Choose your words and actions carefully in a living, reactive role-playing world. Experience the "ripple effect" as encounters with your allies and enemies change relationships, reveal storylines, and unlock new missions.
Mold Thorton into the secret agent you want to become with lethal close-combat techniques, marksmanship abilities, spy gadgets, and much more.
Access an arsenal of weapons and customize their many add-ons to create the perfect weapon load out.
Form relationships via dialogue and action choices within an intriguing cast of allies and enemies to get data for missions, new weapons and more. Remember who to trust and decide when to trust them ...
The game reacts to every decision you make. Will you let a terrorist escape to follow a lead, or eliminate targets against the mission agenda? With no right or wrong choices, every player can create their own storyline and ending.
[Family review notes: This game is rated M, although not for gore. If this spy game were epitomized by a James Bond, it would be the brutal and efficient Daniel Craig Bond, not the more family friendly Roger Moore. Enemies can be quickly killed (although non-lethal options are equally useful) and the plot deals with acts of terrorism, murder, and fairly cheesy moments of sexuality. There is a considerable amount of swearing in the game, including both F and S words. It also places weight on the choices you make, and their ramifications; brutally killing every "bad" man or woman you meet can make things much more difficult down the line. If you are comfortable with this content, this game is otherwise appropriate for a teenager, featuring nothing more disturbing than an episode of 24. (Except for all that swearing.)]
If you like your games to be technically perfect, this isn't the game for you. Heck, if you're coming at it for a Gears of War-like shooting experience, you'll probably be disappointed. Mechanically, this game is broken. It's simple to game its rudimentary levelling system to the point where you are practically invincible.
But that's not why this game is fun. Alpha Protocol shines when you are delving deep into its conversations, makign choices that not only change the outcome of a particular scene, but can steer the game in many different directions. Although you may be going through the same locations no matter what choices you make, your reasons for doing so will be completely different. How you talk to a character and what you choose to do with them is important. Do you trust them? Do you kill the terrorist? Do you bribe them, or choose to blackmail? It's all about choices, large and small.Read more ›
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What a long wait and what a load of poo this game is. I might be getting harsh with that statment, Alpha Protocol is a bad game. Consider this situation this game has been delayed multiple times, Obsidian and Sega both claimed this was going to be a departure from previous games that would fall into this genre of western RPGs like Mass Effect 1 and 2, by combining what made the Mass Effect series amazing: the stirring pathos, the branching dialogues, the changing relationships and trying to mix it in with the stealth and espionage elements of I guess Splinter Cell. Unfortunately, whatever Obsidian did do with this game failed miserably.
As Mike Thornton, your character awakes in Alpha Protocol an agency of super-spies which looks to be about 10 to 15 people. This game doesn't build a good mystery right from the start, if anything it stumbles painfully out of the blocks with the first dungeon or level being a tutorial. I hate that, what's worse are the mini-games for hacking security and computers. I thought mini-games were supposed to be a fun and easy way to get better weapons or equipment or info, but not so, these mini-games are meant to make the game more frustrating, even more frustrating then the game itself.
The graphics are not impressive, Obsidian is a developer that specializes in cloning games like Knights of the Republic 2 or Fallout New Vegas. The textures take a while to come in, much like Mass Effect 1, and all the enemy NPCs are just the same re-hash of previous characters. The sound is alright, music is adequate to the situations, voice acting is a little cheap.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
99 of 108 people found the following review helpful
I really hate/love this gameJune 3 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Playing through Alpha Protocol is frustrating. Not because of the issues the game has - of which there is plenty - but rather it's frustrating because you're playing something that you know should be better than this. Earlier this year, 2 games came out which also had some real lack of polish and iffy design decisions but they were games that I put in quite a bit of time into anyway: those being Nier and Deadly Premonition. Those 2 and including Alpha Protocol are games where half of your brain is completely criticizing nearly every facet of what it has from the graphics to the AI to the unrefined gameplay and yet the other half keeps playing regardless and you're left wondering how's that possible with a game this flawed. Of course the game did have its share of problems from the delays to Sega apparently saying it wasn't "RPG enough" yet the game, which was supposed to come out in October, was delayed till the very beginning of June so that's roughly 8 months or so for polishing so makes you wonder if the game needed more time or if Sega interfered too much. Let me say now that this is a very hard game to recommend since you'll either be like me and can see yourself doing a 2nd playthrough just for the hell of it and the others will be like "I can't even finish it, it's so bad".
Story: The story centers on Michael Thorton, an agent in Alpha Protocol, one of those secret spy organizations that gets the job done without the official acknowledgment or help from the US government. His latest mission is to go after the leader of a terrorist organization who shot a commercial airliner while in-flight but when evidence surfaces that a defense contractor, Halbech, supplied the missiles, Michael goes into investigating Halbech and what their motives are for the attack.
One thing I never liked about Bioware's approach to choice in Mass Effect was that they wanted you to feel like the game was all about choice and repercussions yet most of it was small lines of dialogue that were changed and only in a few instances were things outright different. Alpha Protocol on the other hand you really feel that your progression in the story can divert completely based on what you do and you might even find complete cinematics that you didn't receive your first time through based on what you did or said, choices that have nothing to do with whether you were a nice guy or an evil prick.
Graphics: There's 2 types of ugly graphics: game's like the aforementioned Deadly Premonition with bad textures, wonky framerate, technical glitches and a general presentation that does not scream "HD graphics". On the other hand we have what Alpha Protocol has which are "HD graphics done poorly". There's a whole host of issues with the game graphically such as slowdown (with me thinking my Xbox might be warping or it's too hot), textures that load in eventually and even load back out, an almost pervasive amount of motion blur at times and this game is really bogged down graphically by these issues. Strangely enough, Obsidian is no stranger to these kind of things from Neverwinter Nights 2 and KOTOR 2 both having graphic problems so not sure if that's just how they are or whether they're a better developer that can never get it right due to money or time. On a sidenote: the girls of the game look cute.
Sound/Music: One thing I will commend the game on is the voice acting which is like Bioware games in that they're really top notch. While the VA for Michael Thorton isn't the most emotive guy, he does a commendable job at being likable and especially tolerable considering how much we have to hear him talk. And practically everyone from your handler Mina to journalist Scarlet and the various villains you'll come across. Music also has that very Bond-esque tones with some bigger action scores to the intrigue and quiet moments. Sound effects though are...okay. Guns are quite loud but aren't satisfying loud a la Battlefield but everything works fine, it's just not wholly impressive.
Gameplay: Here's where the sleeves get rolled up, the part where you basically get ready and go "alright game, you're gonna get it". Let's start with what the game bills itself which is the "espionage RPG" so let's look at the RPG bits. The game does offer a range of skills that you can maximize yourself in from better gun handling and skills, stealth, gadgetry such as grenades or even a big fist fighter but the problem is is that unlike Mass Effect, you always feel like you can't rely entirely on one "build" since you never know when the other build will be needed. So for instance, let's say you make the ultimate Splinter Cell build and make him entirely stealth-based and silenced pistol but then there's moments where you're basically in a shoot out and a more offensive force is required such as shotguns or assault rifles well tough. It pays to be a more well-rounder then go for one total approach because half the time you might be lamenting not being able to do certain aspects. And unlike Mass Effect 2 where the RPG stuff was your character and skill build and the shooting was normal shooting, this has the Fallout 3-esque dice roll where your attacks can hit or not hit so even though you're 4 feet away from a guy with a shotgun with a good spread, this health bar's barely going down cause that's what the dice of Vegas say so...or something. The counter to this is the more precision aim where the longer you hold your gun aimed towards a specific spot, the smaller the reticule gets, making for a very precise shot but when everyone's running around or not standing still, it can get a bit annoying.
Speaking of "everyone's running around", the AI is a bit of a mess and that's putting it lightly. Some will stand there and not fire while I'm shooting at his 3 other companions and THEN starts firing, some will run up to you like they want to shoot you, stop, get down on one knee and start firing completely out in the open, start running in circles like a dog chasing their tail and goes on and on. Even the game says it's best not to do anything while in sight of cameras so no killing dudes on camera or anything of the sort yet if you takedown a guy near a camera and it looks over the knocked out or dead body, no alarms trip. That however is not taken into account when you take on boss fights which are some of the more infuriating to get through and I guarantee you most of your deaths will come from these guys. They tend to be more accurate, take a lot more punishment and have unblockable attacks that do a fair bit of hurt and you can't do bugger all. Let's just say that if Obsidian were to name this the "espionage shooter RPG" well the shooting part would be kind of laughable.
Then there is the mini-games. There's 3 types: a word search type where you have to find 2 codes buried in a mix of rapidly changing codes to find the 2 that aren't moving but when you're scanning over the entire grid and literally seeing nothing standing still, it gets a bummer, not to mention the controls are incredibly sluggish and more than once you'll be like "hurry up!" The 2nd type is akin to those "follow the line to the end" mazes where you have to turn on circuits in order as you follow their number back to whichever circuit it ends on. When there's like 4 or 5, it's fine but when there's 8? And you don't have much time to do it in and the slow cursor doesn't help makes it a bother yet there's points in the game where you literally can't progress unless you hack it so be a good spy and buy the upgrade that slows down the hacking mini-game timer. The 3rd is less of a bother: the left trigger controls the pressure of a lock and by based on how hard or light you're pressing, it raises the lock while the right trigger locks it so you're aiming for that small space in between the 2 segments. It's decent and not as bothersome but can potentially be a hassle.
The last bit of gameplay isn't so much gameplay but it's part of the experience anyway which is the dialogue trees. Occasionally in conversation, you'll have the option to give a certain tone or response to an NPC so against the females you might have dismissive, flirty or professional whereas against a character you're not completely trusting of, you might get flippant, curious and understanding and it's based on these responses that will dictate where the game will go. For instance in one scenario you meet a German commando/milf type woman named SIE who you can befriend and potentially even bed later on. When you're on a mission, you can either bring the leader of a military group you've fallen in good graces with or you can bring SIE, which results in not only useful information and even help in-mission but dialogue between her, you and your normal handler Mina with some jealously going on between Mina but bringing the G22 guys as they're called, you might get a completely different cinematic or dialogue. This helps the game's replayability since you really feel like there's so much of the story you didn't see and unlike Mass Effect where you can make 2 or 3 big choices and the rest is really just how thorough you are, Alpha Protocol's narrative and story feels a lot bigger than just that first playthrough. Whether you can stomach additional playthroughs though is another thing.
You know that old saying which can be something like "this is really bad but I can't stop watching?", like you know you should be liking this less than you are but you keep doing it anyway? Alpha Protocol is similar in that in a year which has had so many polished and worthwhile games, this one comes out and it's unpolished in nearly every aspect except its story and characters (which seem to be an Obsidian trademark: iffy to decent gameplay but excellent storytelling) yet you keep going. Like Nier and Deadly Premonition, these are games that I'm enjoying and could easily see myself playing it again yet the more I want to see more of the game, the more I'll be seeing the glitches, bugs, unrefined...well everything yet I tolerate it because I want to see more of what else it has. It's like a sick gaming circle of life thing or something.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Pros outweigh the Cons.June 7 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This game had tickled my love for RPGs as well as my love for spy/stealth games. I pretty much had to buy it. It has it's positives, as well as it's obvious negatives, but overall it's a damn fun game I can't put down. And I will be doing a 2nd playthough.
Graphics - 3.5/5 Nothing special here, just your average looking game. The environments look bland, the character models are actually pretty damn good looking up close. But the voices don't always match up with what they are saying.
Sound - 5/5 The voice acting is top notch, one of the key features that helps make a great story better in any game. The background music isn't too spectacular, but it does the job. The sounds of guns, as well as some of the other sound effects are pretty generic, but don't distract from the game.
Gameplay - 2/5 This is where most people have a problem with this game. The AI is terrible, with enemies getting stuck on corners, and all the things that would normally make this a bad game. The shooting is flawed until you level up, which in theory sounds good, but is poorly excecuted.. There is a bright light at the end of this tunnel however, when you beat the game on recruit you unlock veteran, which grants you a lot more skills right off the bat, thus making the game more enjoyable to a HUGE degree.
Story - 5/5 This is where the game shines. Every choice you make results in a differnt game. I don't want to spoil anything, but sometimes when you make friends with the right people, they will assist you during a mission. (resulting in friendly AI, which is also quite stupid, but nice as a distraction). The story and in-game cutscenes along with the top notch voice acting make it feel very much like an interactive movie at points.
Overall - 4/5 I would say if you are an action RPG fan, or a fan of the spy/espionage genre (Tom Clancy novel type stories) I would say this is a must play. Just be patient, because if you can look past the obvious flaws, this is a really enjoyable game.
*Achievement/Trophy note: How can you not love a game that gives you an achievement/trophy for scoring with all the ladies in one playthrough?
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
It isn't doom and gloom.June 4 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
First of all im doing this by phone so please bear with me. Also note that this is a review of the xbox 360 version of the game.
For a long time I was excited for this game bit almost didnt get it because of the reviews, dont pass this game up. Im going to try and keep this short/blunt. Alpha Protocol is a good game! However it isnt for everybody. Don't go in expecting splinters level of stealh game play ie hang from stuff. Don't expect a third person shooter like gears of war, and dont expect mass effect! I can not stress that last one enough.
While it has issues with textures poping, I am on my second play and have not had any AI issues. This game as said before doesnt have the best graphics but what it does have are more then good enough. Now this game is a bit....rough. It does not pamper you like most games today. I read a person saying it should have gears of war cover bit I never had an issue pressing A as soon as I hit cover. I also read people say its hard to shoot.....its an rpg not a shooter lvl up your skill and any gun can be awesome (although it isnt hard to do so even before hand).
I guess what im trying to say is if you are actually any good at gaming then sneaking and shooting are not as hard as people say. If you want a fun interesting game then dont skip this, just be sure you can handle playing something that doesnt hold your hand all the time.
FOR PARENTS: If you want to know how child safe this is, it does have (suggested) sex that you need to go out of your way for. However from the three parts i have seen of this none had any nude or side boob stuff. One did have panties but thats it.
Anyway this was way longer then i thought it would be but i hope it helps!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The sad state of game critics.June 28 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This game caught my interest about a month or so before it's release and based on the generic descriptions in the previews, I was already on board. A modern day, spy centered RPG by the same designers of Knights of the Old Republic 2? (One of my favorite RPGs ever in terms of character and story depth.) Sign me up.
Then about a week before release, the reviews started rolling in. Horrible graphics they said, glitches that render the game almost unplayable they said, frustrating control scheme. Almost everything that could be wrong with a game was listed as being wrong with this game, and obviously I was disheartened.
I eventually passed on this game during launch day and started looking for the next great RPG, which had me waiting for Fallout New Vegas basically, but after a week or so of waiting, I came across an Alpha Protocol review here.
The reviewer, another RPG fan like myself, pointed out that reviews from "mainstream" game sites like IGN and Gamespot, are often not only biased, but different features weigh more heavily to them then to the average gamer. For example, games with "amazing graphics", like God of War III tend to end up with high scores no matter how dull, short and repetitive the rest of the game happens to be. Yet on the other hand, things like depth and plot don't seem to count for anything in the mainstream game critic world.
I also get the feeling that certain games are given artificially good scores based on how much hype is surrounding that particular game. Perfect 10 for Grand Theft Auto IV? REALLY? I mean, the game was good, but aside from the improved graphics, it was a step BACKWARDS from GTA San Andreas in every way.
Anyways, enough of my rambling about the game review industry and on to the actual game. Basically let me put it this way, if you like a good RPG story and the freedom to make choices that dramatically effect how the story plays out, then this is your game. Period. Anything you may have heard regarding glitches, bugs, bad controls, AI, whatever, it's not enough to take the wind out of this one feature. Every choice I've made in the game so far, (I'm probably a good 6 hours in), and I'm already dying to know how it would've turned out if I made one of the other multiple decisions. (And yes, I even reset the game a couple times just to check.)
As far as gameplay goes, just remember this one little fact about the game and you won't be disappointed at all. THIS IS NOT A SHOOTER. Don't play this game like Gears of War, this is more a realtime RPG combat system than anything else. Train your weapon of choice up to a respectable level and you should have no problems taking out 80% of the guys in the game. I will admit that boss fights are rather tough if you don't have a little bit of assault rifle, but they're nowhere near impossible. Just might take you a couple tries to do it with a different weapon.
However, if you're one of those graphics perfection who flips out and returns a game just because they saw one tiny bit of clipping or texture popping, this game clearly is not for you. The graphics are probably, at best 3 years old in terms of quality and texture popping is somewhat normal. Even so, it's hardly enough to take away from your enjoyment of the game or make it unplayable.
I guess in closing I just wanted to say I felt this game got a bad wrap. This game delivers on exactly what it promises and has exceeded my expectations. This is what Mass Effect 2 SHOULD have been, but instead, the boys at Bioware seemed to bow to the trends and make their game into more of a shooter than an RPG. Good for them I guess, but props to Obsidian and Sega of America for keeping this one much closer to the RPG genre than the shooter genre.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great spy fun. Not a shooter. Critics are wrong.July 11 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the best game I have played in a long time. There are so many options for weapons, armor, gadgets, and how to upgrade your character. It takes thought to do this because you can't upgrade everything all the way in one playthrough. The music and the whole feel of the game reminds me of the bourne movies which is great.
In the beginning, you don't have many skills so it is hard to shoot so I understand why people can get frustrated and hate the game. You are supposed to upgrade your skills. That solves that problem. I don't know why they think it should be a shooter when the front of the case clearly says "The Espionage RPG".
The graphics can vary; they are not great but definitely not terrible. The worst graphics are usually in the cutscenes. The cover system is not the best but it works when you get used to it which doesn't take long. I have not experienced any glitches so I cannot comment on that.
I don't know what is wrong with the critics. I see no reason why this scored so low with them other than they expect beautiful graphics and easy shooting from the get go. Maybe I just like being a spy more than a spaceship commander, but Alpha Protocol was more fun than Mass Effect 2 for me. How do graphics even matter if you are having fun? It is a game. It's a shame the critics killed the sequel because this deserves a much higher score than most of them gave. I hope someone else decides to make the second one and don't dumb it down. Just polish it more. Give them their pretty graphics so they have no excuse not to love it.