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Default Alpha Protocol - News Roundup

May 26th, 2010, 09:07
Here's a small collection of Alpha Protocol news as we enter the final stretch before release.…and an interview at MSXbox World with unnamed developers:
How much exploration will there be in terms of mission structure, can gamers expect to look off the beaten track for example to discover new things, new ways to tackle objectives? How much freedom will the player have? Will players be able to revisit locations to explore?

Players will have an option to choose the order of missions and operations. The chosen order will affect the way the game will play out. Some missions will disappear or appear, if a certain mission is completed before it. Due to the reactive nature of the story and Locations, players will not be able to revisit mission.
More information.
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May 26th, 2010, 09:07
While all that is good'n dandy, where are all the reviews? The game is being released this week (unless it has been pushed back?), so we should be seeing something more than previews soon..

I've only seen one review so far, and that was hardly the most thorough review I've read.
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May 26th, 2010, 09:31
Lots of people playing the pirate (i guess?) 360 version.

People are complaining about the graphics (expected). People also complain about the controlls, very large crosshairs and that the AI is bad. Nonetheless they say it's better than the sum of its parts..

bushwacka wrote; "it's like if metal gear solid 4 and mass effect had a child, but daddy worked at a nuclear powerplant and mommy smoked a pack a day during pregnancy. a bit wonky and not that nice to look at, but special. in a good way."
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May 26th, 2010, 10:43
For once the version it's not pirated though It seems that simply stores broke the release embargo and released it before the planned date in France and Australia.
I'm getting a positive vibe by the impressions so far, though of course, some of the negative may be a turn-off for some.
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May 26th, 2010, 12:05
It's definitely pirated on the Xbox - and I frequent sites where people freely pirate stuff. That's not an endorsement, by the way.

Sounds to me like my fears are confirmed, and that people are responding quite negatively to the clunky technical state of the game, as per usual with Obsidian. The problem, if there is one, is that it's a game that would normally appeal to mainstream gamers - and as such their reactions have the potential to hurt the success of the game.

I'll wait until I hear something based on a legitimate version, and I'm going for the PC version - but things aren't sounding very good.

But, I can deal with clunky subpar technical stuff, if the game is good. I'm still hoping it will be, but I'm not really into the genre either way.
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May 26th, 2010, 12:14
yeah where i read the comments i guess most play the pirate version since its a site for warez discussions (though many hardcore RPG'ers there, that's why i like to read there + its where impressions of new games comes up days or weeks before sites like this )

PC version should at least have better controlls + i hope you can edit for how long the dead bodies stays. In the 360 version they disapear within a few seconds which is extremely lame.
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May 26th, 2010, 13:00
Originally Posted by bemushroomed View Post
i hope you can edit for how long the dead bodies stays. In the 360 version they disapear within a few seconds which is extremely lame.
Why do developers remove dead bodies anyway? To reduce the number of polygons on the screen? Just to annoy? If I return to to a location after a certain amount of time then I expect bodies to be gone, but removing them after a few seconds is always bad in my book.
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May 26th, 2010, 13:13
Originally Posted by bemushroomed View Post
People are complaining about the graphics (expected).
Those people prolly wanted brainwashing FPS and not a RPG.

Originally Posted by bemushroomed View Post
mommy smoked a pack a day during pregnancy.
A pack? Of weed? Goody!
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May 26th, 2010, 13:14
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Why do developers remove dead bodies anyway? To reduce the number of polygons on the screen? Just to annoy? If I return to to a location after a certain amount of time then I expect bodies to be gone, but removing them after a few seconds is always bad in my book.
Most likely a combination of issues.

Bookkeeping can be expensive in terms of memory, and the size of savegames can be increased - and dead bodies can be quite expensive as you mention, in terms of GPU/CPU workload, and bodies tend to be interactive using the physics system of whatever engine (I assume it's Havok/Unreal here). Especially if it's a game that could potentially have a LOT of dead bodies - in which case the game could be bogged down in certain scenarios that are hard to prepare for, as a developer - because gamers can be weird

Oh, and I believe the latest versions of the Unreal engine is particularly expensive in terms of PC/NPC polygons/meshes - because they're incredibly detailed compared to most other engines. This is especially evident in games like Batman: AA - and the Mass Effect games.
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May 26th, 2010, 13:30
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Those people prolly wanted brainwashing FPS and not a RPG.
Nope most of those people were enjoying it even though the graphics are dated. BUT, there's nothing that says that a RPG has to have dated graphics (/shitty texture/model artists). Graphics are very important for atmosphere imo.
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May 26th, 2010, 14:23
Comments I've read have been broadly positive. It seems to take people a mission or two to get past their action-game expectations and settle in to the RPG landscape but I think it bodes fairly well. It does seem to take a little while to get over the initial impression and expectations, though.

Comments from Denny Atken, editor at xbox.com:

Well, honestly, I haven't gotten that far into it — past the training and into the first major operation. My initial reaction, based on the 2008-level graphics and the "I thought we decided last year that we didn't like these any more" hacking puzzles, was kinda "meh." But once I put a few hours into it, the gameplay's a lot of fun — BioWare-ish character interactions, better shooter/stealth gameplay than the BioWare games, and I see tons of potential for customizing your character's play style down the road.

My co-host has played well over a dozen hours and absolutely loves it. Says the missions have been really great and the ability unlocks make for a very interesting game.

I have to put a lot of hours into it this week as it's our Insider Moves show on LIVE next week, so I'll have a more solid opinion in a couple of days.

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May 26th, 2010, 14:24
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Comments I've read have been broadly positive. It seems to take people a mission or two to get past their action-game expectations and settle in to the RPG landscape but I think it bodes fairly well. It does seem to take a little while to get over the initial impression and expectations, though.

Comments from Denny Atken, editor at xbox.com:

Well, honestly, I haven't gotten that far into it past the training and into the first major operation. My initial reaction, based on the 2008-level graphics and the "I thought we decided last year that we didn't like these any more" hacking puzzles, was kinda "meh." But once I put a few hours into it, the gameplay's a lot of fun BioWare-ish character interactions, better shooter/stealth gameplay than the BioWare games, and I see tons of potential for customizing your character's play style down the road.

My co-host has played well over a dozen hours and absolutely loves it. Says the missions have been really great and the ability unlocks make for a very interesting game.

I have to put a lot of hours into it this week as it's our Insider Moves show on LIVE next week, so I'll have a more solid opinion in a couple of days.
Certainly more positive than the stuff I've been reading, so that's great
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May 26th, 2010, 15:08
Surprisingly positive to be honest, especially regarding the combat (I expect interesting characters etc from Obsidian), thanks Dhruin.
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May 26th, 2010, 17:06
Most impressions I've read have also been positive once people get past the "dated graphics" blockade. It does seem a bit unpolished and all that but a lot of people report being sucked in as they go on in the game and once they understand that maybe trying to stealth isn't a good thing to do when you haven't put any points into the stealth skill.
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May 26th, 2010, 19:41
I love graphics and just pre-ordered it. They contradict each other but that's the way it is
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May 26th, 2010, 23:56
Due to the reactive nature of the story and Locations, players will not be able to revisit mission.

So areas are permanently closed off once you've finished the missions?

That's not something I wanted to hear.
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May 27th, 2010, 02:08
We have a contest at Alpha Protocol Wiki as well:

http://alphaprotocol.wikia.com/wiki/…Touch_giveaway
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May 27th, 2010, 14:17
15 minutes of rushed impressions (13 hour work day - just can't keep going).

Graphics are much nicer than I expected - it's looks quite good (not cutting edge good, but better than I expected). Good framerate (so far) on a lowish system with most things enabled or high.

Control feels decent, though not as sharp as the best action games - perhaps better than Mass Effect 1 but not as smooth as Mass Effect 2 or "real" shooters. You can select locations when you're in cover and have Mike dive / run automatically to them by pressing space, which is nice.

The first two dialogues have a choice with a very minor consequence - not bad straight off the bat. The mini-games (hacking, lock-picking) aren't too bad as far as mini-games go. The hacking one actually makes some sense, though I'm sure it will get tiresome after the entire game.

…And that's it for now. Definitely feels promising to me but there's a long road ahead.

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May 27th, 2010, 14:32
Would you say that the game seems to be in the vein of Mass Effect (even with more story related choices) or does it tend to go into more deep waters like, say, Bloodlines?

(I certainly hope we will find it more appropriate to compare it with the later even if it's only to reach the conclusion that it's somewhat of a 'poor relative')

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May 27th, 2010, 14:39
Glad you got a copy, Druin. I look forward to further impressions.

I heard there are no sidequests in this game, and that it lasts about 20 hrs. Both of those things surprised me and were a little disappointing to hear.
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