Saturday, December 25, 2010

Alpha Protocol ain't no Deus Ex.

I bought Alpha Protocol for 3 reasons:

* it was recommended by some RPS commentors on an article about Deus Ex
* a reviewer likened it to a "spiritual successor" for Deus Ex.
* it was on sale for $19.99

For a $19.99 game, it is alright -- but if you're seriously thinking it's as good (or better) than Deus Ex, you are either sadly mistaken or your eyeballs are so engorged with hatred for the human race that only crushing the spirit of hope in humans can you bear your foul existence for even a moment. Seriously bro, what a dick.

Alpha Protocol is, again, alright. For a $19.99 game. So it's no surprise there isn't going to be an Alpha Protocol 2. The game is buggy, and combined with flawed gameplay mechanics it isn't much more than a bargain-bucket game with OK visuals. You ever trying sneaking through a level, almost making it, then having an enemy appear right in front you? Literally appear. And not only appear, appear facing you. And then when you reload a save, despite being completely undetected at the time of the save, every enemy in the game is already in the alert state and aware of your presence. The difference between barreling through a level guns blazing and a slow, methodical stealth approach? Nothing.

Why is everyone trying to sell shitty games for $59.99 ($49.99 on the PC)? On the plus side, this has opened up the market for indie games that are worth their price, but damn it's obnoxious when every game that comes in a box is trying to max out the price ceiling for whatever platform they're targeting.

Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Deus Ex: wow. again.

I played Deus Ex years ago, when it first came out. Never played the sequel.

Got a chance to play them both again when they were on sale on Steam during the Thanksgiving holiday. You know the one, where everyone runs amok and crush babies underfoot while trying to get $5 off a $1900 television set. Yeah, that one.

Anyway, goddamn. DX, and even DX:IW, had to be the best games I've played in years. I mean that literally -- even with dated graphics and stupid gameplay problems they're the best. How long has it been since I paused, I stopped what I was doing mid-game and actually thought about the consequences of my actions?

At the end of DX:IW, I'm standing in front of the rebuilt statue of liberty, asking myself, "Is this the right choice?" I literally didn't know what I wanted to do. I skulked around, found the other factions in the game and talked to them. Still couldn't decide. Leo (crazy-ass Leo) wanted me to blow them all to hell and let mankind make its own choices, for better or for worse. As much as I agreed with him, I couldn't help but think of the people in the Old Cairo medina who would get crushed in that scenario.

After 10 or 15 minutes of wandering through snowy Liberty Island, I made my choice.

I hope it was the right one.