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[Let's Play] Alpha Protocol: I am an awesome spy. (Part 1, Set 1)

Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden.Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Games and Technology
[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:

Intro:
Spoiler:

Part 1 (Recruit run):
Spoiler:

Part 2 (Veteran run):
Spoiler:

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!

Ninja Snarl P on
PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg

Posts

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    I'm snagging this first post just in case. Also, my avatar will change to reflect the new LP.

    And before any Alpha Protocol vets yell at me, YES, I will be going back to go over the characters I dumbly missed.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    I am conflicted.

    On the one hand, I *loved* your Crysis LP.

    On the other hand, I actually own Alpha Protocol, and want to play through it; I don't want no spoilers.

    Damn, damn, damn.

    elvenshae2_zps569236d5.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
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  • VikingViking Registered User regular
    Obvious solution Elvenshae is to play before Ninja Snarl P is able to, AP is divided up by hub's so you just have to stay 1 ahead :P

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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm only gonna be able to do something like an hour or two a week. You could probably go sit down right now and get way farther than I did.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm only gonna be able to do something like an hour or two a week. You could probably go sit down right now and get way farther than I did.

    But TOR Beta and DX:HR and Baby in three weeks say "Not likely." :D

    elvenshae2_zps569236d5.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The FATE of the Rebellion PBP
    FotR on Obsidian Portal
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    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.
    Too late. You already missed stuff by not doing the tutorials.
    Spoiler:


  • C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Great LP.

    Though, pointing out that there isn't really much cut content in AP (which is also why the story is fluid) "just" rearranged content. The game went through several major revision during development. Most of the content you may have heard about was cut (like the major ally) wasn't even planned for the final version.

    That doesn't make the whole thing any less of a mess, of course. On the contrary, probably even more of one.

    C2B on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Just... Just, the worstRegistered User regular
    I had a shitload of fun with Alpha Protocol, despite all the finger-wagging and harumphing. Was it a AAA perfect example of its genre? No, but it was deep, character customization meant you actually had to make choices about your character, and decisions you make have a major impact on where the story goes, who you can influence, and what options are available to you later in the game.

    It scratched an old-school RPG itch for me and that's all I really wanted out of it. So I'm looking forward to your LP, Ninja Snarl P.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    I'm gonna check the videos when I get back from work, but I have to ask right away - are you playing the game as Fidel Castro look-alike, or not?

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
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  • ArchsorcererArchsorcerer Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    @Ninja Snarl P

    I would have recommended you to do the tutorials. You can get some extra cash and the rifle scope.

    Pissing Darcy is always good.

    Edit: also change your avatar to the picture of Chris Avellone wearing a vest.

    Archsorcerer on
    XBL - ArchSilversmith

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  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary When has it ever been any different?Registered User regular
    Yes! Ninja's back with more FPS LP goodness.

    I've already played AP all the way through so I'm looking forward to seeing what you do differently.

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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I missed the tutorials. I'll get them in for the next set, though. It's really not a good idea to go through the rest of the game without showing off all the people I'll be working with.

    And I'm not doing anything goofy with Mike's appearance this time around because he's supposed to be all professional tight-laced rookie. Next time? There will be beard. You can count on that. Veteran kiss-my-ass Michael is all about the beard.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • EtherealWalrusEtherealWalrus Registered User regular
    So, are the viewers gonna have a say in what goes on, who you kill/where you go when? I'm gonna enjoy the hell outta this LP regardless, but there are a few people I would like to see headslammed.

    Dram wrote: »
    Still, it took a massive amount of trial and error before I realised that hookers were the solution to all my problems.
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    I was debating that, but I'd like to show off how the story can vary depending on how you play it. So probably not so much with the headslamming this time around, but next time? Mikey will indeed headslam you just as soon as look at you.

    Plus, I don't know if there would be enough people who would state their preference. This LP will go slow enough as-is without having to wait an extra 2-3 days for votes.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    New set time! This was actually supposed to get uploaded lask week, but Youtube kept eating the upload. The voiceover is also a little messed up because of my computer crash; looks like the recording level or something got messed with in the process. No surprise there.

    As for this set, I actually start it off by going back to do the tutorial stuff I missed before, especially to make sure I introduce the characters involved with the tutorial sections. It's is also nice to finally learn/remember which buttons are for sneaking and which ones are for giving myself away like a jackass. Honestly, I don't know what it is with LPs and me being unable to sneak; it's like I'm trying to stealth my way around while suffering from seizures and dragging a bunch of tin cans tied to my feet.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    I'm guessing this won't be a completionist run? You're not doing the bonus training missions?

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    If you're talking about the ones at the start of the game, yes, I did do those. However, I screwed up in the first set and skipped them by accident; I go back and do them in the second set and when I finish there, I resume where I left off at the end of set 1.

    I'm not necessarily doing a completionist run, but meeting all those people is too important to the game to skip over. Plus, I probably needed the refresher just to help me stop screwing up so badly.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • korodullinkorodullin What. Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    This reminds me that I really ought to get back to Alpha Protocol some time. I got it last year during a Steam sale, got halfway through Rome, and got distracted by something else. I think picked it back up, started over, got through Rome and whatever the next place I went to was, and then... got distracted by something else.

    Good game, but it gets a bit tiring to play after a while.

    Oh, and doublefuck the hacking minigame on the PC version. I fucking HATE it.

    korodullin on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Interesting fact about the weapons training bonus mission. You can get as many tranq rounds as you are patient enough to wait to regenerate. On later runs I never even had few enough to buy more

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  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Also, about weapons training, if you want a good score accuracy is far more important than speed. Especially for the Pistol and Assault Rifle it's far better to patiently line up a critical hit rather than fire as soon as the reticule is over the target.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote:
    Interesting fact about the weapons training bonus mission. You can get as many tranq rounds as you are patient enough to wait to regenerate. On later runs I never even had few enough to buy more

    Huh. I had no idea about that.

    As for getting a better score in weapons training, it did occur to me to worry less about time and more about aim if I wanted to do another run. However, I wanted to keep the LP moving and not get bogged down in earning vanity points for doing better on weapons training.

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Spoit wrote:
    Interesting fact about the weapons training bonus mission. You can get as many tranq rounds as you are patient enough to wait to regenerate. On later runs I never even had few enough to buy more

    Huh. I had no idea about that.

    As for getting a better score in weapons training, it did occur to me to worry less about time and more about aim if I wanted to do another run. However, I wanted to keep the LP moving and not get bogged down in earning vanity points for doing better on weapons training.

    Do better on weapons and gadgets training, get bonus training missions. That's what I was asking about.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    ... I totally did not know there are multiple bonus training missions. I thought Old Guy was the only one who gave you one.

    Oh well, that's what second playthroughs are for!

    PAJoe_zpsc20d21e8.jpg
  • ArchsorcererArchsorcerer Registered User regular
    Parker sends you back to Medical Bay, Darcy makes a bet and I think you can shoot Darcy with a tranquilizer dart after the weapons training.

    XBL - ArchSilversmith

    "We have years of struggle ahead, mostly within ourselves." - Made in USA
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