Listen to this while reading and prepare yourself for a fairly shallow bout of sheer enthusiasm about a game I like.
If you’ve heard much about Alpha Protocol, an espionage-based RPG from Obsidian, you’ve probably heard things like “It’s okay”, “Buggy”, “Mediocre”, etc. Metacritic shows that the average hovers around 65% (Slightly higher on the PC version), and it generally has failed to inspire, as well as being confirmed not to have a sequel in the works.
You know what I have to say to that?
Alpha Protocol is AWESOME. It’s one of the better games I’ve played in the past few years, certainly outside my preferred Strategy genres. Yes, it is a bit rough around the edges due to time and budget constraints and yes, people have reported bugs aplenty (I haven’t encountered anything worse than a graphical glitch myself, but that’s an entirely subjective experience of course). The leveling isn’t perfectly balanced, with pistols and stealth being rather overpowered and some others falling by the wayside.
But these are minor nitpicks in a glorious game. Alpha Protocol has a great cast, a ton of missions, and everything – EVERYTHING – you do has some consequence or another. It might grant you a stat boost, or it might change the entire ending, but whatever you do it’s going to change something. You can choose to kill or spare pretty much anyone in the game, you can take different attitudes towards everyone, and you fight an 80s-obsessed Russian mobster who is coked out of his skull. Unless you do things in a different order and make friends with the right character, in which case you can just poison his cocaine and the fight goes way easier.
The depth and intricacies are amazing and well worth it by themselves, but the gameplay is still perfectly solid even if not exceptional and let me tell you, pulling off a perfect stealth run makes you feel like a total badass. So if you get the chance, don’t listen to the critics, listen to me and play it!