Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Disclosure Alert: Alpha Protocol: Episode 3: Sweeping Up the Park-er

In this episode of Disclosure Alert, we continue on to the game's last orientation: The Stealth Orientation.

One interesting fact worth noting is that the Stealth orientation is almost the complete opposite of the Gadget one. While the scored section of Gadget training can be completed without actually using any of the gadgets (it only asks that you take out the guards, meaning Martial Arts can be used to take them out), Stealth requires a little bit of hacking and lockpicking along with the assumed skill in sneaking to get a high score.

The proctor of this exam, Alan Parker, is also an infinitely more interesting and important character than Darcy. While Darcy's roles in the game could be easily done by any other character in the Greybox, Parker is vital to the way the story plays out and the backstory of quite a few characters in the game. As he so confidently points out, his role in Alpha Protocol is one of the most vital. He specializes in analyzing and tracking world events and deciding the most appropriate action with which to deal with them. Also, when Alpha Protocol gets discovered, he's the one who shuts the whole thing down and starts it up again. While Westridge is officially the leader of the organization, it can be said the Parker is the guy who is truly in charge.

His importance is even extended into his side quest. Unlike the other two side quests, you get a bit more than money or reputation from his quest (in fact, you can lose reputation with Parker, as we did, for screwing it up). You get intel and information which can be quite interesting and useful for the upcoming missions in Saudi Arabia.

Lastly, we talked a bit about Tranquilizer rounds. This is another reason why I strongly recommend Pistols. They are the only weapon-type that gives players a non-lethal option to deal with foes, although it is also possible to use Martial Arts for that. It is astounding how imbalanced the weapon skills are in this game. While the other weapons are indeed decent, the Pistols offer much more in terms of combat ability and versatility, which is ultimately what you want. Also, as it turns out, Aldowyn's lack of sneaking skill is not entirely his fault. Since we are playing Veteran, we were given combat armor when opening the locker. That armor has low noise reduction, so guards could hear us coming from a mile away. Recruits gave civilian clothes with high noise reduction, so they are actually better at sneaking in this segment than Veterans. While you can fix this by not opening the locker and/or using Silent Running, it was pretty dumb of Obsidian to make that appearance anything put cosmetic. Seriously, while I love those guys, they can be particularly daft at times.

As my final remark (I know I already said lastly, but whatever): Since Aldowyn has been having a particularly difficult week with 3 tests and 1 project and I have been having internet troubles of late (I hear the storms been causing similar problems all over New England), we haven't actually recorded this week's episodes and it will cause a delay in our posts. Since this show just started and has already gained so many viewers, it is distressing that we are having these kinds of problems so soon. We hope you understand and appreciate your patience. :)


Aldowyn said...

Well, now FOUR tests and a project... *sigh*

I see your point for sure. Pistols aren't OP just because they're highly accurate and damaging (assault rifles hit faster and have longer range), but because of how versatile they are and how well they combine with stealth (low fire rate and low range don't matter when you can get close and only need one shot)

Also chain shot. If it wasn't for chain shot and how it seems required for the bosses (I'm going to TEST that theory, btw), I'd say the guns were somewhat reasonably balanced.

newdarkcloud said...

As someone who used Assault Rifles in their first playthrouh, Chain Shot isn't need, but it's DAMN helpful. We'll discuss this later.

Aldowyn said...

As for my sneaking ability, I TOLD YOU IT WASN'T MY FAULT!

I don't see why they didn't A: Give you a choice of armor to wear as a veteran or B: Default it to civvies. Wearing the armor but having civvie stats would be just as bad.