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Disclosure Alert

By Shamus
on Sunday Feb 10, 2013
Filed under:


So Spoiler Warning season 10 is done. I’ll tell you that our next game is NOT Alpha Protocol. That’s a shame, since Alpha Protocol is a really interesting specimen. Being an Obsidian title, it’s an interesting mix of choice, dialog wheels, unconventional characters, wonky gameplay, and hilarious bugs. Obsidian Entertainment is the mad scientist of the RPG world, constantly doing new things that usually blow up in their face but which sometimes move us forward.

The game has been a candidate for Spoiler Warning since season 4. After passing over the game eight times, it’s pretty clear that if we were going to cover this game, we would have put a ring on it by now.


Someone else has taken up the charge. Some folks you might recognize from the comments on this very site – @Aldowyn @anaphysik and @newdarkcloud – have launched the curiously titled Disclosure Alert show. Here’s episode 1:

Link (YouTube)

So enjoy that while you’re waiting for the next season of Spoiler Warning. There are four episodes up now, so it’s a good time to give them feedback and tell them what works and what doesn’t. Also you’ll get to hear the voices behind the names, which is always fun.

I’ll be running Fallout episodes this week. In the meantime, I am prepared to reveal that the next season of Spoiler Warning will be Season 11.

Comments (139)

  1. Infinitron says:

    Did you watch the Wasteland 2 gameplay video, Shamus?

  2. Wandring says:

    Makes me want to start my own show too… It will be called: Unveiling Remonstrance. :P

  3. Indy says:

    Ooph, that spoiler is maddening.

    I am enjoying the so far one-week-run of Disclosure Alert. A lot of energy in it. I might even say that credit sequence is better than that of Spoiler Warning if only because of the dialogue insertions in it. I’m also quite fond of Aldowyn’s reckless approach to stealth.

  4. madshaw says:

    you sir are a true tease

  5. swimon says:

    That’s a shame I really like alpha protocol, easily my favorite Obsidian game. It’s definitely flawed but often in interesting ways basically this.

    • Aldowyn says:

      Yeah, that post went up the DAY after an hour-long debate on the merits of AP’s dialog system, quite randomly. The author has a lot of other posts that sounds like he’s listening to my twitter too XD

      AP deserves a sequel more than any other Obsidian game to date, IMO – if only because it’s the first really NEW game they’ve made.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Funny the article should mention that. I got DX: HR and Alpha Protocol at around the same time. Deus Ex I played once, doing it stealthily because that’s what I usually do, and I remember preciously little about it apart from Adam being gravelly-voiced and the bosses and much of the plot being utter nonsense. A good game, but nothing memorable.

      Alpha Protocol I’ve played through… Ohhhh… Four times? Three? I played one recruit/professional with an assault rifle, one operative/suave/nonlethal martial artist (trying not to kill anyone) and one veteran who was a social chameleon on (hard difficulty), and I had an aggressive SMG user in the works until my hard drive was reformatted. And I still need to see how the shotgun works. (I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time editing its TVTropes page). I keep coming back to it because while gameplay has flaws, but the plot is more interesting and the characters are way more memorable and there are different ways to play it that Deus Ex really hasn’t got. DX: HR is the objectively better game, but Alpha Protocol is a lot more fun.

  6. PossiblyInsane says:

    “In the meantime, I am prepared to reveal that the next season of Spoiler Warning will be Season 11.”


  7. Spammy says:

    Woah. Woah. Woah. Can you even do a game as recent as Season 11?

    Also my vote for the next season is Metro 2033, I think you’d have plenty to talk about there. And if you did Action/adventure/platformer AC2 I think that you can say that survival horror FPS falls under your banner.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I want them to do Assassin’s Creed 3. >:)

      • You are a bad person and should feel bad.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well they should do the first half of it.Haytham is an interesting character.Its a shame he isnt the focus of the rest of the game.

        • Indy says:

          Connor’s not bad, either. A very tragic hero, given the ending to his story. I’m also fond of the old man’s death scene. The Desmond part wasn’t too entertaining, though. Maybe the one level where you’re in the stadium.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yeah but its the events of connors life that are tragic,not himself.He is just so bland.

            • Prof_Goldfish says:

              Give the guy credit he can speak fluent Algonquin which is above most actors to say the least

            • Greg says:

              Late comment, I know, but I don’t consider Connor bland; he’s understated in his speech, but he goes through a stronger arc than either of the previous main Assassin characters (in the numbered games, at least; I never played the non-numbered Ezio games), from vengeful boy to budding Assassin to naive freedom fighter to disillusioned crusader to hopeful yet realistic leader. And he does so while keeping his core principles relatively intact, being in line with what the Assassin’s Brotherhood is supposedly all about: freedom from tyranny.

              Also, it was cut from the game, but this monologue really sums up what Connor went through and how he changed.

              Being honest, though, Ezio’s my least favorite of the three, for pretty much the reasons the Spoiler Warning crew went into: he’s a blood-drunk, vengeful thug who fell into being an Assassin through his family connections and dumb luck, and who stopped killing when it didn’t feel good anymore (again, only played 2). The twist of 2, with him being essentially irrelevant except as a memory capsule, really tickled me pink.

        • Klay F. says:

          Jeez, with Josh’s propensity for finding bugs, I imagine he’d render the game unplayable before too long. At least if my playthrough was anything to go by.

          • Aldowyn says:

            AC3 was incredibly buggy, especially compared to the (relative) polish of AC2. Putting Josh in AC3 is akin to putting him in New Vegas (or ANY bethesda game): Weird crap WILL happen.

            But AC3 in general is MECHANICALLY really sloppy, even ignoring the story. It’s an interesting thing to look at especially in comparison to what I consider the opposite in AC2 – good mechanics, lousy story.

            • Jace911 says:

              Here comes the Jacetrain on the opposite end of the track: for me AC3’s combat was very fluid and enjoyable, but the story was an absolute mess.

              They introduced Haytham, who at first seems a bit like a Mary Sue (Our hero, he does no wrong and is a polite and suave and intelligent gentleman!) until they pull the “psyche he’s a Templar” twist. At that point I thought they were going to try to go for some sort of “the Templars have changed, their goals are more sympathetic now” angle to the story but then IMMEDIATELY AFTER we get Charles and his mustache-twirling monologue about how stupid Connor and his people are while he chokes a child half to death and then burns his village down for shits and giggles while Johnson and one of the other Templars watch and do nothing. Then we about-face AGAIN and try to paint them in a sympathetic light AGAIN (Johnson buying Shawnee land to protect them, Pitcairn pulling back the Redcoats’ reigns so they don’t just slaughter the Patriots, etc) and making Washington out to be a pointlessly evil douchebag and giving Connor’s childhood friend a serious idiot ball to force the whole “YOU MUST KILL YOUR FRIEND” scene.

              Oh, and let’s not forget the insane ludonarrative dissonance between Connor’s primary motivation of “I must keep my people and our lands safe from the white man” and “Hey kids, see how many colonists you can get to live on this frontier homestead right next door to your peoples’ lands!”

              I never even finished the friggin’ game so I don’t know how much better or worse it gets (I ragequit when I couldn’t beat the stupid boss fight against Haytham at Chesapeake) but honestly I didn’t care enough to find out. It just felt like the writers were jerking me around with pointless and contradicting plot twists in the name of DRAMA.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Too bad,because when haytham gets reintroduced,you get shown again just how more interesting he is than connor.

                As for the whole “These guys are bad,no its these guys,no these guys”,it actually serves a point.It shows that it doesnt matter if you are an assassin or a templar,there are good people at both sects,as well as idiots.

                But whenever asscreed 3 pisses you off,you just need to go back to this scene,and youll be reminded why its the best one in the franchise.

                • Jace911 says:

                  I actually didn’t really care for that scene. I was interested because it looked like Desmond was actually going to show a bit of characterization and growth and then daddy pimp slaps him and says “Stop trying to be a three dimensional character, Nolan North! You will be a hard drive and you will like it!”

  8. Jokerman says:

    I wonder how many bugs josh would of ran into playing Alpha Protocol? Would he even get out of the starting area?

    Ill give Disclosure Alert a watch

  9. Fwiffles says:

    I like the first episode and I’m looking forward to more. The only thing I can give as criticism is that the sound levels of the game made it hard to hear the commentary. Other than that, keep it it.

  10. silver Harloe says:

    Can you describe the DRM situation in the Steam version. Just download and play, or does it also try to do ruins-your-windows-live?

  11. Guildenstern says:

    Blast, and here I thought I was so original having one of only two let’s plays I’d previously found online.

    That said, I did finish mine a year earlier so I’ll just remain on my high horse.

    Still, I’m really looking forward to watching through this. Despite its flaws, the more discussion about Alpha Protocol the better I’d say.

  12. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Very Cool. Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and while I keep threatening to do a real youtube channel, I never do -so, again, very cool.

  13. anaphysik says:

    “Also you'll get to hear the voices behind the names, which is always fun.”

    If by fun, you mean earsplittingly painful, yes. #EveryoneHatesTheirOwnVoice #ExceptRonPerlman #AndAlsoLoganCunningham

    I should mention that for your convenience, we’ve (I’ve <_<) set up a youtube playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuo0OLsc6SzEjVmR_-8fARY8Mlp7Tm7hx

    Additionally, we (I <_<) have a dedicated twitter account for announcements and new episodes, to be found here: https://twitter.com/DisclosureAlert
    That'd be better to follow than following us individually, as we, uh, ramble a bit ;D

  14. Dude says:

    It’s gonna be Skyrim.

  15. Weimer says:

    Someone should analyze SkiFree.

    The in-depth breakdown of the directed freedom presented to the skier versus the deadly inevitability represented by the yeti would be enlightening. Also the implications that holding the F key makes you immortal could rouse some interesting observations.

  16. IronCore says:

    Shamus, when did you become a part time troll? I can’t remember when it started happening. All I know is it used to not happen. Until I receive evidence to the contrary I’m blaming Josh and Rutskarn.

    • Aldowyn says:

      I’m sure it’ll appear somewhere in the replays of Spoiler Warning.

      In other words, blaming josh and rutskarn is a very good idea.

      Except now that shamus has converted and mumbles has left (sadface), I dunno who they’re trolling any more. I guess us, even during the show?

      *edit* anaphysik just showed me something that in the context of trolls implies that surrounding yourself with them inevitably leads to conversion. This led to a big NOOO from me…

    • anaphysik says:

      Shamus, don’t be naïve enough to think you’re unaffected. The conversion has already begun.

  17. AJax says:

    So I’ve finished watching the first four episodes and I have to say that I’m really impressed and definitely enjoying it. I honestly prefer Aldowyn and co. covering Alpha Protocol because they obviously know what they’re talking about and I was genuinely surprised at the analysis of the story and characters nuances that I completely missed in my time with the game. Good job guys.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You got through the intro an not one of you screwed up their name?Thats not a good start for a spinoff of spoiler warning.

  19. Lame Duck says:

    I really hope the next season of Spoiler Warning is something I’ve either already played or don’t care about having spoiled. The Fallout 3 re-release has helped, but it’s been downright painful to have to miss this season because I don’t want it spoiled.

  20. SougoXIII says:

    So Disclosure Alert crew: Is there any plan to put each episode up on a blog/forum somewhere or all discussion’s going to happened in the Youtube comment? I’m asking because I know that newdarkcloud and Aldowyn have a blog, not sure about anaphysik though.

  21. NihilCredo says:

    Hi Shamus, it would be great if you could indulge my curiosity: did you end up giving Crusader Kings II a (second) try?

  22. newdarkcloud says:

    The link is broken, this should work.

    I can’t fix b/c it thinks I’m spam.

  23. Volfram says:

    Apparently I’m posting a contrary opinion here, but… my roommates and I agree, that was no Spoiler Warning.

    I’m not sure how much of it was simply that you guys don’t have 10 seasons under your belts. Ultimately there’s only one way to find out whether that’s the case or not, and it’s going to take a few years.

    I see from an earlier post that you apparently got the audio problems worked out, which is good, because half the time all the voices jumbled together and I couldn’t hear anything. I do know that for my own LP series, when I started recording voice and game audio separately it let me make ALL of the audio problems just go away. I also get to mute most of the obnoxious sniffling and mouth noises so nobody gets grossed out listening to me.

    I’d say probably the biggest negative I could give is that none of the SW crew would have EVER said “If you’re not playing stealth/pistols, you’re doing it wrong.” Not one single game that Spoiler Warning have done have they ever claimed there was a “right” or “wrong” way to play a game, and in fact they will readily criticise a game if there seems to be anything like that. Half of the fun in the Fallout: New Vegas season was Josh playing the game “wrong.” The fact that he also generally succeeded was simply a bonus.

    I will probably finish watching the Disclosure Alert playthrough of Alpha Protocol, but I think a Spoiler Warning version would not be redundant in the least, and I will still be looking forward to it.

    Right after Half-Life 3.

    • SougoXIII says:

      Trust me, maybe they didn’t outright said it but they know it’s Aplha Protocol’s biggest weakness. In fact, newdarkcloud make a giant post talking about it. Combat in AP is so broken that the Pistol + Stealth combo put the game into easy mode while other weapon, like the SMG just plain doesn’t work mechanic wise.

      The strength of Alpha Protocol lies in its consequences and how most of your interaction with any characters will influence the plot, in the short and long term. Everybody can agree that the gameplay is AP biggest weakness.

    • Aldowyn says:

      I gotta say, I love that we already have fans that appreciate us enough to defend our position for us. TY Sougo!

      That said, it’s not their job, so let me elaborate. anaphysik said this earlier: That's great to hear, because I think by our reckonings, we were just calling Darcy an arse and making fun of Yancy's name.

      All of us were pretty worried we didn’t have enough discussion in the first week, but honestly I think we’re pretty set for the rest of the LP. We’ve spent a lot of time since out-of-cameraThe tutorials are always low on discussion anyway. The ABSOLUTE hardest part of Spoiler Warning, and what makes it really tick, is their ability to seamlessly transition from trolling to analysis, and they know when to do which. It’s a careful line to trod and is different for each game. (See AC2 vs TWD seasons)

      Annd I wouldn’t be averse to hearing the SW crew’s opinion on Alpha Protocol. Not in the slightest. Stay tuned. ;)

      P.S. ‘stating a contrary opinion’ this is NEVER a bad thing in and of itself. The day I reject negative criticism solely because it is negative is the day you should stop following me at all.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Shamus… Why don’t I have permission to edit my own comment? I made a typo and I want to clarify something. (There’s a missing space/period/dash/something and I wanted to say ‘IMO the hardest part of Spoiler Warning is…’)

      • Volfram says:

        I’m glad you were able to take the criticism in the way it was intended. The first run is always the worst. Spoiler Warning Season 1 is nothing like the massive troll-and-pun-fest we’ve all come to know and love, and even when Randy took over gameplay he spent more time chasing Asari tail than the incredibly witty “Watch me play the game wrong” that Josh does. Like I said, it’s going to take a few years to find out for sure if it’s just the lack of experience, and if DA lasts that long, you’ll have fallen into your own groove by then anyway.

        Also glad to still have a second vote for a SW treatment of Alpha Protocol

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Here,I created a thread for you in the roll for insanity,so if you dont like commenting on youtube,you can comment there.

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