Reader Review: Alpha Protocol

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Corey does, as he plays it suave all the way.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Corey White. If you’ve played Alpha Protocol, or just want to ask Corey more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Alpha Protocol (PS3)

Alpha Protocol is an "Espionage RPG" built on what resembles - but surprisingly isn't - the Mass Effect engine. Whilst it might give PC and Xbox 360 gamers a distinct sense of déjà vu, it's something of a first for our PS3 brethren.


The Story: It’s always refreshing to have an RPG that isn’t a fantasy frolic or a space opera. Alpha Protocol’s story is fantastic and features a great, varied cast.

Trim: The game is focussed, with no pointless sidequests or collectibles thrown in just to fill time.

Controls: In the minigames, in particular, Obsidian has expertly played to the strengths of the controller – like with using the spring-loaded triggers to give lockpicking a more visceral feel.

Choice: You’ll often find yourself wondering if you made the ‘right’ decision. It's likely that all these roads lead more-or-less to Rome, but there’s still a palpable tension involved in much of the decision making.


Viagra: Boss battles here, as in many games, seem to only serve the purpose of making the game longer and harder without adding any real content. Their immersiveness relies solely on the game's setting, and Alpha Protocol’s quasi-realism doesn't help in this regard.

Glitches: Reloading a checkpoint resurrecting every bad guy on a level, a guard sliding into a computer desk and becoming invincible, etcetera, etcetera. Minor issues, but it's all evidence pointing to a severe…

Lack of Polish: It’s a sad trend with Obsidian games – they weave compelling stories but always seem to fall short in the QA department. Sadly, Alpha Protocol is no exception.

Alpha Protocol is many different shades of grey, much like the world of espionage it seeks to emulate. If you’re able to look past the game’s many, but small, foibles you'll find an RPG well worth playing.

Reviewed by: Corey White

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    "Reloading a checkpoint resurrecting every bad guy on a level"

    considering i think i died 2 times in the game but is this one really an issue i mean any guys youve killed after a checkpoint should by rights respawn(bad company 1 is the perfect example of where if something is too hard just spam the respawn)

    and i cant remember many levels where you actually backtrack as part of the mission and the ones that did(tutorial section ) respawned them anyways

    i mean you call it a glitch but it may have been a design choice

      The mission was the one where you are bugging a CIA listening post.

      Start in the basement, take out the guys in the lobby, take out the guys on the second and third floor, get a checkpoint and then attempt to hack the computer... Fail, and then reload because you're trying to be sneaky.
      Now I'm sneaking around on level 2 and the agents on all three levels of the building have magically reappeared.

      It was (I think) the only level in the whole game that consisted of only 1 fairly small area, which I think is why the checkpoint system didn't work properly.
      I get what you're saying, but on this particular mission it certainly seemed like a glitch.

    Good to see someone else enjoys this game. Yeah not the greatest, but good fun.

    If you do get this game, might I recommend the console version. The PC version seems to be the glitchiest and crashiest game I've played since the initial release of VtM: Bloodlines. A shame since it is quite fun.

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