timedexposure's Alpha Protocol (PC) review

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  • timedexposure wrote this review on .
  • 7 out of 8 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.

Alpha Protocol

Review at a Glance

 
 2.5 / 5       : Overall
    3 / 5       : Story
    1 / 5       : Controls
    4 / 5       : Music/Sfx
    2 / 5       : Voice Over
 2.5 / 5       : Replay Value
     3 / 5      : Originality

In Depth Review


Overall:

 Alpha Protocol is just so frustrating, well the little bit you get to play between load-screens.  It rewards you with just enough to keep you playing, but after you finish you wonder why you put yourself through all that.  It has some good aspects to it, but you have to fight through the fog of mechanical mishaps and game design flaws in order to find them.  

Story:

 Michael Weston is all I should have to say.  I honestly wish they would have bought the Burn Notice IP when making this game.  Then I might not feel this cheap feeling of theft.  It's not a bad story by any means, it in fact might be one of the better points, just not original.  If they had spent the money they would at least fixed the voice over problem and have Bruce Campbell involved.  Which Bruce Campbell is an extra 2 or 3 stars easy.

Controls:

  Horrible! I haven't played a game that felt this crappy on the PC in a long time.  They have this weird sensitivity going on with the camera compared to your turning ability that leaves you having to wait for the camera to catch up with what you want to do.  There are far too many buttons and keybinds that I have to remember, and even once I do the game fails to make all my skills easy to access without pausing the action and switching skills.

Music/Sfx:

 Probably the only highlight of the game.  All the firing of weapons, explosions, hacking, doors, melee, misc action, and etc. sound phenomenal.  The music is pretty decent with its somewhat suspenseful beats that get more intense when discovered.  Nothing that should win a Grammy, all though that's to say they even award "good" music.  

Voice Over:

 The actor that does Mike is alright but most of the voice acting is mediocre at best.  I blame alot of it on the dialogue, I did like the timed UI used for choosing from the dialogue options but they would leave you in the dark a little too much on what Mike would really say.  I would choose an option thinking he might say one thing and next thing I know he might be calling someones daughter a slut (doesn't really happen as far as I know).  It also feels that your choices have a lot less impact on the game then they advertised.  Sure you might lose or gain abilities, or even access to certain weapons, but in the long run what does it matter?

Replay Value:

 Some, I guess.  The game gives you different options on how to play it.  Not that it will change how it ends as best as I can see, but you can play it to kill everyone with extreme prejudice or you can try your best to sneak past everyone.  More power to anyone that can play this game more then once though with all its flaws.

Originality:

 The Obsidian template!  Just like what they did with KOTOR 2.  When Obsidian did KOTOR 2 they basically took the same template of KOTOR (Bioware) and changed the "skin" of the game.  They used this very same template for Alpha Protocol.  The template to describe in more detail is as follows:
  • Start out on a beginning planet/area to teach the player the game
  • The middle chunk of the game is played on several planets/locations of which you can come and go as often as you please.
  • You complete quests on these different locals until you finish them all on all the different worlds/cities then your sent to one area
  • Once there you have your climax, and game over.
So basically they give you the feeling of choice, but its nothing more then a deception.  The beginning and end are the same, and really so is the middle, it's just a matter of which order you decide to play the middle.

Opinion


I knew I was going to be disappointed  after reading all the promises that were made for this game in a Game Dev Mag over a year ago.  The images shown along with what they promised made for a huge hit; That is if Bioware perhaps made it.  I use to believe that everyone should get another chance to get it right.  That is until I was introduced to Uwe Boll, and now I'm afraid to say Obsidian as well.  It's not that they make BAD games, its just that they make games that never deliver.
 
This being there first game that they haven't bought the rights to another IP or a sequel (that I know of) it's not a bad try.  Like I've tried to say through all my bitching is that they do some things right.  It really just needed to be more open of a world that I feel like I can walk through and for them to fix the camera/control issues.  If they fixed that along with the excessive loading I can see myself happier with my purchase.  Overall if they're not gonna go anywhere, and I doubt they are, then I pray to god they take more chances, get better QA testing, and strive for bigger and better things in the earlier stages of their game design process.  Otherwise I can't help but feel these "safe template"  type of games they seem to enjoy making will kill them.
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    Alpha Protocol is the latest RPG to be added Obsidian's library, and it's their first original IP. The game has you playing as Michael Thorton, a super-secret super-spy for a super-secret government agency. Despite cliche's out the wazzoo, the story of Alpha Protocol is one of the greatest aspects of the game and the choices you make throughout affect the eventual outcome of the game.  I'll start with the negative points first. Alpha Protocol is a traditional RPG in the shoes of an action RPG. W...

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