Posts Tagged ‘Alpha Protocol’

The RPG Scrollbars: Time And Seasons In RPGs

The times change, and we change with the times. Or in the case of RPGs, not. I’ve always felt this a bit of a shame, especially in games like World of Warcraft, where your character is officially hanging around long enough to see the leaves fall off the trees and the snow to cover up the capital cities. That’s why I was quite keen on both Fallout 4 taking the time to redecorate Diamond City a little for at least Halloween and Christmas, and last week, to see a mod take the next step and give the Commonwealth a makeover for all seasons in a way that nobody’s really tried since Lords of Midnight 3 way back in the 90s. Whole minutes of fun with the system clock there!

But then as now, it’s hard not to start wondering how time could be given its due as more than the fire in which bad movies turn out to be even worse than they initially seemed. Maybe it could be our friend too, and in so many interesting ways.

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Have You Played… Alpha Protocol?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It’s nice and all that Obsidian are crowdfunding a trip back to the ’90s, but I wish they were able (and willing) to revisit something a little fresher. Alpha Protocol is my favourite game they’ve made, an RPG from 2010 which used timed conversations and silent branching to make the adventures of a super spy feel exciting and unpredictable. Yes, it’s jolly wonky in ways – Obsidian made it – but it feels like the fresh green bud of what could’ve been an exciting branch for RPGs.

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Obsidian’s Avellone On Torment, KOTOR 2, Alpha Protocol

Well, it’s official: Chris Avellone has joined the Torment: Tides of Numenera team. Kickstarter’s overwhelming monetary might has pushed another old band back together again, and now this one’s ready to give belabored brain birth to another tale for the ages. And dimensions. And whatever other creative gravy giblets they can fit into their twisted turducken of a setting. But Torment’s hardly the only thing on Avellone’s increasingly busy mind, as he’s also got both Project Eternity and Wasteland 2 to worry about. Oh, and let’s not forget that exceedingly tantalizing Star Wars pitch Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart was so thrilled to discuss. It’s tough, then, to imagine that Avellone has even a spare second these days, but he somehow managed to shove aside a few for a chat, so we used it as wisely as humanly possible. To discuss kindly stick figure knights and giggle at bad naming jokes, of course. Also, all of the above, Avellone’s role on Torment, and what an Alpha Protocol sequel would look like in a post-Walking-Dead world. 

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Obsidian Want To Know What You Want Them To Make

Please make Nameless One Desktop Adventures

Looks like Obsidian headbrain Chris Avellone’s earlier talk about getting ‘Kickstarter fever’ based upon Double Fine’s happy day (they’ve now passed $1.3 million in funding by the way – which, as Tim Schafer notes, is more than the budget for Day of the Tentacle and almost that of Full Throttle) wasn’t idle chatter. Obsidian have just posted a forum thread asking for community suggestions as to what they should make, were they to start a Kickstarter-funded game. Obviously this is purely theoretical right now and there are absolutely zero guarantees, but as they’re clearly feeling out the ground here, you should go and make sure that the ground they feel is green, pleasant and potentially profitable. And, ideally, old-school RPG-shaped.
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Licence Revoked: No Alpha Protocol 2

So – no Alpha Protocol 2 then. This perhaps unsurprising news emerges from a C&VG interview with Sega West’s President Mike Hayes, with the relative meaty bits torn free by VG247, the finest jackals of the videogame press savannah. Key quote: ““Let’s speak very commercially; the game hasn’t sold what we’ve expected, therefore we won’t be doing a sequel”. Well, that’d explain it. The interesting thing for me though is how important he positions metacritic, stating explicitly that an RPG needs an average score in the high eighties to be a hit. While that’s arguably not true, it puts the blame entirely on the game simply not being good enough. Good, yes… but not good enough. I actually bought it myself, but only have got a couple of hours in, bouncing off the surface and having trouble finding the will to return to it. Still – it’s an obvious shame that an attempt to break the Fantasy/Sci-fi duopoly on the genre failed, because an accountant’s logic will mean that further attempts are even less likely. As in “Look what happened to Alpha Protocol”. My 70s punk RPG will never be. Despairing emoticon.

An Hour With… Alpha Protocol

This screen is definitely the best thing in the first hour.

We had hoped to bring your our Alpha Protocol WIT by now, but a series of unfortunate circumstances means that it’s much delayed. You might even have your own Thoughts to Wot below. So here is a description of the first hour or two, which isn’t a very pretty sight. I’m absolutely sure things much improve after this, especially now I have the game in a state in which I can play it at all. So yes, this is especially negative. No, this absolutely is NOT our review of Alpha Protocol, and anyone who says it is gets a dead arm.

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Spying On Spies: Alpha Protocol Interview

Come get some.

Alpha Protocol is so close that if you go outside and look to the horizon you’ll just see the tip of its hat. In a strange reversal of fortunes it reaches Europe on the 30th May, not making it to its native US until 1st June. We grabbed this chance to talk with producer Matt Hickman about the development, balancing role-playing and combat, and moral ambiguity.

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Is That A Gun In Alpha Protocol’s Pocket, Or…

This is disorientating. Much-delayed Obsidian secret agent RPG Alpha Protocol has hoofed out of couple of new videos. Thing is, they introduce characters we were introduced to at length a year ago. So, if the marketing cycle is taking it from the top again, just what have Obsidian been doing to the game for all this time? Applying a thick, classy layer of ultra-polish, hopefully…

Or maybe not. Carry On Spying below.
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Multiple Middles: Alpha Protocol Details

Look out behind you!

Game Trailers have a good interview with the Alpha Protocol team, which has reawoken my interest in the game. I think a combination of a disappointing E3 and some hefty slips has left me a little unsure about this one, but the footage here, along with the confident suggestions of the game letting me play it how I choose to, reminds me this is Obsidian. I trust Obsidian! Hooray! Take a look below and see if you have the same reaction. The game is due 1st June, which is AGES away.

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Not Secret News: Alpha Protocol By June 1st


And lucky old Europe should get Alpha Protocol a few days earlier on May 28. SEGA have accompanied this announcement with a new story-trailer, which you can see below courtesy of IGN. Well, I say story, it’s impossibly vague, suggesting something about nuclear weapons, something about loved ones in peril, and something about Russian-lady sexytime. It’s still almost impossible to call whether this will be one of the games of the year, or whether it’ll get tangled up in its own garrote and be whisked off in the body-bag of history. Oh well, not too long to wait until we find out.
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Alpha Protocol Delay, Release Date


The news that spy-RPG Alpha Protocol has been delayed has been around for a while now, but official word of a spring release has just arrived from Sega. “Alpha Protocol, Obsidian Entertainment’s much anticipated RPG, will be moving to a Spring 2010 release date,” says the release. So no firm date, but it’s looking like around March for the game. lan Pritchard, European Managing Director at Sega said: “By pushing Alpha Protocol to Spring 2010, we can ensure that the game will be released in the best commercial release window possible and will also receive the focus this true AAA titles deserves.” And that’s probably for the best, as the game had a bit of a poor showing at E3, and John was pretty cautious about it in our coverage. Still, we’re all hoping for the best on what looks like one of the most interesting RPGs on the horizon. If this delay can give Obsidian the time they need to pull it off then we’ll be happy.

Spying On The Spy: Alpha Protocol Previewed

Over on Eurogamer today are a collection of my words and phrases, strung into a number of sentences intended to give a flavour of what Alpha Protocol, Obisidian’s upcoming secret agent RPG, is like. I begin approximately like so:

In a few minutes of videogame footage, in the face of lots of game-hungry industry folks, it’s vital to show several things, those things being: guns, guns being fired at someone, someone falling over when fired at with guns. Given that RPGs are as much about dialogue and narrative as they are about action, this approach is rather like promoting an album by stitching together all the choruses. Sure, it’s noisy and excited, but it’s also confusing and peculiar. For the same reason, E3 didn’t do Alpha Protocol many favours…

…and then get into what form the roleplaying and storytelling elements of the game take. Read it, do.

Safe As Houses: New Alpha Protocol Walkthrough

Obsidian have released a new very detailed video guiding you through various aspects of Alpha Protocol‘s Safe Houses. Showing off how the Safe Houses work, with all their various character, weapon, etc modifications, it explains how important these locations are. There’s your email, which lets you catch up on relationships, find extra work, and keep up with colleagues. There’s access to the black market Clearing House, where you can pick up new equipment. You can also customise and upgrade weapons and armour, and all sorts. It’s all below.

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RPS At E3: Sweeping Up

Just admiring the view.

There are a few bits and pieces from E3 that I’ve yet to write about. I’ve also thoughts on the remarkable-looking Love to come, and details on a few of Paradox’s forthcoming games via Mr Stone. But here’s a few that were left over. Below there’s a few brief comments on Alpha Protocol, Alien Vs Predator and Rogue Warrior.

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Alpha Protocol “Reactive World” Trailer


So we were complaining that upcoming spy-thriller RPG Alpha Protocol hadn’t shown us much of the actual game, particularly the dialogue. Well, that’s changed with this new trailer, which fleshes out the talky stuff a little better, and demonstrates some of the possibilities for being a bastard to the people you deal with. But it also has some neat in-game footage showing off some of the more interesting combat move. The bit where the player cuts from melee back to ranged weapon is most interesting. Anyway, take a look, as I think this is the most revealing trailer so far.
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Alpha Protocol Developer Walkthrough


This is worth watching. Alpha Protocol, Obisidian’s modern-day spy RPG, has a bunch of different options and approaches open to you, but it seems that the way you approach a mission will depend on the “handler” you decide to have run your operation. In the following video we see a mission played through under two different handlers, each one with a rather different approach. We also get to see some of that espionage stuff in action – illuminating stuff. This is one game for 2009 that I can’t wait to get some hands-on time with.

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Obsidian Explain Alpha Protocol


I just want to echo John’s sentiments regarding Alpha Protocol: the forthcoming modern-day spy RPG really could end up being one of the most accomplished games this year. Real-time combat mechanics, branching dialogue trees, hub-structure environments and missions, statistics-led character progression: all set in the real world. SEGA seem to have given Obsidian plenty of time and freedom to develop this, and we’ll definitely be looking at it more closely as it approaches the October release date. Anyway, two videos from Obsidian sit below the cut, and they’re crammed with game footage. Go take a look.

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I Spy: New Alpha Protocol Trailer

Just another Baldur's Gate clone!

We’re not in Aurora any more. Obsidian’s next game, Alpha Protocol, is the least RPG-looking RPG I think I’ve seen. In the new video released today (below), showing lots of new in-game footage, it looks like third-person action. But do not let loose your cries of foul just yet – this is Obsidian, and while it would be nice if they’d remember to finish their games, they’ve yet to make a mistake. And this is Chris Avellone and Feargus Urquhart, who brought us KotOR II and Planescape: Torment. The men know how to tell a story. There is pedigree, and with pedigree comes optimism. Doubly so, since there’s not a potion or magical goblet in sight: this is a spy-based RPG, set in the modern day.

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Alpha Protocol Dev Commentary


Obsidian Entertainment are one of the healthier looking studios out there right now, having become veterans of NWN2 and KOTOR2, and now developing the as-yet-unrevealed Aliens RPG and Alpha Protocol. In the video beyond the jump they talk a bit about the premise for their original action RPG, which is set in a contemporary super-spy espionage scenario. It’s looking as talky as it is shooty, and looks like it might blend a kind of Splinter Cell approach to action with the kind of branching dialogue and quest options we’ve seen in their other games. An interesting an brave direction for the studio, and definitely a game worth monitoring in the coming months. Go take a look.
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