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Default Alpha Protocol - Walkthrough Video

April 25th, 2009, 01:30
Matthew Rorie from Obsidian talks us through a new Alpha Protocol walkthrough video that is available at Shacknews and elsewhere. The 5 minute video shows footage from an early Moscow hub mission and shows the "dynamic dialogue system" with its time-limited selection of suave, professional and aggressive stances - as well as different mission approaches. The core of the video is showing the different way the mission plays out if you choose a different handler at the start of the mission, as well as hinting at possible future consequences.
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April 25th, 2009, 01:30
Looks kinda lame and needs a demo.
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April 25th, 2009, 01:33
Really? I thought it looked pretty good within the confines of the intended genre, some odd animation aside

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April 25th, 2009, 02:48
Why do they have to do the same crap that was done with Mass Effect with the dialog. I would rather have something that says what I am going to say rather then a stance even if it is one or two words. I think this will be better then Mass Effect though so I may actually not get disgusted with this game unlike I did with Mass Effect but I will find out when it comes out.

PS. I hope they have an option to disable the time limit to decide your dialog choice since I like to contemplate my choices and not rush through them.
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April 25th, 2009, 03:17
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Really? I thought it looked pretty good within the confines of the intended genre, some odd animation aside
Something about it…

Hey, if it turns out to be great I'll play it. Just not expecting it.
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April 25th, 2009, 03:42
I think it looks interesting … I'll definitely try, be interesting to see how it turns out.

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April 25th, 2009, 06:31
Is the dialogue time limited so the player can't think about how bad the writing is?
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April 25th, 2009, 10:14
It *does* look a bit generic, but I guess if what you are aiming for is realism, that's what you're going to get.

I see the flaws of a Mass-Effect-type dialogue system when I think about it outside the game, but in Mass Effect itself, I enjoyed the dialogue. There were only a few situations in which Shepard ended up doing something I did not intend when selecting an option, but often enough, the system worked.

Not sure about Alpha Protocol, though, since here you know even less about what your character is going to say. I can imagine that the system works in the game, but the end result might be more of a movie-watching experience, since you lose a bit of control over your character. The time limits I find promising, though. I wonder what happens if time runs out.
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April 25th, 2009, 11:22
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
The time limits I find promising, though. I wonder what happens if time runs out.
I'm guessing one option is always selected, probably the first one and if you don't change it in the given time that's the one that gets selected.
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April 25th, 2009, 11:45
I am very interested in this one. it sounds good. I already decided I would play more a stealthy guy with maybe a touch of firepower added for when needed

I think the dialog style fits. Especiaaly the timer. I thought I read somewhere if you don't answer in time, it will choose the worst option.

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April 25th, 2009, 12:05
Originally Posted by titus View Post
I think the dialog style fits. Especiaaly the timer. I thought I read somewhere if you don't answer in time, it will choose the worst option.
Or the counter will restart. Or you're game will crash, taking down your hard-drive with it. It's supposed to be a serious spy rpg isn't it? You're computer will self-destruct in 5 seconds…
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April 25th, 2009, 12:57
hehehe, dangerous game then. Restart of the counter? would be ridicilous.

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April 25th, 2009, 17:43
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
The time limits I find promising, though. I wonder what happens if time runs out.
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April 25th, 2009, 23:03
Perhaps there is an extra answer for when the counter runs out. An answer that will make you sound like Forrest Gump. Slow in the head.
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April 26th, 2009, 09:20
For me any really timed dialogue would be a reason not to buy a game. I have enough time pressure in real life.

Such ideas are console shit for me, think Indigo Prophecy.
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April 26th, 2009, 09:48
bkrueger and others, there's one thing that's consistently puzzling me. It's what I call "single-issue gamers."

"I'll never buy a game if it has timed dialog [no voiceovers/doesn't display the full text of the dialog]."
"I'll never buy a game if it has first-person [third-person/isometric] perspective."
"I'll never buy a game with real-time [turn-based/real-time with pause] combat."
"I'll never buy a game if it's a console port."
"I'll never buy a game if it's from Bethesda [BioWare/Atari/EvilCorporateEntity]."
"I'll never buy a game if it doesn't have decent graphics [decent writing/decent AI]."
"I'll never buy a game if the DRM requires me to connect to the internet [have the DVD in the drive/has limited activations (that I can free up somehow)/kills kittens in its spare time]."

I mean, there are a very few of these that legitimately make sense (to me), such as "I'll never buy a game if it doesn't run halfway decently on the iron I have, which I can't afford to upgrade right now," of "I'll never buy a game if its DRM installs malware on my machine" or "I'll never buy a football game, because I don't f-ing LIKE football."

But, from where I'm at, the above list is more like minuses or annoyances or questions of taste; I can't see how a reasonable person could consider them to be actual dealbreakers — things that so much impact your enjoyment of a game (or your politics) that they're what I'd call "legitimate" reasons to boycott it.

Anyone care to enlighten me?
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April 26th, 2009, 10:26
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post

But, from where I'm at, the above list is more like minuses or annoyances or questions of taste; I can't see how a reasonable person could consider them to be actual dealbreakers — things that so much impact your enjoyment of a game (or your politics) that they're what I'd call "legitimate" reasons to boycott it.

Anyone care to enlighten me?
Of course it is a subjective thing.

But take Indigo Prophecy as an example: Those times, where you had to press some keys in a certain order to progress the game were very annoying and immersion breaking for me, but i might have swallowed them.

But when I got to a scene, where you were in an appartment and looked around and after some time the police came in and you lost the game if you didn't do several things (coverup of some evidence against you) fast enough before , I simply stopped playing. My only save game was after having already having lost to much time, so I couldn't get on without restarting the game, which I had no reason to do.

This was in fact one single mechanic which was reason enough not to play the game.

From such experience I expect that a similar mechanic would ruin the game for me. That is why I wrote "a REALLY timed dialogue". If for example I can pause the game at any point, such that the timer is not a real-life timer, I will have no problem with it and will consider it being only an annoyance.

Moreover, I like games with choices and consequences, so I expect that dialogue choices have impact on the game (otherwise you can skip the dialogue anyway) and I don't like to make important decisions under time pressure.

For example I don't play real time RTSes with timed missions and such stuff.

If the decision is only "fight" or "give money" and the further story is not depending on this deciscion, a timer would be merely annoying, I admit. but in that case the game wouldn't be very promising for me either.

So yes, you are right that it is not ideal to base decisions on one single game mechanic before knowing the game. But if I deduce expected outcomes from former experience with other games, I am sceptical, whether this can work out good.

Of course a claim like "if [this and that] I will not buy it" is never as absolute as it sounds. If I learn from reports of other players (e. g.in this forum) that the timer doesn't exist in this form or doesn't have the impacts I fear, then I will of course consider buying the game.

Edit: Another example would be the enemy respawn mechanic in "Dungeon Lords". It was only one mechanic but for me it was reason enough to stop playing the game and consider it one of the worst games ever, in fact. Similar with the level scaling in Oblivion.

Another edit:
In fact a strong story may allow me to forgive such things. If Dungeon Lords or Oblivion had started the story in a way which would make me curious enough to go only only to see how the story progesses, I would have ignored those mechanics. Both games didn't do that.
In a game like "The Witcher" I might have ignored those mechanics. In fact recently I played an RTS, "Paraworld", where I even swallowed two timed missions in order to learn, how the story continued and because I loved the atmosphere and the other game mechanics. But still I prefer to replay "Spellforce" (the first one), which has an interesting story, RPG-elements and no timed missions.

Third edit: Whether it is possible to enlighten you is beyond my control.
Last edited by bkrueger; April 26th, 2009 at 10:50.
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April 27th, 2009, 00:49
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
But take Indigo Prophecy as an example: Those times, where you had to press some keys in a certain order to progress the game were very annoying and immersion breaking for me, but i might have swallowed them.
Yep. The gameplay is very annoying and quite challenging even on easy unless you have a console controller plugged in and also some actual experience with the damn thing. Or if you're using a keyboard then it helps to be a pro piano player or something . I still don't know how I managed to put up with all the crap but the story was just too good to quit as far as I can remember. Fahrenheit was an awesome overall experience despite the crappy gameplay.

But when I got to a scene, where you were in an appartment and looked around and after some time the police came in and you lost the game if you didn't do several things (coverup of some evidence against you) fast enough before , I simply stopped playing. My only save game was after having already having lost to much time, so I couldn't get on without restarting the game, which I had no reason to do.

This was in fact one single mechanic which was reason enough not to play the game.
Well, you gave up very early then. The scene you are talking about must be chapter 3 (out of 44 total chapters… I just checked a walkthrough). From what I can remember that scene must've been less than two hours into the game.
I also doubt your "would have had to restart the game" bit. The game auto/checkpoint-saved at the beginning and at the end of every scene and sometimes in between on longer sequences. I don't see why you couldn't have just started over the scene from the beginning. As far as I can remember there was (unfortunately) no manual save feature and even if there was I still don't know how you could have possibly overwritten or voided the autosave at the beginning of that scene.
Honestly, I believe you either made that up or your memory has failed you.
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April 27th, 2009, 05:31
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
In fact a strong story may allow me to forgive such things.
I guess this is PJ's point. Your earlier post suggests the timed responses alone are enough for you to avoid the game, whereas the real situation is probably more like "If I don't like the rest of the game enough, the timed responses might kill it for me".

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April 27th, 2009, 07:22
This is looking better and better.

I say "thank God" for the dialogue system. Not only is the tension of having to think quickly on your feet in dialogue situations a great fit for a spy-thriller, but also why would I prefer to have to read 3 or 4 silly, stilted lines, choose one, and then have to listen to what I just read, when I can have a streamlined approach that makes my choice more of a gameplay choice than wordplay choice and allows me to suffer less by only having to hear/read a single corny line only once?

If Obsidian is able to fully realize their vision on this one, I say they've got a full-blown winner on their hands.
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