This underrated gem gets a little more love once again. Praise be!
Obsidian Entertainment has an incredible development history filled with lots of really significant properties from both inside and outside the world of games – but if their CEO had his way, the one they’d return to would be a creation of their own – cult classic espionage RPG Alpha Protocol.
“I think it’s Alpha Protocol,” Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart told VG247 in a recent interview. “I would want to go back from everything that we learned and do that because I think there’s a lot that can be done. We had some really cool ideas for Alpha Protocol 2.”
We’d asked Urquhart which game from Obsidian’s past he’d particularly like to return to, and this was his final answer. That means, yes, Alpha Protocol beats out the likes of Fallout, Star Wars, South Park, Neverwinter Nights and others as the one game their boss-man would most like to make given the chance. I’m a bit of an Alpha Protocol devotee, as even though in many ways it is a deeply flawed and often average game, bubbling beneath the surface is something truly, brilliantly special.
“I think I’d want to do Alpha Protocol 2, particularly now that it’s almost like the game has sort of… I don’t want to say aged, because I mean it in a positive sense. It’s found what people love about it and what we love about it, and now I think we could express it differently fixing a lot of the things that weren’t maybe what they should’ve been,” Urquhart added – well aware of the original release’s flaws.
In answering this question Urquhart mused a few other projects Obsidian had worked on too, noting that he’d love to do another Fallout title and that he’s a particularly huge fan of Star Wars being a child of the seventies. One major contender was Planescape: Torment – a project Obsidian toyed with taking up before InExile Entertainment put out their crowdfunded 2017 spiritual successor to the game.
“We talked a lot before InExile did Torment about if we wanted to do another Torment. Another Torment is interesting to me because I love the ending of Torment. It’s almost like the character walking away from the vault in the original Fallout. If we wanted to return to Planescape and Torment at some point, I don’t know what you’d do, I don’t have a good answer for that. We never did.
“No, yeah. It’d be Alpha Protocol,” Urquhart settles.
If you don’t know what Alpha Protocol is, think a Mass Effect style mix of action combat and RPG progression alongside similar dialog choices and branching story shenanigans – all set in an espionage plot that pulls inspiration from all the greatest spy stories you’d imagine, from Bond to Bourne and beyond. It’s buggy as hell, but it genuinely is a gem – especially in how reactive its branching story is to your reactions. It feels like the kind of thing that could definitely make a return in a world where less grounded spy stories such as Kingsman seem to be making a return.
Many of the key staff behind the game are still at the studio, but SEGA are the owners of the Alpha Protocol series. Hopefully one day they’ll pick up the phone to Obsidian – messy as it was, Alpha Protocol is a cult classic for a reason – it’s secretly brilliant.