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Default Alpha Protocol - More Reviews

June 22nd, 2010, 18:56
A few sites more have reviewed Obsidian's spy-rpg, Alpha Protocol. The Adreneline Vault gives it a 2/5 and here's an excerpt:
Unfortunately, Alpha Protocol feels like an extension of what Obsidian has been doing all along. In my intro, I mentioned that they have garnered fame stepping in to handle many sophomore outings. That’s what this game feels like – a shadow copy of better games – most specifically Mass Effect. The cinematic approach to the narrative mimics Mass Effect’s radial dialogue choices but the key difference is that Mass Effect tells a densely plotted, compelling tale where the narrative in Alpha Protocol is all over the map. A good story is key to a great role playing experience. Without it, there’s no real reason to invest in all the grinding required to build your character. Unfortunately, Obsidian steps into a fertile landscape and then simply decorates it in cliché – never bringing anything new or unique to their retelling.
Computer Games Romania is more positive with 83/100 - here's a snop from the beginning:
And in some ways, Alpha Protocol is way more of an important RPG than Knights of the Old Republic II or Neverwinter Nights 2 were in their day. For the latter they only had to carry on the torch, already having a solid base to work on. But this time, Chris Avellone and co went 100% on their own – new setting, new characters, design decisions and so on. If something didn’t appeal to the players, they couldn’t go “Uhm, you know, it’s because of George Lucas / Wizards of the Coast. We would have done it if we could have”. This time, they pretty much had full discretion to create an RPG as they saw fit.
Even though some will say otherwise, I firmly believe that RPG will remain (probably forever) niche games. I’m talking here about true RPGs, not any title where you have some experience points and abilities and bang, it’s an {insert genre here}/RPG. Truth be told, it’s Dungeons & Dragons’ fault that we, gamers, are classically viewed as geeks rolling dices in basements.
The rest of the review is a pretty interesting read that deals with the game in-depth.
More information.
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June 22nd, 2010, 18:56
The second review is excellent overall, one of the most thoughtful I've seen of the game. I think the score is about right objectively speaking though I think the ending paragraphs are a bit on the negative side.

But a great read.
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June 23rd, 2010, 06:15
I've never seen a game with so many polar opposite reviews, some liking the game a whole lot and others very much disliking it. Strange to see.
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June 23rd, 2010, 11:04
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
I've never seen a game with so many polar opposite reviews, some liking the game a whole lot and others very much disliking it. Strange to see.
I don't think it's strange really, but I think it's heavily dependent on how much you like the setting.
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June 23rd, 2010, 12:15
"Mass Effect tells a densely plotted, compelling tale"

Are we sure? Mass Effect's story for me was from compelling or well written.. it was incredibly dry, with the old 'ancient evil rising' clichè applied to sci-fi instead of fantasy.

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June 23rd, 2010, 12:34
Well…

I was reasonably engaged by the story of Mass Effect, and I was particularly pleased with the background lore for the various races and technologies.

Certainly, I was FAR more interested and enthused by those aspects of that game, than the utter messy boredom that was Alpha Protocol story/characters.

Mass Effect 2, though, much less interesting than the first one - but still significantly more interesting than AP as a cinematic experience.

As a pure gameplay experience, Alpha Protocol was better than either of the others.
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June 23rd, 2010, 13:08
Background lore =/= story.
While I agree that Alpha Protocol could present some story points better (I don't agree with the fact that it's a mess as far as characters are concerned.. they have far more depth than it seems at first, and work well inside the storyline without going all 'ok, now sit back for 30 minutes to hear my absolutely dreadful backstory', a method which was abused in Mass Effect), if you strip a couple of fancy codex entries, Mass Effect's story is, at its core, a very fantasy-ish and banal story.
The characters? I understand it's a matter of taste, but characters in Mass Effect for me were absolutely dreadful, and I usually enjoy Bioware NPCs a great deal.

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June 23rd, 2010, 13:13
Originally Posted by WorstUsernameEver View Post
Background lore =/= story.
Which is why I spoke about both as separate entities

The characters? I understand it's a matter of taste, but characters in Mass Effect for me were absolutely dreadful, and I usually enjoy Bioware NPCs a great deal.
The characters themselves were pretty standard-fare, but they made sense and carried what they needed to, quite well.

AP, as you say, is a matter of taste - and I didn't find a single character interesting or appealing.
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June 23rd, 2010, 14:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Which is why I spoke about both as separate entities
Ooops, must have misunderstood then. Sorry.



The characters themselves were pretty standard-fare, but they made sense and carried what they needed to, quite well.
That's the problem to me. In KOTOR the characters (with maybe the exception of Jolee Bindo) were all standard, and yet they clicked for me because of how well they interacted and how well they worked inside the Star Wars setting (except Carth… Anomen Mk II, as bad as the first one ).
In Mass Effect they didn't work for me. There were instances, like Ashley's backstory and personal dialogue and Tali's backstory where I actually felt 'the writers are trying too hard here'.

But again, this wasn't a discussion about Mass Effect, so sorry to have brought it out here, it's just that every time I read about Mass Effect having a fantastic story I wonder what's so fantastic about it…

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June 23rd, 2010, 14:24
Well, if you ask me, Bioware has become exceedingly formulaic - and as I've said countless times before, their games feel like they're based on blueprints - rather than a strong creative drive.

But that's just me
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June 23rd, 2010, 15:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, if you ask me, Bioware has become exceedingly formulaic - and as I've said countless times before, their games feel like they're based on blueprints - rather than a strong creative drive.

But that's just me
Agree!

And same applies for Bethesda. Too much study and old designers, too little daring ideas and fresh blood in the process. And what is better opportunity to use that "formula" than sequels that the most of the new rpgs are…

Only smaller European developers dare to bring something different.
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June 23rd, 2010, 18:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, if you ask me, Bioware has become exceedingly formulaic - and as I've said countless times before, their games feel like they're based on blueprints - rather than a strong creative drive.

But that's just me
No, that isn't just you. That's what's still keeping me from trying out Dragon Age. Every single detail I see screams déjà vu at me. I just cannot bring myself to look at it, even if it might be a good game.

From a business point of view, they seem to do the right thing, though.
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June 23rd, 2010, 18:41
It seems to me that maybe the European reviews of AP are more positive than the US reviews of AP? Might be interesting to look into?

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June 23rd, 2010, 21:49
Originally Posted by Turjan View Post
No, that isn't just you. That's what's still keeping me from trying out Dragon Age. Every single detail I see screams déjà vu at me. I just cannot bring myself to look at it, even if it might be a good game.
I have to admit that I ended up being pleasantly surprised by Dragon Age. You should probably give it a chance, it's the best Bioware game since BG 2 imo.
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June 23rd, 2010, 22:05
I'd second that. Although I haven't played JE, or the MEs.
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June 24th, 2010, 00:00
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
It seems to me that maybe the European reviews of AP are more positive than the US reviews of AP? Might be interesting to look into?
You aren't the first to notice:
http://free-pc-guides.com/games/diff…os-wrong-01928
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