04 4 / 2013
Just wanted to say I really enjoyed this game, takes some time to get into and it was only during the last chapter that I found myself being more in control of hordes. If you have it play with some friends and it’ll be awesome. I admit I went into it with an “oh I’m playing an indie game” kind of cautiousness but I’m really glad to say I was really impressed by the graphics, music and gameplay. Only encountered bug happened when I was using the Santa DLC, but other than that everything was smooth from start to finish.
Graphics: Really good for any game of this price.
Music: Is really funky or rock ‘n roll depending on the setting and fits the game 100%, only wished they had a few more songs (just for the sake of wanting to hear more songs of the same style). Does not sound like some cheap soundtracks out there at all.
Gameplay: There’s friendly fire, but if you’ve played games like Aliens Swarm or some other top-down shooter with it you’ll know what to be careful, you just need to communicate with your co-op partner. I used Mumble the whole time, but the in-game voice chat seemed fine when I tested it. Personally I think the running/dodging is a bit slow, which is my own preference and didn’t affect my experience that much. Another thing is that it was really hard to control waves at first, which lead to me and my partner dying a lot but after playing to the second half of the campaign I learned how to kill them more easily with the gun that you start off with - pick them off one by one while emptying your bullets with them.
There are weapons you can pick up during every level - they drop in boxes scattered around the level and re-drop after a while, which is useful if you’re holding an area. There’s an interesting variety of them and you get an achievement for picking up all kinds at least once. Enemies are pretty varied too and I had a lot of fun with them.
Pleasing to the eye?: Yes
Music?: The soundtrack just screams good quality, not something like the ‘hastily tossed together’ type that some games, even ones with a higher price range, do. Personally I wish they had some more songs cause there’s never too much of good music!
Addictive or not?: I played through it in a few days, but playing with a friend is strongly recommended! It’s a game I’d be willing to play again, but never by myself.
Playtime: Around 5.5 hours for the campaign and there’s also some other modes with continued waves of monsters, etc. All in all pretty good length and provides solid entertainment.
24 3 / 2013
Proteus is one of those indie titles you can’t really get from just reading the store page description, though later on it turns out that it’s a pretty good depiction of what’s actually in the game. “Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surrounding…” When I read the description I wasn’t sure if that was it or if I just wasn’t getting something. Why would anyone pay for walking around? Nevertheless it intrigued me and I bought it at 33% off.
In the menu there’s mouse sensitivity, screen res, invert Y-axis etc. (I was impressed because a lot of minimalist indie games like this don’t even have these kinds of settings).
After starting a new game, you appear in the sea next to an island. Controls are just walking with WASD, no running or anything. First thing you’ll notice is that the colors. A picture is better than words I can come up with.
The day doesn’t cycle in about 15 minutes default, so there’s plenty of time to explore. The music is really relaxing, and will depend on the things you walk pass, such as whether you’re on a mountain or not, or near some fauna, etc. The sights and music are also different between day and night cycles, so be sure to check that out. What I like to do is get up on the top of a mountain to watch the sunset, you look one way and there’s the sun, and the other way, the moon! It was one of the best moments in the game for me when I found that out.
Another thing I did was chasing rain clouds. Well, outrunning them. There’s fog, there’s rain… and yes you can’t see very well during those times but when you manage to get on a mountain again - it’s just pleasing to see those clouds, slowly floating underneath.
You can save your game by pressing f9, which creates a “postcard” that you can access from the main menu. You can also find the picture file in your folders by clicking on that option - they save the whole island in pixel form and next time you open it it re-generates the whole island at that point of time.
The first 30 minutes of playing, I was actually getting kind of tired. What’s the point of just walking around?? I was convinced I’d seen most of the island and well, heard most of the music. Now this is where most people get stuck it seems… but rest assured - there is a way to progress in this game, by triggering season changes. I won’t spoil it but here’s a clue - go onto a mountaintop when it’s nighttime and look around.
New seasons bring new music, new scenery, new visual effects, new palettes of color. I was really impressed the first time I triggered the season change, and there was just something in me that was like, needing to explore the island again. And get more out of it. And listen to everything. And so it was then that I fell in love with this “musical island generator”, in the words of one of my Steam friends.
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Pleasing to the eye?: Yes.
Music?: Fits very well in the gamescape.
Addictive?: There’s something about the islands that tempt you to explore them, and to generate one after another.
My playtime?: I managed to “beat” it in about 1 hour, but that didn’t mean anything to me at all. All it meant was that I’d just go generate another island.
I’d say if the words Musical Island Generator appeal to you, get it. If not, you can always try it while it’s on sale.
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10 3 / 2013