|A RPG brought to you from Obsidian Entertainmen, makers of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords, and Neverwinter Nights 2. Alpha Protocol is an espionage RPG set in the modern world, published by Sega.|
|Previews: Alpha Protocol
Think Mass Effect meets Tom Clancy...from Sega?
By Andrew Pfister 07/18/2008
You're reading an E3 2008 preview, which we've broken into three sections to make it easy to sift through during this week of convention madness. Check out E3.1UP.COM for all (meaning words, screens, and videos) of our E3 2008 coverage.
What's the game about? Think Mass Effect meets Tom Clancy -- it's a modern-day (or close to it) RPG with military espionage dressing instead of space-based science fiction.
What's new for E3? Our E3 demonstration illustrated the game's dialog system (once again, similar to Mass Effect) where you can choose the tone of your response. The twist here is that there's a timer for all responses, so the dialog keeps running at its natural pace (if you take too long to decide whether to act tough or play nice, it'll default to your last selection). The way you treat people has a direct effect on your interactions with them later on, as there's a faction system in place to govern friends and foes. If you're in good standing with the U.S. military, for example, it'll be significantly easier to gain access to the embassy where your mission objective resides (and the terrorists laying in wait will understandably welcome you with a bit more hostility).
SCREENS: Click the image above to check out all Alpha Protocol screens.
We also were shown some of the game's special skills -- most notably the "chain shot," which slows down time and lets you set up shots on multiple targets. When the time is up, you quickly empty your clip into all assigned enemies.
What's our take? It was a bit of a double take, as it took a few minutes for it to sink that this is one of very few RPGs set in a realistic, modern-day era. That alone is worthy of attention, and the timer on the response options will help to even out the pacing of the game's "acting" bits. It's still a ways out (melee combat looked rough), but there's definite promise.