I can't play this game anymore, thanks to Alpha Protocol.

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Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -

This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure) But man...
 
I played the game in march or whatever, and enjoyed myself immensely. Played two separate times, in fact. I have spent the time since then thinking if it was really as good as everyone else was saying, and I decided to go back in to another playthrough. I have since played Alpha Protocol 3 whole times, which while not as impressive (AP only takes 8-12 hours for a playthrough, after all) definitely speaks to that game's strengths. I go ahead and started it up today, and I can't fucking take the dialogue. I can spend minutes thinking of what I want to say! what the fuck is that shit? I know for a fact that Miranda and Jacob would rather get off the Cerberus training facility, but I had to get dinner so I left it sitting for a minute or two. I can go play something on my PS2 or 360 and they would just continue to stare. Alpha Protocol makes you choose quickly and sometimes you pick the wrong choices. and why should I have to investigate? in Alpha Protocol, anything that was felt to need a whole dialogue tree, it got one; the less important facts would be on Dossiers and the mission briefing. Obviously I don't have to investigate, but not doing so might cost me valuable "paragon/renegade" points; which is the worst part of the ME2 dialogue. Why the fuck do I need these stupid points to act like a badass/act like a saint? All it does is support sticking to one side over the other, which I may not want: sometimes I might feel the need to be paragon or whatever, but I CANT. that dialogue is locked out from me because I have spent the game saying renegade things. In AP, you get 3 main dialogue options, and sometimes a 4th: Suave/Professional/Aggressive, but I can always choose one over the other if I want to.
 
ME2 might be the better GAME, but man I don't think I could play it again.

#1 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -

This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure) But man...
 
I played the game in march or whatever, and enjoyed myself immensely. Played two separate times, in fact. I have spent the time since then thinking if it was really as good as everyone else was saying, and I decided to go back in to another playthrough. I have since played Alpha Protocol 3 whole times, which while not as impressive (AP only takes 8-12 hours for a playthrough, after all) definitely speaks to that game's strengths. I go ahead and started it up today, and I can't fucking take the dialogue. I can spend minutes thinking of what I want to say! what the fuck is that shit? I know for a fact that Miranda and Jacob would rather get off the Cerberus training facility, but I had to get dinner so I left it sitting for a minute or two. I can go play something on my PS2 or 360 and they would just continue to stare. Alpha Protocol makes you choose quickly and sometimes you pick the wrong choices. and why should I have to investigate? in Alpha Protocol, anything that was felt to need a whole dialogue tree, it got one; the less important facts would be on Dossiers and the mission briefing. Obviously I don't have to investigate, but not doing so might cost me valuable "paragon/renegade" points; which is the worst part of the ME2 dialogue. Why the fuck do I need these stupid points to act like a badass/act like a saint? All it does is support sticking to one side over the other, which I may not want: sometimes I might feel the need to be paragon or whatever, but I CANT. that dialogue is locked out from me because I have spent the game saying renegade things. In AP, you get 3 main dialogue options, and sometimes a 4th: Suave/Professional/Aggressive, but I can always choose one over the other if I want to.
 
ME2 might be the better GAME, but man I don't think I could play it again.

#2 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

the ticking clock was an interesting mechanic in alpha protocol which worked very well imo but the seperation between mass effect and alpha protocol is drastic enough that the two don't tend to intermingle for me. 
 
the key is focusing on the seperation. you win over people in mass effect 2 with what you say, you do it in alpha protocol with how you say it.

#3 Edited by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

Too bad the quality of the gameplay is miles apart

#4 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:
" Too bad the gameplay is miles apart "
yeah, but I'm at the point now that I can just breeze through AP on normal, and while ME2 is way better, it's still not that fun.
 
@jadeskye:
and yeah, probably, but they're still too similar for me, and is there even mechanic where they like you more? I don't recall. In AP, you get a +1 or -1 right when you said something, but I don't remember if there's anything similar in ME2. I don't think there is, and that's kinda bad too (can they even hate you?)
#5 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

A bunch of guys who never played AP insist ME2 has a better dialog system, and their proof is a "haters gonna hate" meme.

#6 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -
@Laketown: Wow...well that's certainly something to nitpick about...  
 
Personally, doing all the side quests and the main game, my Shepard did the paragon stuff when needed and he didn't have any choices greyed out for him. I also did all the renegade choices and interrupts I wanted to do. So eh, doing those pretty cool side quests is a good trade off for me personally.
#7 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I like Alpha Protocol for the dialog system. It IS better. But I prefer Mass Effect 2 for pretty much everything else. 

#8 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

...damn I feel bad for not picking it up for 4 bucks on Steam.  It's that good?

#9 Edited by Animasta (14697 posts) -
@Doctorchimp said:

" @Laketown: Wow...well that's certainly something to nitpick about...   Personally, doing all the side quests and the main game, my Shepard did the paragon stuff when needed and he didn't have any choices greyed out for him. I also did all the renegade choices and interrupts I wanted to do. So eh, doing those pretty cool side quests is a good trade off for me personally. "

none of the interrupts were locked out, but I Distinctly remember Renegade choices greyed out; the showdown with Morinth comes to mind. Sure, side stuff is cool, but the way AP's story is set up, there wasn't any room for side stuff (and if ME3 has a large amount of side stuff, I think it'll go against the entire plot we've seen so far but whatever)
 
@KaosAngel said:
" ...damn I feel bad for not picking it up for 4 bucks on Steam.  It's that good? "

I bought it at full price (50, because I am a PC gamer of course) and didn't have any reservations about it other then the combat system being not that great. The way it tells the story and the dialogue is something that if other RPG companies don't shamelessly copy, I think it would be a bad move.
#10 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -

Letting people expect "Mass Effect with Spies" in the first place was probably their biggest mistake.  This was only compounded when ME2 came out and suddenly had competent regular TPS gameplay, and then people assumed (unfairly) that Alpha Protocol would also play like a regular TPS.  That's just not the game they were making (ironically, I think they could have done so pretty easily if they had wanted to).  If you try and force it to become that game then it sucks, but if you play it for what it is then I think the gameplay stands up just fine.  I certainly think the gameplay is less of a mess than ME1's.
 
If somebody were to say Alpha Protocol was the 4th best game of the year, I would probably be inclined to agree with them.

#11 Posted by zombie2011 (4973 posts) -

Why don't you just imagine there is clock ticking down. 

#12 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
" Letting people expect "Mass Effect with Spies" in the first place was probably their biggest mistake.  This was only compounded when ME2 came out and suddenly had competent regular TPS gameplay, and then people assumed (unfairly) that Alpha Protocol would also play like a regular TPS.  That's just not the game they were making (ironically, I think they could have done so pretty easily if they had wanted to).  If you try and force it to become that game then it sucks, but if you play it for what it is then I think the gameplay stands up just fine.  I certainly think the gameplay is less of a mess than ME1's.  If somebody were to say Alpha Protocol was the 4th best game of the year, I would probably be inclined to agree with them. "
Know what? I think that that's about where I put it on my list.
#13 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -
@zombie2011 said:
" Why don't you just imagine there is clock ticking down.  "
Or actually make the dialogue decisions in a timely fashion. 
#14 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -
@Dany said:
" @zombie2011 said:
" Why don't you just imagine there is clock ticking down.  "
Or actually make the dialogue decisions in a timely fashion.  "
I don't HAVE to though, which is the point I was trying to make; In Alpha Protocol, you have to decide right then and there if someone lives or dies, and it might be hard to decide (or, something less serious, if you'll act professional with your handler or suave or whatever) but in ME2, I can just weigh the pros and cons of the situation and then answer after I've thought about it.
#15 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

I am yet to play Alpha Protocol, but despite the many flaws pointed in it, I'm pretty sure I will play it at some point this year.

#16 Posted by FritzDude (2263 posts) -

AP seems like a really cool game, but after some research, the lack of patch support really bugs me off. It's a shame really, because i'm legitemately interested in this. I haven't played AP, but the dialogue system seems like the best mechanic in the game.

#17 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -
@FritzDude said:
" AP seems like a really cool game, but after some research, the lack of patch support really bugs me off. It's a shame really, because i'm legitemately interested in this. I haven't played AP, but the dialogue system seems like the best mechanic in the game. "
if you play it on PC, it's not really that broken; I can't alt-tab without crashing, but whatever, it's not that bad.
#18 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2453 posts) -

I really hated not having enough time to decide anything in AP. It led to me feeling like I had always the worst possible outcome.

#19 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Dany said:
" @zombie2011 said:
" Why don't you just imagine there is clock ticking down.  "
Or actually make the dialogue decisions in a timely fashion.  "
You shouldn't have to actively play a game a certain way to avoid shitty things that take you out of the moment. Any time you're compelled to say "play the game differently" what you're actually saying is this is a game mechanic problem, not a game player problem. 
#20 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @Dany said:
" @zombie2011 said:
" Why don't you just imagine there is clock ticking down.  "
Or actually make the dialogue decisions in a timely fashion.  "
You shouldn't have to actively play a game a certain way to avoid shitty things that take you out of the moment. Any time you're compelled to say "play the game differently" what you're actually saying is this is a game mechanic problem, not a game player problem.  "
It doesn't take me out, I rarely think about it, I just go through the motions either investigating, or being a paragon and moving the conversation along. The layout of the dialogue options is simple and informative enough that i almost answer everything in a timely manner without actually playing it differently. I agree that it would be better to have a countdown feature
#21 Posted by FritzDude (2263 posts) -
@Laketown said:
"@FritzDude said:
"                      AP seems like a really cool game, but after some research, the lack of patch support really bugs me off. It's a shame really, because i'm legitemately interested in this. I haven't played AP, but the dialogue system seems like the best mechanic in the game.                                        "
if you play it on PC, it's not really that broken; I can't alt-tab without crashing, but whatever, it's not that bad.

                   

                "

Sure. I got most of the platforms, and if the PC version is the superior, i'll go for the PC version, but the main problem for me is that it seems they completely abandoned the game. It's "normal", per se, when going for a sequel, but i think they jumped off the ship too soon. If they supported this with patches and DLC, almost a completely re-launch, then i would buy this wthout a doubt. It's good too hear that it's not that broken, but i really dont like the whole idea of "abandoned the game." It really says something about the developers when this stuff happens. But i'll probably will pick it up soon.
#22 Posted by carminescarf (59 posts) -

I keep seeing people trolling Mass Effect areas with Alpha Protocol love. Is the game unable to stand on its own?   
 
How are the other game mechanics? Is it worth playing?

#23 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -
@Laketown said:
" This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure)... "
Opinion invalidated before it was even delivered. That's unfortunate.
#24 Posted by bartok (2487 posts) -

 When I played Alpha Protocol I had the opposite effect and it made me love Mass Effect 2 for not being a buggy piece of shit.   When your game looks and plays on par with the first Mass Effect then maybe you have a bad game.

#25 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -
@RsistncE said:
" @Laketown said:
" This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure)... "
Opinion invalidated before it was even delivered. That's unfortunate. "
Right, because opinions can be invalidated like that.
 
Get over yourself.  Not everyone believes that Red Dead Redemption is one of the best games of the year.
Online
#26 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -
@RsistncE said:
" @Laketown said:
" This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure)... "
Opinion invalidated before it was even delivered. That's unfortunate. "
I'm talking about how ME2 is better than RDR, which I believe it is.I like about 9 other games better but vOv
#27 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" @RsistncE said:
" @Laketown said:
" This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure)... "
Opinion invalidated before it was even delivered. That's unfortunate. "
Right, because opinions can be invalidated like that.  Get over yourself.  Not everyone believes that Red Dead Redemption is one of the best games of the year...they actually believe it was THE best game this year."
Fixed.
#28 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -
@RsistncE said:
" @Hailinel said:
" @RsistncE said:
" @Laketown said:
" This game is well made, and I suppose it's an alright candidate for GOTY (better than RDR by a country mile, for sure)... "
Opinion invalidated before it was even delivered. That's unfortunate. "
Right, because opinions can be invalidated like that.  Get over yourself.  Not everyone believes that Red Dead Redemption is one of the best games of the year...they actually believe it was THE best game this year."
Fixed. "
If that were true, Jeff would have likely beaten RDR and would be singing its praises like everyone else.  But opinions don't work like they do in your fantasy world.
Online
#29 Posted by Veektarius (4865 posts) -

I think it's disingenuous to suggest that adding a timer would make Mass Effect more interesting.  if you're playing the game to the fullest, you're gaming the system and always picking the (perfectly obvious) paragon or renegade choice.  I did like Alpha protocol's system but it had a different context.  In AP, you're supposed to be gaming the system, picking the most influential response without any regard to a consistent character personality.  Makes sense for a spy.  In ME, it makes a lot more sense to have a consistent personality.  They give you time to consider each choice so that you can pick the one that is most consistent (even though that isn't really necessary).  Playing a role isn't about making the 'right' choice, and unlike Alpha Protocol or even Kotor 2, there isn't really ever a 'right' dialogue choice in ME, anyway. 

#30 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -
@RsistncE:  That was completely uncalled for.  What are you, twelve?
Online
#31 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11791 posts) -

If a timer on dialog choices somehow makes Alpha Protocol a better game, in spite of the fact that the gameplay isn't very good, most of the characters aren't very interesting, and the plot is predictable espionage conspiracy theory stuff, then that's great. For you. I still think that game is a massive bummer on just about every level except the "your choices have consequences" part. Which is like the only thing that that game does well.

#32 Edited by Undeadpool (4948 posts) -

I honestly hope Bioware isn't too proud to put in a couple of things from Alpha Protocol into ME3, most  notably the time ticking down for dialog choices. I thought that was a cool system that really amped up the tension in a lot of scenes. In fact I liked the game enough to put it in my top 10 for this year (I think it's at #6).
As for the dossiers filling in details on characters, that was also an interesting way to go, but I never found exploratory dialog in the ME series getting me either Paragon or Renegade points. Almost every choice that you make on the left of the wheel is exploratory in nature. And I've never had a problem with the paragon/renegade system and I've never played a character purely one way or the other, so haters, indeed, gonna hate.

#33 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" @RsistncE:  That was completely uncalled for.  What are you, twelve? "
Applying similar logic, I could also say that because you have anime in your avatar your opinion is also invalid.
#34 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -
@RsistncE:   Yep, definitely twelve.
Online
#35 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -
@Hailinel: Nice try...I'm actually 11. GOD.
#36 Posted by FokisMoney (48 posts) -

i HATED alpha protocol with a passion, not because it was a terrible game, but because of how much potential and a let down it was. 
@Jimbo
said:

" Letting people expect "Mass Effect with Spies" in the first place was probably their biggest mistake.  This was only compounded when ME2 came out and suddenly had competent regular TPS gameplay, and then people assumed (unfairly) that Alpha Protocol would also play like a regular TPS.  That's just not the game they were making (ironically, I think they could have done so pretty easily if they had wanted to).  If you try and force it to become that game then it sucks, but if you play it for what it is then I think the gameplay stands up just fine.  I certainly think the gameplay is less of a mess than ME1's.  If somebody were to say Alpha Protocol was the 4th best game of the year, I would probably be inclined to agree with them. "
Sure you can say that i guess, but you know what it should have played like mass effect 2. The controls were terrible as was the shooting, i HATED the gameplay. I can not agree with you at all, i think mass effect 1 played way better than alpha protocol. I loved the dialogue system and hope they style it for ME3, and the story of the game from the little i played was interesting, but the crappy shotting, and buggy glitches just made me not want to play it past the 3rd level.
#37 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -
@KaosAngel said:
"...damn I feel bad for not picking it up for 4 bucks on Steam.  It's that good? "

I enjoyed my time with it. Just had some...flaws. 
#38 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -
@FokisMoney: That's kinda what I'm saying: it wasn't really intended to be a shooter at all.  You're probably right that it should have been though - they could strip out every combat mechanic they came up with, replace it with totally generic Gears of War combat and it probably would have reviewed and sold a lot better than it did.  It's not like there's something difficult in development terms about making the bullets go exactly where the crosshair is and Obsidian couldn't quite manage it - those systems are deliberately how they are (excluding the rough edges on everything of course, I'm not defending the lack of polish).
 
It always seems to me that Obsidian are never quite prepared to accept that they need to reign in their ambitions and make something more suited to their talent/time/budget.  In an industry full of other developers who are entirely comfortable with aiming low though -even when they do have the talent, time and budget to be ambitious- I don't think it's necessarily a terrible flaw for them to have.  It's their reluctance to just say 'Fuck it, let's make something simple' that makes me inclined to cut them some slack on the rough edges.
#39 Posted by niamahai (1405 posts) -

Ubisoft should make the next SC like AP imo.
 
Because they pretty much have the modern 'stealth game' genre nailed down.

#40 Posted by Kjellm87 (1728 posts) -

Play whatever you want, I see no problem here

#41 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

This reminds me of Oblivion at launch. I remember stumbling in on conversations on multiple sites where a small group of people were very vocal about how fast travel ruined the game. They wanted it patched out immediately and it wasn't long before there were multiple mods to get rid of it. It's an RPG, role play your character the way you want to. If you don't think you should be fast traveling, don't do it. If you think decisions have to be made quickly, do it. Don't get annoyed with the game because it doesn't force restrictions on everyone just because you want them. If you're unable to restrict yourself in the game to play the way you think you're supposed to be playing, learn to be more disciplined.

#42 Posted by xyzygy (10008 posts) -

AP is awesome and I know what you mean in terms of the dialog. It just seems like, after playing Alpha Protocol, the whole point of picking what you want to say is kind of pointless because AP actually has cool rewards (reputation which leads to perks) and a much more intense system for conversing. Not only that I actually think the voice cast and quality of dialog in Alpha Protocol is miles ahead of Mass Effect 2. Then you get to the gameplay, where AP is brilliant if you play a sneaky character, while ME2's is all about shooting and plays like any old third person shooter.  
 
I think Alpha Protocol took the wicked RPG aspects from ME1, threw in a better-than-ME2 cast and dialog system, but made a few mistakes along the way with the actual shooting mechanics which make it harder for pure soldier type characters to play as. BUT, traded that in for an amazing stealth game, quite possibly the best I've ever played.
 
But then again, playing as soldiers in these types of games is lame :P

#43 Posted by l4wd0g (1957 posts) -

I find myself min/maxing mike's status in order to play the game. Right now I'm super tough and I can handle assault rifles like no other. F$&@ing boss battles ( but awesome boss battles like Brayko fight).

I have to say the dialog options and moments
in AP are second to none.

I just wish my expectations weren't that of another Splinter Cell esque action game so I could have been read for all those dice rolls.

#44 Posted by Sammo21 (3293 posts) -
Alpha Protocol is just too damn janky and busted for me to even give it a decent time of day.  I have too many games I could be playing that are awesome without wasting my time on the ones that just barely make it by.
#45 Posted by jmood88 (394 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
" @FokisMoney: That's kinda what I'm saying: it wasn't really intended to be a shooter at all.  You're probably right that it should have been though - they could strip out every combat mechanic they came up with, replace it with totally generic Gears of War combat and it probably would have reviewed and sold a lot better than it did.  It's not like there's something difficult in development terms about making the bullets go exactly where the crosshair is and Obsidian couldn't quite manage it - those systems are deliberately how they are (excluding the rough edges on everything of course, I'm not defending the lack of polish).
 
It always seems to me that Obsidian are never quite prepared to accept that they need to reign in their ambitions and make something more suited to their talent/time/budget.  In an industry full of other developers who are entirely comfortable with aiming low though -even when they do have the talent, time and budget to be ambitious- I don't think it's necessarily a terrible flaw for them to have.  It's their reluctance to just say 'Fuck it, let's make something simple' that makes me inclined to cut them some slack on the rough edges. "
I have no problem with Obsidian being ambitious but I hate how they put out extremely buggy/broken games all the time and then move onto the next one without fixing the myriad of problems in what they just finished. They need to either scale back their ambitions, take more time to finish the game, or higher more people to help with the work. They haven't made a single game that wasn't broken in some way. Bioware had that reputation but they took steps to fix their problems, Obsidian doesn't seem like they care to change anything.
#46 Posted by Deadmeat (94 posts) -

I loved Alpha Protocol, the timed system is great. Though I always try to make deceions in Mass effect quickly and stick with it. I don't always make the "best" decesion on purpose, I'm roleplaying and my shepard is an amazing guy  but still flawed, at least that's how I view it. 
 
I'd love to see bioware to a spy type of game and take some hint from AP though. The amount of permutation the story takes is awesome. I feel like Mass effect has the same amount of choice but they are all sorta closed off to eachother. You can go on a loyality mission and kill someone or let them live, but that has no effect on the overall narrative. In AP everyone ties together much more, just like you would want your spy game to be like.
#47 Posted by Ramone (2972 posts) -

ME does have a dumb dialogue system. The morality element needs to be taken out or seriously overhauled but I'm not sure how I feel about the timer.

#48 Edited by Karkarov (3131 posts) -

I am also surprised by how often people forget the other two cool things AP conversations did.  1: You had certain responses that were based on your actual class/character background.  You have never played AP until you play it as a recruit, beat it, and play again as the ultimate bad ass.  Some of the choices you get them are interesting to say the least.  2: It tracked npc relationships and behavior based on how you treated them specifically and or how you reacted to other npcs they had dealings with.  Just being a "good guy" didn't mean other so called "good guys" liked you.  Lastly NPC relationships DID play a major role in key elements of the game.  For example I literally was able to talk my way out of a boss battle at one point because the character in question just liked me that much.
 
Edit: Oh and the fact that they had specific perk or bonus awards based on how you resolved things.  Shooting the guy in the head versus talking him down had actual game mechanic effect changes instead of just ticking points in an alignment scorecard.

#49 Posted by xyzygy (10008 posts) -
@Karkarov: That's what my next playthrough is going to be as, a Veteran on Hard. Recruit was fun because of the challenge of starting out with no skill points at all, and Veteran will be fun the other way to start of with a shit ton.
#50 Posted by Edwardryu (437 posts) -

YOU CAN'T COMPARE ME 2 WITH ALPHA PROTOCOL. DON'T YOU DARE? honestly, Alpha protocol is the worst action RPG with lots of bugs. I can't take it anymore. enemies AIs are just shitty. bugs are just beyond me. I had to throw it away after playing 3 hours. dialogue is too brief, too faster to judge.  by the way, ME 2 got tons of awards for 2010. again, don't compare with shitty game, please. Bioware is the king of RPG. you'd better remember this. nobody can make better than Bioware. please, stop playing that shit game.

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