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Alpha Protocol returns to Steam several years after being delisted

Alpha Protocol is suddenly back on Steam after several years of absence from the platform, it’s time to become a master spy all over again.

Alpha Protocol returns to Steam several years after being delisted: Michael Thorton looks ahead with his typical blank stare.

A certain type of person who’s probably over a certain age will have a propensity to go misty-eyed at the mere mention of some games. They’ll gaze off into the distance, remembering times spent in different worlds, suddenly lost for a moment in the cozy prison of the past. One name that’s sure to cause that reaction in a wide swathe of slightly older people is Alpha Protocol, a near legendary spy game that has been missing in action for several years on Steam. That is, until today.

Alpha Protocol has suddenly reappeared on Steam, just over five years since it was removed due to licensing issues. Way back in 2019 the spy RPG was abruptly snatched away from the digital storefront as its publisher – Sega – found that its rights had expired. Since then what was already a near mythical game only became more so, as only those who had already purchased it – or could afford a third party key – could play it. Now it’s back where it all started, appearing with absolutely no fanfare (which is fitting for a game about sneaking about).

From Fallout: New Vegas developer, it features a similar amount of rough edges – and a similar amount of naked, sheer ambition. You play as Michael Thorton, a spy recruited by a secret agency, tasked with stopping a global catastrophe. What follows is a game that’s truly remarkable while also being often quite horrible to play. It’s filled with moments where your actions and choices come back to haunt you – time and time again. Few games give such leeway in how you approach your missions and decide how the plot will proceed. You’ll never meet half the game’s cast if you play in certain ways, for example. It’s one of those games you’ll play through, sit back in your chair for a moment, and then start all over again.

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Of course this isn’t the first time Alpha Protocol has resurfaced following its 2019 delisting. Earlier this year it popped up on GOG, with a few alterations, updates, and an accompanying documentary about it. Now back on Steam, it appears that none of these additions have made it to the platform – the last update visible on the game files dates back to 2020.

If Steam remains your platform of choice, Alpha Protocol is out now and you can save 20% until Thursday July 11. Head over to the game’s store page to check it out.

You can also take a look at our picks for the best stealth games you can play, as well as our recommendations for the best classic PC games that still make the grade.

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