Studio marketing manager Matthew Rorie wrote:
We're not really sure how much this gentleman played of Alpha Protocol, or what his ideas of an RPG are. Suffice to say, the game is 100% an RPG; we don't really make any other kind of game. You earn XP, you get levels, you choose your skill progression, you modify your weapons, you interact with NPCs (or kill/sleep with them), the world reacts to the choices you make in pretty dramatic ways, etc.
Over on the game's official forum, Rorie added:
...I believe the gentleman in the quotes works for SCEA. As for what he said, obviously we enjoy any feedback that we can get, but without knowing how much of the game he played (and I seriously doubt that someone as busy as a product evaluator for Sony is going to be playing through an entire game if it's as long as Alpha Protocol), it's hard to judge what he meant by those comments. Suffice to say that Alpha Protocol is going to tickle your RPG tastebuds when it's released.
Cinematic designer Joseph Bulock chimed in as well:
The only counter point I can offer you guys is that watching and interacting with gamers who played our game for almost two hours, they clearly enjoyed the RPG experience that AP had to offer. I'm not going to comment on this particular commentary, but I can say as a general trend, people who play one level don't see the RPG experience. They see the action side of our game, without the deep character choices and reactive story.
In a later post, Rorie also responded to concern that the game will be too linear:
That is definitely a pessimistic assessment. I think we've talked about the reactivity in the game more than almost any other feature, but I guess it's natural that some previews will focus on it more than others.
Suffice to say the choices that you make in this game are going to have broad consequences beyond the obvious small touches that you might imagine.
A 'too challenging' RPG? I'm in.
Yeah, that sounds pretty awesome.
He says the first level is too challenging. I doubt that means much for the rest of the game.
If you want a hard RPG try Demon's Souls. It will kick you in the balls.