[Let's Play] Alpha Protocol
This will get a bit schnazzier once I figure out the new board.
Updates will stay up here for faster access:
Part 1 (Recruit run):
Set 1: I am an awesome spy
Set 2: Ah, irony
Part 2 (Veteran run):
Welcome back! This is my first LP in the better part of a year. Alpha Protocol was trounced by reviewers, but I enjoyed the game a great deal. The reasons for the bad reviews aren't really hard to figure out; the gameplay is not stellar, the gunplay is pretty loose, the game has a lot of content cut, and it's really, really, REALLY poorly optimized. I'm running this on the same hardware as my STALKER/Crysis LPs, but Alpha Protocol somehow takes a LOT more system resources to run well. Oh, and it doesn't even look very good. They aren't terrible, but certainly not good enough to justify how much it takes to run the game.
This LP isn't entirely blind because I have played before, but that was back near when the game came out back in May of 2010. So for those who have played Alpha Protocol to death, yes, I know I'm missing stuff. I don't mean I know because of a gut feeling, I mean I know because I vaguely remember certain things being here or there. And in regards to that, I would DEFINITELY like for people to try and make sure I don't miss awesome stuff. I'll do my best to be thorough, but I also have to keep the LP moving without bogging it down by an extra hour of exploration every time. Just make sure to post suggestions and reminders in spoilers for the sake of those who want the surprises.
Down to the brass tacks. Alpha Protocol is about a spy named Michael Thornton. He does spy stuff. There is sneaking and shooting, but the real meat and potatoes of the game is how you handle conversations and relationships. It sounds a little bizarre, but the results can be pretty amazing. The right conversation choices can get people to help or fight you, earn XP and ability points, and reveal all sorts of information. One of the best things is that finding info can really help you out; developing your dossiers on agencies and individuals is invaluable to figuring out the right conversation choices.
Even with all the cut content (cut do to the game being in development hell for so long), the story is remarkably fluid. Because of that, I will actually be playing the game twice through: once as a good-guy Recruit (zero ability points at the start and unique dialogue options) and once a King of Dicks Veteran (tons of bonus Ability Points and other unique conversation options). I will also vary the playstyle for each playthrough. The first time will be getting the basic effective stuff up to speed and the next time will be going crazy murder-spy.
I'm pretty busy for the time being, so updates will probably only show up once a week. Also, depending on how the different playthroughs stack up, I may or may not be cutting things from the second playthrough for the sake of brevity. If I remember correctly, a normal playthrough runs something like 20 hours. However, a Veteran playthrough can probably be something like half that because you can be a murder-machine right from the start and make a lot of people regret choosing to live long enough to meet Michael Thornton, Ender of All Things. But if that gameplay doesn't prove entertaining enough, I'll cut out most of it in favor of the drastically different cutscenes.
So let the espionage commence!