Prototype: First Impressions

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I can’t tell whether or not I’m the only one who has been waiting all year for Prototype to come out.

I don’t even know why. I don’t even know that much about it. The story seems to be about this hoody-wearing hipster-looking guy in his 20s named Alex who wakes up in the morgue one day with unbelievable kick-ass powers. He’s super-strong and damage resistant. He can run up walls and punch the crap out of people, and assume disguises, and periodically bits of his body change shape and become weapons. For some reason instead of being stoked about this, he’s pissed off. Here’s the trailer:

I’m about an hour in, and so far? It’s fantastic. You’re in a beautifully realized open-world-version of Manhattan, through which you can roam freely. Being able to run up walls at will just moved up into my top-3-wishes list. You’re hella powerful — so far I haven’t met anything that’s been in any real danger of putting me down, tanks included, which is fine, since I’m still figuring out how the targeting system works, and how to deploy my various attacks. Some of my attacks are gross and writhing! (Alex’s powers are not wholly dissimilar from the ones in The Darkness.)

The plot revolves around the release of some kind of scary virus, which turns people into I Am Legend-type monsters and generally has the citizenry pretty spooked. I assume it will all come out that this greedy biotech company I used to work for did something gravely unethical, and for which I taking them firmly to task. Somewhere in the mix is Alex’s sister, who is pleasingly hot. If I could make Alex make out with his sister, I would.

Complaints: I don’t have many. Whenever I pass too close to pedestrians on the street, I automatically kick their asses, which I feel a little bad about — it’s like that old Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” video, but in reverse. But that’s probably my issue — maybe I need to tweak a mode somewhere. I’m not a great one for studying the controls too closely.

If there’s anything I could wish for so far, it’s that Alex was a little more relatable. He’s like one of those annoyingly good-looking hipsters who are always getting served ahead of me in bars. Memo to game developers: I don’t want to be guys like that. I want to punch guys like that.