Mixed or average reviews - based on 68 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 68
  2. Negative: 9 out of 68
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  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. 84
    This is a bold and interesting proposal, although very buggy. But it will surprise many for its freshness and freedom.
  3. 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.
  4. Rarely a game has been so varied and profound. Even if the graphics do not fit with the rest of the game, Obsidian Entertainment has managed to deliver a role playing game at its best.
  5. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Terrific, original action-RPG that shines despite its ugliness. We're as surprised as you are. [Aug 2010, p.96]
  6. I really enjoyed Alpha Protocol, perhaps even a bit more so than its technically superior Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age competition. All of these games have pretty much the same gameplay style and level of complexity, but what really sells it for me is that I love a good spy drama, and Alpha Protocol delivers all the action and immersion of that genre while making me the star of my own espionage movie.
  7. games(TM)
    Alpha Protocol threatens absurdity only on rare occasions - generally its plot is well conceived and told, particularly when you factor in the multiple narrative strands that can be followed. [July 2010, p.112]
  8. X-ONE Magazine UK
    In its own ragged way, Alpha Protocol takes a more sophisticated approach to its plot than Mass Effect or Dragon Age. [Issue#60, p.88]
  9. 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.
  10. Despite these flaws, Alpha Protocol is still a fun and entertaining experience with a dynamic storyline and solid RPG mechanics.
  11. The story and dialogue options are excellent and often lead towards compelling as you often feel as though the world is in the balance and your words will influence the survival of those around you. The gameplay however will try your patience now and again, but never becomes annoying enough to be called unplayable.
  12. Pelit (Finland)
    Alpha Protocol reminds me of old Troika RPG's: the setting and ideas are great, but the technical execution is a bit flawed. Still, if you can look past the ugly exterior it's a fun experience. [June 2010]
  13. The problem people will have with Alpha Protocol is that it takes a lot of effort to get to see any of the good stuff. By halfway through, when you're calling in help mid-mission and can move around the map like a shadow, there really is some fun to be experienced. Clunky implementation aside, Alpha Protocol offers a glimpse of what a game based on the world of espionage could be like, and it could be good, with some hard work.
  14. Alpha Protocol, for the most part, can be a somewhat enjoyable game. The storyline was great but the notable issues like the voice acting, less than spectacular graphics, and frustrating glitches, really bring this title down a few notches.
  15. Alpha Protocol is actually a very good game deep down, but perhaps a little too ambitious in its execution.
  16. 73
    In other words, for those still interested, Alpha Protocol should be low on the to-play list.
  17. Many good ideas like the free approach to each mission and the character design and a valid storyline are not enough for this RPG. Alpha Protocol was a troublesome project from the start and that has inevitably affected the outcome.
  18. Alpha Protocol does offer some nice role-playing opportunities with an interesting story and plenty of different ways to optimize your character. It's unfortunate the gameplay mechanics hurt things as much as they did as this could very well have been the next big RPG franchise.
  19. Official Xbox Magazine
    We just had to dig a little deeper than we'd like to get to the good stuff. [Aug 2010, p.74]
  20. Buried beneath the poor shooter mechanics, Alpha Protocol does exactly what it says on the box, and that's make choice your weapon. With a great dialogue mechanic and more choice than your local Tesco megastore, the title is ultimately a letdown in every department except these key disciplines.
  21. If you're willing to put in the effort, it can steadily win you over. Obsidian can't really compete with the bigger boys in the RPG field, then, but it's carved out a little space to call its own. With ambition instead of budget, and integrity instead of polish, in the end the choice of whether to persevere or not is pretty easy to make.
  22. Each of the three play styles - stealth, gadgets and guns - become tedious if you doggedly stick with where your skill points have been spent. But if you're able to keep changing your style, and can forgive the attention-breaking idiocy of the enemies, you'll see there's potential here for a great sequel and series.
  23. 70
    Despite its flaws, I was won over by its varied gameplay, conspiracy-heavy, character-driven story, and engaging mix of action, stealth, and role-playing elements. It doesn't match Mass Effect 2's Game of the Year-like quality, but it does make me want to assassinate, neck-snap, interrogate, hack, zip-line, and globe-trot my way to its other possible endings.
  24. While its story, characters and conversations are interesting and fun to play around with, Alpha's third-person shooting – which makes up the bulk of the game – is not. It's a far cry from terrible, but we'd been led to expect much more.
  25. 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.
  26. If you enjoy the one thing that Alpha Protocol does well enough, you'll probably be able to overlook its downsides. There is little else to recommend Alpha Protocol, so if the idea of the fluid story line doesn't get you excited, then this game isn't for you.
  27. Alpha Protocol is an ambitious and entertaining action-based role-playing game, but suffers from several irritating flaws. It offers much freedom and an exciting story, but it's fresh setting of international intrigue only rarely touches on reality and is for the most part unoriginal.
  28. 68
    Alpha Protocol isn't a bad game, it just often happens to feel like one when you're playing it. There's a distinct impression that whenever Obsidian rolled up to a design crossroads during development they ended up invariably choosing the wrong path.
  29. Alpha Protocol suffers from a lack of focus and its insistence on eccentricities over basic, solid action.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. A nice spy story locked in a clumsy action game. Too old to impress, and really ugly to see.
  33. 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.
  34. Alpha Protocol maybe a role-playing game in name, but for me it felt far to much like an average third person shooter.
  35. Alpha Protocol could have been a really good game, easily on par with Mass Effect, but it fails in almost every way.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. The days when you could forgive RPGs of being deficient when it comes to gameplay are long past. Alpha Protocol's minute-to-minute action should have been on par with the traditional RPG stuff, but it's nowhere near close.
  40. 63
    Imbalanced skills, glitches, dim-witted enemies, and repetitive encounters further undercut the entertainment, making Alpha Protocol a game you can safely pass by.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. Alpha Protocol does many things right and succeeds where it count for an RPG but falls short elsewhere.
  44. In Alpha Protocol it becomes apparent that Obsidian had lofty goals for what they wanted to achieve, and when playing it also becomes apparent how poorly they managed to execute on the individual parts. Despite being inherently flawed there are still a number of hours of entertainment to be found here. Just don't expect a polished triple A title.
  45. 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.
  46. Alpha Protocol's astounding intricacies are tarnished by bugs, clumsy gameplay mechanics, and rough production values.
  47. Yes, Alpha Protocol is quite ugly and poorly animated. It also suffers from some gameplay mechanics oddities. But even with its repulsive looks, it managed to hook me in through several play-throughs, thanks to a decent story, carefully written dialog with finesse and humor, and this strong sense of actually influencing the destiny of my character as well as those of the ones around him. The espionage atmosphere, with its conspiracies and modern touch, is well rendered, and if you're a customer for an RPG with a contemporary setting, with a Mass Effect inspired game design, you may very well enjoy it as much as I did. One can't help but dream at what Alpha Protocol could have been, helmed by a team with more resources to address its shortcomings.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. There are some really good things about this game. Unfortunately they are marred by other aspects of the game which are a technical mess.
  51. Alpha Protocol has a brilliant concept, but the lack of polish and generally poor execution of basic gameplay mechanics keeps it from reaching it's real potential.
  52. 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.
  53. It's a technical shambles, overshadowing an excellent concept pathetically executed.
  54. A great idea gone wrong. Alpha Protocol might have been good on the design board, but the final game is mediocre.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. Alpha Protocol is the best example as many good ideas can't save a game with a mediocre gameplay and technical side. Obsidian made some good things with the dialogue system, but the shabby visuals, a bad aiming system and a ridiculous AI can let down even the more passionate spy stories and RPGs fan.
  58. The list of technical issues plagued the title right from the on-start and continued until the ugly ending. Whether it was one enemy mysteriously multiplying into three enemies before my eyes (maybe he was Marvel's Multiple Man?) or enemies running in circles around platforms for no good reason besides chasing their own tail, Alpha Protocol is a good lesson of how not to create a video game.
  59. It's as if the RPG elements and dialogue system were developed by a respectable studio under a normal development cycle, and the core gameplay was slapped together over a weekend by unpaid interns.
  60. 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.
  61. 40
    To release a game that's just plain not finished and to expect people -- to expect your fans -- to pay the full $60 for it? That's where you lose me.
  62. A brave mix of RPG, action game and spy thriller, brought down by too many design and technical faults.
  63. There's just no winning with the action element in Alpha Protocol.
  64. Simply put, the entire game is one huge mess that is caked with technical problems which makes the game boarderline unplayable and definitely not entertaining. .
  65. It's a harrowing tale of ambition which far exceeds its boundaries, of broken promises and broken game mechanics.
  66. It's disgusting that a game in this forsaken a state is asking for a single thin dime, let alone sixty bucks. Even if it was free I wouldn't recommend it.
  67. Flawed in its conception, impoverished in its design, and thoroughly inept in its execution, Alpha Protocol is an unmitigated disaster
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 218 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 218
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    Loved this game. I think most criticisms are from people who tried to play this game as a shooter. The dialogue system is the best part of theLoved this game. I think most criticisms are from people who tried to play this game as a shooter. The dialogue system is the best part of the game and I loved the C&C. I wish there would make another game but it appears highly unlikely given the reception this one got. Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2012
    This is Sega's attempt to do a Mass Effect style spy thriller where your actions affect the game's outcome. The funny thing is, it's betterThis is Sega's attempt to do a Mass Effect style spy thriller where your actions affect the game's outcome. The funny thing is, it's better than I expected. It grows on you. The biggest and most unforgivable flaw is the tutorial. It throws you into the game with difficult puzzles that you repeatedly fail. Also, the game forbids saving at whatever point you want; you can only save to the most recent checkpoint. Complaints about the control are minor. A major complaint I've seen is the movement and shooting looseness. But movement and shooting/aiming improve as you improve your character's ability. Alpha Protocol wasn't a bad game, it just wasn't great. But it grows on you. Do yourself a favor and pick it up on the cheap and you'll have hours of entertainment. I promise. Full Review »
  3. Aug 17, 2011
    When I first heard of this game I was thrilled. Secret agent, RPG elements, choices and action. What could a veteran RPG player want more? ...When I first heard of this game I was thrilled. Secret agent, RPG elements, choices and action. What could a veteran RPG player want more? ... Alpha Protocol nails it on the RPG elements. You have an incredible amount of choices that realy impact the story progression. Actions make your character even develop differently, for example... if you use alot of incendiary grenades, you'll get a perk for them that makes you either better in using them or improve the general stats. But this game also has some serious flaws. The combat is crap, you'll die numerous times just because the A button doesn't command your character as it should, and you'll end in plain sight instead of being in cover. Most of the time the shooting is uncontrollable, as it will make you wish even more you have the automatic targeting from Splinter Cell Conviction. ... ///POSITIVE: Interesting characters who have reputation depending on your actions. - Good story. - Great RPG elements. ///NEGATIVE: Plain graphics. - Weak combat system. - Bugs.. lot's of them. ///CONCLUSION -> Alpha Protocol is still a game any RPG fan should have tried to play at least once, but will mostly knock 90% of the players back towards another game before they even reach the ending. Full Review »