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Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol is an action role-playing stealth game developed by Obsidian Entertainment, their first title for an original IP, and published by Sega. The game revolves around the adventures of field agent Michael Thorton. The game was originally set to be released on October 27, 2009, but the release was pushed back to May 27 in Australia, May 28 in Europe and June 1, 2010 in North America.

Agent Michael Thorton is the newest member of "Alpha Protocol", a clandestine service established to perform covert operations that cannot be traced back to the U.S. government. His initial mission is to assassinate the leader of Al-Samad, Shaheed, after an attack on a passenger aircraft in the Middle East. After capturing Shaheed—whom Thorton can either execute or release—the terrorist leader claims that Halbech, a defense contractor, sold him the missiles and gave him all of the necessary information to carry out the attack. After relaying the information, Thorton's position is attacked by a missile strike, and Thorton is presumed dead. Being contacted by a member of AP, Thorton is told that the group has been infiltrated by members of Halbech who want Thorton dead, to cover up the fact that Halbech provided the missiles to Al-Samad.

Three key locations are revealed. The locations can be played in any order and events that take place may influence interactions that occur other locations.

In Rome, Mike meets Madison Saint James and, with her help, discovers the VCI (Veteran Combat Initiative), a private security firm run by Halbech's former Chief of Security Conrad Marburg who is planning to blow up a museum featuring a Crusades exhibit to provide incentive for harsher anti-terrorism legislation in the EU. Infiltrating the museum, Madison is kidnapped by Marburg, and Mike is forced to choose between saving Madison or preventing the destruction of the museum and 24 casualties.

In Moscow, Agent Thorton tracks the shipments of large quantities of weapons, encountering Sergei Surkov, a Russian Mafia boss, who fingers his former protegé, Konstantin Brayko, as Halbech's contact in Russia. During this, Michael also encounters SIE, a German, VCI-affiliated, psychotic mercenary with a fondness for her M60 machine gun, and Sis, a mute in service to Albatross, the leader of G22, paramilitary group with an agenda that is not fully revealed. Michael is tasked with infiltrating the American embassy to reach Surkov, which G22 performs with or without Thorton's help. After discussing the arms deal with Surkov, Michael attacks Brayko's estate, and Brayko himself, who attempts to kill Michael in a cocaine-fueled rage. If Thorton spares Brayko, or speaks to him before killing him, he learns that Surkov was formerly partnered with Halbech. After pursuing Surkov, Thorton has the choice to either partner up with, arrest or execute Surkov.

In Taipei, Michael uncovers a plot by Omen Deng of the Chinese Secret Police, to assassinate Ronald Sung, president of Taiwan, and spark massive riots in a bid to provoke a conflict between China and the U.S. Garnering assistance from the White Oak Mountain Triad leader Hong Shi and Agent Steven Heck, a psychotic man claiming to work for the CIA, Michael determines the timetable for either the murder, or the instigators of the riots. Assaulting the site where Sung is giving his speech, Thorton encounters Deng, who turns out to be a double agent in service to Taiwan, who believed that Thorton was the assassin. Sung is shot by an unseen gunman while giving his speech, and tensions between China and Taiwan rise regardless of whether or not he survives.

Along the way, Thorton encounters Scarlet Lake, a photojournalist and freelance assassin, though this is not revealed until the end of the game, working for Halbech. After completing the 3 operations, Michael surrenders to Alpha Protocol and is brought to Henry Leland, President of Halbech and temporary commander of AP. Leland and Michael discuss his activities, and Leland attempts to recruit Thorton. If Thorton refuses, Thorton escapes the AP facility, and with the aid of his prior contacts, if any, fights or sneaks through the AP facility. After confronting Leland himself, Michael may opt to execute or capture him, but Leland is killed if caught.

If Thorton agrees to work with Leland, he also escapes the AP facility, eventually confronting his former superior Yancy Westridge. Shortly after executing or sparing Yancy Westridge, Thorton has the option to partner with Leland or betray him.

Escaping into a bay on a boat marked with an Omega symbol, Thorton thinks on his next move, and whether or not life will continue to be this exciting.

Combat
Alpha Protocol is played from a third-person perspective, allowing the player to see Thorton and his surroundings at all times. As Thorton is a trained CIA operative, the tools at the player's disposal include numerous firearms, hand to hand combat using Kenpo, and spy gadgets.

In addition to the action elements, players also earn Advancement Points, which can be placed into any of the ten different skills in the game. These skills will increase Thorton's ability to use certain weapons and grant different abilities to him. These abilities are free to use, but require a "cooldown" period before they can be used again. One ability, called Chain Shot, has been mentioned in previews and allows Thorton to scan a group of enemies in slow-motion before popping out of cover and shooting each of them more rapidly than he would be capable of normally.


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