Friday, 19 October 2012

'A' is for 'Alpha Protocol'


...was my first reaction to Alpha Protocol, as I'm pretty sure was the original pitch. As ever a victim of the Steam Daily Deals, yours truly grabbed it for the price of half a mild. No matter which way you swing it, that's a bargain. If I was to boot it up, loath it to its blackened soul, and stalk the developers stroking guns afterwards, that's still a form of entertainment in itself, so it was a no-brainer.

This was clearly quite a few months down the line since Alpha Protocol's launch (hence the daily sale) and although intrigued, mixed reviews and seemingly poor sales had put me off from it's launch. Saying that, "mixed reviews" games can be fascinating to play (albeit it a sale price), as they frequent a space where their ambition has been squashed by practical limitations. Developers chasing something that they never had the resources for in the first place can produce so many rough diamonds, and I was hoping this would be one.

My initial session got me as far as mission three before I got distracted by something shiny, sadly never to wander back there again. Approaching it from this new angle however is making me very excited indeed! Imagine watching a James Bond movie, where at any time, the character could be stopped and killed instantly, resulting in the evil mastermind's plans coming to fruition! If I really suck at it, we might not even get to find out who the villain is in the first place (I remember the opening tutorial being quite tricky).

I now have the opportunity to simulate the real, and very deadly life of an international spy bloke. A life where every kill, every stealthy neck break, and every gun fight could bring upon very quick death and international armageddon. I'm assuming the plot goes down this route, surely it does!

"THONK!" Imagine if Casino Royale abruptly ended like this!
Things didn't start well. To begin with, the £1.50 to be deducted from my account came back at me with a message of insufficient funds, leading me down a panicked and very sweaty half hour (it was a long way from pay day) that lead to me discovering I'd used the wrong debit card, and had tried to buy it with an account I use to keep pet mice and various floor sweepings.

For a soon-to-be international stealth assassin of death, the misplacement of the price of a Gingsters slice raised stress levels to a point which would have had M.I.5 slapping one ruddy big 'FAIL' stamp on my application.

Importantly though, this was an RPG with a character creator. This would not be a case of "can Mr. Pixels stop this global terror?" and more a case of "can NEIL stop this global terror?", or "Can NEIL satisfy this busty spy lady in a quick-time-event sex scene race to the finish?!"

Well, can he?

Tension awaits in my first write up! Plus, more swears! (Restraining my torretsy fingers is too much work)

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