Genre | RPG, Third Person Shooter, Action, and Interactive Fiction
Developer | Obsidian Entertainment
Platforms | PC, PlayStation 3, XBOX 360
Website | None
Alpha Protocol is a third person RPG in which the player controls Mike Thorton, a secret agent recruited into the eponymous Alpha Protocol, an intelligence agency. Mike is tasked with assassinating a terrorist responsible for an attack on an aircraft. After reaching the end of that mission, the player is then given a series of missions that they can go on, some of which are optional and all of which involve conversations and choices. Between missions, the player can answer emails, purchase weapons, and grow a beard. With the correct skills, Mike can slow down time and fire multiple pistol shots, sense enemies through walls, and punch harder.
Alpha Protocol includes forty one missions, sixty weapons divided into four categories (pistol, submachine gun, shotgun, assault rifle), three kinds of ammunition for each type of weapon, one hundred thirty three weapon upgrades, ten kinds of gadgets, some of which can be upgraded multiple times, nine kinds of armor, twenty five armor upgrades, seven kinds of clothing, twelve kinds of abilities, nine skill trees with fifteen ranks each, twenty eight perks, and seven hats.
When the player enters into a conversation in Alpha Protocol, they are presented with three choices corresponding to three stances: “Suave,” “Aggressive,” and “Professional.” Sometimes there is a fourth choice, corresponding to an action or a special line of dialog. The player has a limited amount of time to pick a conversation response. Picking responses influences Mike’s reputation. Acquiring positive or negative reputations with certain characters grants bonuses. Conversation choices also impact the plot, the perks the player receives, and whether Mike inflicts injury upon the heads of certain conversation partners.
The graphics in Alpha Protocol are in a realistic style, with the exception of instances where the player uses a stealth skill that turns Mike invisible and an instance where a character wears clothes appropriate to the 1980s despite the game being set in the 2000s. The graphics depict various locations around the world, like Moscow, Taipei, Rome, and the Saudi Arabia. The sound in Alpha Protocol consists of gunfire if the player chooses to engage in firearm combat, muffled noises if the player chooses to knock out or kill enemies with stealth, and conversations. The music in Alpha Protocol is sometimes orchestral in style and other times electronic in style. Sometimes it is a mix of the two. There is also a hit song from the 1980s in the game.
A menu in Alpha Protocol lists how many orphans the player has created through their actions. Scoring highly in the training missions unlocks new missions. The player is able to approach missions and meet characters in any order. This allows the plot of the game to vary depending on the choices the player has made in earlier missions and conversations. Other things like what armor the player wears or what dossiers the player has found influence the structure of the plot and the ending of the game.