Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Xbox 360 - Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol by Obsidian / Sega

Here is a self-purported RPG. It gets a GZ of 2/10. In actuality, this game really isn't an RPG. It has some RPG aspects to it, but it is no where near a true Role Playing Game.

Character Creation

First, there isn't such a thing. You are who you are and you can't change that. You can change the appearance, but very limited. In a true RPG, you can choose to be male or female. You can choose classes and you can choose your outfit. There is very little of that in Alpha Protocol. You can find other outfits along the way to increase your armor, though. But these are whole outfits, not single pieces (i.e., gloves, shoes, pants, shirt, etc).

With the character creator in AP, you can change the hair to about 6 different styles. You cannot change the hair color. You can change the skin color, but again limited. You can't change the look of the face (i.e., cheeks, nose, mouth, chin, etc). You can add features like limited beards.


The gameplay is actually very limited. Most of the time you are sneaking around places trying not to be seen. You can go in gunz-a-blazin', but this is really counter to the missions and who knows what kind of things the game may change later as a result.

Leveling up

You do get to level up through Action Points (AP). But, you get so few it takes ages to actually level your character up in any real way.


The controls are strange choosing to put lots of different things on LT, RT, LB, RB, back and start buttons. After a while, I guess you'd get used to it, but it's really mapped in a strange way. Definitely not intuitive.

Save Points

Ok, so here is one of the major problems with this game (not that this is the only problem). Instead of a save-anywhere system, which any RPG worth its weight in salt should have, Sega opted to offer a 'Save Checkpoint' option. So, basically, you can save your current checkpoint and go back to that specific checkpoint. You can't save anywhere. This means you will have to lose a lot of things to restart a checkpoint. This is frustrating, time consuming and overly stupid. Bad decision Obsidian.

Effectively, this game only supports checkpoint saves and the saving of checkpoints can be done only after the current checkpoint is reached. If you forget to save a checkpoint, you lose the ability to go back to that checkpoint later. This is not an intuitive save system.


Well, frankly, there aren't any. You get missions and that's that. Whatever missions they give you, you do. You don't get any new missions until you complete the few current outstanding missions. In a true RPG, you should be able to find and start missions at any time. As I said, this isn't a true RPG.


This game is completely bugged. This aspect alone was enough for me to stop playing it. In fact, there is a mission to retrieve data from a computer. Once I had completed this task, the game locked me into an area that had no exit. So, my character (and my game) was completely trapped in this space. I had no choice but to stop playing there. It is quite clear that this game was not play tested at all. From this point alone, I would recommend not playing Alpha Protocol.


For what it is, this game's graphics are incredibly bad. The characters look low res. The levels look low res and the textures are weak. This looks like it could have been ported from a Nintendo 64 and probably would have run on an N64 also.


My recommendation is to avoid this game. It is currently far too buggy to recommend playing.. unless you like hitting bugs that prevent you from continuing the game. The game itself needs a lot of work and appears to have been released in the beta stage. Frankly, they should have saved this game until sometime in 2011 giving time to work out the bugs and increase the texture quality.

  • Sound: 7/10 (not outstanding)
  • Graphics: 8/10 (bad textures, low res)
  • Gameplay: 5/10 (average, but also repetitive)
  • Story: 5/10 (no real story that I could see, just missions)
  • Bugginess: 1/10 (show stopper bug, prevents game progression)
  • Controls: 5/10 (needs work)
  • Bang-to-buck: N/A (not completed, probably not)
  • Play Value: $5 (wait till clearance, by then they might have a patch)
  • Overall: 2/10 (poor save system, bad gameplay, show stopper bugs).

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