Alpha Protocol: Shooting and fighting explained

In the coming week we'll be going in deep with Alpha Protocol, Obsidian's new espionage RPG and revealing new and exclusive details. Each day we'll post new info on a particular element of the game: today we're looking at the array of weapons at your disposal and customisable combat system.

Above: Bearded man with shotgun equals buckshot in ass

In Alpha Protocol, your biggest weapon may be choice, but as any serious super spy will tell you, it doesn’t hurt to back up your choices with a locker full of deadly firepower. Fortunately Michael Thorton,  Alpha Protocol’s protagonist, doesn’t just rely on silky smooth seduction skills, gadget mania or stealthy lurking about in the shadows, but can draw on a veritable arsenal of destruction every bit as impressive as any Bourne or Bond.

As an espionage RPG, Alpha Protocol has always been about character development over straight out shooting. So the combat skills and perks you choose to arm Thorton with will also have a direct effect on how dangerous a marksman you become. Of course you can develop a whole set of lethal hand-to-hand skills, but we’re here to talk about big shiny guns and the mechanic Obsidian have chosen to adopt is a spread crosshair system.

Above: The phrase 'dual-wielding' always sounded rude to us. Just us 

This starts wide, but as you become more proficient in your weapons skills, this gradually narrows increasing accuracy. It does seem a touch strange at first to be spraying bullets and not hitting much, but it makes sense in the context of the game, which is meant to show Thorton’s progression from relative novice to master spy.
You'll get to play with a full complement of Pistols, Sub Machine Guns, Assault Rifles and Shotguns with combat specialists most likely choose to develop their SMG and Shotgun skills. SMGs are short- to medium-range weapons and you can dual-wield them to build up massive combos and kill streaks for maximum carnage. For closer encounters the shotgun has to be your weapon of choice, with its ability to knock enemies clean off their feet and score critical hits and takedowns.

Above: The spread cross-hair this offers would suggest you're going to spray like a madman with this gun

There's also a dazzling array of further improvements and customisations you can add as you progress through the game. Basic upgrades like an extended clip give you more ammo to expend, while an improved scope will consequently up your accuracy. Move onto more advanced configurations like Rifle Muzzle Assist, Calibrated Recoil Springs or custom grip and you’ll be shooting with such a steady hand that you’ll be plugging cigarettes out of guard’s mouths from half a kilometre away (or at least it’ll feel like it).

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  • killerrpgfan - May 4, 2010 5:24 a.m.

    I can't wait for Alpha Protocol! This game looks so awesome! I hope it isn't a dud though :/ that would really suck. I have been waiting for this game for a long time. I have been playing Splinter Cell and wishing it was more of an rpg, so i guess i don't have to wish anymore when this comes out.
  • skimm - May 3, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    terrific article i cant wait for this game @ch3burahka- i agree a burn notice game would be the best
  • radicallyrad - May 3, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    I've always wanted to play a game where I can customize my character to look like a terrorist. Oh, how I yearn for a terrorist beard...
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 3, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    A certain Bombcast mentioned how Alpha Protocol is a perfect template for a Burn Notice game. I do hope the PC modding community a) is allowed to fuck with AP, and b) accepts the challenge. God DAMN do I want a Burn Notice game...