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Alpha Protocol Review Extravaganza
Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Wed 14 July 2010, 23:55:21Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment
I think we can all agree that we need more Alpha Protocol reviews.
It's a real shame that Obsidian wasn't able to deliver a level of action commensurate with the role-playing. Once I was able to see past all the warts, there was definitely something of value underneath, and if there ever was a game that deserved an improved sequel, it would be this one. Hopefully people in the industry will take note of the parts of Alpha Protocol that worked, and build on them through new titles in the future. If there's any justice in the world, Thorton's mission will not have been in vain.
GamingExcellence decides the game is decent, 6.5/10.
Let's start this off on a high note though and talk about what the game does well. Mike Thorton is a new recruit to the super-secret program government agency, Alpha Protocol. Existing as a problem solving program, AP is run without much of any government interference so that it can do the things that need to be done while providing the government plausible deniability of the programs existence. On Mike's very first mission things go horribly wrong and he finds himself on the run from his own agency, running for his life while also trying to stop a global conspiracy from starting World War III.
Let's hope it never happens that some weapon manufacturer sells weapons to terrorists or assassinates an asian politician no one has ever heard of. Or blows up a museum. Because if we have learned one thing from Alpha Protocol, it's that if that ever happens the US, Russia, Europe and China will immediately start nuking each other. Makes sense.
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It feels like an action game, in that you’re aiming and shooting in real time; but it is a role-playing game, in that whether you actually hit or do any meaningful damage depends on the skills you have chosen over the course of the game (with no way to change those choices after they are made). The problem is that it is extremely disconcerting for most gamers to pick up an assault rifle, put the crosshairs directly on a target, pull the trigger and then see nothing happen (because you didn’t train for assault rifles), or to turn a corner and fire an entire clip from a submachine gun into a major enemy and watch him shrug it off (because you didn’t train for submachine guns).
Primary Ignition are the next the in line with 6.5/10.
Alpha Protocol places the player in the shoes of agent Michael Thorton, a United States operative who is betrayed and forced to go rogue to complete his mission, and find out who has doublecrossed him. The game could be described as a mixture of the gameplay of Mass Effect and the story of USA Network’s Burn Notice.
Unfortunately, Alpha Protocol is not able to copy the best of either of these, and the game suffers for it. The game straddles the line between open world adventure and mission-based shooter, this hybrid style is a confusing choice as it seems to gut the best of both styles and leaves only the most frustrating aspects remaining. The story has the potential to be the most compelling part of the game, but because the game’s pacing is so terrible, the story becomes far more confusing and convoluted than it needs to be. Characters pop in and are then never seen again, and even the most well-developed characters are subpar compared to the character development in other open world adventure games. Alpha Protocol lacks any real direction, and the game does not feel any more difficult or any more exciting as it goes on. When the game finally ends, it is not especially rewarding and there is no real resolution to the story. The game simply ends, and the player is left with nothing but questions and mounting frustrations.
And finally GameNorth with a score of 75/100.
When all is said and done, I would recommend that you pick it up to at least try it out, but don’t expect an epic experience. The game has its moments, but nothing that you’ve not seen before if you’re into games such as Deus Ex or Mass Effect. Ultimately, Alpha Protocol still feels like it’s in Beta testing. Not in all areas, but enough of them to make this game a mediocre experience.
Spotted at: GB