Steam’s library is full of amazing games. Whether they be Triple-A experiences, or run away indie successes, there’s no denying the amount of great choices there are for gamers. However, it also easy for good games to get lost, and Proteus is one of those hidden gems. Whether or not Proteus can be considered a game is not up for debate here. Therefore, Proteus is easily one of the most interesting games I have ever played, and would put it next to Journey in terms of the emotional experience it has given me. First and foremost, Proteus is a first person exploration game that gives the player one and only one objective: explore. There are no puzzles, enemies to fight or any boss battles. The player must simply explore.
The island itself is gorgeous. Never mind the graphics, but looking on how the colors blend, it is easy to get lost in the beauty of it all. Not only does it look great, the environment has eye-catching landmarks scattered across the island which makes it easy for the player to forget where he⁄she was going. One moment you might be climbing the highest mountain on the island, only to see a cabin and the distance, and quickly change course. In Proteus the sounds of the island play a crucial role in delivering this quality experience.
Exploring the island in Proteus may not seem rewarding in the most literal meaning, or even when compared to other games, but the simple sights and sounds that Ed Key and David Kanaga have created really give the player a childlike curiosity when exploring the island. The wildlife on the island each comes with its own set a unique sounds and when paired with the soundtrack create a world that anyone would want to discover. I found myself following a leaping frog for five minutes simply to see and hear where it would lead me.
As fun as the island was exploring, Proteus leaves itself completely open to interpretation. As was said earlier, Proteus delivered an emotional experience for me, which can only be described in a pastoral sense. It made me want to get away from city life and reminded of the simple pleasures nature can deliver. It is easy to forget how to relax sometimes and playing Proteus gives me that gratification. Of course that is one simple interpretation of Proteus, and because the island is randomly generated, every play through can provide a different experience.
Proteus is a polarizing game because some may not even consider it a game, but those that play it may get entirely different experience from one another. One may simply get bored after walking around for 5 minutes. However it is still a game everyone must try because it can truly inspire or raise emotions in players that have never truly played a game like Proteus.