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Obsidian Responds To Alpha Protocol Criticism

Alpha Protocol developer Obsidian has responded to the criticism that arose from the recent leak.In case you missed it, a leaked document – purportedly from a meeting between Sega and Sony – contains some rather negative comments on Alpha Protocol, allegedly from product evalulator Michael Foster. Alpha Protocol is described as “barely RPG,” with the “initial level too challenging for players,” and Foster also notes that “Mass Effect felt more RPG.”Understandably, Obsidian has taken exception to these comments and has responded. Quite a lot. Studio marketing manager Matthew Rorie has responded three times that we’ve noticed so far, and cinematic designer Joseph Bulock has typed up his thoughts on one occasion, too.Rorie initially wrote on the Alpha Protocol forums: “I believe the gentleman in the quotes works for SCEA (assuming this is legit). As for what he said, obviously we enjoy any feedback that we can get, but without knowing how much of the game he played (and I seriously doubt that someone as busy as a product evaluator for Sony is going to be playing through an entire game if it’s as long as Alpha Protocol), it’s hard to judge what he meant by those comments. Suffice to say that Alpha Protocol is going to tickle your RPG tastebuds when it’s released.”He followed this up a little later, adding: “I think we’ve talked about the reactivity in the game more than almostany other feature, but I guess it’s natural that some previews willfocus on it more than others. Suffice to say the choices thatyou make in this game are going to have broad consequences beyond theobvious small touches that you might imagine.”Finally, he also typed up a response on a Shacknews comments thread, stating: “As we said on our forums, we’re not really sure how much this gentleman played of Alpha Protocol, or what his ideas of an RPG are. Suffice to say, the game is 100% an RPG; we don’t really make any other kind of game. You earn XP, you get levels, you choose your skill progression, you modify your weapons, you interact with NPCs (or kill/sleep with them), the world reacts to the choices you make in pretty dramatic ways, etc. If he only played one level, though, he might not have seen much of that. But again, we don’t know what he played or the broader context of his statements.”Joseph Bulock’s comments also popped up on the official forums, a little after Rorie’s first post. He wrote: “The only counter point I can offer you guys is that watching and interacting with gamers who played our game for almost two hours, they clearly enjoyed the RPG experience that AP had to offer. I’m not going to comment on this particular commentary, but I can say as a general trend, people who play one level don’t see the RPG experience. They see the action side of our game, without the deep character choices and reactive story.”So, despite what you may have heard, it sounds like Obsidian is crafting an RPG – but then, it’s what they’re known for, right? And as we pointed out in the initial report, a difficult first level isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just look at Deus Ex. If you’re still uncertain, though, you’ll want to wait for our thoughts when the game’s a bit closer to its October launch.Thanks go to Shack.

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