Feeling you are shaping the world around you
Duck, there's fire ahead!
Despite this, the overriding feeling is that you are shaping the world around you. Intel can be bought and sold to play off one faction against another, and allegiances with rogue agencies and terrorists can reward you with additional manpower in certain missions.
Not that you'll need it. Michael Thornton is a bullet-sponge extraordinaire. Which is extremely helpful given enemies are too. The combat is so far-fetched as to be reductive, and at odds with the mature themes at the core of Alpha Protocol. In struggling to attain realism the developer's have opted for the outlandish. Rather than cover and flank, enemies often prefer rush and melee. It's straight out of the Douglas Haig military book, and SMG or shotgun in hand, the end result is the same. Almost forgiveable when fighting hordes of shell-suit wearing Triads in Taipei, you'll wince as you witness CIA and Special Ops teams do the same.
Alpha Protocol is an RPG, of course, so there are more options than out-and-out Rambo impersonator. A more stealthy approach is available, but is severely flawed. Before levelling up, the architecture and the number of enemies and lines-of-sight conspire to make stealth practically impossible. And once spotted, enemy alert status never reverts. If you do persist in levelling up the rank, however, you'll suddenly find yourself a walking Klingon Bird of Prey, virtually cloaked from all enemies, regardless of your actions.
Next page: Combat and boss battles
Please, pretty please, try to remember to include the PLATFORM in game reviews. If not for the throwaway criticism about keyboards and mice, there'd be nothing here at all to tell you this game was available on the PC.
Put it in the green highlighted bit, on every review page. The platform. Please. It really is that important.