Clandestine [official site] has been tickling my fancy since Alice first brought it to my attention. Then in Early Access, it has now launched as a full release with a complete story line rather than a few standalone missions. While it can be played singleplayer, switching between the two characters, the concept requires two players for full effect. One plays the actual agent infiltrating various facilities and the other takes on the role of a hacker, watching via a screen and doing what they can to assist.
This looks a bit like cooperative Alpha Protocol and if it is like cooperative Alpha Protocol, I’ll be very happy indeed. As I found when I joined the RPS Bomb Squad, I slip into a given role very quickly if I’ve got a clear objective and set of instructions. If Clandestine gives me an excuse to shout tense instructions at my colleagues as they tiptoe toward capture and doom, I’ll happily put up with a few bugs and some general jankiness.
And it appears that will be necessary. As if they truly were attempting to emulate Alpha Protocol, Clandestine developers Logic Artists (they of Expeditions: Conquistador, headed by the creator of The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex) haven’t quite ironed out all of the bugs before release, if Steam comments and reviews are to be believed.
That’s not to say those reviews are particularly negative – with 53 in the bank at the time of writing, the rating is ‘Very Positive’ – but there are consistent reports of clipping and performance issues. That people are sticking with the game despite those flaws suggests to me that the the central concept works well.
During the Early Access period, there was a two-pack available at one point. That’s not the case anymore but there is a launch discount – £15.99 for a copy until November 12th, at which point the price will revert to £19.99.
Here’s the word on the release:
“It’s official! Clandestine is out of Early Access and onto the Steam store in its full version. Many thanks and kudos to all of our Early Access supporters. Your feedback was paramount and we appreciate it!
“The 1.0 release includes the complete story line and cut scenes. So get in there and figure out who has been leaking information about the intelligence community and put a stop to it!”
Even though it’s set in the nineties, before his time, I’m kinda hoping that Edward Snowden is the final boss. Mecha Snowden.