Alpha Protocol – hands-on

Your mission is to be the world's most badass spy and sleep your way to victory. Pack a few condoms

The classes mirror those you’d find in a fantasy RPG – the Field class is like a thief, the Soldier is a warrior type and the Tech Specialist is akin to a mage. The best class is the Freelancer – a blank canvas where you’re given 31 Exp Points to play with, so you are able to create the kind of character you want.

Whatever your choices while assigning XP, using Perks and Skills and making dialogue choices, the game will react to them. We found this out in one of the first missions proper. A trip to a Moscow train station began with an ambush by a Russian agent called Sie. The familiar dialogue screen opened up and we soon discovered she likes her men to be aggressive, so picking speech paths that were antagonistic got us on her good side and she agreed to help with the mission. If we’d chosen different answers to her questions she would have attacked, meaning we’d need to take on the Russians on top of the terrorists we’d come to fight.

These decisions affect the whole game. Our new alliance with Sie will affect how other characters view us, as well as who appears in future missions and what will be facing us. For example, if we’d chosen to go to Taipei before Russia, then the contacts made there could have provided backup against Sie. Everything you do affects how missions are carried out and this then influences what happens at the end of the game.

The idea of ‘reactivity’ is what will push Alpha Protocol forward. You can’t replay missions or go back and talk to characters – once you’ve made your choices the game adjusts and pushes on. And yes, you can sauce-up female spies and get your Bond-on, so best make the right moves the first time around.

Aug 28, 2009

We recommend