Review: Alpha Protocol

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
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Review: Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol has plenty of great ideas. Unfortunately, it also has plenty of bugs.

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Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
17,032
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I will pass. I was excited. But my excitement was killed very quickly for this game as reviews pored in. For some reason, the shooting looks horrid, too. The stealth gameplay looks like it works fine, though. Especially with the dumb AI.

And with those bugs, you'd have to save every few minutes, or before attempting a hack. He really just walked into a corner like that on his own? When the controls don't even work properly something has gone wrong. Even really, really, really bad movie games at least have controls that work.
 

Sonicron

Do the buttwalk!
Mar 11, 2009
5,134
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This is pretty much what I've been expecting since the first gameplay trailer - a broken, half-arsed mess. Nice to see my suspicions validated.
 

thenumberthirteen

Unlucky for some
Dec 19, 2007
4,794
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Aww. I liked the sound of this game. An RPG that isn't all about wizards. If they patch the bugs maybe I'll rent it, or buy it cheap.
 

Chrono212

Fluttershy has a mean K:DR
May 19, 2009
1,846
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thenumberthirteen said:
Aww. I liked the sound of this game. An RPG that isn't all about wizards. If they patch the bugs maybe I'll rent it, or buy it cheap.
Same, luckily I'm out of my 'pre-order everything and anything that looks interesting' phase so I've saved some money.

Still, it looked promising :(

lol, expenses account...heh, if you?re not British then it's not as funny
 

Rainboq

New member
Nov 19, 2009
16,620
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I was kind of hoping that this would be good, now?

I'll just use any copy of this I get as a $60 coster.
 

Nimbus

Token Irish Guy
Oct 22, 2008
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I never noticed any control problems or visual glitches on the PC version. Bad port maybe?
 

Proteus214

Game Developer
Jul 31, 2009
2,270
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Wow sounds like a serious development rush job. Bugs like that are seriously inexcusable. I can understand the shortcomings of the AI in a way, but the controller issues are a serious deal-breaker.
 

ajbell

Poor Impulse Control
Dec 6, 2007
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Nice video supplement, by the way. Felt like an actual addition tot he review, rather than someone reading out the main points over a demo of the game.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
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Nimbus said:
I never noticed any control problems or visual glitches on the PC version. Bad port maybe?
Quite possibly, yeah. And yes, he really does just go wandering off on his own from time to time. The controller will also just plain stop working - you'll be moving the blocks around to hack a computer and suddenly, nothing works. Very disappointing.

As for the shooting, I could never get the sensitivity to a place where it felt right, so I was constantly swinging back and forth with the reticle. Again, possibly just a bad porting issue.
 

tomvw

New member
Feb 5, 2009
285
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Nimbus said:
I never noticed any control problems or visual glitches on the PC version. Bad port maybe?
Same here, haven't noticed any of the visual glitches or control problems in the PC version, just some jittery framerates.
But again, the retarded AI does ruin the experience sometimes.
 

kasperbbs

New member
Dec 27, 2009
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I have it on PC and controls work just fine for me ,except that it sometimes lags when you move mouse around (my pc is pretty powerful ,im not the only one with that problem) and shooting mechanics are terrible ,60% chance that you will miss a headshot even if your target isnt moving and he is pretty close + other problems that the review mentioned. All in all its playable ,i liked the story so far and im a major rpg junkie so i like it ,its not great but i dont wanna play mass effect 2 for the third time yet.
 

Delusibeta

Reachin' out...
Mar 7, 2010
2,594
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Nimbus said:
I never noticed any control problems or visual glitches on the PC version. Bad port maybe?
That post kind of contradicts Rock Paper Shotgun's [http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/05/31/an-hour-with-alpha-protocol/] post-release playtest. Although maybe it's a case of "it's designed for a 360 controller, not mouse + keyboard".

It does look like a bad port... from the 360 version.
 

The Zango

Resident stoner and Yognaught
Apr 30, 2009
3,706
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Tactical, espionage, RPG? Yes please!

Alpha protocol? Yes please!

Branching plot that is affected by your actions? Where do I buy it?!

Obsidian? Oh shit....
 

PedroSteckecilo

Mexican Fugitive
Feb 7, 2008
6,732
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Dammit Obsidian! Why ya gotta let a brother down! I TRUSTED you! I TRUSTED YOU!

In all seriousness, I frequently trust Susan Arendt's reviews (unlike those of a certain be-hatted brit in Brisbane, it is Brisbane right? or was it Melbourne... dammit) and hence I will accept that Alpha Protocol probably isn't worth my money.
 

Myiven

New member
Apr 23, 2008
6
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I'm going to go against the grain here. I like this game.

I won't defend the flaws, but the only ones I've run into are occasional enemy AI glitches (I've seen bad guys stuck in doors twice total since I started playing, and I've put about five hours in) and frequent texture loading glitches.

The graphic loading problems bother me, but the gameplay is fun and challenging and has managed to successfully build tension. The hacking and lock picking is always a welcome boon.
I'll add a disclaimer: I am a horrible twitch gamer. I suspect that I'm in the bottom 10% of gamers when it comes to raw skill, so the bad AI is probably right at my level.


My favorite feature is the conversation system. This is the first time I've seen believable conversation trees in a video game. Rather than the other characters staring dumbly while you select from a dialog list, you have a limited window to select an attitude. I really want to see this concept expanded in other games. Bioware, I'm looking at you guys to pick up on this for ME3.
 

Woodsey

New member
Aug 9, 2009
14,553
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I was really looking forward to this. Next time Obsidian have a great idea that they can hand it over to Bioware so that we're not all sorely disappointed.

Ah well, it's only £25 on Steam so assuming it has the shit patched out of it I might buy it. I mean, you can correct most of the problems (like the peashooter pistols, grahpical glitches, etc.) in the patch.

Also, I doubt anyone's played both versions but the PC version does seem to have received higher scores - is it much better? It's just that most reviews are done on consoles (to my great annoyance) and it'd be nice to know if not all complaints are present on the PC version.
 

Ewyx

New member
Dec 3, 2008
375
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Have the PC version. I love the game, however all the reviews are pointing towards me having to dislike the game. The PC version isn't as glitchy/buggy. The thing with this game is, it has nothing in it that's wrong. Only things that require a bit more polish.

However, as a poster above me noticed. This game has some amazing concepts. Concepts BioWare should learn from. But the presentation is just amazing. Honestly, I feel bad that the game has negative feedback, since I'm actually enjoying it, but maybe I can just overlook the flaws.
 

Chas Blackwell

New member
Jul 12, 2006
4
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I'm finding this incredibly frustrating, having preordered it through Steam and I still can't get it to even start up, let alone deal with the bugs. I preordered largely because I'd seen a talk from last summer by Chris Avellone on the dialogue and storytelling system the game uses (which even the most damning reviews seem to say is pretty stellar), and honestly I'd even have been happy with something that was a flawed gem, much like how KotOR2 was. However, a game that I can't even get to start is pretty ridiculous -- I don't think I have had this problem with anything I bought through Steam ever, and so far nothing that's been suggested by technical support has worked to fix it. :/

To be fair, I suspect my issue is actually something with the DRM, since I don't even get the prompt to enter my activation code when I try to launch it, but that doesn't really make it any better. I've had really high hopes for Obsidian, just from their pedigree: KotOR2 really was excellent until the rushed-out last act, and I actually applied for a job there years ago and got some of the most thoughtful feedback I've ever gotten on a practical test. Unfortunately, my experience with Alpha Protocol has made me reconsider preordering New Vegas, which should be a sure bet. I'm sure I'll end up getting it (and I suspect a game built from an existing engine should be a bit more robust), but I'll probably wait for the reviews before picking it up.