Thursday, July 11, 2013

Disclosure Alert: Alpha Protocol: Episode 26: Audionarrative Dissonance

In this episode, we continue our genocidal march of Rome. Fitting the legacy of our guest, we bring carnage to all before us with extreme prejudice.

For the record, I take pride in my Lara Croft/Nathan Drake/Mass Effect/Indiana Jones fan-fiction. I worked for literally SECONDS to get you such high quality writing and I hope you're all happy. That's 5 seconds of my life I will never get back. Of course, Thorton was using that time to stealth level up, so maybe it was worth it.

Josh makes a good point. For a game that's supposedly set in the real world, the mechanics do very much make this feel like a video games instead of a spy thriller. To its credit, the "plastic-y" visuals help make those mechanics feel like they belong, so isn't too egregious. Despite that, it can be pretty strange to have Thorton use "Hide in Shadows" like a character in Planescape: Torment or Baldur's Gate when the stealth mechanics that said skill was simulating are already in place. I've spoken before about such phenomena in the past, but Alpha Protocol in particular really makes one question the necessity of old school RPG mechanics in modern day game design.

Trying to tell Aldowyn how to go ANYWHERE is insufferably annoying. It takes him forever to follow directions and the 5 second delay does NOT help. I hope you guys enjoy this glimpse of our suffering, because this was so annoying. He's a terrible hacker, which is worsened by the fact that the hacks are getting more difficult (another case of redundant mechanics in an RPG). At least he can lockpick well.

I know that building security is never well-designed in a video game (as Josh noted) because, by their very nature, the security systems have to be systems that the average player can be expected to bypass in some way. However, this level's defenses strike me as particularly bad. I don't know why that is, or why I'm bothered by it, but I am. Perhaps some of you guys have thoughts on the matter.

I'm not worried too much by it, though. After all, we went to get ice cream right afterward. >:)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just love the idea of Mike assaulting the secret outpost wearing nothing but a head wrap and civilian clothes and armed with the most ostentatious yet useless weapon he has available to him. It's appropriately Cuftbertian. It would only have been better if he had bludgeoned all of the agents to death with one of their own table lamps.