Okay, so this mission has a pretty simple premise. In order to prepare ourselves to stop the assassination of Ronald Sung, we enlisted the help of Steven Heck and Scarlet Lake to get the skivvy on what's going down by hacking into the NSB's (think Taiwanese KGB or CIA) servers, because if anyone knows about threats to a Taiwanese national's life, it would be the NSB. (I should note that you don't actually have to have done Hong Shi's mission to unlock this, and could therefore have no idea who Omen Deng is. Even if you do know about him, you have no reason to suspect that he has it out for Ronald Sung given the knowledge you have about him. Another interesting fact is that anaphysik assures me that the Grand Hotel is a real life place.)
The scene with Scarlet irritates me, to be perfectly honest. I know she's probably pretending not to know Mike or something like that, but since we literally JUST e-mailed her, it seems totally disingenuous. And in the event that Scarlet says she remembers Mike from the plane, Mike acts surprised, even though he JUST e-mailed her! This is even more stupid if you were like me in my first playthrough and gave Scarlet all the Halbech data. You can literally be at "Friendship", yet still have Mike be surprised that Scarlet remembers him. It's a minor gripe, but it's a gripe nonetheless.
I really like the conversation at the start of the mission. It's so reminiscent of Ocean's 11 and I'm a total sucker for those kinds of Hollywood heists. This really is one of the great things about Alpha Protocol. It's basically an homage to those kinds of movies in all sorts of ways, while staying true to it's core as an RPG. If the game was more polished, I'd be tempted to call it both "cinematic" and "choice-driven" which is something that most games don't even think about combining.
With the exception of one, VERY annoying encounter in Moscow, all of the allies you side with in the game are invulnerable when in the field with you. That eliminates the hassle of protecting them while completing objectives. Since companions don't get hurt, there's no reason to concern themselves with their well-being. They're like children in Fallout 3, but significantly less irritating. Thank the lord for that!
I'm very disappointed that we couldn't frame the Halbech agent for pedophilia. That leads to a hilarious scene where he's escorted out of his room, arrested, and taken off the premise. This removes a few guards and leaves his hotel room open to take everything from. If I had known about this, I would have told the group to be nicer to Scarlet.
This is where the plot to Taipei starts to fall apart, and it get's worse from here. From the files given to us by Hong Shi and stolen from the NSB, we know that Omen Deng is involved in the proceedings in Taipei. If not for the contents of the dossiers, this might be enough to suspect Deng of being the assassin, since he is Chinese Secret Police. However, the dossier data shows that Deng was raised by Sung. This should raise suspicions for more critically-minded players.
Mumbles talks about punishing players for pissing people off, and while I respect her opinion, I disagree. I think part of why Alpha Protocol is good is that they never punish you for anything. The entire game is an choice between trade-offs and alliances. While some consequences are better, and may be better for you, than others, none of them are downright bad. That allows players to just role-play instead of panicking over which choice isn't going to screw them over in the end.
Lastly, anaphysik has left you guys with this link detailing the "One-China Policy", since some of you are undoubtedly interested in the world-building of Alpha Protocol. I, for one, thinks it's cool that Obsidian wrote such a detailed history for the game's world. In stretches so far back it's ridiculous. Most of it is stuff that you'd never find in the game. For example, did you know that in Alpha Protocol's world, George Washington was the first president of a country called the United States?