Alpha Protocol Impressions

This espionage-based RPG has come on leaps and bounds since E3 09, and we got another fresh look at it at GamesCom 2009.

The more we've seen Alpha Protocol over the past few months, the more we've been warming to its novel concept of spy-based role-playing. You can level up, build your character, and earn upgrades just like in most role-playing games, but here you're trying to build a perfect spy, rather than a space explorer or dragon slayer. We got to see more of the game in action at GamesCom in Cologne, and here's what we managed to sneak out.

The demo that we saw with developer Obsidian started out aboard a boat. The main character was equipped with a tech outfit, which is able to carry an arsenal of weapons and gadgets, but it's very noisy, so enemies can hear you coming. Luckily, though, the player who had been building up this character had heavily focused on upgrading the stealth tree, so he could wear the suit without making too much noise.

The game allows you to perform both lethal and nonlethal takedowns, and Obsidian says that it's possible to play the entire game without killing anyone. We also got to see some of the hacking minigames that allow you access to new areas--you basically have to look at line diagrams and try to figure out which lines match up. In our demo, the player intentionally messed up the hack to show a skill called Spy's Luck, which allows you one chance to get something wrong without setting off all the alarms.

We also got to see what the developer referred to as a "boss battle" against a young female character called Sis. She's a crazy young girl who wants nothing more than to kill you, but by tossing a few grenades her way, the player was able to finish her off. You then have the option of killing or sparing her, and the player decided to let her live. As we returned to our home, we got a video message from her employer asking us to meet, and we found out that not only was Sis his bodyguard, but she was also a mute. By not executing her, the player was given an "I don't hit girls" award, which in turn resulted in a 5 percent discount with all of Sis's factions.

There's plenty to think about in Alpha Protocol, and it looks like the game has plenty of scope for replayability. It's due for release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in October 2009.

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Discussion

70 comments
Frozt20
Frozt20

Sound good... Think I just might get this one!!

terror_ninja
terror_ninja

I saw a video of it a while back and the graphics looked really good, I didnt see any gameplay footage but just from the visual style and a glimpse of the customization makes me have to play it.

buttpuke
buttpuke

This one's in my top five for the fall winter season. It seems pretty inovative and looks like a good time. Can't wait!

Blargsman
Blargsman

I trust in Obsidian's pedigree. Not only does it consist of ex-Black Isle Studios members, but Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 were excellent sequels (save for the fact that both titles suffered from bugs, of course).

bangurdead1101
bangurdead1101

this game almost reminds me of Classic Rainbow Six meets Splinter Cell and Deus EX all mixed in at the best parts from the videos I've been watching

jagus12
jagus12

Im sure not killing anyone will be an achievement... I'll try to get it on my second playthrough, on the first one IM GONNA GO BERSERK! >:D

pollob13
pollob13

without killing anyone? sounds like interesting rpg game .. wow !! u got me

lasberry
lasberry

This game is tops on my fall play list. I can't wait for October. Is that 10/27/09 release date correct? I thought it was 10/13/09 in the states. I guess I could be wrong.

garey017
garey017

This sounds awesome. I love these new takes on RPG's, first Fallout, then this. It's about time RPG's are set somewhere than Dragon-land or space. Not that there's anything wrong with those.

Darklogic112358
Darklogic112358

Sounds like the same thing we heard when Deus Ex was originally released: "possible to play the entire game without killing anyone." "plenty of scope for replayability" "build your character, earn upgrades" I know this describes ALOT of games but Deus Ex particularly comes to mind, and being that it was one of the greatest games ever made, this one certainly looks promising.

bennie12
bennie12

Been waiting forever for this. HELL YES

risbo_23
risbo_23

@ Pwnd56 LOL dude! If you're using your fake ID to buy alcohol, then I'm pretty sure they will also let you rent an M rated game. :-D

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

i hope it actually comes out in october because it's been delayed over and over. the graphics looks plenty dated now and the voice acting has so far seemed less than stellar. BUT, the amount of content is compelling and the gameplay seems to be on the right track so maybe if you turn off the voice and forgive the visual design it'll be alright. i've played bad looking games that were every bit as entertaining as the flashier ones.

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

This looks EPIC, it pains me that my 'rents won't let me play M games 'till i'm like, 18.

konradak
konradak

This looks great, I saw a video on Live marketplace and it sold me.

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

I just randomly clicked on this article and it seems awesome! The only problem is...how long has this game been in developement? I hope it was long enough to really get this game on point.

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

I like the sound of this, another game to add to my wish list.

XMeSsInX
XMeSsInX

COOL A spy game fused with an RPG I haven't played a game like that before. Hope there's an early demo available so I can get a taste for the game first :D

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Nice to see a fresh and more realistic take on the RPG genre.

Baelath
Baelath

Obsidian never makes games that aren't fun. An RPG in a techie setting? Sounds wicked.

CommonFable
CommonFable

Obsidian is a great game company. Ive not been disapointed in them so far

chibilola
chibilola

Curse you Obsidian! You're killing me.

ultralesus
ultralesus

Finally an RPG not set in a high-fantasy world or space! I've got my fingers crossed this is going to be special.

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

I have no doubt in my mind this will be a great game. I'll play it like it's meant to be: slowly and fully.

iClock
iClock

I'm not normally in to RPG's but this looks very interesting!

Shishio817
Shishio817

Mass Effect with spies. I'm very interested

nldewey
nldewey

I have already preordered mine at Gamestop. Just wish i had a Gamecrazy near by, since I'm more of the stealthy type.

MattRorie
MattRorie staff

Hope you guys enjoy the game when it comes out! We're all pretty proud of it over here...

Dantethayer1
Dantethayer1

this looks sweet! an RPG Spy game im totally in for getting it.

SvV_Ying
SvV_Ying

Interested. Wonder how it will turn out

SymonDezyn
SymonDezyn

so much of what i've seen of this reminds me of Mass Effect, with a different storyline of course... i'm definitely gonna give it a shot - if it's even half as good, it'll be worth it.

ImBananas
ImBananas

Spy RPG? I have to get this on my PC.

luciotss
luciotss

ai ai e dos mais esperados.. fugencio..

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

The game looks pretty good, but I doubt I'll be purchasing it. I've always loved the concept of a spy RPG, and by all means, Obsidian's at least nailed all the gameplay elements I would've hoped to see. However, much of the voice acting shown thus far in gameplay videos has been less than exceptional, and after being spoiled by overpolished performances in Mass Effect, I'm not sure I could stand to take a step backwards. Immersion's awfully important for me in a game like this, and missteps in line delivery or facial animations can have a big impact on my interest in returning to a game once I've finished it. I'll certainly wait for the reviews before I come to a final decision, but at the moment it's still looking like a rental for me.

ztron370
ztron370

ALPHA PROTOCOL is one of my must buy list this year.

Jon71992
Jon71992

IT GOT PUSHED BACK!!!! NO!!!! lol at least it was only pushed back like a week or 2... i have a really strong feeling this game is gonna be really good

valengar
valengar

I really hope this game doesn't get lost in the mire of holiday releases. I mean with so many high profile releases (i.e. Dragon Age, Marvel 2, Modern Warfare 2, Brutal Legend etc), I know I might hold off on the game for a bit unless I see something really striking. I am very intrigued by the concept though.

Gabez_R
Gabez_R

Cant wait for this :D :D :D