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Alpha Protocol, a game that was announced back in 2008, has a final release date of June 1st of this year. When I heard the announcement, two thoughts popped into my head:
I don’t believe them, and I don’t care.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Jumping the Shark”, it was coined from the television show Happy Days. In 1977 Arthur Fonzarelli, one of the main characters and the epitome of suave, jumped a shark tank with nothing more than water skis. After that – even though the series continued on for seven more seasons – interest, and the amount of viewers, severely declined.
Jumping the Shark essentially means you’ve hit your peak. Once that happens, there’s no place to go but down.
Sega has reached its crescendo when it comes to building up hype for this game. Both developer and publisher in this instance have showcased the game and talked about it quite a bit since the early 2008 reveal of it in a Game Informer magazine.
I can’t even quite explain why I just don’t care about the game anymore. I don’t mind when a game gets pushed back. I don’t even care if the company doesn’t give a very good reason for said delay.
Maybe it’s because Mass Effect 2 has now come and gone and I’ve gotten my fill of third-person epics. With the exception of a few aesthetical elements, both games are strikingly similar in their game play, class options, and combat.
Last Fall I even wrote about Alpha Protocol as one of the top games to look forward to. Since then, even though there has been new media about the game, my interest has dramatically fallen.
If this little espionage gem had arrived on shelves last year, especially after so many blockbuster titles were pushed back, it would have hit at the peak of my anticipation. Even if scores for it had been sub-par, I still would have most likely rented it to see for myself.
Also, a title that allowed for cool spy gadgets and espionage would have been a perfect, hidden gem snuggled up amidst hits like Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age: Origins, and Modern Warfare 2.
Instead, it’s coming out at a time that is usually dormant. This means that it has to stand alone on its own merits and has no excuse if it turns out to be terrible. It’s not coming out during any of the big release seasons, it’s had plenty of time to be perfected, and it’s coming from a developer that has created quality work in the past.
I wish I could say that I’m still excited, because the ideas behind Alpha Protocol still sound great. But, unless something really blows me away in the coming months or the game just surpasses every hope I had for it, it will just become another title that I’ll never get around to picking up.