Sunday, January 22, 2012

Alpha Protocol - Early Impressions

Alpha Protocol Boxshot
Alpha Protocol been collecting dust (internet dust) in my Steam library for a while now. Finally after putting some time into its story campaign i have an idea about what Alpha Protocol is. Obsidian Entertainment are the developers and SEGA the publishers to this action adventure espionage game. Alpha Protocol released back on June 1, 2010 on the PC, PLaystation 3 and Xbox 360.

To say Alpha Protocol is just an action adventure game doesn't really tell the story. There are RPG gameplay elements dealing with XP and character progression trees. I'll get into that later but first the formalities. For the record i am playing Alpha Protocol on Steam (PC). The only real modification i did as far as graphics go was raise the resolution to 1280x1024 (4:3). At the beginning of the game you pretty much choose what type of character you want Mike to be. Mike is the protagonist btw.

Agent History: Soldier, Field Agent, Tech Specialist, Freelancer and Recruit. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses and depends on your play style. You can approach gameplay in a variety of ways like stealth, CQC, hacking or whatever. Each class also has its history and small story behind it. Skills: Skills cost AP points. You get AP points when you level up. You do start the game with a few points to use. Some Skills include Stealth, Pistols, Sub machine guns, shotguns, Martial Arts, Toughness, Technical and Sabatage. Each Skill has its own upgrade tree.
After selecting your class and skills you are finally shown a cinematic cutscene of an airplane getting blown up by a locked-on missile. After the scene you see Mike waking up in an isolated room confused. Much of the gameplay early on has you learning a basic tutorial as you try and escape the mysterious building you are trapped in. You learn about health packs, lock-picking, hacking,disarming terminals, Line of sight and cover play a big part in the combat in Alpha Protocol. You also learn how to aim, shoot and throw grenades. The stealth in Alpha Protocol is good. You can sneak up on guards and use CQC (close quarters combat). You get in-game help via your PDA. Collectibles include character dossiers.

After getting through the tutorial you realize it was just a training orientation designed to see if you fit a secret agencies standards. There is alote of dialog and conversation elements in this game. Its similar to Mass Effect in that regard. When you answer a question a particular way NPCs will remember that and treat you accordingly. The voice acting and sound is good so far. The music gave me an espionage vibe. The gameplay is layered and has diversity. The animations are stiff but the character's faces up close do look decent. After the orientation you can select Mike's looks. You can alter his face, head, beard, eyes, eyewear and hats. I'm still very early into the game. I am currently in Arabia tracking down a company called Halbech Tech.

So far so good for Alpha Protocol. I paid only 5 bucks for it which seems like a deal since the game isn't that bad. Expect a full review of Alpha Protocol in the future. Thanks for reading. Dead Nation Review

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