pat_mccrotch's Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360) review

Alpha Protocol - A REAL RPG

Ignore the reviews, any fan of RPG's MUST play this game. If you can look past the texture pop-in, stiff animations, and various bugs, there is a hidden gem to be played.
Let's start with the positives, the dialogue system is one of the best in gaming. Dialogue choices actually effect the overall story and how certain characters view you. It doesn't have empty choices that lead nowhere (Mass Effect, etc.). It also has a great cast of characters and an intriguing storyline. The RPG elements in the game are top-notch, you actually feel like your character is getting powerful unlike recent RPGs that have come out. With that said, starting off can be really discouraging since enemies can detect you from a mile away (if you're trying to be stealthy) and it seems like the character hasn't touched a weapon in his life. But as you level up, you get more powerful and it feels satisfying.
The only negative things I have to say about the game is the various bugs that you encounter, the medicore AI, stiff animations, and the amazingly bad texture pop-in. 
When you buy the game, don't expect a SHOOTER. Right on the box it says the espionage RPG. It's an RPG first, a shooter second. Alpha Protocol is an underrated RPG and I hope people look past the negative reviews it's been getting across the board and see for yourself how great the game is.

Posted by Jeust

I agree! You got a error there, it's not "except" but "expect". 

Posted by Pat_McCrotch
@Jeust: Good call, edited.
Posted by Jeust

No problem. :) 

Posted by SpeedracerUNT

I hope I feel the same way as you when I play this. I really dug ME2, mostly for the conversations, so this seems right up my alley.

Posted by TekZero

I follow Dave on Twitter and he said this game reminded him of the first Dues Ex in it's choices.  For me, it doesn't get any better than that for a game recommendation. 

Edited by ultrapeanut

This game is the most heartbreaking case of bandwagon hatred that I've seen in a long time, because it's such a fun game if you go into it without the expectation that it's broken garbage with no redeeming value (as most North American reviewers indicated). The technical issues in this game are so heavily oversold in comparison to something like Mass Effect 1, which had vastly more issues with a far more linear storyline and far less rewarding gameplay.  
Is it perfect? No. It's kind of janky sometimes, even. But it's obscenely fun. I actually like playing through missions, punching guys in the face and circling around enemies while staying out of sight (not to beat up on ME again, because it's one of my favorite series, but the enemies in Mass Effect are COMPLETELY psychic and there's really no chance to ever hide from them once they're aggro'd). I enjoy the gunplay, actually, and the special abilities feel insanely rewarding. The minigames even feel fairly fresh and minimally repetitious by the end of the game, somehow. 
Then you get a few hours into it, and you realize that not only is there an astonishing amount of content and character beyond the game's very typical opening hour or so, but that every component of the game actually matters. The dialogue system is so rewarding when you're involved in pressure-filled situations and have a few seconds to figure out your approach to a tricky person (Marburg in particular exemplifies how complex and tense the interactions in AP get), and the overwhelming number of choices is incredibly impressive. More impressive, though is how your words and actions truly shape so many facets of the game's outcome in so many ways.  
This is such a well-written game and offers so much to take in. People are going to look back in a few years and wonder what everyone was smoking, because I don't think crack impairs judgment to as large a degree as the general consensus on this game is impaired. 

Posted by NobodyHereButUsTrees

Excellent review, I agree with you on everything except for one point you make:

"When you buy the game, don't expect a SHOOTER. Right on the box it says the espionage RPG. It's an RPG first, a shooter second."

Even if it's not being branded as a shooter, there's no excuse for how frustratingly bad the combat is, especially since it makes up for about a third of the game. I mean seriously, how does an assault rifle miss at pointblank range maxed out? Still, when AP worked, it was very enjoyable. It's just a shame sales weren't strong enough to warrant a sequel.

Posted by CC_Now_Child

I bought this game on Steam sale based on this review. What this review states correctly is that you need to approach this game as an RPG. Then the jankiness and unrealism can be tolerated until your character starts leveling up and you get that RPG feeling of becoming powerful. HOWEVER, if you hated the boss fights in DX:HR, get ready for that 10X over in this game. This unfortunately has to be judged as a shooter based on these horrendous experiences. Seriously, the boss fights are plain TORTURE in videogame form, especially if you tried to play this as a stealth game. Don't waste your time.

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