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The Hills Are Alive: Proteus Beta Release

Accidental audio creation and island exploration are the tasks at hand in Proteus, although everything in the game is less of a 'task' and more of a possibility. Wandering around randomly generated landscapes, which are like storybook dreams from yesteryear, the player discovers visual features that trigger audio effects, from the plinky-plonky strum of rainfall to the jolly synth-speak of peculiar lifeforms. I think they're lifeforms anyway. They may just be forms because that's the kind of stroll this is; a perambulation through a world of beautiful, gentle wonder. The beta is now available to preorder customers, who'll be paying $7.50 and receiving all future updates and an EP.

An old, old video but there's a new one due soon and by the time that's out, maybe I'll have played around with the current release enough to justify more words.

Now, there's another game bobbing about at the minute that's about taking a Journey with no fighting, experience point grabbing or conflict, but that one lives in a land called Sony. From what little I've played of thatgamecompany's wanderthon, Proteus actually reminds me more of Flower, with its love of colour, natural worlds and air of relaxed tourism. The places it generates don't always make me want to dash over the next hill in search of a bewildering vista because it doesn't have the scale to be truly awesome. Proteus' worlds are as much places to be for a while as they are places to discover.

It's a game geared for exploration, because who doesn't want to find a cabin in the woods filled with the harmonic chants of nature as night sets in and the sky becomes a glittering pincushion? But Proteus is also a game about existing, the action of simply being in a place unusual and new. And now I better play something where I can shoot baddies in the gut with a gun so that I don't turn into a ray of sunlight, inefectually dancing across my keyboard.

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