Alpha Protocol Reviews

  • merciful84merciful841,254,041
    30 Sep 2014
    3 0 0
    I feel similarly about this game as I did after playing Mindjack...that it should be criminal how badly reviewed this game was. It's dated visuals and technical bugs don't get in the way of the game's fun and playability.

    At the time of this review, I have yet to play many of the modern WRPGs (i.e. Mass Effect series, Fallout series, etc) to really make a fair comparison or how well it represents the genre overall. However, I can tell you that I had a blast playing Alpha Protocol and its peaked my interest in furthering my experience with the WRPG genre. As a hardcore third person shooter fan, the thing that I liked the most about this game is how it took the fundamental elements of that genre and mixed in the RPG elements. Choosing which skills to level up really felt rewarding and that I was playing through my own unique experience in Alpha Protocol. My only complaint is the most common one...the visuals are last gen and there are a few glitches (it gets particularly worst closer to the end). None of them made the gameplay feel incomplete but it is obvious that a little more time could have been spent fine tuning its shell. Alpha Protocol is like the Anti-FFXIII for me...its an ugly good time and the latter is a beautiful mess. The sound effects (especially for the weapons) are amazing and add to action packed ambiance of the gameplay. Maintaining a good relationship with certain characters for storyline purposes can greatly impact how you play specific parts of the game. For example, you may have to rely more on stealth non-lethal takedowns vs. the balls out, guns blazing approach to clearing enemies from your path. The gameplay never felt redundant due to the reason given prior (different approaches), the variety of mission types, and being able to choose the order in which you can play missions. Some missions are as simple as meeting up with a contact and building a good enough repertoire with them to get more intel for missions, the next set of missions, or elements that are critical to the direction of the overall plot. That's right...actions (or lack there of) taken in previous missions can impact the available of future ones. Choosing to let certain targets live or die will impact not only the direction of the story but how particular missions are played out. I found this aspect of the game really awesome and created multiple save files just to see what would have happened if I choose to do a particular action differently. Besides this, the game frequently presents challenging mini-games in the form of lock picking, wire cutting, and computer hacking. The worst of each requires good nerves and good peripheral visions to successfully complete. Again, these can at times be annoyingly difficult but are very rewarding most of the time.

    Alpha Protocol's plot and storytelling is one of its strongest points. As mentioned previously, decisions made during its gameplay have a critical to the direction the story goes. To the point where certain endings aren't available if certain people died (or were left alive) or even something as seemingly small as a particular enemy type you choose to kill much earlier in the game rather than merely injuring them. The voice acting is a bit dry at first but definately picks up as the game goes on. The majority of the decisions that are made in the game are based on a dialouge tree. Based on what I've seen in Mass Effect, the major difference here is that you have only a limited amount of time to make a decision on what to say and/or how (which depending on who you're talking to, greatly impacts things). Personally, this didn't work for me but I could totally see how someone else may have found that aspect fun as it requires you to always pay close attention and think well on your feet. If you're like me, I definately recommend finding a spoiler free walkthrough to find out the best responses to give depending on what it is you want to do. Overall, the approach to the storytelling greatly increases Alpha Protocol replay value and ability to maintain it's audience's attention.

    My Breakdown:

    What's Good:

    - Awesome story
    - Very fun approach to storytelling
    - High replay value
    - A good variety of mission types
    - Good level up system and character customization
    - A variety of approaches can be taken to completing missions
    - How choice made during the gameplay can effect the plot
    - Awesome sound effects

    What's Not-So-Good:

    - The techie mini games can get kind of annoying
    - The voice acting can be a bit dry at times
    - Many of the weapons and gear that can be bought throughout the game are ridiculously expensive. Even when given discounts from NPCs you've befriended.

    What's Bad

    - "The visuals are last gen and there are a few technical glitches"

    In all, despite the few technical drawbacks, Alpha Protocol is a very fun game. Its one of the few games this generation that I actually want to experience multiple times because it gives me plenty of reason to. I highly recomment for shooter and RPG fans alike to give this game a try inspite of its lower metacritic scores. You may be as pleasently surprised as I was.