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Review Medium Alpha Protocol Review Extravaganza

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
    Joined:
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    Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment

    <p>I present to you another batch of Alpha Protocol reviews, this time of the rather positive sorts.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>First in the line is <a href="http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2010/06/alpha-protocol-review-xbox-360.html" target="_blank">PasteMagazine</a> who think that <em>saving the world, one decision at a time </em>is worth 7.3/10.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>Unlike other games that offer expansive decision-making, choices in <em>Alpha Protocol</em> have long-term consequences. Let that terrorist leader live and he&rsquo;ll email you intelligence reports, but speak too flippantly to an ally and she might not have your back anymore. Palpable consequences lead to a totally interactive experience that you&rsquo;ll have to play through multiple times to fully appreciate.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Yes, those "Email Consequences" are certainly on of the greatest innovations in modern RPGs.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>Game-Pad <a href="http://www.game-pad.net/reviews/xbox-360/1015-alpha-protocol-review" target="_blank">took a look at the game too</a> for a final score of 7.1/10.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>We then come on to the decision making.&nbsp;At first glance&nbsp;it seems to&nbsp;make a massive impact. However this is strangely deceiving as you'll soon&nbsp;find out. It seems like regardless of&nbsp;what you decide to do, whether your harsh&nbsp;to everyone, kind, or decide to kill most people&nbsp;you'll still get the same ending with a slight variation. Overall it seems like Obsidian were setting&nbsp;the game up&nbsp;for a sequel. Not to spoil the ending too much, but&nbsp;the decisions don't&nbsp;seem&nbsp;to&nbsp;have much&nbsp;direct&nbsp;impact, and the text that follows these missions&nbsp;talks about "ramifications". Unfortunately the reception the game&nbsp;recieved critically&nbsp;may&nbsp;result in there never being a sequel,&nbsp;which means&nbsp;we wont be able to see the outcome of the decisions made.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>ZoKnowsGaming concludes that <a href="http://zoknowsgaming.com/2010/06/26/alpha-protocol-review-action-rpg/" target="_blank">Obsidian delivered something very special</a>, 8/10.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>With that said though, Alpha Protocol has proven that this new genre of the action RPG is not only viable but when done properly it can thrive and it makes me excited to see what other developers are going to do going forward in this space. To me it has everything you could ask for in a very, very good game and if it wasn&rsquo;t for the crazy increase in difficulty in some of the major battles it would have been near perfect in my opinion. It doesn&rsquo;t have the greatest graphics, but in a game like this there is just so much more that it doesn&rsquo;t take away as much as you might think. As is, Alpha Protocol is a very good game that will definitely keep you occupied for 20+ hours if you explore all the game&rsquo;s missions which I recommend doing. In what is going to be a pretty slow few months, Alpha Protocol is one of the best games available and I would definitely recommend it for both hardcore RPG fans and casual gamers who aren&rsquo;t really into the normal type of RPGs. Alpha Protocol won&rsquo;t be for everyone though, you have to understand that this isn&rsquo;t Uncharted or Metal Gear and there are some rough edges but if you give it a real chance it will definitely grow on you.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>And finally, not a review, but Play Magazine called Alpha Protocol <a href="http://www.play-mag.co.uk/features/top-5-most-underrated-games-so-far-this-year/" target="_blank">one of the most underrated games this year</a>.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>People who only like shooting games failed to look beyond the ropey combat and see that which was genuinely innovative about the first game veteran studio Obsidian can call its very own. The ingenious dialogue and story systems make for a brilliantly engaging experience.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Sometimes an accident happens and the brilliantly engaging experience doesn't make it into a certain copy of the game. That's usually the publishers fault.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>Spotted at: <a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/98520-alpha-protocol-reviews.html">Gamebanshee</a></p>
     
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  2. Silellak Liturgist

    Silellak
    Joined:
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    Finally picked up a copy when it was on sale on Steam. I'll copy/paste my thoughts from the ITS forums, based solely off the Saudi missions:

    - Playing a pistol/stealth build. Stealth is definitely "clunky", but I'm gradually getting a feel for it.
    - The timed dialog doesn't really bother me as much as I thought it would, but I can definitely see how it'd get annoying in certain situations.
    - The graphics are laughably bad, especially for something that uses the Unreal 3 engine. It feels like something I'd have played 5 or 6 years ago. There's really no excuse for that, either.
    - How did they design a cover system this awful?
    - On a related note, why can't I vault over cover?  This cuts off so many obvious stealth routes.
    - Oh good, another scripted sequence where I'm spotted.  Hey Obsidian - if I've snuck through an entire level without a single alarm, you shouldn't "reward" me by having alarms go off and trapping my character into a room.  
    - Really?  I just killed the first boss of the level with stealth and now you want me to run around grabbing rocket launchers (that just happened to show up when they weren't there before) and blow up a tank?  I fucking hate you, level designer.
    - Seriously, why can't I vault over cover?
    - I am really tired of every enemy who is "alerted to my presence" somehow knowing exactly where I am
    - Oh, speaking of that, thanks for having some enemies randomly fire off a single shot from their gun after I stealthily shoot them in the head, thus putting the remaining guards on alert. I love having all my stealth work ruined by chance.
    - WHY THE FUCKING FUCK CAN'T I VAULT OVER COVER JESUS OBSIDIAN IS THIS 2005?!

    All of that said, I'm still playing, but it's just frustrating how many small, simple things they could've changed to create a substantially better game.  I think it's a hybrid game that suffers even more than ME1 in the fact that it really wants to be an RPG but simply doesn't give you enough feedback about the mechanics.  You have to do too much guessing vs. knowing.  Imagine playing a PnP RPG without a rulebook and a DM who won't tell you shit about how anything works.

    "Will that guard see me?"
    "Dunno, maybe. Try and sneak by and see what happens."
    "I fucking hate you."
    "I know."
     
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  3. Fat Dragon Arbiter

    Fat Dragon
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    So maybe try taking extra care when attacking heavily armored targets then?
     
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  4. KalosKagathos Prestigious Gentleman Learned

    KalosKagathos
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    [​IMG]
    Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there were other non-isometric RT RPGs before UU, but it's the earliest one that springs to mind.
     
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  5. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
    Joined:
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    All right, a chance to show off knowledge.
    Nonexclusive list of real-time first person perspective role playing game-things predating Ultima Underworld: Dungeon Master from 1987, Eye of the Beholder I and II from 1991, Ishar: Legend of the Fortress released in the same year,1992. I dunno if its predecessor Crystals of Arborea was or not since I never bothered to play it. Only have so much time.

    Exaggeration. Look at games from 5-6 years ago. Or NWN2 for that matter.
    You're in for an amazing experience. If they're going to spend all that time/money/effort setting these battles up, you damn well ought to see them!
     
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  6. Silellak Liturgist

    Silellak
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    This has nothing to do with how "armored" they are. I'm talking about shooting standard, unarmored henchmen in the head. Sometimes, randomly, they fire a shot into the ground as part of their death animation, and that single shot alerts all other guards in the area.
     
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  7. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    I confirm this. It was a bitch "feature". Specially as some of the 100% linear areas in levels force you to choose between taking down enemies silently or being detected instantly(or using popamole invisibilty skill, but that is so stupid I couldn't stand doing it).

    The game does everything possible to persuade you to go in popping moles instead of sneaking if you want to try an experience that doesn't break the immersion as much as its flaws regarding enemy AI already do.
     
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  8. Fat Dragon Arbiter

    Fat Dragon
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    That often only happens when using tranq darts, which don't KO instantly like bullets do. Wanting to dispatch an enemy silently and non-lethally, well using the tranq rounds that can give the enemy a chance to get off a warning shot is a risk you end up taking.

    It also happens if you don't score a perfect critical hit headshot, since you don't get a quick clean kill.
     
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  9. Silellak Liturgist

    Silellak
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    Why is the risk present? Is there a gameplay balance justification for it, or is it just a dick move by the developers? Tranq darts are already much more expensive ammo-wise than standard bullets.

    The character graphics aren't awful, but the environments seem like something right out of Max Payne. Even if that's an exaggeration, there's no excuse for something this bad out of an engine that can do quite a bit more.
     
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  10. Ruprekt Scholar

    Ruprekt
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    I wish I kept this box :(

    I chucked it out when I got UW and UW2 on cd :( :( :(
     
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  11. Fat Dragon Arbiter

    Fat Dragon
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    If you had read the tranq darts description, it says clearly that it does sedative damage over a few seconds, not instantly. It's a dart, not a bullet, it makes sense that it doesn't work instantly. That said, if you score a perfect headshot with them it almost always takes the enemy down no problem, unless it's one of the tougher ones with more hp for it to drain. It's a good idea to read the faction dossiers, to know what the tougher enemies look like so you'll know before deciding to take the shot.
     
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  12. hoochimama Liturgist

    hoochimama
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    Just blow the alarms, it's nothing a couple of suck-up dialog responses can't fix.
     
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  13. KalosKagathos Prestigious Gentleman Learned

    KalosKagathos
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    As far as I can tell, chances of a dying guard alarming the others decrease drastically as your damage increases (at least it stopped happening in both of my playthroughs very, very quickly). So stop being a pussy and either invest more in the pistols skill, mod your pistol, buy a better pistol or switch to different ammo (steel core always kills people cleanly).
     
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  14. hoochimama Liturgist

    hoochimama
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    665
    If you find yourself using the pistol for something other than critical headshots with a stealth build you're doing it wrong anyway.

    And unless things change on hard a head crit even with tranq ammo should take down anyone aside from a boss asap(it even goes through multiple foes).
     
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  15. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    The 'bullet while dying' thing is a matter of not instakilling the guards. Tranq darts work like 'poison', that is, they do damage over time. If your damage is low, a headshot can leave them at like 5% hp which is almost instantly taken down by the hp degen, so it looks like they're put down instantly, but they're still alive for that microsecond to fire a shot.
     
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  16. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Resources like money, people available, time, and talent all of which Obsidian seems to have in short supply. Most UE3 games look ugly to me anyway, a lot of them seem to share this greasy plastic-look. Then there's this quote from Fergie:
    Easiest solution to this problem would be to stop making action games.
     
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  17. Mystary! Arcane

    Mystary!
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    Use chain shot on the tougher enemies, 2 darts in the head are enough to take them out without alerting anyone.
    BUT, i don't know if this is a bug or not, if Evasion trigger while in chainshot mode it cancels chainshot, fucking annoying.
     
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  18. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity
    Most annoying is doing a chain shot only to realize the camera angle is blocking you so you shoot twice into thin air. Fffffuuu
     
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  19. KalosKagathos Prestigious Gentleman Learned

    KalosKagathos
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    Right, and the easiest way to solve the problem of unequal distribution of wealth is to kill all rich people.
     
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  20. jazzotron Liturgist

    jazzotron
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    247
    It's a start...
     
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  21. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin
    Hack 'n' slah your way to fortune! Whoo-hoo!
     
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  22. random_encounter Educated

    random_encounter
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    This pissed me off to no end. For some reason, super-skilled Thorton can't mantle or jump over something as simple as a sandbag which actually hurt the immersion factor for me. I'm supposed to believe this guy is good when he can't get over a low wall? I guess I should be happy that none of the other NPCs can do it, either, but it would have helped keep combat from being as bad as it is.

    Get used to this. I actually went with a ninja build only to find it useless against the bosses (most, except for
    Show Spoiler
    Omen Deng who can be pummeled at will with decent martial arts
    ) unless I invested more points into weapons or exploited the AI. Brayko was fun. Wait 'til you meet him.

    I love it when everyone trains their weapons directly at me even though I might have been behind a wall when their friend fifty yards away shot his bullet into the air after using my silenced pistol.

    One other thing that bothered me is that it also felt like I was traveling in this invisible box that locks onto certain areas as you enter them, locking previously opened doors any backtracking once you pass the invisible threshold. Just because.
     
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