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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