Alpha Protocol is cheap on Steam if you like fun, branching spy stories

Once upon a time a studio called Obsidian combined Jack Bauer's angry fists, James Bond's repertoire of one-liners and Jason Bourne's dead-eyed stare into a superspy Megazord called agent Michael Thornton. Michael traveled the world, engaging in rubbish stealth/action sections and talking to spy movie caricatures about conspiracies, initiating branching dialogues that could change the adventure's entire narrative direction. Michael Thornton today lives happily in the memories of the few who played and enjoyed Alpha Protocol, and can rest easy knowing that he starred in one of the most reactive RPG storylines around. He still looks really silly when you leave him hanging in the middle of a conversation choice.

Alpha Protocol is just £2.50 / $3.75 this week - a price point that should make it easy to overlook the dodgy action bits and enjoy the dialogue and decision-making. There's a choice of combat styles, and I'd recommend going down the extremely powerful stealth pistols skill tree. That'll let you breeze through the action scenes without too much swearing. Here is a video, so you know what you're in for.

And Michael "Mike. Mike. Michael" Thornton's theme tune for you.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.