Developer: Fair Games Studio
Publishers: Fair Games Studio, Samustai LTD
Protocol is an unfocused, directionless mess of a game that tries to give too much without grasping the basics. The gameplay is frustrating, the dialogue is terrible, and the number of technical problems renders it almost unbearable to play. There are a few positives here, but they are so few and far between that they don't even come close to being worth going through this experience. Stay away from Protocol, and you will indeed have a nice day.
Protocol is frustrating, annoying, and anger-inducing – I loved it! Despite the brutal and unforgiving insane A.I., who constantly kills you if you so much as look at her funny, I thought the story was interesting, the dialogue was ‘colourful’, and the combination of many different gameplay mechanics was very creative. My only negative, besides the difficulty spike in the final chapter, has to be the ‘long’ loading times – these wouldn’t usually be an issue, but in a game where you’re bound to die over and over, I would have liked a faster reload. I personally preferred the first half of the game over the second, due to how the focus shifted more onto combat over exploration and puzzles, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to unlock all seven endings – which I will do, someday…
Protocol may have been an interesting experience in VR, but as a classic game it turns out to be a slow, boring, frustrating, sloppy and repetitive action/puzzle game. It could have been more interesting with a deep gameplay redesign, but as it is, we wouldn't recommend it even to die-hard fans of first-person puzzle games.
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