More Reviews
REVIEWS Firefall Review
Repetitive gameplay makes this fall a little boring.

The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Lara Croft and the Temple of Osi Preview
Lara Croft takes another crack at the isometric adventure, and this time she makes Egypt angry.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Madden NFL 15
Release date: Out Now

Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14

FIFA 15
Release date: 09/23/14

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14


LATEST FEATURES A Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Controversy in the Video Game Industry
Need help wading through the latest misogyny/homophobia/racism/corruption debate in the gaming industry? Paul Tamburro’s here to help!

inFamous: First Light Battle Arena Hints, Strategies, Tips [Stream Over]
Watch as I build out our feature of useful tactics for players in Sucker Punch's wave-based and arcade-awesome arena mode.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

Proteus Preview

blake_peterson By:
Blake_Peterson
09/16/13
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Adventure 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Curve Studios 
DEVELOPER Ed Key and David Kanaga 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Not pixel junk, but pixel art.

Of all the games I saw at Sony’s Playstation Vita event, the one that has stayed with me the most is Proteus. Perhaps it seems an unlikely choice upon first viewing—a game made up of giant pixel shapes in a rough 3-dimensional world with a low framerate, where the only thing the player does is move around an island. Oh, but that island.

Proteus is the best argument I’ve seen yet for games as fine art; the closest analog I can think of in other games is thatgamecompany’s Flower and Journey, or Q Games’ Pixeljunk Eden, which have similar themes about process and experience being more important than accomplishment. They also challenge the player with alternate, simplified or non-anthropomorphic gameplay perspectives.



Proteus is also similar in its approach to nature. Where Flower, Journey, and Eden used slightly more traditional mechanics to connect the player to the experience of being in nature (item collection, platforming), in Proteus the experience is built in through the exploration of the environment itself.

Visually, at first, Proteus looks like someone took a 3D environment and de-made each frame to look like an Atari 2600 screen. But the abstraction works in its favor, because it’s the soundscape that makes Proteus. As the player moves past blocky abstract trees, flowers, and animals, they begin to produce sounds. As the player moves from one area to the next it becomes a song.

What’s amazing about Proteus is how it guides the player in a combination of video and audio information. It doesn’t have a concrete path, as you can go anywhere. But if you stray too far from the harmonies its creating, it will throw up groups of pixelated plants that bleat in a dissonant alarm to push you back towards the harmonies. It is possible, however, to get lost in places you've already been if you're not careful, in a silent world without sound or direction until you find the path again.



It’s worth it, though, when the giant pixelated sun goes down, and the world fills with blocky white fireflies all headed for a hilltop covered with Stonehenge-like pillars that produce deep and resonant bass tones as you pass them, joining the fireflies in an ever tightening circle that turns the world white. Then the island restarts with new sounds, colors, and paths.

Proteus is currently already available on the PC, Mac, and Linux, and is scheduled for release on the Playstation Vita and PS3 later this year. It’s another great example of the openness and support that Sony is now providing to indie developers for their platforms.
Tags:   Vita, Sony, Indie

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Proteus


More On GameRevolution