Yet another big choice to make in this episode, and it’s a pretty decent one. Usually it seems like games will give you a choice that boils down to “save this innocent person you’ve never heard of, or retrieve this important data” or something like that. Alpha Protocol gives you a much more involved choice: save a character you have a personal attachment to, or save a whole bunch of innocents. Admittedly, it’s impact will vary based on whether you liked Madison or not, and even if she’s your favorite character in the game she still lacks the characterization necessary to make you care as much as sacrificing a friend in something like Mass Effect, but it’s still trying to craft a personal vs. practical choice and I respect that.
I always thought Marburg’s taunt at the decision point in this episode was shrouded in just enough ambiguity to be amusing; when he says that he’s with the bombs on the other side of the museum, and that you only have so much time to complete the tasks laid out before you, it always makes me think that he’s threatening to blow himself up. Like, I could just go save Madison, hit a fire alarm to get everybody out of the building and Marburg would just blow up the bombs that he’s standing right on top of. Problem solved, and the only thing lost is a thorough historical collection of one of the most important events in Middle Eastern history.
Just another day in the life of superspy Mike Thorton: culture destroyer.