sunjammer's Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360) review

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  • sunjammer has written a total of 17 reviews. The last one was for Destiny

Oh wow

Alpha Protocol is such a frustrating game. For every moment where its misguided action gameplay rears its ugly head, there's a moment where you're confronted with a subtle consequence of a subtle action in the distant past that makes you wonder just how the hell Obsidian did it. It's like watching an incredible magic trick being carried out by a piece of crap.  
 
When I first booted the game up, I literally laughed out loud at elements of its presentation, like the protagonist's insane crouch-walk animation. I was also immediately impressed with the conversation system, which kept me engaged and on my toes, and actually made me switch off subtitles altogether: This game will start the timer bar for your conversation choice well before you have good time to form a response, and often your dialog choice will be completely instinctual. It helps that the dialog is written sharply and delivered very well, and by the end of the game I felt thoroughly invested in "my" Mike Thorton; His entire character history had become defined by hundreds of minute decisions I'd made, and characters would remind me of who i was, regularly. I made buddies with an ageing russian mobster at one point. I've seen replays of him getting his head smashed into a bar counter; I don't even know how I'd get to that resolution.
 
When I came out of the game, and it summed up the story in such a way that I can't even imagine the game being the same for everyone who plays it, I was actually a little angry at Sega, and at how Alpha Protocol has been systematically skewered for its flaws. Certainly it has massive flaws. Every time you need to shoot a gun the game becomes downright amateurish, and often furiously difficult for no good reason; Specced your guy for stealth? Too bad, now you're fighting a helicopter and Infinite Russians.  
 
But this is a game about conversations, choices and exploring a complex story. It's a TRUE role playing game, and it makes the storytelling devices of games like Mass Effect 2 look like absolute childs play. Which sounds crazy, because ME2 is no slouch! It's that good at it. 
 
I was angry with Sega for killing any chance that this game would get a sequel. An Alpha Protocol sequel with polished action gameplay would be an astounding achievement. The sentiment seems to be "f Obsidian for trying", and the press has thoroughly enjoyed giving the game a hard time for its action gameplay. There isn't that much of it, it isn't very hard, and the story stuff is a thousand times more impactful. 
 
You can likely pick up AP for a song and a shuffle at this point, and if you consider yourself a true RPG fan, you owe it to yourself to see this game rock a story like no other game before it.

Other reviews for Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360)

    Should you answer the call to get Alpha Protocol? 0

      So I traveled the globe, made some friends, a few enemies, chose to save a damsel in distress over a large amount of civilians in the roman museum to see if I could get a shot at love (let’s just say it went horribly wrong), found the gal that was right for me only to have her killed in the end, and then sought revenge on the people responsible for all the madness in the first place allowing me to rightfully save the world. Now this is one of a million ways you can choose to play the game onc...

    12 out of 13 found this review helpful.

    Alpha Protocol - A REAL RPG 0

    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 t...

    34 out of 43 found this review helpful.

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