Author Topic: Alpha Protocol  (Read 3031 times)

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Offline The E

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Yeah, no. That point has sailed past, now you're just trying to bash ME2 or counter-bash the people who bashed ME2.

Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Luis Dias

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hm k, so any more things to say about AP?

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Maybe we need a split here, since we don't actually have an active ME2 thread and the last one is at least a couple pages back.

See the individual arcs for the characters were good. The overarching plot was godawful compared to ME1's. Borderline retarded is an excellent description.

I'll agree to the proposition there is uneven quality between main and secondary plots, but let's be honest here: the ME1 story wasn't that good either.

However what I'm trying to say is that they're complaining about Cerberus' power level increasing dramatically between games. Thing is, that not only fails to account for the seen from outside/seen from the inside dichotomy which could well disguise the size and shape of an organization dedicated to being covert, it's also dead wrong. We know very little about them, but what we do see suggests a standard "vast conspiracy"/"Umbrella corp" thing going on.

Then in ME2, they turn out to indeed be a vast conspiracy/Umbrella corp group. Which was more or less exactly what you'd probably think from the first one.
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Offline Ravenholme

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See, ME1's plot wasn't stellar but it was well written and mostly self-consistent space opera. Nothing ground breaking, but it was a better sci-fi romp than Halo.

Then ME2 came along and tore up the most interesting parts of ME1 (The Reapers, turned them into something laughable than a vague omniscient machine threat), forced you to work with Cerberus, who were great secondary villains and yawntastic allies, and just generally had a terrible overarching plot.

It's nowhere near as bad as DA2 mind, but they'd have actually had to be trying to mess up that bad with ME2

I haven't read those articles, but I don't think the main issue most people have is this evolution of Cerberus into Umbrella Future Corp (Because that was pretty obvious from the missions involving them in ME1 - Hades Dogs etc), but is in fact that a fair portion of shepards who would never have worked for them (Remember Admiral Kahoku and the schemes Shepard foiled) were forced to for the sake of a bad plot. My Paragon and Paragade shepards would've thanked Cerberus, and then called the nearest Alliance Cruiser to arrest them.

AP's plot on the other hand is a bit like ME1s - a not stellar but decent (as in I found it hard to pick up major flaws or things I didn't like in it) spy thriller, with an excellent management of people the player had met and things they had done, and an active attempt to actually make your choices mean something beyond ME2s "Gain Loyalty, Upgrade Normandy, Success!". And I will love it all the more for TRYING.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 07:42:03 pm by Ravenholme »
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<The_E>   Errr
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Offline Luis Dias

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That is, IMO, the silliest argument I've ever seen.

OF course, we are dealing here with the problematics of having a supposed RPG where people are "free" to do what they "choose" and the limitations of a very specific story the producers want to tell. To make possible the arresting of Cerebrus would mean to basically create two completely separate games, and there's no way that would be possible at all.

So the argument falls apart, in the sense that in no way you would get that choice. If you try to play the game as a "free universe" then of course you will be disappointed, since that's in no way ME2. So your argument's best pathway would be to say that since we don't really get to have that decision you speak of, then the whole plot should be scrapped.

Well I disagree. I think that a plot where you continued to be an Alliance commander would be dull. To place the player inside a suspicious organization is clever writing, and the continuous doubts Shepard is forced to encounter (Jack's past / OverLord / ship fight with the quarians in the past / etc ) is cleverly countered with "excuses", but there's just too much out there for it to be coincidental. Shepard knows Cerebrus is bad weed, but at the same time, his only alternative is an Alliance that denies the existence of the reapers themselves.

This is the main driver of Shepard's choice to remain with Cerebrus until the defeat of the collectors. He is given resources, data, intelligence, everything he could ever want to fight against this new threat, something that the Alliance would *never* give him again (since the Geth threat was pretty much solved at this point, and the "reapers claim" was "dismissed"....).

After the job is done he can't care less of Illusive Man's opinion. He's going against the Reapers, with or without him.

I see no plot hole in here, and I never really got that feeling of "HUH WTF Why am I with CEREBRUS??", since that was clearly the superior choice.



The part about the reapers being turned into something laughable has a point. Harbinger simply isn't as charismatic as Sovereign. Sovereign couldn't care less about Shepard, a lesser mind incapable of understanding. Harbinger, however, is simply put obsessed with Shepard. This is, by far, the biggest flaw in ME2, IMO. A god won't be obsessed with a mortal ant. The second biggest flaw is the fact that no one can take the Terminator seriously. I couldn't. The first sketches about this Human Reaper Larvae were much more interesting (and disturbing), but they reminded Half Life too much, and perhaps because of that was scratched. The alternative was worse, though. Apart from these two obvious flaws, I see no others, and these were, in the "overarching plot", details.

 

Offline Ravenholme

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Yeah, but it could have been any rogue organisation or group, using Cerberus was a bad choice because of the history that Shepard had with them. They killed an Alliance Admiral that he worked with, as a Commander in the same military he should not have been able to let that slide. They should have stayed a villain.
Full Auto - I've got a bullet here with your name on it, and I'm going to keep firing until I find out which one it is.

<The_E>   Several sex-based solutions come to mind
<The_E>   Errr
<The_E>   *sexp

  

Offline NGTM-1R

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Yeah, but it could have been any rogue organisation or group, using Cerberus was a bad choice because of the history that Shepard had with them. They killed an Alliance Admiral that he worked with, as a Commander in the same military he should not have been able to let that slide. They should have stayed a villain.

He doesn't let it slide, he's merely pragmatic about where he gets his supporting fire from. Cerberus gave him the means to do his job as a Spectre, and as one he can use whatever resources he can lay hands on. You don't have to do anything for Cerberus in the game, at a several points you can actually deal them blows (Overlord, uploading sensative data to the Alliance rather than them).

You have an issue with the characterization in an RPG, fine, but A: it's an RPG, characterization is already open to interpretation and B: you can play Shepard the way you think he should be.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Offline Luis Dias

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But they are *still* a villain. Read more about Cerebrus out there, and you'll see their ghastly record. And we are about to see Cerebrus going rogue in ME3 as well.

They never stopped being evil. What I think is blocking you to accept this plot is the assumption that Shepard would only accept working with Cerebrus if they weren't "that bad". I think this assumption is wrong. I think two things happen in here. First, Shepard is somewhat brainwashed by Lawson that Cerebrus "ain't that bad", that they are trying the best they can to bring humanity to the forefront of galaxy affairs. Second, Shepard realises he has no other viable choice if he is bound to fight the reapers.

Still, the plot doens't fall apart. He gets repeatedly villified for belonging to Cerebrus by old friends, and in the end he gives (practically in all ending versions) the finger to TIM. More importantly even is the fact that Lawson herself ends up disagreeing violently with TIM, and resigns from Cerebrus, as if waking up to the unending power grabbing nature of TIM.

Staying with Cerebrus paints the campaign with a noire color, fit to the theme at hand: the galaxy in denial of its own demise, and the hero having to ally himself with bastards to get some work done. It paints a world where morality isn't as clear as you'd want it to be, where you are forced to choose lesser evils. Contrast it with the "Star Trekkian" moral smugness that the alternative would be.

 

Offline mxlm

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To say that AP = ME2 immediately disqualifies you from any further gaming analysis.

I won't even rate mxlm's words for the risk of collapsing the universe.
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Quote
Well, I would rate it about as high, if it weren't for the simple issue of Obsidian being really, atrociously bad at QA testing.

This turns out to not be true; Dungeon Siege III is rock solid, which bodes well for future releases. Though, yes, AP was glitchy.
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Dungeon Siege's glitches were bound up in the fact they're letting Uwe Boll make another movie on it.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline gevatter Lars

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I also bought Alpha Protocol via steam and from the few missions I have played I have to say that I like it very much so far. Only problem I have are the buggy controles.
For example the hacking where you have to find the right numbers. Why is one part done with the mouse while the other has to be done via the keyboard? Drag&drop would work so much better IMO.

Anyway...its still a good game as far as I have played it...just about 3-4 mission. I heard in a review that the pistol is a bad choise of weapon, yet I find it very handy in combination with stealth/sneaking around.
Hope that I will find some time to play more of this game.
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Offline The E

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Personally, I went for Pistol/Assault Rifle combo. The pistol isn't very good at the beginning, but becomes really useful once leveled. I'd rate it as essential for a stealth playthrough, especially with a silencer.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Pistol is wonderful in AP, and yes you absolutely need it if you're a stealth player. Or if want to minimize casualties.  Just have to remember to line up your crits in cover. 

Not bad versus bosses either - the multishot skill can put like 6 rounds into a boss by endgame in 1 use, all crits.

Used pistol alone on my first two playthroughs, and had no trouble with it at all.

 

Offline mxlm

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The pistol is possibly the most overpowered skill tree in the game, so whoeve said it was terrible is, um, stupid.
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Flaser

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The pistol is possibly the most overpowered skill tree in the game, so whoeve said it was terrible is, um, stupid.

No, just a reviewer with limited time and for once unlined pockets, so he didn't have to rave about a game he didn't play all that long.
"I was going to become a speed dealer. If one stupid fairytale turns out to be total nonsense, what does the young man do? If you answered, “Wake up and face reality,” you don’t remember what it was like being a young man. You just go to the next entry in the catalogue of lies you can use to destroy your life." - John Dolan

 

Offline mxlm

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Isn't that what I said?
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Flaser

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Isn't that what I said?
Nope. You stated that they lack the mental capacity to properly evaluate the game, while I stated that they simply made an unethical choice.
"I was going to become a speed dealer. If one stupid fairytale turns out to be total nonsense, what does the young man do? If you answered, “Wake up and face reality,” you don’t remember what it was like being a young man. You just go to the next entry in the catalogue of lies you can use to destroy your life." - John Dolan

 

Offline Mr. Vega

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ME2's strengths are its gameplay, its sometimes interesting setting, its voice acting (male Shepard excepted), and its likable characters(Garrus, Tali, Mordin). The main plotline? Not so much.

And I would have jumped on AP in a heartbeat as it's an Avellone written game(PS:Torment, KOTOR 2, Mask of the Betrayer), but the reviewers I trust screamed bloody murder about the bugs in the game. Are there patches?

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« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 05:57:56 pm by Mr. Vega »
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Offline Knight Templar

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I brought Alpha Protocol when it was like $10 on steam, and I regret every minute of it. Not only are conversation timers on an RPG irritating, but the game was ****ing unplayable. And I don't know if it was how I spec'd my guy, but I don't remember combat being particularly challenging or interesting in any way. The mini games were damn awful as well.

The only thing wrong about ME2 was Terminator Reaper.
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