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RPGWatch Alpha Protocol Impressions
Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 31 May 2010, 15:13:05Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment
Our good friends over at the Watch are sharing their impressions about Obsidians Espionage "RPG".
Beyond the obvious issues outlined, I feel Alpha Protocol is unsure of its own identity and this sends mixed messages to players, resulting in mixed reactions. The combat is affected by the RPG elements but the RPG systems don't quite stand on their own; I would have liked a deeper skill system and stronger stealth mechanics - including the boss fights. At a deeper conceptual level, Alpha Protocol presents a real-world setting but then uses skills that act like magic and exaggerated characters inspired by '80s Bond films. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and writing but they seem an uncomfortable fit with the realism. Ultimately, I think Alpha Protocol would have been better with a more stylised, graphic-novel theme.
But Alpha Protocol is better than the sum of these parts. The intricate plot changes, character relationships and quick-fire choices with consequences are miles ahead of any other action/RPG - and many traditional RPGs for that matter. Despite the niggles and missed opportunities, I look forward to getting back to the game and uncovering the conspiracy.
Additionally, some more reviews surfaced.
In effect, Alpha Protocol feels like you are playing out an episode of the USA Network's television series, Burn Notice (ed. note: Can we get more Psych, USA Network? Come on!). There is even a handler who refers to you as 'Mikey' in the same style as the character Sam does on that show. Alpha Protocol is a popcorn spy-flick, and whether you choose to go as an ex-soldier, ex-field agent, or even mercenary skill-build you will have a great time playing it through should you look at it as such. There are just enough plot twists to keep things interesting and the interweaving aspects of the game make you want to replay it with different choices to see how things turn out. Those players looking to be Daniel Craig as James Bond, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, or even Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer will be disappointed.
Alpha Protocol is far from a perfect game, but if you enjoy spy movies and the Mass Effect ’style’ of interacting with other NPC’s then it will certainly be worth a look. Sadly for me, the dire A.I. and rather bland enemy characters marred the experience. I would recommend it, but only for those of you who like a rich story and sharp dialogue.
Spotted at: RPGWatch