Early Impressions of Alpha Protocol

I will give any game associated with Black Isle Studios/Troika/Obsidian Entertainment a shot, knowing that there are bugs and that they probably ran out of time and that their ambition when making the game doesn’t quite match the end product (even if the game is incredibly good in the end). So, I started playing Alpha Protocol last night to see if the problems it has are big enough to make me want to toss it out the window.

I finished the entire Greybox (tutorial) area and the first two missions in Saudi Arabia, and here are my impressions so far.

  • This game was not built to be played with a mouse. Sure, it’s available on PC but it was pretty clearly developed with consoles in mind. That said, it’s not horrible. There are certain actions like picking locks that are frustrating because of this but so far no gamebreakers.
  • No shock here–it’s a resource hog. I also have an old computer. Once I scaled down the graphics it ran much, much better. You don’t get the typical wide array of tweaks for a PC game, though.
  • Whoever invented the system for computer hacking in-game needs to have their fingers broken. Maybe it works better with a controller, but I can’t tell you if that’s the case since the game only supports the 360 PC ones. I have a nice Logitech dual stick but I can’t use it to play Alpha Protocol, feh.
  • The dialogue system is great, even though I missed a couple of choices while yelling at my cats. You only have a few seconds to pick your approach so you can’t agonize for minutes over which choice you want to go with.
  • Saving happens by auto/checkpoint only, another sign that it was built for consoles. My quicksave finger is going to get a rest while I work through this game.
  • I am terrible at stealth, it’s good that I am not a spy.

Mission Accomplished

It took a while but I finally got my character in Neverwinter Nights 2 to be a perfect Chaotic/Good. Some of the Lawful/Chaotic choices threw me off and I may have chosen some mean things to say at points that pushed my Good/Evil score down a bit.

This is right when you get knighted, if you’re wondering about the weapon choice.

 

Following the law is for losers