By: Uma Smith
With its artistic and abstract approach in terms of design, it’s hard to determine whether or not Proteus qualifies as a traditional video game. Either way, that doesn’t mean that it should be denied its recognition. In fact, the creativity and uniqueness behind Proteus is what makes this “game” shine.
There really isn’t much to it in terms of getting around in Proteus. You move with the left stick while controlling the camera with the right. In addition, the right shoulder button allows you to capture your view with a postcard. Other than the X button to execute sitting down, there is no other interactivity involved.
Although the overall presentation for Proteus is meant to be simplistic, the effects are where it gives a lasting impression. While the visuals appear pretty basic on the surface, the transitions in color schemes and changes in animations of the scenery taking place in real time are surprisingly impressive. When you factor in the musical implementation within this experience, you end up with an ambient and peaceful environment that sticks with you throughout.
When you begin, there are no actual objectives to achieve nor is there a plotline to follow. Essentially, you’re just placed into a virtual world for you to explore. Every time you start from scratch, you are placed in the middle of the sea as you approach an island in the distance. Furthermore, there is no tutorial to guide you through. So you’re basically checking out the environment and scenery.
Once you get to see the whole four seasons within Proteus, you’ll notice that an hour has passed. And that’s essentially all there is to it. While the experience is short, there is a lot to take away with all the pixilated effects transitioning within the world. Speaking of which, you can always capture your favorite moments with a postcard, as mentioned earlier. From there, you’ll be able to access these within the title screen, which will bring you back to the same location.
Once you have completed your session, you will be able to start again. However, this time around, you’ll have some randomly-generated environment based on the date as well as your location. While this short experience can be a turn off for those expecting a typical video game, that doesn’t mean Proteus lacks a lot of qualities to offer. When it comes to artistic style and creative presentation, this game delivers.
While $12.99 with net you both the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions, how much enjoyment you will get from Proteus will depend on whether or not you’ll be able to appreciate and understand the abstract gameplay behind it.