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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.
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This review was submitted by James McKenna. If you’ve played Alpha Protocol, or just want to ask James more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Alpha Protocol (360, PS3, PC)
Alpha Protocol is the long-in-development espionage RPG from Obsidian Entertainment. You are Michael Thorton, a rogue agent, cut off from your friends and country, searching for answers and maybe even vengeance.
International Man Of Mystery: With missions spread around the world, you really do feel like an international super spy. The locations were well realised and interesting to play through.
A Vew To A Kill: The safe houses are excellently done, full of mementos from missions, sweeping vistas out the windows, and each matched the atmosphere of the supposed city. Although, let down by the last mission when you’re back in the Greek safe house for some reason.
Live And Let Die: There's no wrong path to conversations, choices are rewarded with different bonuses and your actions with one person can affect your relationship with others. Having someone as an ally can get you rewards, whilst having them as an enemy can get you different rewards.
The Spy Who Loved Me: The romance options are many with each requiring a slightly different approach. They pay off, too... I’m looking at you, Yeoman Chalmers.
The Living Daylights: Close quarters combat is a blast; it’s approaching Arkham Asylum levels of badassery.
From Russia With Love: The supporting cast is generally excellent, even if the voice acting isn’t stellar, the characters are.
Quantum of Solace: The conversation system is similar to Mass Effect, except that it’s timed, sometimes requiring you to choose a response before the NPC has finished speaking. Don't choose and it defaults to the last one you used.
You Only Live Twice: Checkpoint saving, hasn’t game design moved past this yet?
Diamonds Are Forever: The PC doesn’t have a lot of options for adjusting Thorton's appearance, and even if you do change him it isn’t reflected in some of the cutscenes. The visuals are let down by the Unreal engines texture pop, which seems worse in this game than others. Also some of the graphical glitches are vexing, falling through the world and getting stuck in scenery.
Casino Royale: The skill points system is a bit meh, and I’m an RPG fan. I don’t think it’s bad, I just don’t believe the skill trees are explained properly.
The Man With The Golden Gun: Weapons are flawed, even if they do get better the more points you add to them. On a stealth run, a pistol took nine headshots to kill someone. Yeah… nine. There’s a problem when it is faster to charge in at full speed and pummel an enemy than it is to shoot them.
The World Is Not Enough: The story (which I won’t spoil) is a bit cliché, you’ll have seen it in Alias, Bond films, and maybe even Spies Like Us.
Moonraker: How come we can’t climb over cover? I’ve seen Bond, Bourne and Bauer do it, but Thorton can’t?
Bond 23: The ending was a bit of a let down and left the game feeling unresolved.
In the end, it’s a good game, let down by a number of issues. Frankly, if a game is in development this long it should be better. It’s still a lot of fun and I would recommend it, but perhaps not as highly as it could have been.
Reviewed by: James McKenna
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.