Available: Digital Only
Imagine stepping into a living, breathing painting and being able to move around the imaginary world you see before you. Think how you might stop to admire the scenery and watch how the painting comes to life and behaves. This pretty much sums up the experimental Proteus.
Proteus is not a game as such, but more a piece of visual art. You ‘play’ from a first person perspective and your role is merely as a spectator in a beautiful, evolving, living 3D pixelated world. There are no puzzles, no other characters, no fighting and there’s no story to tell. All you do is watch as the world reacts around you, with crudely crafted creatures, the environment, weather and random phenomena unfold for your enjoyment and contemplation.
Proteus takes place on an island in which this living world you’ve stepped into comes alive. In your role as spectator you explore the islands many points of interest as time passes and seasons change. It’s a brief experience, but one that’s highly rewarding, relaxing and meditative. Each playthrough varies every time, as events and the weather randomly shift and it encourages you to re-enter the world of Proteus time and again.
The real draw of Proteus though is its beautiful visuals and sublime soundtrack. Although rendered in a regressive pixelated fashion, the colours are bright and everywhere you look it’s like a pastel artwork. Proteus also has a fantastic continually evolving soundtrack that reacts as you interact with the world. It’s ambient, in every sense of the word, and adapts to the world as it shifts around you. The game is constantly buzzing with life, aurally and visually. The game has a nice added feature of allowing you to take snapshots of your experiences to make postcards.
Proteus may not be a usual gaming experience, but it’s one that’s a pleasure to take. It’s brief, beautiful and completely unique.