved except the decision maker, who didn't like the angle it took and claimed "Duke wouldn't say this!"

Shannon Spencer Fox:
and 2nd-person perspective horror game you're referring to? I don't recall those...

Nor do I. I remember he discussed the "Sightjack" thing in the Siren games as being a rare example of 2nd person gameplay*, and IIRC he ruminated on how it wasn't being used to full effect, but I don't think a game idea came out of it.

(* If you move outside of survival horror, I think it was predated by a boss battle in the Battletoads games that was done in second person. Because it uses the same sprites as 3rd person!)

Well, the DNF script has already been accounted for. As for the 2nd person perspective horror game, I was talking about this: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/9423-Survival-Horror-on-a-Cruise-Ship

You don't see through your own eyes, but the eyes of surrounding CCTVs. :)

I like the mock-up for what an interesting story for Prototype 2 would be, even if it didn't pan out. But you know very well why you don't get to write for a AAA game and I'll remind everybody else. To quote futurama:

"Clever things make people feel stupid, and unexpected things make them feel scared." You will never be able to write for a big game because you do not disrespect the intelligence and emotional stability of your audience sufficiently.

... And it's times like this that keep me wondering why Yahtzee hasn't made more games. I mean, Poacher was awesome. The ideas he brings forward like this are pretty awesome. I would buy the games. WHO'S WITH ME?!

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here