Special note: This is my first blog post on Destructoid. So hello to everyone who hasn't read my greeting in
the Meet & Greet section of the forum.
When considering my the topic of my first blog post on Destructoid, I felt it was necessary to convey an
important fact about myself. One of the first things to you should know about me as a gamer is that I am a
total whore for information on unreleased games. My biggest vice as a gamer is that I tend to spoil things for
myself by reading too many pre-release sneak peaks and hands-on impressions of new games. While some
of my most anticipated releases of 2009 have now been pushed back into the 2010 fiscal year, there are still
three games which have got me checking constantly for updates. Specifically, I'm talking about Dragon Age:
Origins, Brutal Legend, and Alpha Protocol.
As you can probably tell from the header of my blog, I am completely sold on Dragon Age: Origins. I am an
unabashed Bioware fanboy, foaming at the mouth to get my greedy hands on the Collector's Edition of this
game. The second game on my list, Brutal Legend, also looks like a sure thing to me. Tim Schafer is not
infallible. Although it is a classic, Psychonauts was by no means a perfect game. Still, I have a feeling that
Brutal Legend will deliver one of the better gaming experiences of this year. Which leads me then to the other
game I'm looking forward to: Alpha Protocol.
Alpha Protocol promises to be the first "modern-day spy rpg," which is a pretty novel idea considering most
RPGs are set either in some far future or pseudo Medieval past. Considering the developer Obsidian's
previous experience with RPGs such as the acclaimed Planescape: Torment, the Fallout series, and
Neverwinter Nights 2, I believe that Alpha Protocol could be a very unique, very satisfying experience. Sure,
the gameplay is highly reminiscent of Mass Effect, but I loved Mass Effect's blend of rpg elements with 3rd
person action and interactive dialog.
The only thing that worries me though, is that it all seems a little bland: doesn't it?
After playing through Mass Effect twice, the thing which blows my mind about it to this day is how great the
characters are. Even Ashley Williams, who I never much cared for, still felt like a fully realized character. In
my mind Wrex is easily one of the most iconic videogame characters of this generation. What troubles me
about Alpha Protocol is that I really want to like it. From what I've seen of it though (and I've seen every video
Obsidian has released so far), none of the characters in this game seem all that intriguing. Isn't that what
spies are all about? Intrigue? The characters revealed so far in the game's trailers all seem to be fairly
generic. Generic handlers. Middle Eastern terrorists. The worst by far is the games sexy Russian arms
"Hey gamer, this game has a Russian arms dealer who is also a babe and totally wants to have sex with you
if you treat her roughly!"
"Thanks Obsidian but I have a girlfriend and we do our own kind of role-playing, what other characters have
you got for me in this game?"
Alpha Protocol seems like exactly the kind of game I love, and I am genuinely interested in playing it, but the
bland character models and the enemy types are really turning me off from a potential launch date purchase.
I don't need crazy character models and bosses a la Metal Gear Solid to entertain me, nor do I require
fantastic elements in all of my RPGs, but I'm afraid Alpha Protocol's emphasis on realism may seriously
detract from it's fun factor if all it results in is an unappealing game world full of generic characters and
locations. I don't want to play The Sims: Recon.
What do you think? Are you excited for Alpha Protocol? If you're on the fence like me, would a developer
diary focussing on enemy types and other characters in the game make you more interested in this game?