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Alpha Protocol = unofficial "Deus Ex" heir


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I will try to keep this simple for now, since I just finished the game, and am still somewhat overwhelmed (aka "not very objective"). I haven't had such a thoroughly enjoyable, quite extactic, "spygame" experience since my Deus Ex days, which is telling alot as far as I am concerned!

 

I need to confess that I grew somewhat dubious about the quality of the game after the first reviews had started to pour in. I am glad that I did not hold their observations against the game, because after my first playthrough I would deem the most critical of them quite unfair and skewed.

 

The story/scenario is simply outstanding : deep, coherent and entertaining. A pure delight for an RPG fan like me that regularly revisits the "classics" to get my fix!

 

The gameplay ranges from good to very good. I did not encounter any bug whatsoever on the PC Steam version. My only (minor) frustrations stem from a sometimes unpredictable mouse sensitivity, and the confusing savegame management.

 

Voice-acting and music contribute greatly to the atmosphere, and the graphics/animations, while probably perfectible, aren't too shabby either.

 

I was prepared to donate 50

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If you have a PC version then edit your .ini to fix the mouse issues, the solution is in the tech section of this forum.

 

I agree with what you say, the game is deep and as enjoyable as when I played Deus Ex back in the day.

~R.I.P. Adam aka "Ild

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Totally agree.

 

Deus ex still is one of my all time favorite games.

 

Alpha protocol is simply fun to play (I am playing third gamethrough since sunday) just can't stop playing it. Yes, it should have been polished, had more different weapons, animations should have been better (holster your weapon), better NPC AI, more content (would love to see Scarlet as handler) but still this game is fun to play.

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If you have a PC version then edit your .ini to fix the mouse issues, the solution is in the tech section of this forum.

 

I agree with what you say, the game is deep and as enjoyable as when I played Deus Ex back in the day.

Thank you very much for the tip, I'll look into that tweak at once.

 

Totally agree.

 

Deus ex still is one of my all time favorite games.

 

Alpha protocol is simply fun to play (I am playing third gamethrough since sunday) just can't stop playing it. Yes, it should have been polished, had more different weapons, animations should have been better (holster your weapon), better NPC AI, more content (would love to see Scarlet as handler) but still this game is fun to play.

I had Scarlet as a handler in one of my missions. Not sure if I can tell how I managed to get her here, since it is supposed to be a spoiler free forum, but please feel free to send a PM if you want me to tell you about the specifics.

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I see some similarities, but it's no where as deep as Deus Ex. The story is VERY cookie cutter, and it's been done WAY too many times(huge corporation interfering with government: check)

 

Deep? Deus Ex isn't that deep. There is some things that are given by the setting but.... It's not really that exceptional. Liked it very much, though.

 

Furthermore. Yeah, you can bring it down to that, expect we are completly ignoring believable (in the sense of that they never really act out of character) characters, consistant storytelling, very very few plotholes (and even then it would be nitpicking),...

 

I could go on....

 

Point is: Originality in overall plot has almost NOTHING to do with good writing, overall quality or storytelling.

 

 

P.S Concerning that AP is a conspiracy thriller,.... well its DAMN good. They are usually full of plotholes.

Edited by C2B
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I see some similarities, but it's no where as deep as Deus Ex. The story is VERY cookie cutter, and it's been done WAY too many times(huge corporation interfering with government: check)

Granted, Deus Ex remains the standard in many ways. Maybe should Alpha Protocol be more modestly compared to NOLF ("No one lives forever") then.

 

Yet, I really think Obsidian did a good job at breathing a new life into the genre, without compromising too much on what sets great games apart from typical copy/enhance visual candy/paste lacklusters. Meaningful, original content, complimented by robust, if perfectible game mechanics. Nothing felt out of place at any time in the game to me. Even more so, after reading other players' comments, I feel as though I barely scratched the surface.

 

When I heard about the game, I had two fears : first, an unchallenging game with a shallow storyline. See NWN2's OC. Second, a promising, but unfinished product. See KOTOR2. I am relieved to say that none of which apply to Alpha Protocol (on my version anyway).

 

Now, yes, we could probably wish for better graphics and smoother animations, but to me these are not what truely make a game memorable. Most of the games that I played in 1990/2000, for example, could probably qualify as visually ugly compared to our standards today. Yet, I did enjoy some of these games, and if I still remember (and enjoy playing) them today, it is not thanks to their visual candy. Downplaying a quality contender because of that would be like shooting myself in the foot, and I am no masochist.

 

No, seriously, Alpha Protocol emerged for me from a tsunami of pretty negative critics, and it is quite a refreshing surprise. I am certain that it will slowly but steadily reap the public appreciation it deserves.

 

It takes guts to keep at creating (or recreating) games in such a fashion, and for that, I will keep showing grateful.

Edited by Nissa_Red
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Eh, they aren't as similar as you say. Deus Ex is a totally unique game even to this day, and while Alpha Protocol shares story elements (conspiracies, exploitation of people by large corporations, etc.), and gameplay elements (can choose stealth or combat approach), Alpha Protocol is also much more mission-based, linear, and gives you far fewer options for solving situations. It definitely excels when it comes to character interactions and the potential for shifting allegiances is there, but as far as gameplay goes, Deus Ex is far more of a role-playing game in my eyes. Whereas Alpha Protocol puts you in very particular situations and gives you clear goals, Deus Ex is all about dropping the player in a large, open environment and then letting the player figure out how to accomplish objectives. I don't think you can really directly compare the two, but Alpha Protocol definitely scratches the same itch for action role-playing.

 

I actually came into Alpha Protocol right after my first play-through of Deus Ex: Invisible War. I'd put that game off for a long while due to all the negative comments, but in many ways it's quite a bit like Alpha Protocol - it's got both technical issues and slightly dated visuals, as well as the ability to ally yourself with different parties, often who have conflicting objectives. I think, looking back at the reviews, Invisible War probably got the sorts of scores it deserved, but only because it was a sequel to Deus Ex - had it been put out as an original title, not attached to such a famous name, I think people would have accused it of being a buggy, unplayable mess. It also makes me wonder what sort of scores Alpha Protocol would have got if it was a sequel to another successful game.

Edited by sea
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I think one thing missing is the very well done non-combat areas from Deus Ex.

I agree with this. The conversations in Alpha Protocol are great, but they're also totally scripted. I would have loved having situations where I could walk around an environment and talk to people. It'd go a long way towards Alpha Protocol feeling more like an RPG.

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I think one thing missing is the very well done non-combat areas from Deus Ex.

I agree with this. The conversations in Alpha Protocol are great, but they're also totally scripted. I would have loved having situations where I could walk around an environment and talk to people. It'd go a long way towards Alpha Protocol feeling more like an RPG.

 

Though, that comes with the gerne. Movie and book spies usually have very definitive objectives when they go into public.

The E-Mail contacts make up for it. Especially since they are extremly funny and well written.

 

Well, Sales don't look to bad as of now, so maybe that can be an improvment in the sequel.

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I see some similarities, but it's no where as deep as Deus Ex. The story is VERY cookie cutter, and it's been done WAY too many times(huge corporation interfering with government: check)

 

I haven't played Alpha Protocol, but I can comment on this : Deus Ex didn't only have a pretty bad story, but also pretty bad dialogues, and the hilarious delivery was only part of it.

When it comes down to it Deus Ex is basically your usually 'there's always been a conspiracy behind the scene', 'man-made virus' and all that kind of things.

The way they created the world was actually quite compelling but the story itself was pretty weak.

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I think one thing missing is the very well done non-combat areas from Deus Ex.

I agree with this. The conversations in Alpha Protocol are great, but they're also totally scripted. I would have loved having situations where I could walk around an environment and talk to people. It'd go a long way towards Alpha Protocol feeling more like an RPG.

 

 

I don't think it's a huge knock against AP though. I just beat the game and enjoyed every moment of it. It's one of those "it'd be nice to have, but since it's not there I don't find it that bad without it"

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I see some similarities, but it's no where as deep as Deus Ex. The story is VERY cookie cutter, and it's been done WAY too many times(huge corporation interfering with government: check)

 

I haven't played Alpha Protocol, but I can comment on this : Deus Ex didn't only have a pretty bad story, but also pretty bad dialogues, and the hilarious delivery was only part of it.

When it comes down to it Deus Ex is basically your usually 'there's always been a conspiracy behind the scene', 'man-made virus' and all that kind of things.

The way they created the world was actually quite compelling but the story itself was pretty weak.

Deus Ex, for its time, had a pretty impressive story. You have to realise that it came out in about 2001, and also had a lot of inquiries into politics, philosophy, etc. that most games never even bother with, not to mention the entire history and fiction surrounding the world. All the miscellaneous newspapers, books, etc. go a long way to making the world feel legitimate and believable, even if the actual plot isn't all that original or surprising. It's long been observed that where games excel isn't in telling stories, but in creating worlds for the player to explore and be immersed in, and Deus Ex absolutely succeeds in that respect.

 

Of course, it's not perfect when it comes to story and characters. Some of the dialogue does feel a bit arbitrary and random (seems like everyone wants you to know their opinion on government systems), but aside from some bad voice acting in Hong Kong I really don't think there's anything wrong with it. The fact that it holds up so well since its release, despite major improvements in presentation over the last decade, I think is a testament to the quality of it.

Edited by sea
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I see some similarities, but it's no where as deep as Deus Ex. The story is VERY cookie cutter, and it's been done WAY too many times(huge corporation interfering with government: check)

 

I haven't played Alpha Protocol, but I can comment on this : Deus Ex didn't only have a pretty bad story, but also pretty bad dialogues, and the hilarious delivery was only part of it.

When it comes down to it Deus Ex is basically your usually 'there's always been a conspiracy behind the scene', 'man-made virus' and all that kind of things.

The way they created the world was actually quite compelling but the story itself was pretty weak.

Deus Ex, for its time, had a pretty impressive story. You have to realise that it came out in about 2001, and also had a lot of inquiries into politics, philosophy, etc. that most games never even bother with, not to mention the entire history and fiction surrounding the world. All the miscellaneous newspapers, books, etc. go a long way to making the world feel legitimate and believable. Some of the dialogue does feel a bit arbitrary and random (seems like everyone wants you to know their opinion on government systems), but aside from some bad voice acting in Hong Kong I really don't think there's anything wrong with it.

 

Planescape Torment came out in 1999. ;)

 

Also there were already games in the early 90 that got deep. Most are somewhat forgotten though.

 

 

And yes, there was not much wrong with it. But it wasn't really that impressive either.

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Planescape Torment came out in 1999. ;)

 

Also there were already games in the early 90 that got deep. Most are somewhat forgotten though.

 

 

And yes, there was not much wrong with it. But it wasn't really that impressive either.

I'm not saying it was the first game of its kind or anything, but next to 99% of games at the time, it was pretty unusual. And, for the record, if you want to rate games purely on the grounds of "does it have a good story or not"... even pulp fiction makes the best games look like absolute garbage.

Edited by sea
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Planescape Torment came out in 1999. ;)

 

Also there were already games in the early 90 that got deep. Most are somewhat forgotten though.

 

 

And yes, there was not much wrong with it. But it wasn't really that impressive either.

I'm not saying it was the first game of its kind or anything, but next to 99% of games at the time, it was pretty unusual. And, for the record, if you want to rate games purely on the grounds of "does it have a good story or not"... even pulp fiction makes the best games look like absolute garbage.

 

Not really. First of all both are very different naratives.

 

Also saying "Every other story is better than video game stories" is completly untrue. I just have to look in my local bookstore at garbage that is called "Bestseller" to understand that.

 

 

And. I LIKED Deus Ex Story. I said it before. I just said it is not that amazing. Also there have been many good video game stories come out before Deus Ex. Believe it or not.

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I don't want to derail this topic too much but my opinion is that Deus Ex has a really carefully constructed setting, but the story itself is badly structured, generally badly explained and felt generally unsatisfying.

There were a couple of great moments, the one that immediately comes to mind is the ending, but it certainly doesn't hold a candle to games with truly good storytelling.

Mind you, it's still a game with an above average story, but if I have to be totally honest, the average when it comes to storytelling is remarkably low in the gaming industry.

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Planescape Torment came out in 1999. :)

 

Also there were already games in the early 90 that got deep. Most are somewhat forgotten though.

 

 

And yes, there was not much wrong with it. But it wasn't really that impressive either.

 

Planescape: Torment is also more of a cult game. It took a long time for it to finally make a profit as it wasn't the most well known or popular game.

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Planescape Torment came out in 1999. :thumbsup:

 

Also there were already games in the early 90 that got deep. Most are somewhat forgotten though.

 

 

And yes, there was not much wrong with it. But it wasn't really that impressive either.

 

Planescape: Torment is also more of a cult game. It took a long time for it to finally make a profit as it wasn't the most well known or popular game.

I really wish I could actually buy Planescape: Torment. It's a shame it hasn't shown up on GOG.com or similar, since I don't want to pirate it. I haven't seen a new copy of it anywhere in a very, very long time.

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