Review: Alpha Protocol

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Thanatos5150:

I see. Thanks a whole bunch. I was worried that it was just shooting repeatedly while running, lol. Sounds a bit more promising now.

Susan Arendt:

Thanatos5150:

Susan Arendt:

Korhal:
*snip*

Our opinions are actually fairly close, but given what a buggy experience I had, naturally I scored lower than you. Really quite befuddled by the number of people who say they had no problems at all on the PS3. I'm wondering if perhaps the version of PS3 you have makes any difference at all. Because if something happens once, maybe twice, I'm happy to chalk it up to my imagination, but these issues were just too frequent to be all in my head.

Might it be an issue with your controller?

... who am i kidding even asking that question?
I'mma go wander off for a bit and bludgeon my skull using the nearest wall as an improvised thwacking implement.

:)

Yes, thought of that first, actually. Sadly not the case.

I relised you might of ex post facto. Hence the self-inflicted cranial trauma.

Well, that's a damn shame... I've been consuming rather more Burn Notice than is really good for me and the idea of roleplaying a spy whose agency hung him out to dry sounded nifty.

Hey, maybe someone'll do a game of that? God knows Bruce Campbell alone would be worth it...

nipsen:
I see. Thanks a whole bunch. I was worried that it was just shooting repeatedly while running, lol. Sounds a bit more promising now.

Not counting atrocious spelling and grammar, I feel the need to correct a minor issue:
When actual numbers are given, these are numbers observed for level /zero/ of proficiency. Leveling up will increase range, decrease aim time, and all sorts of other goodies. Numbers can be ascertained by hitting the "More info" button (Defaulted to L.Bumper on the 360 controller) on the level up screen.

So far the only issues I've had is a laggy camera, but we'll see. I don't know why I haven't learned to just stay the hell away from Obsidian by now. Oh well, I guess this was their final chance with me.

Seeing how ugly the ads were(like the one that just played while trying to watch the review supplement), I had the feeling the game had to look even worse. Seeing how prevalent they were didn't exactly fill me with confidence, either. When the article about the foreign reviews and posts by disgruntled employees came about earlier I knew there just could not be any hope for the game. Though it's still always nice to get the Escapist's official take on it and a new chance to listen to the dulcet tones of Susan Arendt. Hopefully New Vegas will be really cool?

OMG i though this might be you know THE GAME. but dammit it was too broken if ONLy they spent more time on it. aw:(

on a side note I JUST LOST THE GAME. and so did u

helooks way too retarded when he runs for me to evenconsider this one

Sounds less like a case of bad development and more of a case of really bad QA. Though, me being on the QA side of the gaming world, it is very possible that all the bugs you ran into were bugged, but the devs waived them out of laziness or something on those lines... so yeah, it could go either way. Lazy and/or rushed devs or bad QA staff.

Susan Arendt:

Korhal:
*snip*

Our opinions are actually fairly close, but given what a buggy experience I had, naturally I scored lower than you. Really quite befuddled by the number of people who say they had no problems at all on the PS3. I'm wondering if perhaps the version of PS3 you have makes any difference at all. Because if something happens once, maybe twice, I'm happy to chalk it up to my imagination, but these issues were just too frequent to be all in my head.

I don't know. I had a friend who got all kinds of game-crashing bugs in Red Dead Redemption that I didn't get, and when he called Rockstar they said he probably got a bad disk, so maybe there's a little bit of that going on. Though if it provides any evidence for your theory I have one of the newer PS3s, the thinner one with a 120GB hard drive, I bought it when Heavy Rain came out, whenever that was. Not long ago.

I didn't have any control issues, really, other than, like I said, when it would get confused by there being a bunch of Push X to ____'s stacked on top of each other. Now, I do kind of wish that I had more buttons for skills, given that I was constantly using Awareness, and the AR aiming thingamajig, and Overclock. I got remote hack, but since I was playing an assault type character, i never had to be sneaky and hack from range because everyone would be dead lol. But that's hardly AP's fault.

Maybe this is a game where it just creates a gut love or hate feeling... I mean, I can't think of any other game that ranges all the way from the mid 80s to the low 20s on metacritic just based on who you ask (though in my totally non-professional opinion, that guy from Destructoid is a muckraking hack).

I mean, yeah, the graphics were bad, and yet there was still texture pop and the like. So that was kinda bad. But I'd seen promotional videos, so I knew the graphics were bad going into it. Nothing else really stuck out to me as *bad* other than that (and the more annoying sound effects). And I certainly didn't see the bugs you speak of.

I don't know what else to say :\

This is one of those games that looked great on paper; still, my skepticism was triggered the second I saw the first cheesy-trailer ad. Actually, even before that. Anything that sounds too good to be true that sort of pops out of nowhere deserves a certain wariness

chaos order:
OMG i though this might be you know THE GAME. but dammit it was too broken if ONLy they spent more time on it. aw:(

on a side note I JUST LOST THE GAME. and so did u

I won the game a long time ago.

Count me in with Susan on the shoe phone. But I've always wondered, why only one? I mean two shoes, right?

And nothing is cooler than than a spy standing around in black dress socks holding both shoes up to his head like bunny ears.

Hotshots:
The game looks decent enough to me, PC port will certainly be the most "Playable", but has anybody else noticed how desperately unfunny Susan is?

No

Playing the PC version and I have not encountered any bugs, which from Obsidian is strangely disconcerting. However I did notice that shopping seemed to go by faster on your version of the game than it does on my version. There is an extremely noticeable hesitation when switching between gun models and everything else in the store (Even when purchasing the same item). The same hesitation is also encountered when the game loads up new mobs into the maps during the missions, otherwise the game works as intended.

If I have to find a gripe or two it's that the hacking mini game is kinda ridiculous and tedious; the save system is annoying especially when the doors behind you close during the missions and then you can't reload a previous save to see if you missed something; the timed responses while an interesting idea just felt really... unfair(?) to the point is that sometimes you don't have the time to read and understand all of the options before you run out of time; Oh, and the cool downs on many of the abilities are extremely long for no reason.

With that out of the way I still have to ask myself the question; Am I having fun with this game? and my only response can be that there are fun bits to be had but over all I say no. I can't really point to one thing particular reason why but I'm just not. I say give it a rental if you are curious and can. (PC version, likely you can't.)

I bought it and am having fun playing it. Its not the best game I've ever played. But I'm a bit of a story whore and am willing to overlook most of the flaws. I'm sure patches will be out soon to fix the technical stuff. But by far the best part of Alpha Protocol is the story, if you go in for that then you won't be disappointed.

I agree with you, Susan. Hot tubs are nice.

Brainst0rm:
Sad to hear. Obsidian doesn't have such a great track record, does it? And they've just signed on to help with the Wheel of Time RPG...oh dear...

NOOOOO!

I don't want my favorite book series to be ruined!

It's good to see that, Susan, you are always very honest and fair in your reviews.

as much as I had seen this game advertised on the site I would have expected a review of it to be a little. . . one sided (if you'll forgive me). but rightly so, you did a great job as usual, offering a truthful review, which i certainly didn't expect, these days, other reviewers are always giving games, "A perfect ten" "10/10, a rare gem" "Stunning, blah blah blah"

It's good to see good, honest reviews.

This is one of the games where I wish it was reviewed on this site before the star rating system was added. I'm playing it on pc, hard mode, and besides the occasional texture pop-in, and a few furious first attempts at the hacking, I'm enjoying it immensely.

If the person doesn't care too much about the graphics, and likes RPG's, I think this one is a possible keeper. Maybe it was the way it was advertised, but there are a lot of folks (not here) complaining about shooting a guy straight in the face and the character missing. The thing is, this game is an RPG in a spy world; it's not a shooter with (a lot) of RPG elements like Mass Effect. It's just an RPG where you get to shoot, and the mathematical mechanics are there as underlying rules.

I remember when I first picked up KOTOR, the first thing I did in Taris was entering a duel with some guy. I stood 5 m from him, shooting and missing, while the poor bastard shot and missed me, for a good 3 minutes, until the pc was so bored it killed that enemy just so I could move on with my life.

And it's not a stealthy game. It's an RPG where you can hit H and Hide in Plain Sight, causing criticals (thankfully there are no undead in this game). And sure the AI is just a wee bit... "special", but again, in hard mode, it's not overly ridiculous. Just has its quirks.

Someone in the official forums claimed that this game could potentially be the next Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, and I couldn't agree more. A fairly deeply flawed gem (VTMB was downright unplayable for me, which gets even less points), but one I'm sure I shall remember fondly and come back for it a great deal of times.... especially if some fans deliver a wonderful goody-patch like it happened for VTMB and KOTOR II.

Where others fail, others will improve upon. Take a good look at Obsidian's job and don't make the same mistakes The Agency & Agent!

And this is why I'm holding out for subversion.

I enjoyed the game until it got to some of the 'boss' fights. They're just insanely stupid and difficult. Though, the control glitches do not seem to be apparent on the PC version.

I would like to hear about these far superior spy games.

Dommyboy:
I enjoyed the game until it got to some of the 'boss' fights. They're just insanely stupid and difficult.

Yeah, I remember the first time I fought Brayko.. Took HOURS. D:

Still, Chain shot helps. A lot.

Regarding bugs, I have the PS3 version and a ye-olde 40GB fat PS3.

Never got the controller issues. True, at full zoom the sniper was VERY twitchy, but that's no real problem.

Got the graphical glitches everynow and again, but not often enough to break the immersion.

With this in mind, i'd recommend renting it. It's worth a try, if nothing else.

Apart from the bugs looks pretty damn good.

I've beat the game twice on pc and loved every minute of it. Sure, the graphics are really bad but i can live with that since they tried to combine my most favourite genres espionage and rpg.
Not necessarily the $60 worth for a console but definitly the 32.99€ for the pc. And because full price games start at 45€ this is even a budget titel. :)

Korhal:

Susan Arendt:

Korhal:
*snip*

Our opinions are actually fairly close, but given what a buggy experience I had, naturally I scored lower than you. Really quite befuddled by the number of people who say they had no problems at all on the PS3. I'm wondering if perhaps the version of PS3 you have makes any difference at all. Because if something happens once, maybe twice, I'm happy to chalk it up to my imagination, but these issues were just too frequent to be all in my head.

I don't know. I had a friend who got all kinds of game-crashing bugs in Red Dead Redemption that I didn't get, and when he called Rockstar they said he probably got a bad disk, so maybe there's a little bit of that going on. Though if it provides any evidence for your theory I have one of the newer PS3s, the thinner one with a 120GB hard drive, I bought it when Heavy Rain came out, whenever that was. Not long ago.

Mine's one of the original 40 gigs. Interesting.

Oh, I also ran into more than one situation where there was something to pick up, but when I went to grab it, I ducked into cover instead. Very annoying, especially when the item in question was healing that I very much needed.

Megawizard:
So far the only issues I've had is a laggy camera, but we'll see. I don't know why I haven't learned to just stay the hell away from Obsidian by now. Oh well, I guess this was their final chance with me.

Hmmm, interesting. Can't remember having any serious camera issues - well, no more serious than other games, I should say. More than once you end up in a corner looking at your hat instead of the guy you're trying to punch, but that's hardly a situation unique to AP.

This review site doesn't even understand it should tell us what machine it was played on! The fact it doesn't doesn't help any of us at all - or the company!

It's like that RPG called Two Worlds, on PC ok to good, on console terrible - but go to threads and nobody tells you what they played it on - hence me believing that all the people complaining having the console version and all those praising the game having the PC version, but I could be wrong!

We ALL need to understand, both media and gamers, that when a game comes out on 2-4 formats, we need to tell gamers (either viewers of reviews like this or our fellow gamers) what format version we are talking about!

Can be get a little more IQ into our gamers and gaming sites?!

Play the game on a real system, the PC, and nearly all of the negatives go away.
Alpha Protocol is a good game. It has some problems and rough edges, but it is very enjoyable.

I think something might be wrong with your version of the game, I did not experiance any of the bugs you listed.

I loved every second of that game, it was just amazing.

Sounds like a failed attempt to recreate Mass Effect in a modern setting.
Let's see:
[x] - Computer hacking minigame
[x] - Safe cracking minigame
[x] - Picking pre-game character history
[x] - Combat, Stealth or Techie roles
[x] - Character can lean towards suave, ladykiller (Paragon) or ruthless badass (Renegade)

Just like Gametrailers and Gamespot, this game is not worth buying. Just a rent unless you're really bored and want somnething to play to make time fly. I say skip it.

And on the side note, I still find the way he walks when crouch down so effing funny. It's like he has to go to the bathroom or got something caught up his rear.

Chakanus:
This is one of the games where I wish it was reviewed on this site before the star rating system was added. I'm playing it on pc, hard mode, and besides the occasional texture pop-in, and a few furious first attempts at the hacking, I'm enjoying it immensely.

If the person doesn't care too much about the graphics, and likes RPG's, I think this one is a possible keeper. Maybe it was the way it was advertised, but there are a lot of folks (not here) complaining about shooting a guy straight in the face and the character missing. The thing is, this game is an RPG in a spy world; it's not a shooter with (a lot) of RPG elements like Mass Effect. It's just an RPG where you get to shoot, and the mathematical mechanics are there as underlying rules.

I remember when I first picked up KOTOR, the first thing I did in Taris was entering a duel with some guy. I stood 5 m from him, shooting and missing, while the poor bastard shot and missed me, for a good 3 minutes, until the pc was so bored it killed that enemy just so I could move on with my life.

And it's not a stealthy game. It's an RPG where you can hit H and Hide in Plain Sight, causing criticals (thankfully there are no undead in this game). And sure the AI is just a wee bit... "special", but again, in hard mode, it's not overly ridiculous. Just has its quirks.

Someone in the official forums claimed that this game could potentially be the next Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, and I couldn't agree more. A fairly deeply flawed gem (VTMB was downright unplayable for me, which gets even less points), but one I'm sure I shall remember fondly and come back for it a great deal of times.... especially if some fans deliver a wonderful goody-patch like it happened for VTMB and KOTOR II.

After playing it for few hours (on PC), I have to say that I completely agree with the above statement (also with Korhal's review). Once I realised that AP is not ME2 like action game with RPG elements, but an actual RPG that just happens to look like third person shooter/stealth game, it clicked and I am enjoying it very much. I just finished Saudi Arabia (that would be like 1/5th of the game) and I'm already planning to play it 3 more times as each of the JBs...

Susan Arendt:

Mine's one of the original 40 gigs. Interesting.

Oh, I also ran into more than one situation where there was something to pick up, but when I went to grab it, I ducked into cover instead. Very annoying, especially when the item in question was healing that I very much needed.

The plot thickens.... Maybe there's something to you theory, Ms. Arendt.

Kelorin:
Sounds like a failed attempt to recreate Mass Effect in a modern setting.
Let's see:
[x] - Computer hacking minigame
[x] - Safe cracking minigame
[x] - Picking pre-game character history
[x] - Combat, Stealth or Techie roles
[x] - Character can lean towards suave, ladykiller (Paragon) or ruthless badass (Renegade)

*headdesk* Yes, Mass Effect is clearly AP's primary influence, but it's much more different in practice than it sounds in a bulletpointed (and somewhat silly) list like that. Picking history? Being nice or being a jerk? Direct combat or specialist... sounds like almost every RPG.

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