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[PS3/Vita Review] Proteus

Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surroundings. Presented and controlled like a classic first-person shooter, the primary means of interaction is simply your presence in the world. The procedurally generated islands are home to creatures natural and imagined, tranquil valleys and ruins with magical properties.

Before starting this review, I need to tell you that Proteus is not a “game” per se. Proteus would be more accurately described as being an interactive experience/experiment in which you’re taking part. Before reading further, you should check the following video, so that what you read afterwards makes more sense to you!

Proteus – Launch Trailer

In Proteus, there are no definite goals, no guidelines, no save points, no enemies and no instructions. Your only option is to explore the island on which you landed (in a first-person setting), where strange and beautiful things exists.

Each game features a different procedurally generated island (meaning, it’s random each time), and therefore the possibilities of the world are endless. While playing the game, I actually did notice new things in each of the three playthroughs I did (each playthrough lasts about 45 minutes to 1 hour), but all in all, the worlds weren’t that different from each others.

The main focus of Proteus is exploration. In your first playthrough, you’ll be exploring the island, and be both amazed and perplexed by what you find while noticing that the environment reacts musically to your presence. In this game, the music and the sound effects that surround you play a big role in your orientation, and you’ll be referring to them a lot. After a while, you’ll come across a strange pillar of light, and if you get in it, you’ll be warped a few months forward in time to the next season. You’ll then pass from spring, to summer, autumn and finally winter.

I did three playthroughs of Proteus before writing this review, for a total play time of a little less than 3h. In the first one, I must admit that I was really confused about what to do. I played a second time for the pleasure, and the last one I did was for trophy hunting. Trophies in Proteus are very cryptic, so don’t expect to figure them out easily. Some gamers HAVE figured them out, so do not hesitate to jump here if you want a headstart about what to do to unlock them. Of course, REAL gamers will want to avoid that and enjoy the game to its full potential by figuring them out themselves!

Final Thoughts

Proteus is a unique experiment on the PSN. The procedurally generated world is fun to discover, and multiple playthroughs are encouraged. Even with each playthrough being unique, the novelty factor wears quickly, and I thought that I had seen all there is to see in a little less than 3 hours. Considering that, some gamers might decide to not buy this game, but it’s an interesting experience everyone should try.

*This game is Cross-buy between the PlayStation 3 and the PSVita.

[review pros=”Cross-buy
World is magical and dynamic
The environment reacts musically to your presence” cons=”Lack of hints for the beginner
” score=80]

Cost: $12.49

PSN game size: 175Mb

You can purchase Proteus from the PSN.


This review is based on a copy of Proteus provided by Curve Studios and Twisted Tree.