Alpha Protocol

Spoilers!

So, this time around I played Alpha Protocol, a console like roleplay military game that had some really interesting RP events.
You take the role of a guy named Michael Thorton, a CIA operative that gets recruited by a program called ‘Alpha Protocol’. Things work out well at the beginning, or so we think and then all hell breaks loose when the truth gets out.

This game lets you customize ‘Mike’ to some extent, such as eye color, hair and skin. You can also choose beard shapes, with hat, glasses or without.
Throughout the game, you’ll get so many choices to change your outcome of the game as well as romance some women. Some harder, some easier, just play your cards right. You can also change his class to Soldier, Field agent, Tech Specialist and Freelancer. I went with the Freelancer build, not that the other classes were any different really, you can change the skills how you like them in each tree anyhow, beside the fact that it gets mentioned in the story.

The game overall gives me a feeling of a console game, the checkpoint save system, the rather small areas to move around when not on mission and the choosing of missions from a menu. Otherwise its a really nice game, with really nice music, voice acting (Mike is awesome), and combat even. I choose pistol and assault rifle for precision shots and long range. Even tried the melee but it was unsatisfactory and a bit buggy in my own opinion.
The pistol worked really nicely and on the last levels of it, you could one-hit kill almost anyone while aiming for the head even though it takes a tiny while for the aim to settle. I went through most of the game crouched, and sneakily aiming at all their heads. If they weren’t rushing towards me because I ‘accidently’ set of the alarm (almost never my fault!), as I always seem to do. But sometimes it felt like the enemies could see me through walls but I figured that it was my armor making too much noise as well as me maybe not sneaking enough.

The story is nice and kept me intrigued throughout even though military games isn’t the most fun game you can get. The graphics are nice though the areas could be a bit more versatile and friendlier to the sneak style. Was not many paths to take that didn’t involve heading straight on with a convenient first aid station close by, but there are only two or three aid stations throughout the missions besides the aid kits in your possession.
There isn’t really a need to have first aid kits with oneself in my opinion but it can be nice to have, as you can come in certain places where the enemies are ridiculously annoying or got missiles heading your way. I didn’t use much of the gadgets in game, such as the bombs and EMP grenades, I more relied on my skills on headshots as I mentioned before.

One thing that is really needed for this game is exploring. Exploring = Money/Bullets/Upgrades = Affording the new stuff that you can buy in the store later on, and it isn’t cheap. And fixing certain missions a certain way can also give you money as well as extorting people for it. I did both when I played but be careful, some might hate you for it, some might be a resource in the future.

The characters throughout the game are really different but not to deep and gives the feeling of diversity, as well as their voice acting. Would have liked to see more story about them though instead of reading a ‘dossier’ to know things. They are good to read though as they can share with the player on how to handle that particular character, aggressive or calm, professional or flirty, or just plain curious. They all will react differently and will like/dislike you accordingly.

The conversations are time based and you get some options to choose from, how you want ‘Mike’ to react to that exact moment or line that had been said. The good about this game is that the options aren’t lines that the character is supposed to say (but never actually say when you choose it) but rather feelings, emotions to how he’ll feel or react.

The game was really nice and cutscenes were really nice to watch. My actions gave me consequences and I had to live with what I did, if I killed someone, spared someone and even when I killed or didn’t kill the enemies that I met on each mission. This might be terrible to say but, I made a lot of children orphans. (You can check the game stats when you play for that.)

I really liked the game and it gave me a feel of being James Bond (thanks to the music) at the same time, the entire game was a lot like Mass Effect with the mini games and different things. The music in it was really nice as well and really added a feel of accomplishment, ownage and intensity, The game has many ending outcomes, and it’s really hard to find them all without playing this game many times. My ending was really nice but not fully satisfying as I missed a little part at the end that I really wanted to know and I’ll maybe play it again sometime. We’ll see when that happens later on though.

‘I..uh, fired a missile…at the palace’ – Mike

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5 responses to “Alpha Protocol

  1. You mention four different classes but adds that there aren’t any real differences between them, what would you say were the motivation to add four different once if there aren’t too much different and what made you pick the freelancer?

    Did a little research, yes instead of just asking you, and it seems the game is indeed released to both PS3 and XBox, so that would explain the pointers you brought up about the saving system, menu system and small areas when not on a mission.

    That leaves a follow up question actually, how big would you say the mission maps were? You mention that one thing needed was exploring, did you feel the maps were big enough and rewarding enough in that aspect? Enough hidden areas that wasn’t too easy to find etc?

    You say the music gave you a feel of being James Bond so of course I have to ask what music it was? Is there a place (outside the game) where it would be possible to listen to the soundtrack?

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    • Well, the different classes helps you to by putting points in certain skills and as I mentioned in my post, it gets mentioned in the game.

      I don’t really have much to compare to, so can’t answer you there. They were big enough, I suppose, but could definitely be bigger with more roads to take for stealth and such. And most places were easy to find, not really that complex in my opinion.

      The in-game music was made by two men by the names of Jason Graves and Rod Abernethy. The intro theme was also made by Jason Graves and Brian Wayne Transeau (BT).
      But I do not know if one could listen to it besides maybe getting the soundtrack.

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  2. Alpha Protocol! Stand out name, for one.

    A Military RP game, not something I’d usually play but the name itself would get me interested! Though the lack of customization sounds a bit bad, but then again, it doesn’t make a game. Plus a main character can have an original look then. Did you enjoy what character customization there was? Or did you not change much?

    Ah Romancing is in this one too, and from that picture the Answer Selection layout looks similar to Mass Effect! I most likely would have chose Freelancer also. It sounds like the versatile class, and judging by the amount of story line choices you can make verbally, it would add an even nicer to touch to approach it all from different skill angles! Did you find it a good ‘free’ development of your characters skills?

    Shame the maps sound small. An RP game needs some beautiful environment, but smaller ones could increase immersion. Good voice acting is also a nice plus! Really does make a game so much more appealing when the main voice actor sounds interested in what he is doing! And whoa, pistol power, but I think in most games the smaller weapons are given a kind of ‘Damage buff’ for reasons unknown to me. (Also, should be more sneaky! Get those pistol shots in sneak mode! :D)

    Hoped they wouldn’t overdo the first aid system. Takes away from the danger of the game if most corners have a healing kit there. Would you have preferred to have a system of buying a limited number of healing kits and carrying them? Or, as you mention, would the affording costs mount too much with other items?

    Once again, looking at those pictures of speech sequences remind me a lot of Mass Effect. The graphics do look pretty though! And It’s always nice to have some extra voice actors to keep the story going. But yeah, I for one personally do not like reading a notepad/dossier/sheet of paper in a game to get information on something. If it’s interactive, sure, but I find it a bit tedious having to scroll through pages to read someones back story unless I physically have it in my hand. Too excited about playing the game.

    Ooo, consequences! I like the sound of that. Many endings too! Shows that indeed the choices you make really do affect a good storyline. I imagine it has Good Endings, Bad Endings, and Neutral Endings respectively? If so, when playing again, what ending would you want to find out the most? (Apart from the area you missed, of course.)

    Another fun review! Can’t wait for more. 🙂

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    • I changed what I could, though it wasn’t much at all in my opinion. But it really depends on the player.

      I really liked it, it was free and I could mix a lot of skills.

      You can just use a limited number of healing items when going on mission. The aid stations is just about 2 or 3 per mission but placed in really combat heavy areas mostly. But yes, it got expensive to upgrade all things and to get more items to carry with on each mission so money is important to save!

      It has mixed endings, one part of it might be “good” while the other part of it will end up pretty badly.
      And I don’t really know what ending I would wanna try next, actually.

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      • Well at least there is still the option of a few changes. I don’t like it when you’re forced into using a character in such a diverse RPG without some form of customization.

        Nice, good there was lots of skills. Sometimes I think they make it free, but then only add a few skills, which don’t really change much.

        Hmm… That sounds difficult, though then again, Mass Effect did something similar if I recall correctly? They did have healing kits placed randomly, and darn money stealing upgrades! I remember ME1 had realllyy high prices, yet the armor looked kinda sucky even if it was varied… ME2 and ME3 did a lot better with armor look to be honest.

        Ohh, that kind of ending. Each seperate part influenced by a decision, sounds a bit like the TellTale Walking Dead game and The Wolf Among Us. And always time to decide, or even see where your mood takes you while playing. 🙂

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