This game is very good, maybe great?

#1 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

I just played through Saudi Arabia and Moscow over the last two days.  I'm having a great time!  I love the guns, gadgets, and other gear.  I've spec'ed into toughness, shotguns, and tech.  Some points in stealth and melee so that I can sneak up on dudes and burn them down from behind or just choke em.  The Russian mob boss was hilarious and kinda a tougher fight than I was expecting. 
 
The shooting seems fine to me.  I don't mind rough edges on games at all though.  Some of it feels a little random about how much damage is dealt but whatever.  It works and feels cool.  The gadgets have been pretty fun too with lots of chances to setup traps and just waste an entire room with a little planning and sneaking around. 
 
The story has been excellent so far and I feel like my dialog choices really matter in how things turn out and what type of business and personal relationships my character builds.  I'm already looking forward to running through the game again with a different build and making new enemies and allies. 
 
This game is great.  I'm sorry I waited so long to buy it.

#2 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

Alpha protocol got a huge amount of negative criticism, some of it justly so but theres so much more to this game than most people realise. I would call it one of the most overlooked games of the last 10 years. 

#3 Posted by Animasta (14711 posts) -
@jadeskye said:
" Alpha protocol got a huge amount of negative criticism, some of it justly so but theres so much more to this game than most people realise. I would call it one of the most overlooked games of the last 10 years.  "
wooooord. The amount of variation the game has is fucking mindblowing. The last mission was completely different the 3 times I played it!
#4 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

Yes!
I also bought it really recently and finished it a few days ago. I loved it so much I immediately started a second playthrough. The game has some rough spots for sure, but it also does a lot of things right. for me those things are:

  • You really create your own story, decisions you make have a huge impact not only short term but also long term..
  • The way dialogue is handled is awesome, you need to think on your feet because of the time limit
  • Besides the difficulty slider there is a choice between Recruit and Veteran
  • The setting is really original for an RPG
#5 Posted by Sarkhan (1196 posts) -

Hmmm. Reading all of this, i might go and pick it up this week. Sound like fun:)
#6 Posted by Jimbo (9866 posts) -

Game is mega.  If it hadn't been so broken it would be one of the great RPGs.  Still good though, in spite of the brokenness.

#7 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I liked everything about the game except for the shit A.I. The story and dialog choices are both top-notch. Plus, you can find it so cheap now, which definitely makes it worth it. 

#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11909 posts) -

I've already been through why I don't like Alpha Protocol plenty of times, but it will suffice to say that I disagree that doing one thing right (making your choices have impact. A general feel of dynamicism) doesn't compensate for everything else (Weak story and characters, some of the most imbalanced and frustrating gameplay I've experienced). There are aspects of it that I liked for sure ( obligatory link to the blog I wrote about it), but any game that makes fighting a coked up russian mobster with a taste for bad 80s paraphernalia an overwhelmingly negative experience is not a game I can endorse. If you like it, that's great for you.

#9 Posted by lead_farmer (1041 posts) -

I keep staring at this game on Amazon because it is $14.  Add to cart?

#10 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3625 posts) -

Yeah, I like it.

#11 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3819 posts) -

The gameplay is definitely weak, but it's amazing how much control you have over plot-events.  Of course, you can the story can be either pretty good or pretty bad based on those choices, but it's a lot more interesting a game then I was led to believe.  The best part?  No cliffhanger ending that we won't ever see the follow-up to.

#13 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater:  That fight is awful until you go to Taiwan and get Steven Heck to spike his coke for an easy win.
#14 Posted by Animasta (14711 posts) -
@lead_farmer said:
" I keep staring at this game on Amazon because it is $14.  Add to cart? "
do it! I bought it full price and I got my money's worth (3 playthroughs, maybe a 4th)
#15 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

 I love Alpha Protocol

#16 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11909 posts) -
@owl_of_minerva said:
" @ArbitraryWater:  That fight is awful until you go to Taiwan and get Steven Heck to spike his coke for an easy win. "
I was referring to all boss battles in general for this game. I had Heck spike the coke and even with half heath the boss still repeatedly murdered my stealth oriented Thorton. If there's one thing I hate about old RPGs, it's dead end playstyles (a problem that Arcanum, another game I have trouble understanding the praise for, also has in spades.) Of course, even if you do go full combat the shooting isn't good enough for the gameplay to be anything other than mediocre. Maybe I'll replay it and do a second thoughts blog, but I've talked so much about how much I don't care for it that I may have poisoned any future experiences with that game. Hmmm... it's been a long enough time since I last played KotOR 2 (another Obsidian "gem"). Maybe I'll do that instead of continuing NWN 2 (and yet another Obsidian gem. No quotation marks because I actually think it's finally gotten decent 10 hours in), although it's finally gotten to somewhere resembling quality.
#17 Posted by TheMustacheHero (6655 posts) -

Yeah, this game really surprised me, I got it for like...3 bucks. 
 
The melee and stealth is really fun.

#18 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5276 posts) -

Dude I agree. I freaking loved the game. Spec'ed pretty much all in stealth so I was a sneaky mother fucker. I assume you're playing it on PC too? I had a friend play it on 360 and was completely blown away when he saw the PC version just in terms of visual quality and performance. Not saying it out of PC fanboyism or anything, but yeah the PC version is totally the way to go after I checked out the console version myself.
 
And if you're one of those types where a mouse and keyboard used for gaming is a ridiculous idea, the game natively supports your precious 360 controller. To be honest I thought that was a great way to play considering the UI is controller-centric to begin with, and as a bonus I could stealth kill dudes left and right from the comfort of my couch. Whatever control scheme you prefer, if you haven't done so and are at least in the slightest interested in this game, do yourself a favor and get a copy now. It certainly surprised me.
 
Oh yeah and don't force AA in the game either. It totally makes the dialog options blank, so for the first few hours of the game I was flying blind not quite figuring out why the hell nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I restarted the game without forced AA and the game made a hell of a lot more sense!

#19 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater:  I agree that it's disappointing that stealth wasn't fully viable and some options are noticeably overpowered - sabotage is necessary no matter what build, and the pistol's chain shot mows through bosses. On the other hand, I don't understand the hate for the combat - true hybrids of shooter and RPG ( Deus Ex, System Shock 2) do the same thing, namely any unskilled weapon usage is difficult. Why evaluate it according to the standards of a different genre entirely? In addition, AP uses abilities to represent higher levels of character skill, whereas shooters that rely entirely on player skill are not RPGs in any significant sense ( Borderlands, Mass Effect 2). 

If what you're saying is that RPGs should avoid hybridising with action games, I would tend to agree though. Strategy is the logical and best mechanical pairing for RPGs.
#20 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11909 posts) -
@owl_of_minerva: The thing is, I think dice rolls to determine combat hits in any sort of action-type game is bullshit. I can't evaluate it by the standards of Deus Ex or Mass Effect 1 because I found the combat in those games to be generally... lackluster (maybe the paramount reason why I never got past the first level in Deus Ex). It might just be the "If it looks like a duck" syndrome, but when I want my dice rolls I want them in games I can either pause and issue commands to my party or are entirely turn based. Michael Thorton is supposed to be a badass agent, and therefore in the context of the game he should be able to fire any weapon without a reticule the size of half the screen. If we want to talk about immersion and crap like that, nothing is more jarring than pulling the trigger directly in front of someone's head and it missing.
 
 So yeah. I guess what I am trying to say is that I think true hybridizing of action and RPG is a stupid, stupid idea. Sorry I got off on a rant there. I like my RPGs to be RPG-y (or at least Strategy-y) and my action games to be action-y or at least not directly be affected by dice rolls.
#21 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@owl_of_minerva said:
" @ArbitraryWater:  That fight is awful until you go to Taiwan and get Steven Heck to spike his coke for an easy win. "
oh wow cool tip.  I didn't think the fight was all that bad tho, just pointed shotgun at face and pulled trigger, used the damage redux skill and the clear room shotgun skill, alternating.  He did give me a run though and I had to use 2 med kits I think.  Definitely tougher than I was expecting.  Which was actually kinda cool.  It was great to get a good challenge.  Sis was pretty fun too but not nearly as tough.
#22 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

I rented it last month and I enjoyed it. There were only two minor complaints that I had. 
 

  1. The crouched walk animation is terrible.
  2. I walked off of the map once.
 
Other than that, it's was a good experience.
#23 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: Oh right I could see where full stealth and weak on the weapons could be a frustrating experience.  I watched the QL with Jeff and he seemed to be trying to go the same route.  I just assumed the game was about the shooting gameplay as much as anything else and went full-shotgun.  I don't mind the shooting bits at all.  They seem fine for what they are.  It's no Battlefield game for sure but it's good enough.  Cover seems to work O.K. and the controls are O.K.  The one issue I had was a scripting bug where a door wouldn't open in the train yard.  I had to reload to get it to work.  Typical Obsidian stuff.
#24 Posted by kishan6 (1914 posts) -
@jadeskye said:
" Alpha protocol got a huge amount of negative criticism, some of it justly so but theres so much more to this game than most people realise. I would call it one of the most overlooked games of the last 10 years.  "
10 years is a loooooooooooong time in the video game industry.  definitely overlooked though
#25 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

This game was great but made me angry when I played it because if it just had a little more polish it could have been one of the greats. The shooting is absolutely terrible unless you spec into 1 type of gun (seriously...why hasn't a secret agent had training to shoot a pistol straight?), some of the voice work was abhorrent (my friend disagrees with me, but I could not stand some of the voice work for the main character) and the game has by far the dumbest sneak animnation I have ever been exposed to.
 
That being said, it's got some great story elements and the setting is certainly unique to the RPG genre. The characters are ok, no one was super memorable but they all did a good job I thought. The ending looks really cool the first time you play it but upon further play through I started to really see the transparency as to what choices were doing what (which i a complaint I can make about most choice-based RPGs). I would certainly recommend anyone to pick up this game on a sale or something :)

#26 Posted by ericdrum (405 posts) -

I'm a few hours into this game. So far, I'm really loving it. I think it's a great game and gets a bum rap. I need more time to review the whole product, but this game is much better than I could have ever expected. I'm really happy with my purchase.

#27 Posted by demonbear (1860 posts) -

I thought the game was good but I had issues with the story and the characters. I never cared about them, any of them and what could happen to them for some reason. They felt flat, which is too bad.

#28 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@jadeskye said:
" Alpha protocol got a huge amount of negative criticism, some of it justly so but theres so much more to this game than most people realise. I would call it one of the most overlooked games of the last 10 years.  "
agreed
#29 Edited by Soap_of_Death (94 posts) -

 I enjoyed the game also. It definitely had its problems but it's at least worth renting.

#30 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

I've written about AP quite a lot, so I'll only say this:


Those that enjoyed their time with it, loved it. It's obviously flawed, but if you're willing to look past some of the poorer elements, the game provides a fantastic experience.

I only paid £5 for it in a Steam sale, but knowing what I do now, I'd have been just as happy paying a lot more. Well worth a play.
#31 Posted by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

No, it's a piece of crap.

#32 Edited by Tennmuerti (8136 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

" @owl_of_minerva: The thing is, I think dice rolls to determine combat hits in any sort of action-type game is bullshit. I can't evaluate it by the standards of Deus Ex or Mass Effect 1 because I found the combat in those games to be generally... lackluster (maybe the paramount reason why I never got past the first level in Deus Ex). It might just be the "If it looks like a duck" syndrome, but when I want my dice rolls I want them in games I can either pause and issue commands to my party or are entirely turn based. Michael Thorton is supposed to be a badass agent, and therefore in the context of the game he should be able to fire any weapon without a reticule the size of half the screen. If we want to talk about immersion and crap like that, nothing is more jarring than pulling the trigger directly in front of someone's head and it missing.   So yeah. I guess what I am trying to say is that I think true hybridizing of action and RPG is a stupid, stupid idea. Sorry I got off on a rant there. I like my RPGs to be RPG-y (or at least Strategy-y) and my action games to be action-y or at least not directly be affected by dice rolls. "

This is a common misconception about AP, there are no dicerolls.
Your weapon skill simply determines the bullet spread.
The higher the skill the smaller the targeting reticule. (it's more complicated then this but I'm simplifiying)
Fully leveled and with gun upgrades Thorton shoots with poinpoint acuracy and minimal spread.

Immersion wise, I agree with you it is a little jarring at the start of the game.


@tourgen
said:

" @ArbitraryWater: Oh right I could see where full stealth and weak on the weapons could be a frustrating experience.  I watched the QL with Jeff and he seemed to be trying to go the same route.  I just assumed the game was about the shooting gameplay as much as anything else and went full-shotgun.  I don't mind the shooting bits at all.  They seem fine for what they are.  It's no Battlefield game for sure but it's good enough.  Cover seems to work O.K. and the controls are O.K.  The one issue I had was a scripting bug where a door wouldn't open in the train yard.  I had to reload to get it to work.  Typical Obsidian stuff. "

Full stealth is quite viable with patience as well.
I did a pacifist playthrough with 0 kills, just non lethal mele takedowns and tranq shots.

Jeffs problem was was more that he was spreading his points leveling.
Which still fucking boggles my mind how anyone with such a huge gaming background goes into an RPG and spreads out their points instead of conentrating on specific areas.
#33 Posted by zungerman090 (311 posts) -
@owl_of_minerva said:
@ArbitraryWater:  That fight is awful until you go to Taiwan and get Steven Heck to spike his coke for an easy win.
That's exactly what I love about this game. I usually go through mission in this order: Moscow->Rome->Taipei, so when I heard about being able to spike Brayko's coke I went completely nuts. What a great idea. Also, I am digging being able to be a complete dick and betray everybody.

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