Alpha Protocol is the New Deus Ex

Rowan Kaiser's latest article is an Alpha Protocol retrospective in which he draws an explicit parallel with the original Deus Ex, claiming that they're both flawed titles that do one single thing extremely well.

Here's a snip:
Alpha Protocol also fits in with The Walking Dead in that its conversations, indeed its entire narrative, are unclear. You can choose various options without any certainty of whether they'll be effective for what you want or whether the other people in the game will like you. You can make your choices based off of prior experience, and you can read your dossier for background information, but even that doesn't always work. While some may have disliked this aspect of Alpha Protocol, particularly when compared to Mass Effect's transparent Renegade/Paragon systems, but I found it mesmerizing. There was no point in Alpha Protocol where I felt entirely comfortable in my knowledge of what had happened and what was going to happen based on my actions. Given that most role-playing games are entirely predictable be the hero, save the world this model was quite refreshing.

The biggest mistake Alpha Protocol made was in not making its role-playing game origins and systems clear enough, especially early in the game. It gives a poor first impression, particularly in how it deals with combat. Its cover mechanics are awkward and a little bit buggy, but the bigger issue is its shooting. Alpha Protocol uses a system where you can aim a dot in the center of a crosshair, while a ring around that dot indicates potential areas for your shot to hit the random dice roll, as it were. However, the way this is done, with the dot in the middle, makes the process of shooter-style aiming seem more important than it actually is. Deus Ex did almost exactly the same thing, but it didn't have a center point in its crosshairs to get frustrated at missing. If you train your Pistol skill, you can get around needing to worry about the RPG-style aiming in a third-person shooter shell, but since the game doesn't make this clear, it's easy to see why people might have hated these mechanics.

I'm not sure if having a dot at the center of its crosshair is really Alpha Protocol's problem with combat, to be honest.