I just completed the game, and I am unable to understand what all the reviewers had been fussing about, which may have caused many potential customers to turn away, and has already caused Obsidian to scrap any thoughts of a sequel.
I think the problem is in the view point from which most reviewers have begun to look at games. They're paying excessive attention to the technical proficiencies, and seem to have forgotten the main objective of playing a game: Fun.
It's like they are judges in a competition, waiting to hand out awards for how close to perfect and flawless the workings of a game are, and a re hence becoming so damn critical. Or possibly, they are in a race to prove that their technical understanding of games is outdone by no one, and that if they ignore some of the issues (though they hardly affect gameplay) and just focus on the enjoyment, they will not be taken seriously.
What's the point of a review? It's to give a basic idea to the general public of what the game is about, and whether they enjoyed finishing it or not. It's not meant to be a platform to dissect a game and point out it's flaws.
Now, I agree that what i'm saying might not be true, and that some games might have such horrible bugs that it might actually be unplayable, but believe me, Alpha Protocol is NOT such a game.
I had a great, smooth playing experience, and I enjoyed it till the end. I actually had to search up on Google to look up on the bugs that the game was criticized for, as I couldn't recollect anything so bad in the game that I couldn't carry on playing it.
See? I'm accepting I didn't recognize any bugs. It's not so hard reviewers, unless the bug is in your face and is stopping you from playing the game, don't go LOOKING for them.
Let's take a look at Gamespot's review, and see what unnecessary comments they have made about the game, which justify their 6.0 score for the game:
- Flaky, glitchy cover mechanics
- Bland visuals marred by bad animations
- Terrible AI affects both the shooting and the stealth
- The story lacks soul and character.
Ok, the cover mechanics. Frankly, I don't remember anything game breaking about that. I played as a stealthy character, so cover was a primary thing for me, and it all just went fine. Honest.
Excuse me? Bland visuals? If you're talking about the Console versions, then specify. But the PC version had good visuals. Don't expect every game to be fuckin Crysis/ Uncharted (or whichever game looks the best nowadays)
Really, I'm not trying to look for points to disagree with theirs, but again, I disagree. "Terrible" is too harsh a word. "affects" is another word that is not appropriate here. I found stealth to be very enjoyable, and their wasn't any moment where I was sneaking up on a guy and he discovered me for no reason. I'm no critic, but I do know that the AI didn't cause any problems to my game. Wouldn't know about shooting as I didn't do much of that
Oh wow, they're criticizing the story, one of the best parts of the game. It was, well paced, nicely woven, and interesting throughout the game, which is far more than what many games achieve. Lacks soul and character? What are they looking for? Deadly Premonition?
Ok, not EVERY story has to have jokes and light moments stuffed into them. It sure is fun to have a laugh along the way, but what if the designer wanted a serious story? It creates a nice sense that serious, huge events are taking place, and there's no time for shitting about. Still, there are times when you can make Mike give hilarious responses, and anything more than that would be just taking the story off - track.
You sense that the voice actors have done their best to lend some humanity to the story, but Alpha Protocol is all business and no fun; all plot and no character. There are light moments, such as some hysterical news reports on the television (a story about children and sugar is a fun highlight), and Mike's cocky half-grin is occasionally disarming. But these are small delights in a robotic narrative that may stimulate your intellect but not your emotions.
It's clear from the moment that you move around in Alpha Protocol that something isn't quite right. You control Mike from a third-person perspective, but the camera is often zoomed rather close to him, which is a hindrance to taking in your surroundings or navigating close spaces. If you stoop, the camera pulls away somewhat and you get a better view, though the way Mike scuttles about while crouching is laughably awkward.
Now I swear, camera was the last of the problems I could think of. This is what i'm trying to point out, they're too fussy and are trying to look for a reason to criticize the game. Especially the last line " If you stoop, the camera pulls away somewhat and you get a better view, though the way Mike scuttles about while crouching is laughably awkward." THAT is a problem? How desperate are they for reasons? If you find the way he crouches awkward, that's your problem. It DOES NOT affect the game play.
There's a lot more that they have written about the camera, but i'm not gonna go into all that as they're just stumbling around for reasons and bugs, of which I remember none.
Fine, i'll give this to them. I did experience these mentioned issues, and although I unconsciously adjusted the character to go around these problems, I can understand it might be annoying for some players.
Sometimes you encounter walls that you can't take cover behind for no discernible reason; at other times, the stickiness of the cover mechanic combined with the close camera can make it awkward to get out of the way of an incoming grenade.You might pop up from behind cover only to discover that your targeting reticle is missing and you can't shoot your weapon--a problem that can only be fixed by extricating yourself from cover. Or for some reason you won't be able to toss a grenade from behind a barricade.
Ok this is not true, and possibly depends on the character type you are. I was a stealth - type, so I can talk about this with experience. Pistols are ALWAYS one - shot kill if you keep putting points into them. Now talking about the long - range scenarios, if you are using a pistol in that situation, you must probably be a stealthy character. Now if you are one, you are not supposed to take long range shots. You're supposed to sneak up on them, stick to the shadows, take cover, get closer, or maybe melee kill them. That is what the thrill of being a stealthy character is. What's the point of being one if you have the ability to snipe with a pistol? And boss fights were unbelievably easy for me. Go in their face, martial art their shit out, chain shot them, and they're dead before you even break a sweat.
It's too bad it isn't a bigger part of the equation where pistols are concerned. Pistols feel relatively weak, which is to be expected, though they would seem an attractive last-resort option if you pursue the stealth angle. But you are often put in situations that can only be solved with firearms and are clearly designed with long-range weaponry in mind. In these situations, a pistol/shotgun combo is often ineffective. If you focused on stealth and melee at the expense of ranged weapons, expect some frustrations in certain combat scenarios and boss encounters.
That is just unreasonable. I never had any problems of this sort ever.
For example, when you activate a power, the screen takes on a bright yellow tone, as if someone turned up the light bloom setting extraordinarily high. Unfortunately, your targeting reticle is a dull yellow and can become practically invisible when the effect occurs. The effect can even obscure your target. This is a big inconvenience when using the chain shot ability, which can also cause your screen to jitter uncontrollably.
Now understand one thing: It is fine that they are discussing the bugs that the game has, but it should not be the only thing affecting the overall score. A 6.0? Are you serious? I think Two Worlds 1 had got the same score. It's stupid and insults the game. Overall, my opinion is that the game deserved a 7.5, for the innovations, the story, and the overall experience. The problems I experienced, apart from the ones I agreed to above, were crazy loading times, especially when using the clearinghouse. These things irritated me, but didn't stop me from playing the game.
I think what the reviewers need to do, is take a deep breath, slow down, and re-think what message they want to get across through a review. It's not a "find the flaws" game, it's a recommendation (or otherwise) to the people considering buying the game.
Now, this article was not just about Gamespot's review, it's just the one I picked to prove my point. I know i'm standing up against the majority of the opinions and I expect a lot of disagreements and flame, (while hoping some people agree) but this is just what I felt I had to say and so I did.
Now here's a mothereffin tribute from me to the game. Plenty of spoilers so don't see it unless you've finished the game.
TL;DR: Screw gamespot (and others)