Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Disclosure Alert: Alpha Protocol: Episode 6: Ha Ha, Finally, Some VIOLENCE!

In this episode we bond with Mina over romantic dinners, a sense of honor, and killing waves and waves of terrorists.

As the game goes on, Thorton will get various trophies from characters in the form of items scattered about the safehouses. When you approach one and examine it, Mike will make a quip regarding the gift or its giver. Some of these trophies and quips change depending on your reputation with the person that is represented by them. It's a nice way to remind the player of notable events that have happened in their career while fleshing out the characters of the game. In particular, the certificates only come up if you score 100 or more on the orientations in the Greybox (1 for each of the 3).

Mina serves as the game's primary moral compass. If you kill an innocent person during a mission, she is the only person that will lower their opinion of you. If you're role-playing, this means that you have a way of knowing when you're doing collateral damage. However, mix/maxers may wish to consider pissing her off to get the -5/10% cooldown bonus as her handler perk. Either way, since Mina the character you'll be dealing with most, getting her reputation up or down is fairly trivial. I should apologize for talking about people we'll meet in the future, if only vaguely, but this game is very hard to talk about without referencing past and future events because of how involved everything tends to be with everything else.

Several times during this episode, I demand that Aldowyn cut his microphone. During the recording session, Aldowyn's roommates were particularly loud and irritating. Because Aldowyn doesn't have a good headset yet, we hear a lot of what goes on in his room during recording sessions. This can reach the point where literally none of us can hear him or even ourselves over that background noise on his mic. We're still trying to find an adequate workaround, though Skype's push-to-talk and Aldowyn's masterful(?) editing should help to mitigate the problem.

I am curious as to why Obsidian chose to make the Sniper Rifle a static object in the world as opposed to a gun that you can carry with you like an Assault Rifle or a Pistol. I understand that it is a very powerful piece of equipment, but really players should be able to carry it with them. The easiest way I could see to remedy the situation would be to very tightly control the Sniper Rifle's ammo supply. If anyone here has any thoughts about the decision making behind the Sniper Rifle, feel free to leave them here.

I will never tire of telling this story, but playing on Recruit on Hard with Assault Rifles really gave me a negative opinion of the game when I first played. Like I said in the recording, I almost refused to touch the game ever again after that. Fortunately I changed my mind and DID playthrough again... and again... and again. This just goes to show how you need to know what difficulty is right for you. I misjudged the game and paid for it. If not for the fact that I was already at the Moscow boss before I realized my mistake, I would've restarted the whole game. This is why I recommend playing on Easy and with Stealth/Pistols. The gameplay is just not worth doing otherwise. Your experience will suffer for it.


SougoXIII said...

Obsidian should make those trophies items easier to spot, I sometimes runaround the base mashing X and accidentally come across one that I never knew existed.

I'm currently doing a Recruit/hard playthrough - with stealth and pistol of course - and is breezing through the game. It shows how broken the combo really is.

Jake Albano said...

I agree about the sniper rifle. There are multiple points in various missions where the range would be nice; the airfield graveyard comes to mind. I feel like it would be a reasonable trade off to pay for the rifle to be delivered, and when you collect it you can carry it until the end of the mission. Ammo would be fairly limited, of course. It could be a special piece of "intel" that shows up for each mission.

Interesting bit of trivia about this mission: Mina will always complain about you being spotted even if you make all of your takedowns without being detected. If you ghost the mission without engaging a single enemy, she congratulates you in her debriefing. It's a nice touch.

newdarkcloud said...

I'm still mad that Assault Rifles made my first playthrough of awful.

anaphysik said...

There's a similar thing that happens in the CIA post in Rome. In fact, there are 3 different perks for that mission (one for killing (any of) them, one for KOing all of them, and one for avoiding all of them). Being completely undetected plays a role in making Marburg like you (as does not raising suspicion at the NSA post & not shooting people at al-Bara's).

It does make sense, of course. KOing people merely removes them temporarily from the fight. It's not like they won't remember an [expletive] American ninja chopping them in the throat :/

EDIT: cloud, your site says "Please prove you're not a robot." Firstly, I take offense to this. Secondly, it should actually say "Please prove you have magic decrypto eyes, you freak"

newdarkcloud said...

Yeah. I can't wait until me get to Rome. Moscow as well to a lesser extent. (Actually, all 3 hubs have very fascinating things to talk about. ^_^)

That's blogger doing that crap, not me. I made the commenting system as public as I could allow it on the site.

anaphysik said...

I'll also note that that was supposed to be a reply to Jake. blogger is majorly BUTTS.

Jake Albano said...

Yeah, I really liked the CIA perk. I'm not generally motivated by achievements, but it's nice for the game to recognize when you've pulled off a difficult feat.

newdarkcloud said...

It's nice that you get reward just for making the choice and the exact choice you make just gives you a different perk.

Since the reward appears sporadic, it encourages players to go through the game again and again to see what different rewards they could get.