So now we finally reach the finale of Taipei. And I find an entire different reason to bitch about Taipei.
First off, the cape drop is supposed to be badass, but all it communicates to me is that Omen Deng is trying too hard.
I'll say it right now, the bosses in this game really, truly suck. They are almost universally unfun and unfair. As we'll also see in Moscow and Rome, this game turns from an interesting spy thriller into "just another video game boss fight" whenever we get the a hub's finale. I just don't understand the choice to have such rigid boss fights and to not allow you at least the option of talking your way out of them. (Especially for an Obsidian game like this, where conversation is really the most interesting part.) In all 3 of these points, all the problems with the gameplay just come together all at once and it's really frustrating.
Omen Deng has a bullshit version of Shadow Operative that Thorton won't even be able to get at Rank 15. The game does not allow you to use Shadow Operative if the enemy knows where you are and can see you. Here, we see Omen Deng vanish into thin air, which we shouldn't be able to see. You'll also see that his Cooldown is somewhere close to 0 where ours is around 90 seconds. I'm all for the bosses having player skills, but they should not have skills even a master in that discipline couldn't have.
I really hate combat taunts. I especially hate when they sound so mechanical. The only reasons I recall this otherwise uninteresting boss fight are that I died a lot on my first playthrough (to the other bosses as well) and that he kept telling me that "You're in, over your head." It's almost as bad as the Naked Muscle Man boss fight in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Not quite that bad, but getting there.
I am honestly legitimately surprised that Aldowyn only took two tries to take him down. This is not because Aldowyn is unskilled. This is because there is almost always some wayward grenade incendiary device that will kill you almost instantly. Also, if Omen Deng decides to bum rush you with his martial arts, you have no way to defend yourself against it and no way to counter-attack. And you saw how much more health and defense this guy has compared to us. He took hundreds of shotgun slugs. Even on Easy, we can't take anywhere near that much punishment.
This conversation with Heck at the end of Taipei is one of my favorites. If he hates you, then he'll just take the deal and blame Mike for the assassination. If he likes you, he'll kill the VCI agent sent to blackmail him and set Wen Shu up for the fall, which he will later be executed for. I feel bad for Wen because as far as I can tell, he's done absolutely nothing wrong aside from get involved with Steven Heck for reasons unknown.
Overall, I like the concepts behind Taipei. I also like the overall structure of the Hub's mission. I take issue with the way they framed the whole plot. The moral choice is interesting, but set up in such a way as to frustrate players. The red-herring isn't an inherently bad idea, but there's no real reason to suspect him to be the would-be assassin. I promise you that the other two hubs are significantly better than this one. Taipei had great potential, but squandered it.
Lastly, it would be sinful for me to not link Shamus Young's comic detailing how comically stupid this particular boss battle is. Also of note is that while fighting him in the area with the statue, Deng makes the remark: "Here, before the eyes of our Nation's founder, you will die." Make of that what you will. Anaphysik and I have been discussing it, and we've got no clue exactly which person was meant to be referred to here.