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Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol

Obsidian's espionage-themed RPG Alpha Protocol is now available in North America, announces SEGA of America. A launch trailer offering a look at gameplay accompanies the news, and here's a bit on the game: "In Alpha Protocol the player is Michael Thornton [sic], a rookie spy tasked with tracking down a group of fanatical terrorists behind a tragic missile attack on a passenger jetliner. Soon though, Thorton discovers there are much more devious forces at work, and before he realizes it, he is pulled into a dark and dangerous conspiracy orchestrated by ruthless, corrupt businessmen determined to control the fate of the world. He must use every tool and skill at his disposal to stop a cartel hell bent on shaping the world as they see fit." The launch trailer is embedded below.

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38. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 9, 2010, 08:33 StingingVelvet
 
Ecthelion wrote on Jun 7, 2010, 20:29:
Is it possible to avoid an appreciable amount of combat in this game? That was one of the best things about Deus Ex.

If you do have to engage in combat in AP, can you survive only using hand-to-hand combat? I have an urge to try to play it without using guns at all.

You can avoid combat in a similar way to Splinter Cell, as in you can stealth past enemies. There are a few mandatory combat areas though, including bosses. You can use a tranq gun if you want to avoid killing people in those sections.

As for hand-to-hand, I used it a lot in stealth and have heard many people finished the game using only it.
 
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37. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 7, 2010, 20:29 Ecthelion
 
Is it possible to avoid an appreciable amount of combat in this game? That was one of the best things about Deus Ex.

If you do have to engage in combat in AP, can you survive only using hand-to-hand combat? I have an urge to try to play it without using guns at all.
 
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36. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 4, 2010, 15:51 StingingVelvet
 
Paranoid Jack wrote on Jun 3, 2010, 23:46:
I haven't played AP but I have to agree on those statements concerning Deus Ex. It was more about the over-all game play than the separation and criticism of each of it's aspects. And it's true. It's one of those games that had less shine on the surface but more than enough depth.

Exactly... when you play Deus Ex, you have to forgive it's rather large amount of flaws and concentrate on the excellent core game. Alpha Protocol is exactly the same way. The textures and mini-games scream console design, but it's actually very much like a classic Western PC RPG... stat-based, rough around the edges and with excellent choice and consequence.

Some people never liked those games or don't like them anymore, but for those who dig it Alpha Protocol is an awesome release.
 
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35. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 23:46 Paranoid Jack
 
I haven't played AP but I have to agree on those statements concerning Deus Ex. It was more about the over-all game play than the separation and criticism of each of it's aspects. And it's true. It's one of those games that had less shine on the surface but more than enough depth.  
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34. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 15:47 Jerykk
 
Deus Ex looked quite good on it's release date by the way.

No it didn't. DX had a subpar presentation as soon as it came out. Almost every criticism of AP can be applied to DX: lackluster presentation, dubious voice acting, dumb AI, underwhelming combat, etc. If you were able to forgive DX for those flaws, I'm not sure why you can't forgive AP.

I don't really need any confirmation, I know the game is objectively bad.

Objectively bad? Really? I didn't realize that entertainment value could be objective. You're also basing your subjective opinion on a very limited experience with the game. The Saudi Arabia missions are the worst in the game and I'm guessing you never made it past them if you only the played the game for an hour or two.

If you were specific in your criticism, you would sound less silly. For example, the presentation in AP isobjectively inferior to the presentation in Crysis. This isn't debatable, as Crysis has higher poly counts, smoother animations, more detailed physics, higher resolution textures, etc. AP's bugginess can also be judged objectively. Objectively, AP is less buggy than Fallout 1 or 2. Or Arcanum. Or Planescape Torment. Or even Oblivion and Fallout 3. Quantitative = objective.

This comment was edited on Jun 4, 2010, 00:59.
 
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33. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 14:56 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 3, 2010, 13:54:

Arguing for following reviews unquestionably is just as silly, if not more so. The fact of the matter is reviewers review for the mainstream consumer, and we are not all the same as that.

Except that I never said to follow reviews unquestionably nor did I say reviews encompassed everyones tastes and preferences perfectly. That's a strawman.

It's not as good as Deus Ex, but it is similar. The complaints against the game could almost all be levied against Deus Ex as well, from the aiming to bad AI or bad animations.

Nope. Saying they both have stats and aiming reticules does not mean the implementations are close enough for comparison. I could say reasonably that Alpha Protocol drew some inspiration from Deus Ex but that's about where it ends. Deus Ex looked quite good on it's release date by the way.

I'm glad you trust reviewers so much, good for you,

Who said I do? Stop with the strawmans. If you have an opinion, state that opinion, stop trying to put words in my mouth as if I said them and pass that off as an argument. I said reviewers got this game right and by "reviewers", I mean anyone who properly dinged it for all of it's (many) issues. That doesn't mean I give reviewers blanket trust, quite the opposite. Someone seeking out multiple opinions would be inherently distrustful and looking for confirmation anyways which makes your whole theory just plain silly.

Everyone reviewer in the world could have disagreed with me and it wouldn't change my opinion. I don't really need any confirmation, I know the game is objectively bad. It's quality doesn't necessarily mean people can't enjoy it however, just like any other entertainment media. People enjoy Disaster Movie and soap operas after all. I like some games I know are bad but enjoy in a guilty pleasure sort of way. And next time we have an argument about console gamers having lower standards or something similar, I'm going to be right there with this thread bookmarked

This comment was edited on Jun 3, 2010, 15:06.
 
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32. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 13:54 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Jun 3, 2010, 09:45:
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 3, 2010, 03:32:
Doesn't surprise me modern game reviewers had no idea what to do with this one... and then give Super Mario 456 a 10 out of 10. This is why I do not listen to them when they speak.

Reviewers "got" the game, they just didn't like it. I don't know why that's so difficult to understand. Frankly even putting it in the same sentence as Deus Ex is a bit insulting. It's a game that tries to do too many things at once and does them all poorly as a result of never really pinning down design of each aspect before moving onto the next. Several contrasting design methods at odds with each other, you can even see it in the bizarre personality shifts in the script. It should never have been released in this state.

People can make themselves enjoy anything, its one of the wonders of personal taste and opinion. I'm not saying you should feel bad for enjoying the game, more power to you in fact. But to suggest that critics got this one wrong is pushing it. People like Dana Carvey movies but that doesn't mean the critics are wrong about the movies being poorly made.

Arguing for following reviews unquestionably is just as silly, if not more so. The fact of the matter is reviewers review for the mainstream consumer, and we are not all the same as that.

And yes, reviews can be wrong. They are wrong when they complain about the aiming in this game, for instance. If this game's aiming sucks then so does Deus Ex's and Fallout 3's, for instance.

It's not as good as Deus Ex, but it is similar. The complaints against the game could almost all be levied against Deus Ex as well, from the aiming to bad AI or bad animations.

I'm glad you trust reviewers so much, good for you, but I don't consider their opinions any more important than my own, or more accurately than people who like the same types of games I do. If you watch videos and listen to podcasts from sites like gametrailers, giant bomb or Destructoid, you will realize game reviewers aren't special in any way, and are actually kind of bad at games and ignorant a lot of the time. They are not on the level of day Roger Ebert for film.
 
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31. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 09:45 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 3, 2010, 03:32:
Doesn't surprise me modern game reviewers had no idea what to do with this one... and then give Super Mario 456 a 10 out of 10. This is why I do not listen to them when they speak.

Reviewers "got" the game, they just didn't like it. I don't know why that's so difficult to understand. Frankly even putting it in the same sentence as Deus Ex is a bit insulting. It's a game that tries to do too many things at once and does them all poorly as a result of never really pinning down design of each aspect before moving onto the next. Several contrasting design methods at odds with each other, you can even see it in the bizarre personality shifts in the script. It should never have been released in this state.

People can make themselves enjoy anything, its one of the wonders of personal taste and opinion. I'm not saying you should feel bad for enjoying the game, more power to you in fact. But to suggest that critics got this one wrong is pushing it. People like Dana Carvey movies but that doesn't mean the critics are wrong about the movies being poorly made.
 
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30. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 03:58 Agent.X7
 
Liking it so far. Graphics are a bit dated, gun play could be better, but overall it's very amusing. Certainly better, in my opinion, than Mass Effect 2, which I have yet to finish because it bored me.  
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29. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 3, 2010, 03:32 StingingVelvet
 
Excellent game so far for the type of person who likes these RPGs... very similar to Deus Ex, as said, though not on that quality level of course.

Doesn't surprise me modern game reviewers had no idea what to do with this one... and then give Super Mario 456 a 10 out of 10. This is why I do not listen to them when they speak.
 
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28. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 13:09 Jerykk
 
How much time constitutes a "good chunk"? Did you at least make it past Saudi Arabia?  
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27. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 09:25 Verno
 
I spent a good chunk of time playing this at a friends on the weekend and I would pay about $5-10 for it at most. It has some truly atrocious voice acting, the animation and models appear to be intern work at best, the missions are very ho-hum and filled with broken scripting, the gunplay is ultimately boring, the AI is worse than Quake 1 bots and the stealthplay would be considered rudimentary at best if it was released ten years ago, let alone today. I cannot believe people are comparing this to Thief or Deus Ex, the stealth play in this game is so insulting that console cover shooters are embarrassed.

A massive disappointment in every respect, do not waste money on this game. This will be a free pack-in from Sega for other Steam games soon enough anyways, no need to drop money on such a turd. The few people I've talked to who thought it was ok ended up pirating it anyways.
 
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26. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 04:32 Jerykk
 
Plus, I wasn't thrilled with the game in action as I saw it.

The greatest strength of the game is the long-term impact of your choices. This isn't really something you can convey well in a 5 minute review. In fact, the same could be said for any RPG. In order to truly appreciate them, you have to play them for hours.

Could AP be better? Of course. It would be awesome to see better AI and combat, as well as deeper stealth mechanics (shadows and disguises please). And for the love of god, no more hacking/lockpicking minigames. Seriously. I hope we do see a sequel, as there are many areas which could improved. However, given the game's fairly lackluster reviews and frequent delays, I doubt we'll see a sequel.
 
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25. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 02:41 Flatline
 
Prez wrote on Jun 1, 2010, 20:13:
I'm still getting this; I don't trust game reviews worth a damn - especially Gamespot, which gave it a 6.0. They gave Halo 2 and 3 a 10, didn't they?

I personally trust the vast majority of Gametrailers.com reviews. They seem to sync up with my own personal preference for video games.

Plus, I wasn't thrilled with the game in action as I saw it.

I'll prolly pick it up on sale some day.
 
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24. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 00:16 Bet
 
Jerykk wrote on Jun 2, 2010, 00:01:
Ok you can turn COMPLETELY INVISIBLE and stand right in front of a guy in the open, in a fully light room?!?

Yes, it's an ability you gain by investing points into Stealth. It's divided into tiers and at the earlier tiers, the ability only stays active for a limited time and only if you remain crouched. I'll admit that the ability is a bit overpowered but DX had an invisibility augmentation and in AC, you were basically invisible whenever you held down the Stealth button. If you really don't like the ability, simply don't use it.

Active camouflage is in development and not that far off, and entirely within the scope of this game's storyline.

Hell, I had a math professor that was obsessed with the idea of abandoning the university he taught at to work in the private sector to develop the technology.
 
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23. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 2, 2010, 00:01 Jerykk
 
Ok you can turn COMPLETELY INVISIBLE and stand right in front of a guy in the open, in a fully light room?!?

Yes, it's an ability you gain by investing points into Stealth. It's divided into tiers and at the earlier tiers, the ability only stays active for a limited time and only if you remain crouched. I'll admit that the ability is a bit overpowered but DX had an invisibility augmentation and in AC, you were basically invisible whenever you held down the Stealth button. If you really don't like the ability, simply don't use it.

I'm all for defending a game like DX, and AC, but I really have to wonder who's paying you guys to post that this game is great.

Simple solution: Play the game and judge for yourself. If you liked DX, there's a good chance you'll like AP.
 
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22. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 1, 2010, 23:55 Bet
 
The interface and the checkpoint saving system are the only problems for me. This game is very good. Surprising, considering the negative comments I was hearing before I played it.

Reminds me of Second Sight, but infinitely better.

Playing through as stealth, haven't killed anyone yet (except one guy with an exploding truck nearby, whoops), though I've apparently knocked out over 250 people. Good times.
 
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21. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 1, 2010, 23:45 The Half Elf
 
Ok you can turn COMPLETELY INVISIBLE and stand right in front of a guy in the open, in a fully light room?!?

Go watch the video I linked, I agree it looks like a college project (and not a good one).

I'm all for defending a game like DX, and AC, but I really have to wonder who's paying you guys to post that this game is great.
 
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20. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 1, 2010, 22:39 Jerykk
 
I beat the game this weekend and found it enjoyable. They did a really good job of making the consequences of your actions felt throughout the game. The core gameplay isn't going to win any awards but if you play stealthy, it's fairly enjoyable. Certainly more depth than Assassin's Creed, at least. If you play it like a shooter, you'll likely have a less enjoyable time. Just like DX, really. In fact, pretty much all the complaints against AP are the same ones levied against DX: lackluster presentation, stupid AI, underwhelming combat. AP has better AI, stealth and C&C (choice & consequence) than DX, though DX had far more open-ended gameplay.

So now the big question: Is it as good as DX? No, of course not. But it's still enjoyable and was compelling enough for me to actually play through, which can't be said for most games these days. Started off a bit slow but once you leave Saudi Arabia, it gets a lot more interesting.
 
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19. Re: Ships Ahoy - Alpha Protocol Jun 1, 2010, 21:36 The PC Warrior
 
no prez, it really is that bad. i preordered and im really sorry i did, i wish i could get my money back. i wouldnt have paid $20.00 for this PoS if i had known how bad it really was. plays like a college project, even the voice acting is some shoddy ass shit.

This comment was edited on Jun 3, 2010, 17:05.
 
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