Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 49
  2. Negative: 3 out of 49
  1. The game makes you feel like a real spy, complete with all the research-based legwork. In those respects, there are few games like it. Whether or not you like Alpha Protocol is probably going to depend on your proclivity for spy lore itself. But if you've ever wanted to be a secret agent, you could do a hell of a lot worse.
  2. Alpha Protocol's a technical turkey but it's also a gripping, innovative and deserving of both success and a sequel.
  3. This is a bold and interesting proposal, although very buggy. But it will surprise many for its freshness and freedom.
  4. 83
    It's the innovations and advancements that most impress here. [Issue#193, p.84]
  5. 83
    So much of the dialogue and story changes depend on your choices that it's absolutely worth revisiting at least once after the credits roll.
  6. For some reason Alpha Protocol grabbed me and kept me engaged. For me, the versatility of the story, the way the flow of the game can be altered and the fact it kept me interested enough to finish it and then play it again far outweighed any issues I had with the controls.
  7. Alpha Protocol succeeds at being on of the first spy-gaming RPG ever. It's not easy to love because of its poor graphics and clumsy control scheme, but as awkward as some elements feel, it's hard to not get engaged with it in just a few hours.
  8. This is a game that you should play through more than once. The decision-system really works and you will see new characters and story twists in your new playthroughs.
  9. Despite these flaws, Alpha Protocol is still a fun and entertaining experience with a dynamic storyline and solid RPG mechanics.
  10. 73
    In other words, for those still interested, Alpha Protocol should be low on the to-play list.
  11. The way the story and relationships change depending on your choices will keep you hooked, and warrants at least two play-throughs to see what might have been. However, just be aware that you'll have to put up with some problems.
  12. Although it's an interesting game as a history, pieces for being too much out of time. Dated graphics, unstable and prey gameplay, small errors in final polish and a lot still to be done.
  13. Although it has several flaws, the rich story and the many different paths the player can take through the game makes Alpha Protocol well worth a look for RPG fans.
  14. Alpha Protocol does have its flaws in almost every corner, with its frustrating mini-games to the way the game handles combat as well as pretty poor AI. However, this game is a fresh take and face on a new franchise which includes an involving storyline paired with a new twist on character interaction making Alpha Protocol a fairly enjoyable game.
  15. At the end of the day, I dearly wanted to like Alpha Protocol, especially after some of the cool trailers and hype over the year. The game definitely needed more refining to smooth out the gameplay and how Thorton interacts with his environment, including some of the graphical issues.
  16. Once we'd been playing for a while and knew what we were doing (and, more importantly, had leveled Thorton up considerably), the action got a lot more fun. We just wish the gameplay itself were more enjoyable. [Aug 2010, p.71]
  17. Alpha Protocol suffers from a lack of focus and its insistence on eccentricities over basic, solid action.
  18. Ignore the RPG part and you might trade in the game after two hours; ignore the third-person shooter part and you might replay the game three times over. In short, it needs a sequel to get everything right. Look beyond its obvious faults and Alpha Protocol isn't frustratingly bad, but frustratingly good; that is, if you care to look that hard.
  19. With a history including games like Knights of the Old Republic II and Neverwinter Nights 2, the team at Obsidian Entertainment knows role-playing. Alpha Protocol isn't necessarily a counter-point to that expertise; the RPG systems under the hood are solid. I just wish that I could experience them in the context of a compelling espionage adventure, not a last-gen third-person shooter.
  20. If you can look past the negatives, 'Alpha Protocol' has some intrigue that will pull you in, and quite possibly interesting enough to play through twice. However, that is only if you can accept the lackluster mechanics, broken action sequences and dull production values.
  21. Alpha Protocol maybe a role-playing game in name, but for me it felt far to much like an average third person shooter.
  22. 65
    Alpha Protocol is not a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination. Instead it is a collection of truly next-generation ideas wrapped in a last generation package.
  23. The tragedy of Alpha Protocol is that, hidden behind the mass of technical failings is a superb action RPG bristling with choice and driven by some inspired storytelling.
  24. Alpha Protocol could have been a really good game, easily on par with Mass Effect, but it fails in almost every way.
  25. It could have been a lot worse, but for all its worth, the game simply doesn't deliver enough of an experience to keep the player wanting more. A dull experience rife with technical flaws and badly-combined mechanics.
  26. Alpha Protocol had so much potential. It had all the elements planned out perfect to make this a great game. Regretfully, it seemed like the game didn't get enough time to finish up as what you get feels like three-fourth of what was planned.
  27. 63
    A more rounded cast of characters could have helped out immensely because it's difficult to build up any emotional investment with the stereotypical personalities wrapped up in this twisting tale of conspiracy and global domination.
  28. 63
    Alpha Protocol is a nice title, but it has too many little annoying points to be really good. The graphics are poor, the audio isn’t the best and a lot of the environments are coming back a few times throughout the game. The game is nice to play, but it could have been a lot better and that’s a shame.
  29. On paper, Alpha Protocol sounds incredibly alluring, combining the best elements of the role-playing and action genres with a refreshing concept. In executing that concept, however, the game falls apart at the seams.
  30. There's just an awkward charm in its klutziness, but Alpha Protocol is a tough one to love. [July 2010, p.112]
  31. At first glance, Alpha Protocol has a lot of faults, like goofy animations and dated graphics. Have patience and you'll find some rewards, such as the well developed characters and the ability to really alter your own character. Still, there's too many negatives here to really enjoy yourself.
  32. Alpha Protocol is a good game ruined by a long list of problems. The AI is clumsy, the graphics look too old for this gen and there are some bugs that indicate a product that is not so polished as one would expect after so many years in development. There are good ideas as the interactive dialogues and the character development, but the overall experience is not as good as we were expecting.
  33. Alpha Protocol's astounding intricacies are tarnished by bugs, clumsy gameplay mechanics, and rough production values.
  34. 60
    Alpha Protocol is a commendable attempt at story-driven, role-playing action which sadly doesn't live up to its promise, leaving many of us to wonder at what it could have been with a little more polish.
  35. Alpha Protocol is all ambition with little follow through. This espionage-RPG attempts to draw players into a world of lock picking, Saudi terrorists, and secret government conspiracies, but does it so ineffectively it is hard to maintain interest past the first mission.
  36. If you decide to play Alpha Protocol, just know that your main enemies over the course of its 15-or-so hours will be its collection of misery-inducing technical issues and the clash between its action and role-playing elements. There are parts of Alpha Protocol that I feel are totally amazing and absolutely worth seeing, but you'll have to trudge through a lot of very disappointing stuff just to see it.
  37. What Obsidian has crafted is a decent first attempt that shamelessly borrows elements from some heavy-hitting titles in an attempt to make them its own. While we refrain from using the term 'unique' in any capacity, somehow the result feels fresh enough to warrant at least a single playthrough.
  38. Nothing seems catastrophically bad but at the same time, nothing seems right, either. This game feels and looks very, very outdated and anyone who plays it will recall many games that did something better; we've seen far better role-playing, action, and stealth mechanics and in all honesty, I doubt this game would've been considered anything special even four or five years ago.
  39. AP's operations are like Saddam himself - badly executed. [July 2010, p.88]
  40. Alpha Protocol is one big deception. The stealth action is lacking and the enemies sometimes act ridiculously. Because of this most of the missions are a drag. A shame since the created world lends itself perfectly for a spy game. The surprisingly fun conversation system, in which the choices have a real impact on the gameplay, is a spark in the dark mess called Alpha Protocol.
  41. The game is its own worst enemy, as its fully featured hands-on action never quite sits comfortably with roleplaying combat. [July 2010, p.99]
  42. Obsidian has interpreted ‘be an aggressive hardcase’ as ‘be an obnoxious brat’ and, when it comes to suave, Thorton is about as subtle as sexual assault. It doesn’t help that his voice is about as intimidating as a slightly larger-than-usual cupcake. Basically Thorton is a jerkbag in need of a major identity realignment. [August 2010 p72]
  43. When it's working it’s brilliant fun, making you feel like a spy, the rest of the time is an exercise in either manic depression or frustration
  44. 50
    The game disappoints on many levels although the story and the characters show plenty of depth. The game isn't great and should not be bought at full price.
  45. Protocol flops hardest in its action sequences. The convoluted controls never feel natural; even switching guns is a clumsy chore.
  46. If the gameplay could match the quality of the plot or dialogue options then you'd have a real winner here, but as it stands Alpha Protocol isn't a title I'd want to revisit anytime soon.
  47. There's much more worth mentioning here - the lobotomized AI, the nonexistent collision detection, the bare-minimum sound design, and cliché characterizations - that make Alpha Protocol feel like a four-year old game.
  48. 40
    The game is a RPG but that can't excuse it for featuring poor shooting mechanics since it was obviously an area of gameplay the developers wanted to include.
  49. The RPG elements work well and are loads of fun to explore, but they only add up to half a game. What's left over is a brainless, broken mess.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24
  1. Mar 22, 2011
    This game is kind of a strange beast. It's an Obsidian game, made by a developer that knows a thing or two about RPGs, but it's production values are a little off. Textures loading in menus and in maps and odd little things here and there. Strangely, it doesn't seem to bother me. The shooting is "stats" based, so you'll only be a good shot if you put points into that skill . . . like and RPG, right? You can move between missions (all of them varied and fun), form alliances with strange characters, and effect the plot and gameplay with your choices. Navigation is easy, the story's fun - this game's a class act. Just a little . . . "odd". It came out in the summer, these days you can pick up a new copy on ebay for less than 20 bucks (like most of Sega's 2010 published games). At sub-twenty bucks, you can't afford to miss this one. Definitely a fun time to be had until this year's heavy hitters are released in 4th quarter. Recommended. Full Review »
  2. Jul 23, 2011
    This is by far one of the worst games I have ever played in this generation of gaming. First of all the game is filled with graphical bugs that you would have think the development team would have noticed from day one, why it was released in this state is beyond me. Honestly everything in this game is subpar from the AI, rpg mechanics, controls, weapons, linear level design and much more. The saving grace to this game is the storyline.The dialouge is simply wonderful and the story might be enough to keep some playing this game but me personally I found the entire experience a turnoff. Full Review »
  3. Jul 10, 2011
    Alpha Protocol is basically Splinter Cell meets Mass Effect. For the majority of the game you will be infiltrating disparate locations and changing events through dialogue. How you do your infiltrating is wholly dependent on how you build your character. You can choose one of several classes with predetermined skill-sets ranging from a stealth based character to an outright trigger-happy power house or you can create your own class by choosing your own skills. I had fun with all of the classes, but found the stealth approach to be the most enjoyable. As for the dialogue portions of the game, I found them to be very engaging. Dialogue options never degenerate into, " Well....I'm a bad guy so I'll pick the bottom choice because that's what a bad guy would say." Instead, conversations become a game of manipulation in which you need to have a grasp on the game's story and a good read on the person you are talking to in order to gain any positive outcome. That's not to say there aren't hilarious moments when you can be a complete **** for no apparent reason, though.

    I only have a few significant complaints with this game. There were a few bugs that I encountered all of which had to do with the AI in some way. I also wasn't blown away by the gun-play, which isn't bad by any means, but it is a little bland. The stealth has similar issues in that it isn't broken, but isn't exactly stellar either.

    All-in-all I found Alpha Protocol to be an excellent game with a sum greater than its parts. It doesn't shoot right out at you with big production values, but that's not what makes me enjoy a video game. What I do enjoy is fun gameplay, engaging story and re-playability, which I feel are all covered by this game.
    Full Review »