Alpha Protocol – Computer (RPG) Game

The character in these pictures does not look the actual, more realistic character in the game. Changes to the character were made so that the pictures could be included here, and the pictures were included here to show what kind of scenery surrounded the character.

Some people have been asking about music in this game. Yes there is some music in one of the intense battle scenes. Most might not notice the music however, since their character is being beaten, blinded and shot at–usually all at the same time.

According to Wikipedia, the music in Alpha Protocol was composed by Brian Wayne Transeau or “BT’, and veteran game composer Jason Graves [ Wiki reference accessed 2011].

In Alpha Protocol you take on the role of a secret-agent that has to save the world. The multilayered story is interesting and engaging for those who like this sort of genre.  A lot of the game involves combat, but there are also important parts that involve interactions with other characters that in turn affect the overall story line or the results of the current mission.

You only get to choose a male character and some limited features on how he looks and dresses. The romance also is only heterosexual.  While this may seem to limit who enjoys the game at first it should be noted female agents, characters with disabilities, characters with addictions, various age groups, and homosexual characters are featured as some of the main characters in the stories plot. There is no nudity in the romance scenes.

Alpha protocol is a game that is made for a mature audience as it includes romance and violent ends to opponents and characters. Executions and having to decide if a mission is more important than saving a character you might care about are all issues the secret-agent in Alpha Protocol has to face on several occasions—and things that will cause conflict in a very young aged player; feelings of conflict that a young aged player may need to have explained, solved, censured, or receive guidance from a parent.

This game scores 7/10:

4/10 for getting the game running—you have to contact customer service (via email) and get a patch to make the game work. That means waiting for one to two days before you can play the game. Two patches were available (the USA and UK version) but only the UK version would work for the game reviewed here. The patch installed itself and the game worked perfectly after that point.

8/10 for RPG story: I judge it to be around 30 hours long but the game did have some minor issues and I feel the story could be longer—meaning that the story is good but ended a little soon. The story was enjoyable, rich in detail and multilayered.

8/10 for missions that involved not only combat but other things like interacting with various characters. The game is not cutting edge in graphics, character movement or opponent AI, but this is  acceptable if it’s a cost saving thing that must occur if a good story of the appropriate length is the focus of the game. Still Alpha Protocol was fun to play and you could also choose the order of the missions you played.

8/10 for the scenery. Again it must be realize that cost saving must occur if the story is the focus. Even so the scenery was nice to look at, varied, and the open spaces contained various paths to a destination in most cases.

The overall score for this game is 7/10 and that is not bad. Alpha Protocol is definitely a role playing game that’s worth playing once you get a hold of the correct patch for the game.

Mission Scenery

Some reviewers of Alpha Protocol have said that the game occurs mainly in buildings. This is not true, the game missions occur in a number of places that are both indoor and outdoor. However a lot of the action—but not all—occurs in urban areas and yes that often includes going between various sized buildings from factory sized to huge sky scraper type buildings.



Character and opponent interaction and combat

Some reviewers have said that that the game is glitchy, error prone and the opponents don’t react to your presence or don’t react to being shot.

Some of this criticism is true on occasions. However I find it wrong to stretch this criticism right across the entire game. Overall the game plays out well and is not glitchy, error prone and the opponents generally do react to your presence.

RPG and the story

Remember this is a computer game that focuses on a RPG (role playing game) or story line that reacts to your choices and so more effort was made in making the story rather than spending on a cutting edge battle field or Brink type games. For those who like RPG or games with a good story line, the game mechanics and scenery do not distract you from enjoying the complex multilayered (RPG) story line that unfolds based on the choices you make.

The story is multilayered because there is:

  • an overall story line
  • sub-missions, skill upgrades, alliance choices, and dialog with other characters that often give an outline of the type of character your avatar is. While this may not seem to mean much, it does in fact also have a large impact on the overall story line.
  • relationships you develop with your handlers (people that provide intelligence and guidance through your mission via the communications headset you wear).
  • Your choice of career type—and thus skill set and weapon types—does impact on how you approach each mission and conduct combat with opponents.

Career choice and how it affects the mission

You can choose the type of weapons your character has; but the weapons mentioned here give examples of what impact the choice of weapon load-out has on the game. There are other choices that are not mentioned here but include armor, explosives (such as grenades) and gadgets.

Character history

At the start of the game you get to choose your characters history. This results in some skills being chosen for you in most cases.

Field agent

With a agent/spy: one can sneak around and take out opponents with stealth but hacking computers and picking locks was often difficult and set off alarms. Also a spy can always sense where opponent are and so the chance of being surprised by an opponent was greatly reduced. The spy was equipped with a combat rifle and pistol (with silencer).

Soldier

With a soldier:  knowing how good a spy was, some skill points in stealth skills meant the character could get close to opponents and knock them out or use silent rifle rounds to take them out from a distance. The machine gun pistols (one in each hand) could be used to spray bullets into multiple foes or when surprised. Again hacking computers and picking locks was difficult; but then again, since this character generally ends up in combat first there are not many opponents left to react to an alarm if you fail to lock pick or hack a computer. I found this character tended to run out of machine gun ammunition on occasions.

Tech specialist

The technician/engineer:  this character reduces the difficulty of lock picking and hacking computers and so tended to not set off alarms. The engineer had a pistol and shotgun and that made it difficult to engage medium to long range foes—possibly a shotgun and assault rifle might have been a better choice if you play this character. With a pistol and shotgun this character tends to shoot more and run out of rounds in combat; on the other hand combat was a lot more difficult, frustrating, fun, and challenging—but did distract the player from the story line.

Freelancer

You get to customize your character in any way you like. The result of this choice is that you can spend points on any skills you wish to.

Specialization

At a certain stage in the game, your character can specialize in a certain career. When you specialize, there is no need to worry about what the previous choice of skills your character has as you can reassign them if your wish to.

However if you are role playing or have just got a good hang of how to play a character with the skill you currently have then you may want to keep the current set of skills you have developed over the course of game play.

Just because your characters history gives them a set of skills does not mean that you will develop those skills during the game. For example it is often useful to develop stealth, sabotage, and technical-aptitude skills for example. Adding skills may mean that you have an option to drive the characters skill set into another specialization despite their historic career choice (a choice that you made for the character at the beginning of the game).

Here is guide to the specializing your characters career based on the characters previous history—that you chose for your character.

Commando

You should choose commando if your character’ history involved being a soldier.

Spy

You should choose spy if your character’s history involved being a field agent

Engineer

You should choose engineer if your character’s history involved being a tech specialist

Operative

You should choose operative if your characters history involved being a freelancer. However if you found that you tended to develop skills that might fit into a commando, spy or engineer: you might be able to specialize into one of those fields also.

What things might be of interest to the player

  1. Check your emails (at the safe house computer) and intelligence on characters and groups (any time from your personal PDA).
  2. Emails (in the game) should be replied to.
  3. Download all payments or information; it’s all too easy to forget to do this.
  4. Your weapons don’t need to be aimed to shoot; if surprised simply press the shoot button. This hint is especially useful for the submachine gun and shotgun.
  5. During your missions consult the PDA for map information and any sub-missions you might have the opportunity to do.

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Shortened link to article: Alpha Protocol – Computer (RPG) Game review: http://bit.ly/r4sdho

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