I started playing Alpha Protocol last night. The opening section is pretty rough, but the role-player in me has spotted plenty of potential.
You've no doubt heard that Obsidian's "espionage RPG" lacks a certain polish. And it's true. The environments are boxy and undistinguished. The character models unflattering. The animation ungainly. The framerate is surprisingly choppy and the screen-tearing is distracting. None of this can be denied.
What I have found strange, however, are the reviews claiming the gunplay is unpolished and the stealth is broken. Because, in my experience so far, they're not. At least, they're not if you actually understand what type of game Obsidian has developed.
Alpha Protocol isn't an action game. It's not a shooter. It's not Splinter Cell.
Alpha Protocol is a role-playing game.
Like Deus Ex, Thorton is rubbish with any weapon in which he hasn't invested skill points. He'll miss frequently. The aiming reticule is wide and takes forever to focus on a target. This does not mean the gunplay is rubbish. This is, in fact, the whole point of the game.
It's the same with stealth. Same with when you use your gadgets. You start out terrible and, over the course of the game, gradually improve your character's ability in the skills you've chosen to pursue.
It's called an RPG. Reviewers: please review it as such.