I was interested to know if I really got a "bad" Alpha Protocol ending, so I went looking for some spoilers on YouTube to see what other possibilities there were. There are so many choice branches in the game, so there are a lot more variations on the last ending than I originally imagined there might be. I'm pretty impressed by this and it definitely makes me want to try the final mission, and then the whole game, over again despite some frustrating boss fights.
I can't help but wonder if the current way that video game reviews are written does a poor service to a game like this that is designed to be replayed. As is my understanding as a non-professional reviewer, reviewers are basically locked in one room until they finish a game, and are encouraged to get through it as fast as possible. As a regular player I have the ability to put down a game that doesn't hold my interest (and I'm still allowed to have an opinion about the game) or to replay a game that does. If I was only "allowed" to see one ending of a game with maybe 20 different ones at least, before I had to write a review copy, would I really be able to judge it accurately?
I also personally confess I really love games that are designed to be replayed. Sure, there are plenty of totally linear games I also love. But I think that when people create games that handle replayability in a creative way, it's a nice way of experimenting with the medium. It's one of the reasons I dig on Interactive Fiction - because it allows for the sort of non-linear narrative experiment that a mainstream game type can't really indulge in simply. I also appreciate experiments in replayability, which is why I'm a fan of the "GamePlus" option for replayable games.
People really rip on a game reviewer if he doesn't get all the way through a game, but there's no controversy if a reviewer only goes once through a game designed to be different on multiple playthroughs. With Alpha Protocol the experience isn't even really playing through it twice, but comparing your playthrough with another person's to share in surprise at how differently things went for one person than another. This is something you can't really do locked in a hotel room trying to write a speed review.
Length in a game is often considered a plus in standard reviews. The idea is the value proposition; I got X hours of entertainment out of this game for Y dollars. But if length is always considered a positive, this can lead to a lot of padding-out to make a game seem longer. What if instead you could say, "I got 30 hours of entertainment out of this game... because it was fun enough to play three times."