Alpha Protocol is an RPG and not an action shooter.
Sure, it is not open-world and there is no gender and appearance customization, but this is not what makes an RPG. Even action and adventure games have these things these days.
What makes an RPG is that you as a gamer have the power to shape how the story develops and ultimately how the game ends, and in Alpha Protocol you have this power. Every choice you make in dialogues and missions influences how the game develops. For example, who you get as an ally in the game depends on how you act and what you say. There is a lot of dialogue interaction with the characters in the game, and some of the missions are actually just dialogue missions where you need to say the right thing in order to get important information.
In Alpha Protocol you have 9 skill trees to choose from, where you can specialize in 2-4 skills or be a Jack-of-all-trades. You can also customize your armour and weapons.
Some reviewers have complained about the bad aiming but the fact is you need to level up your skills and weapons to get better accuracy, common sense if you ask me.
Some reviewers have also complained about the AI but I did not notice anything bad about the AI in any of my playthroughs, I thought the enemies were responsive and smart enough.
The graphics are good but nothing to brag about, it looks a bit like the Splinter Cell games for the 360.
The game takes about 20 hrs to complete and the replay value is high. I have done three playthroughs so far, once as a stealth and martial art expert, once as a Rambo-type assault soldier, and once as a high-tech sabotage expert. I got different allies and slightly different endings each time.
The bottom line is that this is a highly unique game. It is the only reality-based RPG around, at least for the 360. All else is either Fantasy or Sci-fi. In my opinion we need more RPGs that are set in the real world.