Bioware’s spy game that never was 
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Geoffrey Tim
December 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm

AP

I don’t know how many of you played Obsidian’s Alpha Protocol. I loved it; a spy-thriller RPG that was made up of really great ideas that were, for the most part, unfortunately poorly executed. It did, however, make people really want a quality Spy RPG, and that could have come from Bioware – only EA axed it before it ever really began.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Bioware’s Trent Oster revealed that the company had plans to make a spy RPG that was one part Bond and one part Bourne. It had a working title of Agent, which had absolutely nothing to do with Rockstar’s vapourware PS3 exclusive of the same name.

“It had a working title of Agent,” he said. “The concept was to do the other half of GoldenEye, the idea being that James Bond isn’t just a gun that walks around the world and shoots people. He’s a suave manipulator, he’s a talented martial artist, he’s a secret agent.

“We wanted to cross that 007 with Jason Bourne, where he’s been modified in some way; you’re not sure what, but he’s definitely deadly.

“We really wanted to push the acting side, the digital acting. We really wanted to be very high drama, very intense scenes. I always think of the scene in the second Bourne movie where Jason Bourne’s choking the guy out with a book and he’s right in his face and it’s this very intense moment. That was one of the key things we wanted to carry off.”

In the end, it didn’t get the greenlight, because  “fundamentally EA didn’t believe in the concept.”

“It doesn’t matter how hard you struggle you just can’t make it happen if the company’s not behind it,” Oster laments.

Alpha Protocol was later fixed with numerous patches, but still fails to be a particularly great game. something similar, from the folks at Bioware could have been special.

Thanks a lot, EA. While we’re on the subject of Spy-themed games…can I get a hell yeah for another No One Lives Forever?

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.