Alpha Protocol - Veteran Guide
Criticism has been levelled at the apparent easing of difficulty in modern games. When Demon’s Souls is an abhorrent case as opposed to the norm, there is room for some grievance from older game players. Fortunately, for the sadists out there, the Alpha Protocol veteran difficulty setting is akin to the familiar “New Game Plus” modes found in many Japanese RPG titles. There are specific requirements to unlock the mode however, unlike the JRPG equivalent, with the diametrically opposing difficulty setting of Recruit coming into play in its unlocking. This article provides an in-depth look at the differences between the normal gameplay in Alpha Protocol and the unlockable veteran mode.
What The Alpha Protocol Veteran Mode Affords The Player
The Alpha Protocol veteran mode is unlocked after players have completed the game using the recruit difficulty. With the recruit difficulty, players will initially get 0 AP points to spend on levelling and have to begin the game with the bare minimum skill-wise. The game is still not too taxing to complete – even on recruit – and finishing will allow the Alpha Protocol veteran mode to be played thereafter. Although the prior description of veteran mode being akin to “New Game Plus” is slightly anomalous, as weapons, items and skills aren’t carried over, players will be improved and better equipped for the early stages of the game.
After choosing the Alpha Protocol veteran mode when starting a new game, players will be afforded 120 AP (4x the normal amount) to spend on skills. These can be pooled into a couple of specific skills or padded out into all of them, giving you level three abilities for each of the nine available. Specialisation and class building is a necessity in Alpha Protocol though, so selectively choosing three or four skills is best for your additional AP. Another bonus to the Alpha Protocol veteran setting is the 500 XP awarded to the player. Although this doesn’t make too big a difference when levelling, it benefits the player in the early stages of the game.
Alpha Protocol - Veteran Differences
During the first portion of the game – in the Alpha Protocol base known as Graybox – players can hack into a computer terminal and access an email describing Thorton’s previous exploits. When veteran is chosen, the email posits Thorton’s prior experience with a similar organization to that of Alpha Protocol, while also alluding to his veteran status. Furthermore, it states he found out about the agency and contacted Yancy (the head-honcho and email writer) about wanting to join them. This is pretty much opposite to the recruit mode email, as Thorton will be fresh out of the CIA, with only six months field experience behind him.
Lastly, perhaps the most subtle and subsequently effective change to the game when playing the Alpha Protocol veteran mode, is the addition of new lines of dialogue or changes to specific cutscenes throughout the game. As with the recruit mode, in Graybox players can use their veteran stance in certain dialogue choices, granting them a perk after three successful uses (the aforementioned 500 XP). Furthermore, being a veteran during the final mission of the Moscow hub (Assault Brayko’s Mansion) can allow Thorton to retrieve the important Halbech data as well as rescue his captive ally (whoever he choose as handler prior to the mission) instead of choosing only one or the other.