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Uncover the conspiracy
Playing out like a mix of action/shooters and RPGs like Mass Effect and Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol is an interesting but ultimately very flawed piece of game design. It certainly scores a few points for its setting and open-ended approach to things, but it's also let down by a number of issues which prevent it from living up to its full potential. Taking place in the modern world, you play the role of a shadowy black ops figure who finds himself tasked with assassinating the leader of a major terrorist organization, but of course this is just the start of things and it's not long before you're caught up in a global conspiracy. The game itself blends shooter mechanics with RPG elements, such as a class system, skills, and other customization, with the main gameplay basically involving going on various missions which advance the storyline. Apart from the action, you also have conversation-based sections where you must make various moral decisions which affect the outcome of the plot, with characters reacting differently to you depending on your actions. In concept, this is pretty sound stuff and should offer a nice real-world alternative to the usual sci-fi and fantasy offerings. However, there are simply too many problems to make it a must play. The story is fairly hackneyed and simplistic, while there are also some pretty major technical issues which mean the game plays rather roughly. There are also some questionable design choices which don't help things so at the end of the day, you're left with a nice idea for a game but which just doesn't cut it.