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Protocol

A breathtaking first-person experience with a lot of black humor and aliens. You are going to find out what it’s like to be a volunteer in the secret government program Protocol. Any mistake or wrong action – and you are eliminated! Dare to figure out what is there in the complex or blindly follow orders. You’ll face extraterrestrial technology, alien dissection, sexual holograms and many more. It’s a “cruel” game, where you have to go through the first contact with the alien life form, carrying out orders of the insane AI. Violation of which is punishable by the complete destruction of everything, including you. It’s a first person action-adventure game, where you have to solve complex problems exposed by the artificial intelligence of the complex and at the same time conduct your own investigation. It’s an opportunity to dive into the game in VR glasses, or in the familiar WASD + mouselook mode.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

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Protocol is a first-person adventure, discovery, and puzzle game that is set up as an exercise in finding the different ways to "violate the protocol." Please keep in mind that this is a game that many people will find very frustrating. The game warns the player before all play is initiated that this shall be the case. In fact, I found it to be rather frustrating in many aspects as well. The most significant point of frustration is the many non-skippable cut scenes and instructions/dialogue parts during which the player cannot move and needs to sit through every time.
At many checkpoints, you will be blindly walking into random tasks with little to no instruction other than a simple way to proceed. But if you fail in your task, you will be taken back to the beginning of the checkpoint, and the cut scene may take some time before you are able to move again. I hope this is something that can be rectified through future updates to allow the player the option of not having to view a particular cut scene repeatedly. This is particularly important because the game is designed around needing to rinse and repeat many scenes in order to find the different ways to violate the protocol.
The game is available in both VR mode and flattened on desktop. I played on desktop only, because I do not have a VR set up. It works pretty well in desktop mode. The mouse serves as the movement of your head as you look around, and you move with the standard keyboard controls. There is a lot of head-bobbing that is I cannot find any way of changing. That being said, I am not sure if I would want to play this in VR mode either. A lot of the on-screen text can be rather blurry when there is head bobbing and character movement. Most of the time, the text is inconsequential and you are trying to view it while staying still, so it is not big deal. Though perhaps this is more noticeable in VR mode. It was particularly noticeable for me in the beginning of the game, but once I got used to the head bobbing, it no longer bothered me on desktop.
There is a story to this game, and a fairly extensive narration. The story does not necessarily make sense, especially from the beginning. But it falls in place bit by bit, and the writing is rather funny. The humor is not for everybody. I understand this. I still found it to be rather funny in a realistic kind of sense, in this very unrealistic story. All of the dialogue is spoken, and I find the voice acting to have been done very well.
Controls
Keyboard and Mouse work well together. Since the game is primarily designed for VR, I think it would work even better with the appropriate system. I did read in a previous review that somebody had issues with both the left click and right click of the mouse dropping the item that you are holding. This is actually not true. The left click drops the item, while the right-click throws the item. You will find this useful in certain situations to know the difference.
Graphics
The graphics are pretty nice, some of the graphical ideas are interesting. Some elements are repeated again and again, while others show the creativity of the developers and designers of this game. I do wish the failure states, as in "you have violated the protocol, have a nice day" triggers led to some variation of what is displayed instead of the same small cut-scene repeatedly. I read somewhere that one reviewer mentioned that you cannot skip this cut scene, which is not exactly true, if you click and hold the mouse, the scene goes by a bit quicker, even faster if you rapidly click.
Audience
Mature audience in terms of graphical content, voice acting, as well as written dialogue.
Pricing
Base price at $24.99 USD is a little high, in my opinion, but the humor and the voice-acting are both quite significant strengths of the game that should not be overlooked to give some additional intrinsic value to the game.
Positives
+Nice writing, even though the writing doesn't make a ton of sense. I found it to be rather funny.
+Main character has a background, a story, and his own problems. He is a three-dimensional character.
+Different take on the idea of story/game progression. Most other games want you to find the correct way out, whereas this game tells you the correct paths to take, but you feel obligated to find all of the premature failure states. The game even keeps track of them for you.
+Voice-acting is quite well done, the narrated voices are appropriately timbred
Negatives
-Non-skippable cut scenes from each checkpoint is seriously problematic and what I perceive to be the biggest problem with this game at the moment, due to the amount of time wasted watching the same cut-scene over and over again while the in-game character cannot even move sometimes.
-Head bobbing a bit too much, would be nice to be given the option to turn this on and off.
Conclusion
Protocol is a first-person adventure akin to a walking simulator if you follow all the instructions of the protocol. If viewed separately, it has some particular points that are difficult to progress without needing to learn and repeat. However, I believe the game is one built around a very unique sense of humor, with the puzzle elements that force the player to seek out ways to break the game--in other words, to violate the protocol, and to get a game over screen. Hearing the phrase "have a nice day" has never meant so much anguish in failure as well as joy in discovery as in this game. As previously mentioned, the game is not without its problems, and it definitely is not a game for everybody. But my experience tells me that this is a game that you should try. I wish I had a VR setup to play this game, but it's good enough in the flattened version to recommend.
I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.

Review from Steam

I've been waiting for a long time to play this game. For except of the DMC5, Jump Force and Resident Evil 2, the Protocol was most anticipated game for me.
From the beggining this was VR capable game. There are some small bugs, but in most the Protocol is quite playable in VR.
For two hours I've played already I was not dissappointed.
1. Graphics looks ok for me, not toonish like quite bunch of other VR games. Some textures are not as sharp as it could be.
2. Gameplay is interesting, but hard, casual gamers won't like it. Some times you have to do some boring stuff, for example you have to go back for the card, because you forgot it in another terminal. Quite like in real life don't you think?
3. Music and Sound. There are glitches with some environment sound but for most of the time it is ok. Music do not disturb from gameplay and it is big plus for me.
3.1. Voices. Actually I like voice actors performance. The game does support for Russian language, but I prefer English voices. Hope I won't miss any refernces or subbplot because of translation.
4. Story. I've played only for two hours and have not yet reached event third chapter so I can not tell much. But for now it seems interesting.
So, do I like the game? - Sure thing
Do I recommend it? - Sure thing
Do I voilate the Protocol? - Sure thing
Have a nice day!

Review from Steam

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Protocol:
~~~~~~~
It must be a feeling of inexplicable pride to serve your country as a professional soldier. These servicemen and women never know where they will be deployed next; all they care about is to serve their country and fellow countrymen and women well. Nonetheless, they are also looking for promotion and might end up being assigned to classified missions if they reach the top of the crop (so to speak). As luck would have it, you have been offered an incredible mission. You are going to be the first contact between us and an unknown alien species. (Just to backtrack for a minute, the alien’s vessel was shot down in the Arctic, so don’t get too cozy; it’s going to be cold, and make sure to follow the protocol!)
Protocol is an adventure/puzzle game developed and published by Fair Games Studio, and can be played on normal desktops as well as on HTC Vive VR systems, of which I own one.
You signed up for a mission of a lifetime. Yes, you mainly signed up to be as far as possible from your ex-wife, but this mission is seriously important. First, your pod will crash-land next to a secret complex in the middle of the Artic circle. Then you’ll have to figure out a way to get into the compound where the aliens are imprisoned. Thankfully (well, I am not sure if thankfully is the right word), you’ll also be welcomed by an annoying floating sphere that talks to you in a rather commanding way. From that moment on, this strange object will tell you explicitly what to do and what not to do. If you are a bit of a rebel like me, you’re probably going to make the wrong decision, and will therefore be introduced to “have a nice day”.
Have a nice day is literally a way to say that you have stuffed up, and your reward will be the atomic self- destruction of the complex - what a nice day! When you think the worst has already come; think again! The strange sphere will display a hologram of your ex-wife, and guess what, she is the one who will tell you what and what not to do. What bliss!
I have really enjoyed the puzzles so far. They are not that hard, mainly because you have to follow the AI instruction, but let me tell you, you‘ll have plenty of . . . Have a nice day!
My favourite nice day so far is when I broke the protocol because I needed to tap a kidney early on in the game. So, I saw the toilets, took my ding-a-ling out for a bit of a breather, and as most of men do, trickled my pee all over the toilet seat. This unfortunate event broke the protocol, and my appending-a-ling as well as the rest of my body were dissolved by a mushroom cloud! That specific event happened several times before I noticed two important symbols on the wall. The first one was to lift the seat, and the second, do your business. Come on, who does that?! Anyway, last time I went to the toilet I thoroughly checked to see if there were no atomic bombs hidden in my bathroom, and for the sake of caution, I lifted the toilet seat just in case. I had a few nice days . . . too many so far!
I really enjoy the comic element in the game and it is emphasised with good voice overs. Graphically the game looks good and works well on desktop or VR setup. I must say that I did prefer to play the game on desktop due to the fact it was easy to pick up and use objects. That is my opinion! Regardless which way I’ll play the remaining of the game, I am sure I will have more fabulous days coming my way!
Positives:
~~~~~~~
+ Great Graphics
+ Interesting and comical story
+ Can be played on normal desktop and VR Systems
+ Good controls – Better on desktop than VR
+ Achievements
Negatives:
~~~~~~~~
- No trading cards
- I find the VR control a bit strange at times
A heck of a day in the office, Soldier. . . Make sure not to stuff up the Protocol and have a nice day!
7/10
Key provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own!
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Review from Steam

Play as an agent on a mission, but something goes wrong, who could have forseen that there would be issues that would spur you on to complete objectives in a fulfilling narrative, what a world

Review from Steam

It keeps reseting to the last checkpoint for no reason all the time.
The devs acknowledged the issue and presented a solution. Keep up the great support

Review from Steam

This can be a great game if the protocol was fix the shifty controls picking up things and dropping are allover the place. It makes the game harder than it should be.

Review from Steam

I am here to update my review. For the most part, it's been pretty solid besides a couple of key gameplay elements getting stuck, or when you're trying to enter the ships computer and use the wrong combination it's possible to get stuck in a loop, where the only way out is to force quit the game and reopen it.
I really enjoyed this game for the most part, but having to figure out if certain issues are with myself missing something or if it's a game bug can be annoying.