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Alpha Protocol is a roleplaying game that suffered a lot: delays in production, unstable initial release, less than stellar sales and lukewarm critical reception. This saddens me, because Alpha Protocol is one of the best roleplaying games since Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
The game, built on the Unreal 3 engine, tells the story of agent Michael Thorton who gets recruited by a fictional spy agency Alpha Protocol and quickly gets double-crossed and left with the task of uncovering a global conspiracy involving villains, crazy gunmen, femme fatales and lots of great spy gadgets. The game pays homage to any spy fiction work in existence, from James Bond to Jason Bourne to Jack Bauer. The missions take you across the world and provide unparalleled opportunities for choices that shape the outcome of the game and your personal journey. Gameplay and story are integrated amazingly, every choice matters, and variety is the strongest point of the game. You will enjoy any interaction, any planning session for a spy mission, any punch in the face of Henry Leland. Dynamic dialogue system that lets you pick a reaction, but requires you to think fast helps create tension and an atmospheric feel of the spy life.
The game was heavily criticized for its shabby gameplay, with jerky animations, poor shooting mechanics and lots of bugs. This is, unfortunately, true, bot none of the issues make the game unplayable. Indeed, working around said restrictions only makes the journey of Mike Thorton more challenging.
One cannot recommend Alpha Protocol enough. It's a game that incorporates the third-person action mechanics of Mass Effect, but keeps the variety and charm of classic RPGs.
- Great story and characters
- Amazing variety
- Glitches and bugs