Nerdwatch Episode 2.36: The Thorton Gambit

Well, that wraps up Alpha Protocol. We’ve slaughtered (or co-opted) our enemies, foiled the bad guys’ plan, and gone on to make a super-organization of badasses with us at the head. I’d call that a successful day for Mike Thorton.

Seriously though, this is just one of many endings that you can attain based on the decisions you’ve made previously. For example, we forced Shaheed to do his best aircraft impression earlier in this season (apparently he decided to emulate the Hindenburg) so we didn’t have the chance to meet up with him in custody here in Alpha Protocol. We also didn’t attain the necessary dossier info on Scarlett, which reveals that she was actually the Ronald Sung assassin (or attempted assassin, as the case may be based on our choices), which actually kinda justifies our total jerkass interactions with her. Our decision to “work with” Halbech resulted in Westridge being the end boss instead of Leland (though obviously he got his too). We had Parker and Marburg kill each other, we allowed Mina to live, and we ultimately gave the middle finger to the standard plot structure of the whole game and put ourselves into power instead of just being the good guy and saving the day.

This is where the game shines, and it’s what elevates it above what it could have been otherwise.

Does it completely redeem the game’s other major flaws? Of course not. I mean, did you see how stupidly broken pistols were? There’s really not much that can make up for awful gameplay issues and those problems will always stand out as being particularly bad even in an era of mass mediocrity. But the fact that the player can influence so much when it comes to the overall narrative is what helps soften those blows. It’s no substitute for having good gameplay and a good narrative, of course, but we’ll take what we can get. Maybe one day we’ll have that espionage game that delivers on all fronts. But in the meantime, thanks for watching our Let’s Play of Alpha Protocol, and we hope you’ll stick with us as we continue to make more in the future.

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