Via the exclusive-happy Game Informer, the previously unnamed next game to come from Bioware Babies, Obsidian, has been discovered. Alpha Protocol is a spy-themed single player RPG, developed for PC, 360 and PS3, due next Spring. Via EG, and in turn the Neogaf forums, a few details from the April Game Informer have leaked.
Most importantly, it's described as,
"A modern day espionage focused action/RPG that takes you on a suspenseful ride in the vein of James Bond, Jack Bauer, and Jason Bourne. Take a wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn agent up through the ranks to become a bona-fide super spy."
It's looking to be an action-focused RPG - an area we've not seen from Obsidian, who are famous for their Bioware sequels, Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2. Perhaps troublingly, the details include this snippet:
"Battle system is similar to Mass Effect but have more in common with Uncharted. It revolves around real time combat with an emphasis on gun play and high tech gadgets."
If there were an aspect of Mass Effect you didn't want to emulate, it would be the combat. But we can assume that neither Bioware nor Obsidian are blind to the response it's had, and with at least a year until release, improvements would be likely.
Dropping classes, instead your character, Michael Thorton, will develop in accordance to your style of play, with ten skills and ten ranks for each skill. This, they suggest, will let you approach the action in your own style, whether heavy-handed, or sneaky-stealthy.
And the conversation system sounds intriguing. Called the "Dialog Stance System", it apparently emulates Fahrenheit's approach to chatting, letting you have only one go at each conversation (something that's always felt unnatural about the Biosidian RPGs is the ability to talk to someone a second time, and say the exact opposite - it seems a splendid idea to limit this). But rather than selecting the sentence, you select the tone of your response.
Being a spy, you'll be travelling around the world, weilding gadgets, and indeed taking the ladies to bed. At this point it seems that there's only a male character available, and very many women for him to sleep with. It seems a shame that the people who've consistently delivered the ability to play male or female and have romances based on this during the game, should shut off one side. But then, think of all the free advertising they'll receive when Fox News finds out about all the sex.
According to Eurogamer, SEGA aren't commenting at this point. But expect more news very soon once the hungry, angry gaming press gets their copies of the mag and demands more.