(Sega for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
The two games couldn’t be more different, but the title that kept coming to mind while playing Alpha Protocol was another Sega entry from 2010: Infinite Space. Not because AP‘s sleek, modern-day espionage aesthetic conjures up memories of Infinite Space‘s anime space pirates, but because they both communicate a spirit of adventure that exists beyond the game mechanics. Even though it was extremely bare bones in terms of gameplay, the planet hopping and colorful characters of Infinite Space made it worthwhile to explore every corner of the galaxy, just as the absorbing conversation interface and jet setting, safe house to safe house lifestyle of Alpha Protocol give you an impetus to unravel the game’s conspiracy plot. However, even more so than Infinite Space, AP requires a patient and forgiving gamer to reveal its charms (the gun/melee combat is unpolished, the visuals feel dated, there are technical glitches – the list unfortunately goes on). One could easily argue that, in a year with top-notch entries in the same realm (Splinter Cell Conviction, Mass Effect 2), such problems aren’t worth tolerating, but the adventurous will find some worthy intrigue in Alpha Protocol.