You wake up in an ocean, on the horizon; a beach. From the beginning of Proteus, right to the very end, you will have no help. There is no magic arrow telling you where you should be going, there is no health bar at the top of the screen, no map in your pocket, no sword in your hand. You use the WASD keys to move, and the mouse to look around. That’s it. No interact button, no jump button, nothing – you’re on your own.
Music plays quietly in the background, depending on where you go, what you move near. That music, and the environment, will change. Slowly, you start to understand how Proteus works. Then the fun begins – you experiment with it. Chasing rabbits, running alongside crabs, brushing against rocks. What was once flat background music suddenly became an entire electronic orchestra, one that would suddenly end, leaves would stop blowing in the wind, the movement of the clouds would slow down, and my mind would relax.
Proteus is a short game, your first play through should take no longer than an hour. To me, an hour doesn’t seem very long at all. In the world of Proteus however, time stretches on and on. In total there are four different environments, each representing a different season. What I came to realize as I made my way through Proteus however, is that these aren’t just seasons, they’re different stages of existence. And that’s what Proteus truly is, it’s a game about the journey through life.
A journey well worth playing.
– Bill Boreham