Faraday Protocol | PS4 Review
Faraday Protocol is a futuristic, first-person puzzler developed by Red Koi Box and published by Deck13. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch, and for the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version.
You take on the role of Raug Zeekon who is an interstellar archeologist from the Planet Cunor. You have been sent by your organisation to investigate the source and cause of a mysterious signal that was emanating from an unexplored star known as OPIS. Equipped with a piece of tech known as the Bia-tool, which is a pistol-like relic from an ancient alien civilisation long past, you’ll have to solve puzzles by manipulating energy. Along the way you’ll meet an ambiguous robot voice known as IRIS who is an AI created with the purpose of protecting the various structures found around OPIS. As you progress through these desolate and abandoned structures, you’ll be faced with puzzles that gradually get more intelligent, demanding and sophisticated. You’ll also begin to piece together the story that unfolded within OPIS.
Very quickly after beginning my time in Faraday Protocol, some very obvious influences began to make themselves apparent to me - namely the Portal games. I’ve played many puzzle games over the years that clearly noticed the success and popularity of Portal and the concepts within, but, unfortunately, rather than using these concepts and making them feel unique and fresh, they instead just felt like a cheap copy of Portal. This is where Faraday Protocol instantly broke the mould for me. Whilst the concept of having a multi-purpose gun type weapon instantly brought back memories of Portal; the execution and use of the tool within the puzzles felt incredibly unique. Alongside this, the diversity in the puzzles really was quite impressive.
Throughout the game I was continuously finding myself surprised by the game and the solutions to the puzzles. I often found myself thinking “I’ve got this. It’s like X or Y puzzle”, but actually there are twists, turns and extra things to notice throughout, which you really have to be eagle eyed to notice. There was a rare occasion where I felt like a puzzle was unnecessarily obtuse and long but that was certainly a rare occasion. The puzzles were well crafted and intelligent and with the right experimenting and tinkering I was able to figure out most puzzles without too much frustration but plenty of challenges that really kept my brain working throughout. With all this said, it's important that I mention that the game really doesn’t hold your hand very often; even in the beginning. The initial puzzles really serve as the only tutorial you’ll get and from there on out it's all up to you to experiment and find the answers for yourself.
For me personally, there are a few aspects that make a good puzzle game – logic being the most important aspect. The effort which goes into creating a great environment would be the next step, and Faraday Protocol excels in this in my opinion. I really loved the visuals throughout. There was clearly a lot of Egyptian style influence with a futuristic twist thrown in and both aspects of the design really helped to nurture a really ambiguous and engaging environment for me. Alongside these visuals, the audio and soundtrack is equally as ambiguous and really helps build tension and mystery. Some of my favourite puzzle games are ones that have a really unique feel and aren’t just puzzles chained together, for example, Superliminal and Portal.
In conclusion, I was a big fan of Faraday Protocol. It really scratched the itch for me in terms of puzzling and has joined Superliminal as my go-to recommendation for a puzzle game. I think most people would get along well difficulty wise with Faraday Protocol; whilst there are some more difficult puzzles that felt a little bit obnoxious, the good absolutely outweighed that and it never became frustratingly difficult.
Lj’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Many thanks to PR Hound for the Review Key.