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Early Impressions


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#61
Arunak

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As I've stated in my thread:

One hour only, doing the evaluation process. Hardest difficulty, recruit.

PROs:

- Excellent variability in terms of choice & consequences (new quests triggers, influence modifications, different paths in the plot, different dialogues, etc..)
- Gameplay components dedicated exclusively to deepen the background (ie hacking computers to read emails)
- NPCs characterization and number of dialogues, for now.
- Difficulty, for now
- Quests feedback\rewards

CONs:

- ****ing checkpoints based saves
- Minigames: zero use of brain, all they can do is make you blind
- Engine optimization
- Gameplay bugs and technical quality
- Dialogues countdown too short. I use subtitles (at times I can't even read all the options, and I assure you I read fast)

#62
Kenrae

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- Now we're approaching the worst aspects. For a spyonage game it's too unrealistic. I hit a guy with two fire grenades, multiple shotgun shots from less than two meters and many punches and kicks and he's still alive and kicking? WTF?! And he doesn't even have an armor! I didn't know cocaine was a god mode. And that can be said abut most "bosses". Lame.
- And the worst for me. I HATE with a passion save checkpoints! This isn't the 80s anymore, I have gigabytes of space to store as many savegames as I want. Why can't I save anyplace in the game? I Should be the one deciding how to play the game I've bought, not whoever designer has decided to put this crappy feature! I tend to quicksave a lot, I hate to redo parts of the game I've just done and done well, and this game forces me to do so. If I'd know about this feature I'd have choosen normal difficulty instead of hard. Ugh!


Have to disagree with these two

1. The checkpoint system is because of the conversations. It basically forces the player more onto choices & consequences. Which is a good thing in my opinion. Especially for a game like this. You can save anytime and there are many checkpoints. Most of the time it isn't even a 1 Minute walk.


I don't redo conversations, I don't need a checkpoint system to force me to do so. What I don't like is having to redo fights and stealthy parts because of the save system. I can understand not being able to save in the middle of a fight but nothing else. Besides, I should be able to play a single player game however I choose, I don't need a game designer telling me what I must do to enjoy a game.

2. Unrealistic? You want to know what real espionage is like? Well, expect beeing placed at ta location for over a year, 90% Deskwork etc. etc. There is more action in Wartimes. But most of the time, this is one hell of a desk job. Also, yes the bosses are bad. Could have been done better. I agree.

But that has nothing to do with "realistic" for an espionage. See it more as gameplay.

(Though AP is the most coherent Spy Story I have ever seen in video game, considering the scale probably even movies. Its top :sorcerer: )


What I meant by "unrealistic" was that it completely shatters my suspension of disbelieve, something needed in any fiction. I know the rest of the game, or a James Bond movie, aren't exactly realistic. But I can play or watch them and not find myself constantly thinking (or screaming >_<) "Come on, that's too much!". I don't want to play Dragon Ball goes Spy.

I agree the story is superb and the dialogue is great. If it wasn't that way I would have abandoned the game due to a boss fight I got fed up with. And I'm not fast to give up on games.

Oh, a little something I forgot to mention. It's not a great deal but.. why are Russians and Arabians talking in English between themselves? :lol:

By the way, the dialogue countdown could have been a little bit less short. I like that you have a countdown, but I'm not a native English speaker so some times I must read the subtitles (unfortunately, the voices weren't translated into Spanish). I could use some more time to choose my answer, I don't know, one or two seconds after the NPC has finished talking. Oh, and the method to fast forward a conversation (mouse click) should be different than the method to choose an answer. More than one time I've seen the next bit of dialogue "fast forwarded" due to me choosing an option a little too late.
Now that I think about it I'll check if I can change it in the options...

#63
C2B

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By the way, the dialogue countdown could have been a little bit less short. I like that you have a countdown, but I'm not a native English speaker so some times I must read the subtitles (unfortunately, the voices weren't translated into Spanish). I could use some more time to choose my answer, I don't know, one or two seconds after the NPC has finished talking. Oh, and the method to fast forward a conversation (mouse click) should be different than the method to choose an answer. More than one time I've seen the next bit of dialogue "fast forwarded" due to me choosing an option a little too late.
Now that I think about it I'll check if I can change it in the ...


Well, there would be even more subtitles. They are clearly the wakpoint of the game. But I'm entirely biased since I'm swiss but I can understand perfectly englisch. Hell, I even learned japanese for jrpg purposes. Call me crazy. It would be nice if they could add a patch where you can toggle this option. Because I would NOT like to lose it. Conservations are EXTREMLY fluid and sound surperp thanks to the system. A shame SEGA didn't engage more localization groups with voice actors.

#64
jon1138

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"Dialogues countdown too short. I use subtitles (at times I can't even read all the options, and I assure you I read fast)"


+1 !

I'm french and it's very difficult to read the subtitles AND choose an answer at the same time !!

Patch needed !

#65
Starwars

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For anyone having trouble with subtitles and the dialogue timer, I would suggest at least trying to turn off the subtitles and see what happens. I'm not a native English speaker (though I consider myself to be fairly good at it) and I usually have subtitles on in games. But I found that when turning them off in Alpha Protocol it made me focus on the scene as a whole in a much better way rather than trying to read the subtitles as the conversation went on.

Worth a try at least.

#66
Tamahome

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I just finished my first playthrough ...



I have to say I love this game but also hate it. Well actualy I hate Obsidian for not being able to make Alpha Protocol reach its true potential, It still a good try at their first Third-person shooter but this game could've been as good as Mass Effect if they polished it and it would've reached ME2's epic level if it was executed better.



Good points:

+ Awsome story and replay value( choices really matter in this game! It can branch out so much it's hard to get your head around). Ending is soo amazing the tension is incredible but maybe a little to overwhelming. I need to play it a few more times to figure everything out.

+ Characters (Mina <3)

+ Dialogue

+ Atmosphere

+ Email's (although I wish they've expanded on them)

+ Inteligence gathering

+ Mini games ( even though they're hard ... took me 20 minutes to figure out how to hack sucessfully lol)

+ Multiple ways in which you can approach the missions

+ Gadgets and Upgrades

+ Martial Arts and stealth takedowns



Now for the negatives:

- Game feels very clunky

- Slowdowns when using clearinghouse

- Many unrealistic things (padlock that triggers an electronical alarm wtf! Some enemies can survive multiple headshoots, overpowered bosses, skill that allows invisibility, glowing effects when using buffs)

- Animations (apart from martial arts and stealth takedowns)

- Shooter mechanics

- Cover system

- Stealth mechanics

- Camera control

- Controls durning mini-games

- Checpoint save system ( WTF! Are we back in 90's?)

- Disappearing bodies in a game with stealth ...

- General lack of polish and many bugs



I'd give it 7.5/10

I'd give Mass Effect 8.5/10

I'd give Mass Effect 2 9.5/10

I'd give Dragon Age:Origins 8/10



The joy of living as an Agent and uncovering a massive conspiracy was enough to get me hooked. The story by itself is worth it! The story and the whole idea of espionage is what makes the game amazing but the way it is executed is very poor.



If executed better it could've ended up being a contender for 2010 best rpg against ME2 and one of the best rpg's in history,



That was my short summary review :ermm:

<<<I pasted this of my reply to Alpha Protocol topic on Bioware Social Site>>>

#67
Surberus

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This game ranks along side 'Too Human' in the category of 'What an Amazing let down. Let me break it down:
BTW, I'm playing on 360

I'm pretty sure I covered all of these missions when the game was called GoldenEye. It also looked about the same then. You're a slug in this game, a game that railroads you into areas where your 'stealth' is nigh but useless. Enemies barrel at you, making Martial Arts worthless in many situations, which was a nice surprise after I sunk a few points into it. The whole game is supposed to be based around choice and your ability to solve problems as you please, but then gives you problems with few solutions (if it's more than 1). Most of the skills are useless and some of them are a necessity, regardless of your playstyle.

The plot is pretty cut and dry, and the lovely part about is it that it's done in flashbacks so you actually get to hear about the upcoming interesting part/character before you even start in a new area. It's like making a thread saying 'No Spoilers' and then telling you which super secret character you're going to meet along the way.

The weapon customization is a high point, aside from the fact that many of them feel quite useless. When you unload your shotgun into a guy's chest from 5ft away and he doesn't drop, you'll wonder how you ever lived long enough to be a spy. Pistols (and I love me a good pistol) feel like a kid's bb gun, again I noticed this after sinking a few points into them.

The whole of the game is frustration, there was potential here and it just fails on so many lvls, combat is either sluggish or frenetic. You'll stalk a guy down a hallway, dodging cameras, setting up for your kill, only to walk into 4 guys with machine guns, at which point you'll wonder where the 'run' function is. At best I could manage a ramble, or a mosey, down the hallway under a hail of bullets.

Cover is poorly implemented and when you go searching for some, only to find out that particular object doesn't offer it, again, frustration.

The mini games are a joke, they require no thought aside from staring intently at the screen till you see the part you need to press. If this represented the real life complexity of a computer hack, I'm pretty sure my grandmother would be making millions right now.

The whole game is a sham, covering up a farce designed to trick you into playing a lie. You have no control, there is no choice. Everything is going to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it. Obsidian made a very poor game and when I next see that guy I don't really like, who told me it was going to be shiat, I will have to eat my words and tell him he was right.

I suppose on the whole, I was hoping for something like Thief meets Mass Effect. I think the game I bought was Money meets Bad Design Team.

#68
C2B

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The whole game is a sham, covering up a farce designed to trick you into playing a lie. You have no control, there is no choice. Everything is going to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it.


1. That's just not true. There are several things that change largly and its impact on world stability and the characters based on what you do.


These are just two things I wanted to say since the choice thing is just not true. Every gamer who played this twice and differently can tell you that.

So, give it another go at least or watch some playthroughs.

Edit 1: Revised originally statement since that was a little too opinion based.

Edited by C2B, 01 June 2010 - 03:13 PM.


#69
Oblarg

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This game ranks along side 'Too Human' in the category of 'What an Amazing let down. Let me break it down:
BTW, I'm playing on 360

I'm pretty sure I covered all of these missions when the game was called GoldenEye. It also looked about the same then. You're a slug in this game, a game that railroads you into areas where your 'stealth' is nigh but useless. Enemies barrel at you, making Martial Arts worthless in many situations, which was a nice surprise after I sunk a few points into it. The whole game is supposed to be based around choice and your ability to solve problems as you please, but then gives you problems with few solutions (if it's more than 1). Most of the skills are useless and some of them are a necessity, regardless of your playstyle.

The plot is pretty cut and dry, and the lovely part about is it that it's done in flashbacks so you actually get to hear about the upcoming interesting part/character before you even start in a new area. It's like making a thread saying 'No Spoilers' and then telling you which super secret character you're going to meet along the way.

The weapon customization is a high point, aside from the fact that many of them feel quite useless. When you unload your shotgun into a guy's chest from 5ft away and he doesn't drop, you'll wonder how you ever lived long enough to be a spy. Pistols (and I love me a good pistol) feel like a kid's bb gun, again I noticed this after sinking a few points into them.

The whole of the game is frustration, there was potential here and it just fails on so many lvls, combat is either sluggish or frenetic. You'll stalk a guy down a hallway, dodging cameras, setting up for your kill, only to walk into 4 guys with machine guns, at which point you'll wonder where the 'run' function is. At best I could manage a ramble, or a mosey, down the hallway under a hail of bullets.

Cover is poorly implemented and when you go searching for some, only to find out that particular object doesn't offer it, again, frustration.

The mini games are a joke, they require no thought aside from staring intently at the screen till you see the part you need to press. If this represented the real life complexity of a computer hack, I'm pretty sure my grandmother would be making millions right now.

The whole game is a sham, covering up a farce designed to trick you into playing a lie. You have no control, there is no choice. Everything is going to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it. Obsidian made a very poor game and when I next see that guy I don't really like, who told me it was going to be shiat, I will have to eat my words and tell him he was right.

I suppose on the whole, I was hoping for something like Thief meets Mass Effect. I think the game I bought was Money meets Bad Design Team.


Not sure which pistols you were using. I was dropping people with one headshot from across the room once I had them maxed out, bro. And I could line the headshots up from cover.

Hold shift to run. It's pretty standard in games these days, and you move pretty quickly.

Are you really complaining that the hacking isn't as difficult as *actually* hacking a computer? At least you're not complaining that it's impossible, but if this is too easy for you, what does that make ME2's hacking?

Cover could have been improved, but it still worked. Better than ME1s cover, by far, and I didn't see that getting universally panned by critics.

All of the flashforward dialogue is sufficiently ambiguous that it doesn't really spoil anything - it foreshadows nicely, though, and provides a nice backdrop. I was impressed at how well it was done.

And I'm tempted to think your trouble with stealthing is just your lack of ability. I stealthed fine, and I ran through the entire game with an unsilenced pistol. And I never maxed my stealth skill - for most of the game it was about half of what my pistol skill was.

Edited by Oblarg, 01 June 2010 - 05:47 PM.


#70
Surberus

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The whole game is a sham, covering up a farce designed to trick you into playing a lie. You have no control, there is no choice. Everything is going to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it.


1. That's just not true. There are several things that change largly and its impact on world stability and the characters based on what you do.


These are just two things I wanted to say since the choice thing is just not true. Every gamer who played this twice and differently can tell you that.

So, give it another go at least or watch some playthroughs.

Edit 1: Revised originally statement since that was a little too opinion based.


I can give you one mission that embodies most of the problems with this game. You go to save someone and the end of the mission is defending them from getting shot. You get a flow of about 15 guys charging face first at you. Well gee, I'm trained in Stealth and Pistols so I'm just all sorts of effed. I made my character to play the way I want, but the game does not respond accordingly.

#71
Oblarg

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The whole game is a sham, covering up a farce designed to trick you into playing a lie. You have no control, there is no choice. Everything is going to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it.


1. That's just not true. There are several things that change largly and its impact on world stability and the characters based on what you do.


These are just two things I wanted to say since the choice thing is just not true. Every gamer who played this twice and differently can tell you that.

So, give it another go at least or watch some playthroughs.

Edit 1: Revised originally statement since that was a little too opinion based.


I can give you one mission that embodies most of the problems with this game. You go to save someone and the end of the mission is defending them from getting shot. You get a flow of about 15 guys charging face first at you. Well gee, I'm trained in Stealth and Pistols so I'm just all sorts of effed. I made my character to play the way I want, but the game does not respond accordingly.


1. Pop shadow operative
2. Run around and press spacebar whenever you reach one of them.
3. ???
4. Profit

Oh yeah, and if your pistol skill was high enough that fight should have been easy.

#72
Enoch

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Played for 2 hours. Had 2 crashes to desktop. Grrr...


I guess I'll spend the next hour updating drivers (which aren't that old) and see if it improves. But then I'll have to go to bed. And I really did want to at least get through the prologue this evening. Sometimes being an employed gamer kinda sucks.

Edited by Enoch, 01 June 2010 - 06:37 PM.


#73
Surberus

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Hold shift to run. It's pretty standard in games these days, and you move pretty quickly.


And I'm tempted to think your trouble with stealthing is just your lack of ability. I stealthed fine, and I ran through the entire game with an unsilenced pistol. And I never maxed my stealth skill - for most of the game it was about half of what my pistol skill was.


I was wondering when someone would throw in the ____ is fine, l2p argument. Stealth is great, until the game gives you a scenario where it's just not feasible. If I'm supposed to be in control of the game, why can't I face fights my way? I'm not comparing this game to other games persay, but more towards what I was told I could expect. 'Choice is my weapon' is a little bit of BS.

And yea, the guns eventually deliver, eventually. Many lvls down the line before they begin to cater to the playstyle I was hoping for. This game is years behind the curve in pretty much every aspect. And yes, the mini games in ME were obscenely easy too, but as it was the first time I had to deal with them, it wasn't a big deal. But if you're going to copy something so stupid, can you at least do it better?

I can't think of a single aspect where this game shines over any other, but there are a number of places in which it lags behind.

And personally, I think the 'foreshadowing' is stupid. It gave away the outcome of one scenario before I even moved into the area (Rome).

I know I'm ranting, but I'm pretty disappointed in this game. I was hoping for something ground-breaking. I've been excited for this game since the first article I read more than a year ago, when it got pushed back I was hoping it was because they weren't satisfied with the product and really wanted to push it farther, personally, I'm not sure it ever should have been released. It's completely lack-luster and offers nothing new to the genre, whatever genre it's a part. FPSPRG?

And I can't hold 'shift' to run, as Im on the 360, which makes me wonder if a lot of the control issues I'm having are because they didn't do a good job adapting things to the controller as it seems you are on the PC.

#74
Oblarg

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Hold shift to run. It's pretty standard in games these days, and you move pretty quickly.


And I'm tempted to think your trouble with stealthing is just your lack of ability. I stealthed fine, and I ran through the entire game with an unsilenced pistol. And I never maxed my stealth skill - for most of the game it was about half of what my pistol skill was.


I was wondering when someone would throw in the ____ is fine, l2p argument. Stealth is great, until the game gives you a scenario where it's just not feasible. If I'm supposed to be in control of the game, why can't I face fights my way? I'm not comparing this game to other games persay, but more towards what I was told I could expect. 'Choice is my weapon' is a little bit of BS.

And yea, the guns eventually deliver, eventually. Many lvls down the line before they begin to cater to the playstyle I was hoping for. This game is years behind the curve in pretty much every aspect. And yes, the mini games in ME were obscenely easy too, but as it was the first time I had to deal with them, it wasn't a big deal. But if you're going to copy something so stupid, can you at least do it better?

I can't think of a single aspect where this game shines over any other, but there are a number of places in which it lags behind.

And personally, I think the 'foreshadowing' is stupid. It gave away the outcome of one scenario before I even moved into the area (Rome).

I know I'm ranting, but I'm pretty disappointed in this game. I was hoping for something ground-breaking. I've been excited for this game since the first article I read more than a year ago, when it got pushed back I was hoping it was because they weren't satisfied with the product and really wanted to push it farther, personally, I'm not sure it ever should have been released. It's completely lack-luster and offers nothing new to the genre, whatever genre it's a part. FPSPRG?

And I can't hold 'shift' to run, as Im on the 360, which makes me wonder if a lot of the control issues I'm having are because they didn't do a good job adapting things to the controller as it seems you are on the PC.


It hardly gave away Rome's outcome. Especially because Rome has multiple possible outcomes.

And I gave an example of how to stealth through that fight above, however "your weapon is choice" does not mean you will be able to resolve every single situation in multiple ways. Overall, the amount of choice given to you in how to complete the missions in Alpha Protocol is still far beyond what is available in other games.

For the vast majority of the missions, stealth is viable for the entire duration, unless you haven't sunk the necessary skillpoints into it (I could see a few parts being impossible without shadow operative).

I found the minigames to be much more challenging than those in ME (1 and 2). Hacking can get pretty suspenseful when you hit the short strings and tight time limits. 12-circuit bypasses are by no means trivial, either.

As for the curve being too steep on the guns - I agree, but it's hardly gamebreaking.

#75
EZsnoop

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I got this game last night and so far I am pretty impressed with it so far. I read many reviews on this game and gave bad impressions about it. Even though some points they have made are true to a point, but the game is still good. I love the dialog system and story, I have no complains about it. But most complain about the shooting mechanics, this is RPG not a shooter, so the shooting is determined by effective range, pistol (close to mid), shotgun (close- quarter), machine gun (close to mid) and rifles (mid to long). I'm specializing with pistols since everyone most complain about it how its not very good. If you thought about it in relation to range, it works, of course it make sense that you cant or very difficult to shoot a pistol at long range, if you can then this game no longer becomes a RPG but a shooter. I like the challenge of getting within range to shoot instead of blasting an enemy from any range, where is the fun in that.
Yes, the game isn't perfect, so the good things I've said so far will contradict to bad things about the game. Firstly, the AI; when they work its fine but they're not the best. Second, the Controls; I have 360 version and the controls are loose, sometimes it walks on its own without touching the control stick, I have to push the opposite direction at times to stop. This is why I think most complain about bad cover system and shooting mechanics, the loose controls are influencing them. The controls need weight and be stable so that the other gameplay mechanics would improve. This is my opinion on my version.
If there is an opportunity for Obsidian to create Patches and Updates (hoping you can do it for the 360 version), if you fix these two issues in the game, the game would be even more awesome.
Although there were other minor complains but they can be overlooked since this is the first tryout, hopefully not the last.

#76
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Okay, after logging 16 hours of gameplay I feel that AP is a bug out of which a game grew. Skipping, faulty AI, awkward controls, and some other major stuff. Fortunately the game has it's playable moments but the amount of faults make it almost impossible to enjoy.

#77
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Fantastic game. A great story and fantastic set of characters. The graphics aren't cutting edge, but I find a lot of the textures to be solid and the lighting is very nice. I also think a lot of the character models are well done. There are little stutters here and there, but this game performs much better than the original Mass Effect. I also dug the combat. It's a bit wonky, but I actually dig the dice roll RPG gameplay. I like how the reticle works. It's pretty much the same as the original Mass Effect. Loved the safe houses and how you were given a choice to which locations to go to. And speaking of choice, no game does it as well as Alpha Protocol. What an achievement!

Screw the reviews, this one is a gem and a half.

Edited by Libertarian, 02 June 2010 - 09:02 PM.


#78
Calax

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On my first play through I had to ask.

Why is this guy
Posted Image
Talking to Thorton?

#79
heathen

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Game is a mess; essentially a glorified choose your own adventure with hamfisted action/stealth gameplay thrown on top. Not to mention all of the crippling bugs and general lack of polish that make it seem like, well, Polish :sorcerer:

#80
Kenrae

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Fantastic game. A great story and fantastic set of characters. The graphics aren't cutting edge, but I find a lot of the textures to be solid and the lighting is very nice. I also think a lot of the character models are well done. There are little stutters here and there, but this game performs much better than the original Mass Effect. I also dug the combat. It's a bit wonky, but I actually dig the dice roll RPG gameplay. I like how the reticle works. It's pretty much the same as the original Mass Effect. Loved the safe houses and how you were given a choice to which locations to go to. And speaking of choice, no game does it as well as Alpha Protocol. What an achievement!

Screw the reviews, this one is a gem and a half.


I couldn't agree more.
Only one real problem. Whoever decided to use checkpoints instead of savegames should be shot. Multiple times.




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