Is Heller a terrible protagonist?

#1DamiensLawPosted 5/7/2012 9:56:29 AM
I have recently bought both Prototype 1 & 2 and I must say, something about Heller just annoys me greatly.
Many of my friends share the sentiment.

I can't exactly pinpoint what it is that makes Heller really aggravating. I suppose it's the developers fanatism to make us like the character. He is constantly depicted is a decent man, who just wants justice.
But for this justice he murders thousands of innocents. Not every soldier is a sociopathic maniac, neither is every lab-tech, but no, Heller just kills everyone and everything and constantly whines about his family.
I just think that "My family was killed by Alex Mercer!" pales in comparison to "I saw you rip my friend limb from limb!". Somewhere along the way, I actually started routing for the mistreated military guys.
He's just not that decent. Deal with it and stop shoving it down our throat that he is.

I know they were going for a Kratos-inspired protagonist/story, but it's just so badly written, which I find very sad.

Also, his affinity to swearing is simply annoying. I know he is big and bad, but not going one sentence without saying "f**k" or any variation thereof is just stupid.

All of this together made me skip most of the cutscenes (not that they're needed anyway...), so I could ignore the ongoing stupidity and have fun with the actual gameplay.

What's the board's oppinion on this? Anyone else annoyed by Heller, or is it just me?
#2zegram33Posted 5/7/2012 10:25:12 AM
he's not the worst protagonist ever, but he's...not mercer.
mercer was a proper byronic "hero", he was upfront about the fact that he would do anything for revenge, he had a genuine reason for it after what happened t him, and when it came down to it he sacrificed himself to save a city full of people (yeh he survived, but that doesnt cheapen the sacrifice)

heller on the other hand... yeh, his family is killed by infected. but he barely mentions that beyond the intro, and as you say, he gets a bit too happy with killing random soldiers who are trying to protect people who are just like his wife and kid.
in one of the blackwatch console missions to hunt an apc driver he said "doubt this guyhas enough rank to know anything....ahh well, i'll kill him anyway"
that was my big moment when i realised heller was actively evil as opposed to mercer who's just an antihero. added to that that

SPOILERS:
no-one seems to mention the problem with mercers plan to turn everyone into immortal superbeings (maybe in the red zone someone mentions it, but as of the end of the green zone everyones like "we must stop this!!!" and i cant figure out why that isnt actually a pretty cool idea) so overall im wishing there was an option to have heller get his ass kicked like he realistically should an just play as mercer in a city full of infected for the post-game

END SPOILERS


tl:dr- yes...yes he is
#3DamiensLaw(Topic Creator)Posted 5/7/2012 10:48:56 AM
zegram33 posted...
he's not the worst protagonist ever, but he's...not mercer.
mercer was a proper byronic "hero", he was upfront about the fact that he would do anything for revenge, he had a genuine reason for it after what happened t him, and when it came down to it he sacrificed himself to save a city full of people (yeh he survived, but that doesnt cheapen the sacrifice)


True, also Alex had some, rather comedic, moments, where he was murdering countless civilians, while loudly wondering, whether or not it was the right way to go about things.

yeh, his family is killed by infected. but he barely mentions that beyond the intro

Actually, I had the feeling that he just wouldn't shut up about it. At every chance he gets, he rubs the player's nose into that fact, just to distract them from the fact, that he killed more innocent people than Hitler.

SPOILERS
SPOILERS:
no-one seems to mention the problem with mercers plan to turn everyone into immortal superbeings (maybe in the red zone someone mentions it, but as of the end of the green zone everyones like "we must stop this!!!" and i cant figure out why that isnt actually a pretty cool idea) so overall im wishing there was an option to have heller get his ass kicked like he realistically should an just play as mercer in a city full of infected for the post-game


Very true.
Especially the hive-mind idea that Alex had, to control all the idiots running around in his new utopia struck me as genius.
No wars, no illness, no violence (rape, murder etc.).
Yes, Alex planned to use Heller's daughter, because of her genetic make-up, but Heller could have just volunteered himself as labrat, it's not like it would have done much to him, anyway...
#4SimianWonderPosted 5/7/2012 11:13:40 AM
Heller's not a nice guy, no. He's a foul mouthed brute who'll cut through anyone who happens to be in the way of reaching his goal. It's really tough to empathise with him.
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Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star. Confucius
#5ShamblerQPosted 5/7/2012 11:17:03 AM
Well TC, how would you feel if someone killed your wife and kidnapped your daughter?
Then you go through one hell of a tail-spin of a virus outbreak and you get turned into one of those monsters? Try putting yourself in Heller's shoes and see if you could understand his bitterness.

And no, i may not necessarily agree with Heller killing and consuming everyone person who he thinks is a possible suspect, but if all these scientists are trying to do is to promote their experiments and use as a bioweapon on the public, then they deserve to die, along with the soldiers that protect them.
#6DamiensLaw(Topic Creator)Posted 5/7/2012 11:23:31 AM
ShamblerQ posted...
And no, i may not necessarily agree with Heller killing and consuming everyone person who he thinks is a possible suspect, but if all these scientists are trying to do is to promote their experiments and use as a bioweapon on the public, then they deserve to die, along with the soldiers that protect them.

How so? A soldier follows orders, and this order is to protect.
In the city they protect bases, refuges and try to put an end to the infestation (the normal soldiers, not the ridiculous Blackwatch SS), trying to spare people the fate of Heller's family. But these people deserve death?

If you're actually that black and white about it and agree that the mthods don't count, then you should actually be pro-army. They plan to destroy the city, along with all the infected, in order to save the world. A somewhat more noble cause, than what Heller has to show.
#7DamiensLaw(Topic Creator)Posted 5/7/2012 11:32:12 AM
ShamblerQ posted...
Well TC, how would you feel if someone killed your wife and kidnapped your daughter?
Then you go through one hell of a tail-spin of a virus outbreak and you get turned into one of those monsters? Try putting yourself in Heller's shoes and see if you could understand his bitterness.


How I would feel? Pretty terrible, I guess. But I wouldn't turn into a moronic psychopath.
Heller even kills people, protecting other people from suffering the same fate he did, which I find extremely stupid. Being the good guy, he is depicted as, he should be a lot nicer to them and help them, rather than chew on them.

SPOILER:
Besides, he isn't just bitter, he's also an idiot. Well, maybe not an idiot per se, but very gullible.
Every villain in the damn game just wraps him around their finger, without Heller ever doubting them in the slightest.
The scientist, the Blackwatch lady etc., they say jump, Heller asks "How high?"
#8bnarmzPosted 5/7/2012 12:16:38 PM
Annoyed because he kills innocent peds? haha

I can't think of one open city game where you didn't kill innocents, that's to be expected in sandbox games.


As far as his character goes...I've played plenty of games that was more poorly written than P2.

IMO... GTA4 and Saints Row the third had horrible stories just to name a couple. Still those games are liked by many.

P2 may not be the best written...but it's definitely not the worse written. It's just an aquired taste, very suggestive and tolerable if you recognize that it's just a game. A game that happens to be liked in it's entirety by more than one gamer. ATM...I have no real complaints...
#9kyncaniPosted 5/7/2012 12:29:10 PM
It's not so much Heller being a terrible protagonist than the story being very bad.

I used to think that all the super mario plots were very stupid : a giant lizard kidnaps some princess, our plumber delivers her - killing a whole lot of mushrooms along the way - and they lived happily ever after.

Well, here a father wants revenge for his family, killing everything along the way.
It involves super powers, a whole lot of cursing and an evil corporation.
With a happy ending, somehow.
#10DamiensLaw(Topic Creator)Posted 5/7/2012 12:30:22 PM
bnarmz posted...
Annoyed because he kills innocent peds? haha

Not the point.
I'm not annoyed that he kills "peds", I'm annoyed that the developers try to shove it down our throat that Heller is a good guy, who is just on a revenge/rescue mission.
The murders of the innocent I mentioned did not refer to the aspect of gameplay, but the parts of the story, where he just murders random people, while stating they probably know nothing and have nothing today with him or his mission; the problem is just, that the story tries extremly hard to make us like Heller.