Saturday, July 31, 2010

Super Spy - Table Top Gamer review of Alpha Protocol

I'm going to take a break from our Road to Gencon 2010 series to address a current obsession. Hopefully I'll tie it back to gaming in general.

Psycho Thorton

I, like a lot of other table top gamers also love video games. My platform of choice is the PS3, and as a PS3 owner I have an interesting selection of games available to me. One of my recent purchases and now current obsession is Alpha Protocol: The Espionage RPG. There's an even better tagline along with this though: Your Weapon is Choice. There are a lot of video game rpg's I'd love to get into but almost every time the controls and mechanics just seem to get in the way. Games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Morrowing, and Dragon Age I want to badly to enjoy but just don't grab me. My favorite genre of games is the third-person anything. Games like Prince of Persia or Uncharted where I can see my character be a badass and where my character actually matters really hook me.

Anyway,  why Alpha Protocol? Well it combines the character customization of those RPG's mentioned earlier (and table top RPG's as well) with the action and progression of a game like Uncharted. It's primarily stealthy, but remember what I said before about Your Weapon is Choice? You can choose to be a silent angel of death or a shotgun wielding angel of death. Or you can choose not to touch a single enemy (until you get to the boss fights of course). Beyond the huge level of customization (leading to several play-through's worth of enjoyment), the dialogue sections are better than any other RPG I've seen. First we've got voice acting which immediately makes it more cinematic. The real feature here is that instead of picking a wrote line from a small selection you can choose what type of reaction you have. It feels a lot like a tabletop game in that you choose if you want to be aggresive, professional, or dismissive (amongst other options sometimes) and then your character Mike Thorton reacts.

The world of AP is extremely alive and evolving in reactive to the choices you make. I know on my first play-through there are several integral characters I never interacted with simply because I didn't go down the path to meet them. This is the kind of world I always try to create when I GM. I want a world that's alive and actually changes based on the PC's actions. I've already been thinking about how to create a homebrew for the gaming and a spy game in general. I'm familiar with SpyCraft only by reputation. I may try to find a used copy at Gencon for the cheap to get ideas, but beyond SC, I don't really know of any other spy RPG's. I don't know if it'll ever get passed the initial development of the core concept, but if I do, you can be sure I'll be giving updates and more information about my spy game, tentatively titled MissIntel, right here on THG.

Wondering why I named this section Psycho Thorton? My main man Mike can be a bit of dick, you know, if that's the route you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Noble Knight Games

Wanna support The Hopeless Gamer? Shop at Noble Knight Games via the banner below!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...