Saturday, April 20, 2013

Disclosure Alert: Alpha Protocol: Episode 19: A Mute Point

In this episode, we talk to an old man with a fetish for teenage girls. This isn't creepy AT ALL!

I stand by my statements regarding Sis and her backstory. I dislike how there is no follow or resolution to it at all. Things like this make the game feel like it was rushed out the door, with many facets left incomplete and/or unpolished. Obsidian always says that the reasons their games feel like this is due to some sort of constraint from the publisher, usually with regards to time. Since other developers do not have this problem, I often wonder who's truly at fault. Perhaps Obsidian is overambitious when it comes to these kind of things or perhaps they do just have very bad luck and often get screwed over by publishers. I suppose we'll find out definitively one way or the other once Project Eternity gets released, but until then it's interesting to speculate.
On the flip side, my disappointment may very well stem from the promise such a plot point had. I loved how they used the legend of Saint George and the Dragon as a means for Sis to communicate her story and position in the world was a very nice touch. We know enough to suss out the story of these two characters in broad terms, but we can't do any more than that. It's frustrating!

Albatross made an interesting comment when Thorton said that it seemed like everyone knows about Alpha Protocol. He said that it only looks that way because Thorton's been interacting within a small circle since he's thus far been focused on Halbech. When you think about it, Thorton really only interacts with about 25 or so characters throughout the course of the entire game. Out of those people, the majority are aware of the Alpha Protocol program. It also makes sense that the intelligence community would be a very small group. This line reminds players that this game is still set in the "real world" and that we're only dealing with a very small cast of characters. It's still a grand, globe-trotting spy thriller, but a focused one.

And now we meet SIE. SIE is a walking, talking, stereotype. The funny thing about her is that if you do complete Rome first, the main boss of that hub and SIE cannot stand each other, so you can get a +1 or +2 Reputation with SIE just from stopping his plan and/or killing him. With that, it's trivial to get SIE all the way to "Trusted" in just this one mission. As for her character, I feel indifferent towards. She's one of the games more "out there" characters, and while she can be entertaining, she's no where near as entertaining as Stephen Heck is. And her VCI are completely uninteresting, stereotypical dumb muscle. There's nothing special to make note of until we get into Rome. Given our current schedule, that should be sometime before Half-Life 3 comes out.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Obsidian actually take responsibility for KotoR 2, they said they shouldn't have wasted so much time making the mini-games playable this time round.

I think it's pretty normal not to get everything done in time. The last third of Bioshock didn't feel particularly finished. FFXIII-2 actually had a great big 'this isn't finished by the DLC sign' in-game. Saints Row 3 apparently had lots of story details that got scrapped/rushed. KotoR 1 left out a planet and apparently removed Juhani and then put her back in but forgot to include large chunks of dialogue that she was meant to have.

Obsidians mistakes feel rougher, maybe they're less good at removing content? Or maybe it's a consequence of being a smallish independent studio in a day when almost everyone is owned by some publisher. Sis didn't seem the egregious to me, there was a missed opportunity but it didn't create any plot holes or anythig