Are We Having Fun Yet?

Only a brief post since it’s 1:30 in the morning and I feel a little weary. Basically, I’ve been playing quite a bit of Prototype lately, and wondering what it is I think about the game as a whole (rather than specifics of representing “walking slow” or whatever).

It struck me today as I turned the game off that what I was experiencing with Prototype, and which is actually fairly rare in my playing of games, is… fun. Yes, I’m having fun playing this particular mutant-psycho game in ways which I can’t recall experiencing recently. My favourite game of all time, Skate 3, isn’t fun so much as beautiful. Metro 2033 wasn’t really fun so much as a decent story controlled with a gun. Deadly Premonition isn’t so much fun as surreal and charmingly shit.

And so on. Most games I played have tended to interest me in some way, rather than cause me big buckets of enjoyment. Prototype is the first in a while that I just enjoy playing for the sake of it. Mostly, for the enjoyment of controlling movement in the game. Running up the side of a building, launching into the air, and then gliding across Central Park is really pretty cool. And not in any “I have mastered the art” way… it’s just cool. Nor do I give much of a shit about the plot – it rolls along and it’s nice enough. Nor do I mind much about the combat – I seem to get by without dying very much and without trying to gain any mastery of the system.

In the end it’s just a game that lets itself be played and, while I sometimes worry about it not being “interesting”, I’m grateful for the experience of just playing it. It’s a perfect storm of various good-enough components. Perhaps it reminds me, experience wise, of something like a Fable game, but a bit more dynamic in terms of movement, which gets more of a thumbs-up from my particular brain chemistry.

So it’s been a while since I got home latish and wanted to play a game, but I can’t help feeling like it’d be nice to jump over a 30ft wall, take over a base commander’s body, and sneak into a high-security military facility right about now…

27 February 2011
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