Alpha Protocol's cover officially blown

Sega and Obsidian open up files on their forthcoming <i>Bourne Identity</i>-esque RPG, due in Q1 2009 on the PS3, 360, and PC.

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This week, some of the most trafficked game forums on the Web were abuzz with unconfirmed reports that Sega was reteaming with Obsidian Entertainment. The California-based developer first hooked up with the Japanese publisher for a forthcoming role-playing game based on the classic 1986 sci-fi film Aliens, which is also the subject of a new first-person shooter from Sega.

Today, the two companies officially announced that they are working on a new RPG, Alpha Protocol. Unlike the still-unnamed Aliens project, Sega confirmed the game is the completely "new and visionary IP" project the two companies revealed they were working on in March 2006. It will ship for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in "early 2009."

Unlike most role-playing games, which have either a heavy fantasy or sci-fi element, Alpha Protocol will concern modern-day espionage. Its Bourne Identity-esque plot follows Michael Thorton, "a talented young agent cast out by his government." Like prior Obsidian games and those of its partner BioWare, the game will have a branching storyline in which actions early on in the game will affect the protagonist's development.

Unfortunately, Sega's announcement did not contain many of the Alpha Protocol details reportedly outlined in the April issue of Game Informer. Though reps for the publisher would not confirm or deny said details, the magazine reportedly says that Alpha Protocol is a third-person action RPG with real-time combat and many high-tech items.

Like the Fallout series, which Obsidian cofounder Feargus Urquhart also worked on, Alpha Protocol will reportedly be class-free, with players instead leveling up 10 skills. It will allow players to be on multiple missions simultaneously in various locations all over the world, where apparently various romantic interests will also await.

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