is pretty much a proposition impossible to resist to a gamer like me. I love Obsidian and the work they have done on things like Knights of the Old Republic II and Neverwinter Nights II. They have a reputation for offering slightly buggy and overcomplicated experiences but their writing is always top notch. With Alpha Protocol, a title that mixes role playing elements with third person action and an innovative dialog system, they aim to shed their image of second strong studio destined to offer sequels for universes BioWare created. I'm eager to find out how they perform.
First impressions are not great but it's often said one should not judge a book by its cover, so I plan not to judge Alpha Protocol by the way it introduces the player to the experience.
Before getting into the action, there's an option to choose a background, go in as a Rookie, lacking any experience or choose to be a Veteran, a guy who knows how the spy world operates and can find his way around the missions with ease. Obsidian fails to clearly spell out how the backgrounds affect the experience and even makes the rookie mistake of only rendering Veteran accessible after the first time the game is completed.
The title certainly deserves more than one playthrough but the option should either have been hidden or accessible from the beginning. Don't just offer it grayed out, it will fail to entice those who would finish the experience more than once anyway while annoying those who want to see everything it has to offer on the first run through.
The game then shifts to choosing skills for the main character, which might be a little off putting for those who expected a more developed introduction sequence before the actual customization kicks in. It's also hard to fit the spy I want to be playing, a suave, lady loving, challenge relishing James Bond, in the categories offered by Alpha Protocol
. I finally focused on a mix of pistols, toughness, assault weapons and sabotage. Bring on the gold-toothed henchmen and world threatening superweapons.
I plan to approach the game in the more suave manner of Bond. James Bond, lover of pistols, assault rifles and fast cars. I expect some flirting, a lot of explosions and at least one casino scene. My colleague will be more of a Jason Bourne character, using stealth where he can and close quarter fighting to take out his enemies.