|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Alpha Protocol - Review @ Gear Diary

Default Alpha Protocol - Review @ Gear Diary

October 26th, 2010, 23:30
This review of Alpha Protocol from txa1265 goes back a week or so but I only just spotted it in our forums. Here's a short snip from the screen-heavy article:
In a game billed as a ‘Spy RPG’ I don’t know why I should have to make a point that you should focus on stealth skills … yet in reviews, forums, blogs and so on I have seen way too many gripes about things that ultimately come back to people trying to run’n'gun their way through this game or expecting it to behave like a standard cover-shooter. I also find it frustrating explaining the juxtaposition of shooter skills and RPG skills – especially when so many folks had similar issues with Fallout 3.
It should seem pretty clear by now that I really enjoyed Alpha Protocol – it is not the best game I’ve played this year but is a solid game that I know will stay installed on my system for some time to come. So how come I also say it is a failure? Not just because of lackluster sales and lack of a sequel, but because it failed to really grab played with the first impression. You feel limited, the story isn’t instantly compelling, and the early combat isn’t terribly satisfying.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

October 26th, 2010, 23:30
Nice review. So playing a stealthy character is a must? If so, why did they make it optional? Bad design?
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#2

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,645

Default 

October 26th, 2010, 23:40
It's not a must. But playing a stealth character plays more to the strengths of an RPG (slower pace, more opportunity for skills), than run-and-gun, which asks FPS players to accept character skills over their headshot skills and demands pixel-perfect movement.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#3

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

October 26th, 2010, 23:43
I really really enjoyed Alpha Protocol. And could not understand the bad reviews.

But accidentally I played stealth character (thats just my play style) , so I guess i got to see it from the good side.
Twotricks is offline

Twotricks

Sentinel

#4

Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 481

Default 

October 26th, 2010, 23:49
I played through the game three times using three different styles, only one of which was full on stealth (and also non-lethal). I enjoyed the game, but after three playthroughs and no post-release support I had to let it go. It's a shame, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.
Kardiophylax is offline

Kardiophylax

Watcher

#5

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 70

Default 

October 26th, 2010, 23:58
I played it a bit in my PS3. It's funny that what many reviews consider a 'con', it's one of the things I liked. Basically, no matter if you put the cross-hair in between the victim's eyes, if you suck at using the gun, the bullet can easily miss. It's called an RPG for a reason!
wolfing is offline

wolfing

wolfing's Avatar
Wonders what SasqWatch is

#6

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,847

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 00:10
I played it twice as a non-stealth character. Well, you still sneak a bit but you can't get too close to the bad guys. It was a lot of fun even though I was kind of confused about some plot stuff (which I think was on purpose).

If they had made a sequel (or another game in a similar vein) and improved it a bit it would have been really great! And that's not to imply that AP wasn't.
Last edited by BillSeurer; October 27th, 2010 at 00:42.
BillSeurer is offline

BillSeurer

BillSeurer's Avatar
Eternal Supreme Dictator

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 1,725

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 00:35
Thanks for the clarification!
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#8

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,645

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 02:08
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
I really really enjoyed Alpha Protocol. And could not understand the bad reviews.

But accidentally I played stealth character (thats just my play style) , so I guess i got to see it from the good side.
Claiming you can't perceive the obvious doesn't really say much for your deductive skills. I know you're more than capable of using a little sociological imagination and seeing the glaring inadequacies in Alpha Protocol's design ethos, at least relative to other contemporary titles released on similar platforms. Never mind the bugs: the animations, AI, level design and level interactivity were at a mid 90s level.

Sorry, I don't really mean to bust on you in particular. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people attempt to bolster their position through feigning ignorance of perspective. You get more cool points by being able to see the other side's perspective and then giving a rational counter argument to the objections.

/rant
Last edited by Anarchosyn; October 27th, 2010 at 02:55.
Anarchosyn is offline

Anarchosyn

Watcher

#9

Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 30

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 02:49
The minigames ticked me off to the point that I put it down. I still haven't picked it back up but I haven't uninstalled it, either. Some day….
Zloth is offline

Zloth

Zloth's Avatar
I smell a… wumpus!?

#10

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 2,530

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 04:13
Ya, that about sums that game up Zloth
Melvil is offline

Melvil

Melvil's Avatar
Super Duper Super Sweet

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Barva, Costa Rica
Posts: 608

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 04:30
I understand why there were many reviewers who did not like the game but I disagree with it and being a fan of RPGs for over 20 years I am very much saddened by this entire issue.

AP has in my view an average amount of not-so-good implementations but there is also a huge amount of enjoyment in the game in my view. It's an otherwise great game somewhat marred by some issues down to being a good or very good game in my view.

The lowest common denominator (i.e. the target for most reviews) (i.e. the public at large) would much rather have a game which I consider completely uninteresting with good implementations than a very enjoyable game with some not-so-good implementations. It's apparently relatively easy to create a boring but "well done" game and the failure of AP in sales and reviews is going to help push the industry towards that standard. It's a damn shame for those of us who like depth in a game. Fortunately, there are some well done games which have good depth but they are few and far between.
NFLed is offline

NFLed

Sentinel

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 282

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 04:59
Great review, great game.

Obviously rushed out by Sega due to their dire financial situations at the height of the global recession. Yet of course most looked for the easy scapegoat Obsidian, they developed it must be their fault! Of course not being responsible for official Q&A, time lines or budgets still makes developers responsible in many's eyes. Naturally it's baseless but that never stops them.

Every developers dream right? Rushing out a AAA title before it's debugged and not having a patch done promptly.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,486

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 06:52
Originally Posted by Anarchosyn View Post
Claiming you can't perceive the obvious doesn't really say much for your deductive skills. I know you're more than capable of using a little sociological imagination and seeing the glaring inadequacies in Alpha Protocol's design ethos, at least relative to other contemporary titles released on similar platforms. Never mind the bugs: the animations, AI, level design and level interactivity were at a mid 90s level.

Sorry, I don't really mean to bust on you in particular. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people attempt to bolster their position through feigning ignorance of perspective. You get more cool points by being able to see the other side's perspective and then giving a rational counter argument to the objections.

/rant
Ahem. You talk about rational arguments and then go compare Alpha Protocol's animations, AI, level design and interactivity to games in the mid-90's? Really? You do realize that in the mid-90's, we had games like Duke 3D and Quake, right? Rants are all well and good but you sound silly when you criticize someone for feigned ignorance and then turn around and say something completely irrational and unfounded.

All of the issues cited by the critics of AP were mysteriously overlooked in other recent RPGs that received critical acclaim. Crappy animation, AI and lots of bugs? Hello Oblivion and Fallout 3 (AP had better animation and AI than both of those games, btw). Uninspired level design with minimal interactivity? Hello Mass Effect (and every Bioware game ever). Why is it that reviewers seemingly ignored these issues in the high-profile, heavily-hyped RPGs yet focused solely on them in Alpha Protocol? This is the reason why people wonder about AP's negative reception.

If it wasn't already obvious, I enjoyed AP. Were the individual mechanics (combat, stealth, etc) able to match up to games that specialized in them? Of course not. A game that implements many styles of gameplay will never be able to compete with a game that focuses on one of those styles. That's why hybrid games like AP should be judged as a whole and in that respect, AP was greater than the sum of its parts. However, you actually had to play the game for more than an hour to recognize this.
Jerykk is offline

Jerykk

Traveler

#14

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 10:43
If it wasn't already obvious, I enjoyed AP. Were the individual mechanics (combat, stealth, etc) able to match up to games that specialized in them? Of course not. A game that implements many styles of gameplay will never be able to compete with a game that focuses on one of those styles. That's why hybrid games like AP should be judged as a whole and in that respect, AP was greater than the sum of its parts. However, you actually had to play the game for more than an hour to recognize this.
I played through most of it, and yet I found it a broken design - trying to please two completely different audiences and failing to satisfy either one, based on the fact that I enjoy both kinds of experiences when they're done well.

However, that's MY opinion - and it's not about recognising anything, it's about personal preference.

I think they made some huge mistakes, like the ridiculous boss fights in a semi-realistic setting and the emphasis on RPG mechanics in a game that's set up much like a common stealth shooter. It would have worked if they'd implemented those mechanics seamlessly, but the result was a very clunky and unnatural feel that gave you neither a good shooter experience nor a good stealh/RPG experience.

Unless, of course, you enjoy the endless dialogue sequences - that I personally thought felt off and forced you into responses - even during relaxed conversations. That was a stupid system, but I guess it worked for a lot of people. It would have been OK during the key decisions where it was very stressful - but to have it be the common approach just didn't make any sense to me. I mean, when I'm flirting with a girl - I don't feel like I have to answer within seconds - and I generally get the "gist" of what they're about just from being around them. To have to "research" them and then make the correct "guess" to get a completely opaque response is just not a good way of handling this.

Haha, actually, that's very much like talking to women IRL - I guess

But for the other conversations, it was crap.
Last edited by DArtagnan; October 27th, 2010 at 10:56.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#15

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Question 

October 27th, 2010, 12:00
Originally Posted by Anarchosyn View Post
Claiming you can't perceive the obvious doesn't really say much for your deductive skills. I know you're more than capable of using a little sociological imagination and seeing the glaring inadequacies in Alpha Protocol's design ethos, at least relative to other contemporary titles released on similar platforms. Never mind the bugs: the animations, AI, level design and level interactivity were at a mid 90s level.
Are you trying to imitate my writing style ???

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#16

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 15,622

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 15:09
AP was a great game.

Perfect? No. But in my opinion it's the best RPG in 2010 so far easily. I played it through 3 times, each as a different play style. Once as run-n-gun, once as stealth & pistols and one no-kills game as stealth & martial arts. As a non-stealth player, I enjoyed the stealth mechanics, easy enough to understand, not so in depth it takes the fun away (for me).

The cover system was pointless, they should have just taken it out completely. I never used it. Ducking behind objects worked just as well as "sticking" to them and then I never had the stuck unintentionally problem.

I didn't like the hacking mini-game. It was a major pain at first, the PC controls are really bad, but once I got the hang of it, it was easy. The lockpick game was actually really good and I enjoyed the bypass game as well, I appreciated how they were designed realistically.

I didn't care for most of the boss fights, they really didn't make much sense in a real world setting. A bullet to the skull takes down any man or woman, I don't care how tough they are. The boss fight with the APC was better though, that at least made sense.

I don't understand the animations complaints, I thought they were just fine and the takedown animations were great. The dialog was top notch and yes, it started a little slow but it had a great story once you got into it. With the branching story and a ton of dialog options, there is more replayability there than at first glance.

Everything was better than Mass Effect ( I hate playing therapist to my whiny companions ), animations, story and polish were a ton better than any Bethesda game. Were people just confused by the RPG part? Would it have gotten better reviews if it simply notified you via pop-up in the tutorial that you probably won't hit the broad side of a barn the first time you tried to shoot something? Was it really that confusing? Or is it simply the score of a game tied heavily to advertising revenue across the gaming community worse than I'd feared?
LuckyCarbon is offline

LuckyCarbon

LuckyCarbon's Avatar
Unfettered Developer

#17

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 388

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 15:40
I'll give this one another shot after I'm done with New Vegas. I'm feeling a lot of love for Obsidian right now

My first time through I hated the combat. Hated everything about it, but maybe I just didn't give it a shot.

It's going to suck if I finish this game and it turns out to be great. No sequels.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat
RPGWatch Team

#18

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,408

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 15:44
You know, I think far too many people review games for what they *aren't* rather than what they *are*. Of course sometimes the game deserves to get that (cough Gothic 4 Arcania cough) if they promote themselves as as something they most definitely are not.
BillSeurer is offline

BillSeurer

BillSeurer's Avatar
Eternal Supreme Dictator

#19

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 1,725

Default 

October 27th, 2010, 15:47
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
AP was a great game.

I didn't care for most of the boss fights, they really didn't make much sense in a real world setting. A bullet to the skull takes down any man or woman, I don't care how tough they are. The boss fight with the APC was better though, that at least made sense.
That was one thing I *really* did not like. The most glaringly bad one was the fight with the Russian guy. He didn't even have any body armor on! Gah!!
BillSeurer is offline

BillSeurer

BillSeurer's Avatar
Eternal Supreme Dictator

#20

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 1,725
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Alpha Protocol - Review @ Gear Diary
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 18:36.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch