I managed to finish Alpha Protocol last night, putting duty (mostly) before my own personal needs, although I did romance two women in the game. A lot of what I said about the game in my last post about it still seems to stand till the very end.
The game has a number of bugs that needed sorting out desperately. I couldn’t even progress past an area in the game because the script glitched out and would never load and I was stuck in one area until I completely reloaded the game and manually loaded the save file, redoing the whole mission. Thorton is incapable a lot of the time of throwing a grenade while crouched in cover no matter how far out you try to stick. Sometimes his grenade throws land in the wrong spots, like when they magically stick right next to your cover and deplete a significant amount of your health. Meanwhile, enemies will always know where you will go and throw their own grenades accordingly. This is kind of frustrating, except watching Thorton’s ragdoll body fly all over the map which his incredibly deadpan face in slow motion is one of more hilarious things in the game. Thorton is also incapable of taking cover on a moderate number of flat surfaces. You will find a perfectly flat wall next to an opening, an entrance or a door, and tap A as rapidly as you want but he’s not leaning on it.
I abused this game to no end. You can get by the entire game on mastering the art of stealth and the pistol as I have. Once you unlock the Clean Shot skill in the Pistols rank, you can eliminate pretty much every boss in just two sessions (like Bioware games, skills need “cooldown” time to recharge for another use). Of course, maybe you’re the type to go in guns blazing. Any game that delivers an opportunity to take a quiet approach, I’m going to take it, habitually at this point.
If it weren’t for the dialogue options, and the fact that the order that you play the missions actually affects how events unfold in the game, there would be absolutely no reason to ever go back to Alpha Protocol. It’s interesting at least to see how characters react to Thorton as a character whether you’re deliberately going out of your way to get them to like you or dislike you. The strange thing about these responses is that Thorton still delivers any kind of line in such a deadpan manner it’s like hearing the male version of Daria. Pick an angry, threatening response, and he’ll tell you he’ll put a bullet through your head in the same tone as he’d probably tell someone he’s got a stomach virus or his favorite sports team lost a game.
In the end, I admire that this game tried to bring a sort of different approach to all the spy games we’ve played in the past, and the whole plot is serviceable on the same level as it would be for a major motion picture starring Sam Worthington. I actually discussed in great detail months back that a game like Alpha Protocol, sans glitches and mediocre voice acting, is how James Bond games should play. It would be great. I honestly would play a sequel, but please give it to another team. Obsidian and I are very close to being arch nemeses.