So what is actually the 2018 game called Protocol really all about? Well, let’s go a little back in time to the 2007 game called Portal. A spin-off from the popular Half-Life series, Portal was a groundbreaking title in its own right.
Ostensibly a puzzle game, Portal incorporated elements of storytelling that really changed what gamers thought a puzzle game should be.
And the story was not only interesting and well written, but it was funny, too. Portal and its downloadable sequel, Portal 2, have spawned a lot of clones, but few get it so close to the mark as the satire that is Protocol.
How to Download Protocol
You can download Protocol from Steam. To start your sci-fi adventure, simply click on the Download button below the review.
The Game Review
Like Portal, Protocol has a disembodied, crisply cheerful female robotic voice that follows you around and tells you what to do, more or less, in a series of puzzles. The narrative is couched in terms of an alien invasion and what the player can do to prevent the imminent destruction of the human race.
By following “the protocol,” players will be allowed to contact the alien visitors and potentially save the Earth from destruction. Failure to follow it will result in death and failure.
That’s not high stakes at all, is it?
Billed as a cyberpunk-themed game, Protocol really shares more in common with dystopian science fiction than anything else. There is nothing overtly corporate or cyberpunk about aliens and contacting them, and the general aesthetic is more techno-futuristic than it is 1980s hyper-reality.
Still, Protocol does a good job of maintaining its off-kilter approach throughout most of the game. Dialogue is quirky and funny, just like in Portal, and the puzzles are tough without being maddening. Indeed, a lot of Protocol’s focus is on keeping the player engaged rather than in challenging them to their wit’s end.
After all, how will you experience Protocol’s awesome story if you quit early out of frustration?
Available in both virtual reality and traditional formats, Protocol is immersive without being cheesy. There are no “press x to pay respects” moments and, instead, everything is functional and makes sense. Again, when Valve is your benchmark, you can’t really throw in a bunch of filler material.
The thing that draws players to Protocol and has critics singing its praises is that the game never lets up when it comes to the humor inherent in its storyline. Like Portal, Protocol knows it is a video game and it plays with that meta realization.
The humor is fresh and pertinent to what you are doing – don’t expect any left of field jokes here. It is like watching a skit where everyone is trying to maintain their composure without bursting out laughing at the absurdity of it all.
This gives the game a fresh kind of life and an energy all its own that is infectious. Gamers who liked Portal and want more of that type of game will find a lot to love about Protocol.
- Fun, quirky puzzle game
- The dialogue and writing are some of the best out there
- Gameplay is solid and accessible
- It is a puzzle game – no matter how much you dress it up
- Valve purists might see this as derivative
- It ends