Admittedly, we knew that Proteus was coming out some time around the end of January. However, that hasn’t stopped us getting rather giddy at the arrival of the news of its release, not even in the slightest. Have you played this game? Oh, and don’t start going on about how it’s “not even a game” again because, quite frankly, we’ve had enough of it and anticipated your arrival with a big roll of duct tape. Yes, that’s for your gob. Hush!
If Proteus manages to hit that sweet spot with you, and it won’t with everyone; that’s for sure, but if it does then you’re taken away to a most magical place. It really is a vacation for the mind, somewhere that you can travel without needing to step outside. We’ve seen a few of these games that consist of walking around a rural environment, but they’re all very different – Dear Esther, for example, and Journey – but Proteus is the one that seems the most poignant at times while also being so joyous at others. It is also the one that almost too capably manages to massage your brain into such a lure that you could happily fall asleep while playing it. In fact, there have been many cases when people have been playing the game in public and drifted away inside the headphones.
“Since the start of the beta we’ve been refining and expanding Proteus and have reached a point where it feels right to call it “done” (at least until we’ve had a rest and thought about another update).”
So the big news is that Proteus is leaving beta and marching forward to a final release at a price of $10 on January 30th! And it will be appearing on Steam for you to purchase if you haven’t done so already. But you can grab yourself the beta right now still if you want to find out what all the fuss is about, and you should do that too because you’d save yourself some money as it’s still marked as $7.50 and will be until the 30th. So off you trot, then. Oh, and don’t worry your little heart; everyone who has purchased the game will get a Steam key, alright?
The current beta version of Proteus is something to behold, and the version that is going to be released on the 30th will have even more added to it. The experience will mostly stay the same, though; it’ll just be a case of there being more to find upon the island. Oh, you want to know what the game is about? Well, telling you would spoil it, so it’s best to go and play it. But if you’re remaining persistent, then just know the following:
Proteus is the most relaxing ‘thing’ I’ve ever played. No amount of infomerical product pandering could ever outdo it. Massaging back and arse scratcher combo? Nah, Proteus has you beat, I’m afraid ,my dear. When you play it, you’re best doing so with a controller and your headphones on. As soon as you’re in, you’ll just start drifting towards an almost meditative state. You have to be expecting this soothing experience, though – I’ve seen people get really uptight about the game because it’s “boring” or that “nothing is happening”. Well, something is happening, but it’s probably going to be a new way of playing a game for a lot of people. There’s no clear objective and there’s nothing to physically interact with.
“The procedurally generated islands are home to creatures natural and imagined, tranquil valleys and ruins with magical properties. Think Doom meets Brian Eno.”
Proteus is all about the audiovisual experience. You take in the sights and frolic in with the many creatures and plants upon this island, which changes up every time you enter the game, but not a huge amount. Everything on-screen is important too – the sky, the water, that frog, the weird little hut over the brow of that hill, the wind in the trees. The music by David Kanaga is absolutely divine also. It’s a tricky little thing to comprehend, though, but it kind of punctuates your visit and brings everything to life as it reacts to what you’re up to. You add to the sounds by chasing frogs or bunnies and being fleeted along by a bunch of eager bees. There’s nothing like this. It’s better than any real life paradise.