A site called Free PC Guides has whipped up an editorial that examines the significant differences between the Alpha Protocol reviews coming out of Europe as opposed to those coming from the United States. A sampling:
Many of you have probably noticed how many radically different Alpha Protocol reviews are out there, both in terms of overall scores but also regarding the appreciated/criticized elements. If you take a closer look at these articles (online or written) you will observe that two trends exist: one that consists of bashing almost all the game's components, and another one that appreciates the game as a blend that's ultimately better than the sum of its parts. While both currents identify almost the same issues (mostly graphics and AI departments) the first review category finds these issues (game breaking), while the latter views them only as some flaws that could have been avoided, but don't damage the entire gaming experience. I live in the United States and I liked the game quite a bit. I think it ultimately comes down to whether the reviewer is more of a fan of shooters or role-playing games, and it's always been readily apparent to me that most video game journalists here in the US favor shooters. Go figure.
The existence of the two very oposite trends didn't initially intrigue me too much but, after putting the pieces together, I've realized that the (negative) one is emphasized almost exclusively within the US reviews, while the (positive) trend is made out almost entirely out of European Alpha Protocol reviews.
It's very interesting to see how Alpha Protocol's story, characters and dialog can be appreciated so totally different. While for Game Informer's Joe Jubba (US) it's impossible to care for the (generic shady defense contractor out for profit) plot, Christian Dolan from Eurogamer (UK) really enjoyed the script with (plenty of classy moments, both in terms of the cut-scenes and the text(. The same Game Informer reviewer who sees Michael Thornton like an (unlikable idiot) and GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd (US), who appreciates Alpha Protocol's story like soulless and lacking character, are totally contradicted by their Europeans colleagues, Matthew Handrahan (NowGamer UK) and Henry Ernst (GamePro Germany) who really seem to have taken a liking to both the game's story and characters. Matthew Handrahan even says that (the characters are so well written that you'll actually have an opinion on them. That's so unusual for a videogame it's actually depressing.) While the GamePro reviewer finds the missions varied and the dialog system excellent, Joystiq's Justin McElroy (US) finds Alpha Protocol to be boring and the dialog (uniformly insipid and lazily performed.)