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September 23rd, 2009, 04:14
I'm not sure the value of this but no doubt it will make its way around other sites and a couple of Obsidian developers have commented, so I decided to post.
The NeoGAF forums have posted claimed minutes of a SCEA (Sony) meeting apparently found on Sega's press FTP server. Among the items from the August 5th meeting are brief comments from a Sony tester on Alpha Protocol:
Alpha Protocol
Michael Foster, product evaluator, said AP felt barely RPG. Initial level too challenging for players. “Mass Effect felt more RPG.”
Review notes sent to John Merlino a few weeks prior. After meeting Gerald mentioned AP is a high priority for his team.
Obsidian's Matthew Rorie had this to say on the official forum:
And yes, I believe the gentleman in the quotes works for SCEA (assuming this is legit). As for what he said, obviously we enjoy any feedback that we can get, but without knowing how much of the game he played (and I seriously doubt that someone as busy as a product evaluator for Sony is going to be playing through an entire game if it's as long as Alpha Protocol), it's hard to judge what he meant by those comments. Suffice to say that Alpha Protocol is going to tickle your RPG tastebuds when it's released.
…and also Joseph Bulock:
The only counter point I can offer you guys is that watching and interacting with gamers who played our game for almost two hours, they clearly enjoyed the RPG experience that AP had to offer. I'm not going to comment on this particular commentary, but I can say as a general trend, people who play one level don't see the RPG experience. They see the action side of our game, without the deep character choices and reactive story.
Matthew Rorie also commented on the Shack forums:
Hey guys. I work for Obsidian. As we said on our forums, we're not really sure how much this gentleman played of Alpha Protocol, or what his ideas of an RPG are. Suffice to say, the game is 100% an RPG; we don't really make any other kind of game. You earn XP, you get levels, you choose your skill progression, you modify your weapons, you interact with NPCs (or kill/sleep with them), the world reacts to the choices you make in pretty dramatic ways, etc.

If he only played one level, though, he might not have seen much of that. But again, we don't know what he played or the broader context of his statements.
Take this as you will but bear in mind we don't know the context or the tester's expectations.
Thanks to our occasional anonymous tipster and leth.
More information.
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September 23rd, 2009, 04:14
Anyone who watches the videos already knows there are plenty of action/shooter elements so its not like that's unexpected at all.

Its just another blend of RPG.
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September 23rd, 2009, 05:08
Well it may not be a traditional RPG, but it certainly seems like an RPG to me. They have demonstrated choices and consequences, and character building. Just because it's action combat with the stats 'under the hood' doesn't make it not an RPG. As long as there is significant (i.e. meaningful) character customisation, and choices with consequences it's a kind of RPG.

For one, I have absolutely no problem with a new (or newish) kind of RPG.
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September 23rd, 2009, 10:08
I second that
Editeded: It seems like the case of a reviewer who doesn't like the genre or didn't played the game long enough too taste it.
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September 23rd, 2009, 13:30
I wonder what made the game seem "challenging" for the tester…

Also, I really really hope there are PC testers that's playing AP right now too… I really hope this game won't be so console-focused…
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September 23rd, 2009, 16:44
"…watching and interacting with gamers who played our game for almost two hours, they clearly enjoyed the RPG experience that AP had to offer."

But are these all hard-core action gamers? Some companies seem to playtest using only themselves or, at best, other hard-core fans of the genre, most of whom are always wanting a bigger "challenge" (and all of whom find the controls familiar). Then they wonder why their game is only appealing to a small segment of the game-buying public.

If I were someone who actually wanted to sell a game, I'd make sure the playtesting included a wide variety of people. Sure, make the game challenging, because reviewers tend to be hard-core gamers, too, and you've got to keep them happy. But make sure it's playable - and enjoyable - even for people who don't spend their entire lives frantically pushing buttons.
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September 23rd, 2009, 21:17
This does sounds like an action game with a little more RPG thrown in than LoR:RotK, but we'll see.

However, after the mess Obsidian made with NWN 2, I really can't believe any statements they make.
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September 24th, 2009, 06:57
"Initial level too challenging…", I certainly hope so. It's been so long, I can't remember if I've ever played a hard game. Wait, Wizardry 8, that was a hard game. How long ago was that?
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September 24th, 2009, 15:32
If Mass Effect feels more RPG then this is no RPG at all
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