Alpha Protocol Reactive World (Developer Diary)

Discussion in 'PC Gaming Discussion' started by Webslinger, May 22, 2009.

  1. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

  2. Darth_yoda

    Darth_yoda Well-Known Member

    This looks a little generic, really unsure about this game.
     
  3. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    How? Name another modern-day, Spy, single player, story-driven RPG for the PC?

    If you're talking about the graphics, then yeah, but I don't buy single player RPGs for good graphics. I buy them for good stories. Obsidian Entertainment has never delivered an incredibly good-looking game. But if you've ever played Mask of the Betrayer (expansion of Neverwinter Nights 2), you know that they can deliver an incredible story. And if you go back further to Obsidian Entertainment's Black Isle Studios days, then you know that Planescape: Torment was a fun game precisely because the story was so well-developed. It's not as though the game-play mechanics were cutting-edge. The story was just really compelling.

    If your criticism is that Alpha Protocol will play exactly like Mass Effect, but with a spy setting, you may be correct (except the dialogue choices are time limited); that's fine with me though. I really enjoyed Mass Effect.

    This game is definitely on my "must buy" list.

    That said, I'm pretty much biased in favour of Bioware and Obsidian Entertainment developed games. Anything that is really heavily story-based, I'm interested in. So, that even includes adventure game stuff like Fahrenheit or Indigo Prophecy (in North America), Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, etc.

    Fallout 3 was the first Bethseda game I've actually enjoyed (despite the weak main story). I did not care for Oblivion at all. I stupidly bought the Collector's Edition, and I finished the main story in about a week. Then I deleted the game from my hard drive. I found the story was boring; and the voice was horrible (except for Patrick Stewart's, but his character dies early).
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  4. DrinkLyeAndDie

    DrinkLyeAndDie Retired Moderator

    Erm... none?

    Agreed.

    And we cannot forget that Chris Avellone is involved.
     
  5. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    Yeah, he's the Creative Director. I don't know to what extent he had a hand in developing the story, but the setting and much of the game itself is his idea, I think. I hope he had a big hand in developing the story.
     
  6. Darth_yoda

    Darth_yoda Well-Known Member

    You are correct, there are no other spy RPG's for the PC that I can think of either. But there have been other spy games in the past, such as Thief, Splinter Cell and not forgetting the 007 franchise.

    When it comes to games I always like to err on the side of caution. More often than not games are dissapointing but occasionally the odd gem does shine through, this game has not inspired me in any way based upon the footage that I have seen so far.

    GFX, Genre, storyline, those are all peripheral in my opinion, when it comes to a game if the GAMEPLAY is rubbish the game will be rubbish, gameplay from a psychological perspective is the most important factor in a game. For me to make a more informed decision I would need to see a more gameplay centric video rather than just short clips followed by commentary.

    I have not personally played Neverwinter nights 2 but have seen Neverwinter 1 and by all accounts Neverwinter 2 was a total dissapointment according to a close friend who has played the Neverwinter games extensivly. Never played or even heard of Planescape: Torment.

    Alpha Protocol does look like Mass Effect, I can see the time limited dialogue choices really irritating some people, I guess only time will tell whether it is a good idea to add this to the game or not.

    At the moment this game is not on my must buy list but I is one that I will kep my eye on.

    Bioware is a very good developer not my personal favourite but they are good none the less. I find it interesting that you say you like things heavily story based but yet you say you don't care much for games like Halflife 2, episode 1 and 2. These three games are the very definition of story centric games. (Based upon your first post here: http://forum.slysoft.com/showthread.php?t=29888 ) Never played or even heard of Fahrenheit, Indigo Prophecy or Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.

    I would agree that the Storyline in Fallout 3 was the weakest part of the game but the storyline wasn't "weak" by any means. The DLC 'Broken Steel' extends the end of the main storyline as alot of people disliked the way the game ended.

    If you are simply playing the main storyline rigidly and then calling the game "finished" after that then I believe you aren't playing RPG games properly, there were loads more storylines in the main Oblivion game (Thieves, Assassins, Fighters and Mages Guild were all major storylines within and as of themselves not to mention the other countless random quests and the other shrine quests. If you thought the story was boring in Oblivion I am very surprised you liked Fallout 3 at all considering the storyline in Oblivion overall was better than Fallout 3. There was also an expansion for Oblivion called "The Shivering Isles" which added even more storyline. I agree that it was a little stupid of them to not use Patrick Stewart's voice more in Oblivion but there were two other voice actors worthy of note; Sean Bean was the heir to the king in Oblivion and he gave a fantastic performance, there was also Terence Stamp who played Mankar Cameron and he also gave an amazing performance. As for the other voice actors I personally they did need to have a greater range of voices to play the characters but I do not believe any of the characters were annoying. I would also like to say that if Oblivion was a poor as you seem to think it was then it is rather strange that Oblivion got countless awards (http://www.elderscrolls.com/links/links_oblivawards.htm) for being one of the best games of 2006, metacritic giveing it 94% and IGN giving it 9.3 out of a possible 10.

    All in all Alpha Protocol doesn't look like anything perticularly groundbreaking or anything perticularly special to me at the moment, the reason I called it generic is because it looks VERY similar to other games I have seen and played before. Don't get me wrong I am not saying the game is rubbish by any means.
     
  7. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    Thief may have contained RPG elements, but I wouldn't really classify it as an RPG. It also wasn't a "modern-day" spy game, and I didn't find it to be heavily story-based in the same sense that Bioware and Obsidian Entertainment games are. Neither Splinter Cell nor the 007 stuff interested me at all (and I've played both series).

    Yeah, I have to say I don't really care as long as the story engrosses me. I can almost always forgive crappy gameplay as long as the story is good. This is one reason why Infocom text adventure games were so successful back in the 80s. People forget how effective a story could be.

    Actually most people would disagree with that assessment (not that popular opinion matters); I've read most of the reviews. The original Neverwinter Nights was fairly lambasted for having a weak main campaign story (when the game was criticized). The second Neverwinter Nights is generally perceived as having a better main story, but it still was rough around the edges. Anyway, my argument is not in favour of Neverwinter Nights 2--but rather, its expansion, Mask of the Betrayer (which is, in many people's opinions, one of the best RPG stories to have been presented in the last 3 years). The original Neverwinter Nights had a better or more user-friendly gaming engine. Also the third party tools for the original Neverwinter Nights were a lot easier to understand. That said, no freeware third party module for the original Neverwinter Nights can really stand up to what was produced for Neverwinter Nights 2, namely Rogue Dao Studio's Purgatorio.


    It's generally considered to contain one of, if not the best, story in a PC rpg. Some people feel it's the best RPG ever. In terms of roleplaying and pure gameplay flexibility, I don't agree with that assessment. But in my opinion, Planescape: Torment represents excellence in terms of RPG storytelling.


    Yeah, I think the influence is obvious. But again, that doesn't bother me. Obsidian Entertainment contains a lot of former members from Black Isles Studios. Those are the guys responsible for Fallout, Fallout 2, and Planescape: Torment. They do know how to write good stories.


    What would really bother me is, if like Mass Effect, all of the side quests in various areas look the same. That did start to annoy me in Mass Effect. You'd visit all these planets, but once you got inside buildings they all seemed to follow a certain pattern. And all those stupid crates all over the place . . . I guess everyone including aliens and criminals always have plenty of crates all over the buildings on their planets. With the exception of the downloadable content, the side quests in Mass Effect were a bit repetitive.

    Yeah, but it also increases replayability. In real life, you don't get the luxury to hum and haw over dialogue choices. And I suspect for those that are really annoyed, they can just reload save points (hopefully).


    You make a good point. I'm not sure if I will like being forced to make quick dialogue choices either.



    I don't consider the stories in those games to be as well developed as stuff like Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic . . . I think as FPSes the Half-life series is definitely innovative, but the stories for them just didn't suck me in. I actually kinda preferred F.E.A.R. (the first one). The story that's unfolded through the answering machines, etc., I found kind of compelling, and at least, the game did make me jump a couple of times. The atmosphere in the first F.E.A.R game was kind of compelling to me. I've never been a huge FPS fan, so when I do play them, I kind of prefer the game trying to scare me or present some sort of mystery (I do enjoy supernatural horror stuff). I know that almost the entire gaming world disagrees with my opinion of Half-Life, and that's fine.


    I don't want to ruin it for people that haven't finished it, but I found the payoff wasn't that rewarding. I found the Fallout 3 universe pretty compelling, and I enjoyed playing Fallout 3, but I still didn't feel that the characters were as fleshed out as they would be in Bioware or Obsidian Entertainment game. Some of the people that I saved I wasn't really emotionally invested in saving them. I saved some boy. I got him back together with his aunt (or some relative) on that boat. But as a player, I couldn't have cared less if I hadn't saved him. His character wasn't really developed or anything. The sidekicks that you can bring along also don't really have a developed personality; they are fairly one-dimensional. On the other hand, I suppose it's hard to write a lot of dialogue for a character you may never even meet or tag along with in a 40 hour+ campaign.


    Yeah, I've heard that too. I want to play it, but right now I'm just bogged down in a lot of personal work. :(

    I want to make it clear that I do like Fallout 3. I was pleasantly surprised because I just hated Oblivion. I found the story sooooo boring.



    No . . . It's just that usually the main storyline is the one that's the best developed. And if the main storyline is boring me to tears, then why would I even want to try the sidequests?


    And on that point, we'll have to agree to disagree. The voice acting, the writing, the dialogue . . . everything in the main quest for Oblivion was horribly boring. I sort of got interested in the vampires, but even that, in the end, was pretty boring. Brother Martin's lines made me want to fall asleep. The dialogue was boring, and practically everything Sean Bean said made me want to fall asleep. Whether that was the fault of the dialogue or the voice acting, I'm not sure (I think it was the actual dialogue lines).

    I would have loved to have met an annoying character. Something . . . just give me something that wasn't boring . . .

    Not really . . .

    There are lots of people like me that come from text adventure games, Bioware games, Black Isle games, etc. that absolutely hated Oblivion. They can be found on Bioware and Obsidian Entertainment's forums. Morrowind was another game that I felt sucked horribly, much for the same reasons I felt Oblivion sucked.

    More importantly were popular opinion an indication of quality, then Michael Jackson was, at one time, the best musician ever. He also won lots of awards.

    I am well aware that Oblivion won a lot of awards. I just don't agree with any of them.


    In terms of genre, it's new for a PC game. Otherwise, yeah, that's fine . . .
    Taste is, you know, in the eye of the beholder . . .


    A lot of reviews are probably going to echo what you (and I, to some extent) have mentioned: "Mass Effect" but in a spy setting; old, outdated graphics; etc. But for me, as long as the story entertains me, as long as the story sucks me in, that's really all I care about . . .

    I also enjoyed Vampire: The Masquerade--Bloodlines more than I enjoyed Oblivion, which kinda says a lot.

    I come from a much older generation of PC gamers that find running around shooting everything from a first person perspective grows old quickly. I do like some FPSes. I really enjoyed the original Tribes (until the cheats made their way onto servers), but a good interactive story where I can build and develop my character (or even just a good simple adventure game) is what I'm most interested in. For me, both Obsidian Entertainment (with the exception of Storm of Zehir . . . the thing with open-ended sandboxes is that story becomes watered down and weak as a result: that's why I don't like Oblivion and most MMORPGs) and Bioware deliver what I'm interested in.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  8. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    The ending was a bit of letdown, but I enjoyed the story:

    http://www.gaming-age.com/cgi-bin/reviews/review.pl?sys=pc&game=indigoprophecy

    http://www.ic-games.co.uk/index.php?location=1&&articleid=3242

    http://pc.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r18341.htm

    http://www.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/fahrenheit/review.html

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/652/652420p4.html

    It won Adventure game of the year awards.


    The original The Longest Journey won tons (and I mean tons) of awards (game of the year, etc). The followup was a little more "girly", and some reviewers hated the gameplay, but I set that aside and just enjoyed the story.

    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/dreamfall/702029p1.html

    Won 1999's RPG of the year award from IGN, Computer Gaming World magazine, and Gamespot.
    In 2008, the UK edition of PC Gamer listed it #9 on their list of top 100 games of all time.

    http://www.gamespot.com/features/6135401/index.html (Greatest Games of All Time)

    http://www.gamespy.com/articles/540/540546p1.html (Hall of Fame)

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/159/159939p1.html

    Planescape: Torment also featured some absolutely phenomenal voice acting from
    Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer Simpson), Sheena Easton, John de Lancie ("Q" from Star Trek), Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner from X-Files), etc.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009