Blue Protocol: A smoothly gelled fantasy world
Even though this preview of Blue Protocol will focus mostly on the battle system, because that was clearly the focus of the play event, a brief outline of the game: The MMORPG was already released in Japan on June 14 of this year, and the release is planned for 2024 in the West, namely on the PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S. As a traveler without a memory, you’ll have to fight your way through the open fantasy world of Regnas , where the wilderness awaits you in addition to several cities, including the main and trading center of Asterlies in the Asteria Plain.
The creatures living there want to be hunted down with the action-based real-time combat system either alone or with friends and strangers, while you experience the story of the MMO, complete a few side quests or simply increase your character level. Since the short hour of gameplay wasn’t nearly enough to classify the mentioned elements, I unfortunately can’t tell you anything about the story, the NPCs or the side quests. Nevertheless, I have a few first impressions of the game world in the bag.
During my short walk through Regnas, the beautiful surroundings caught my eye. The lush green meadows, mountainous slopes, and rippling rivers are quite something to behold, and provide a picturesque backdrop when I’m riding my mount to the next quest or making hell of a few jackal-like enemies. However: the world of Blue Protocol feels interchangeable and generic, and looks, for example, confusingly similar to a Genshin Impact. The same goes for the characters: Nice to look at, but everything has been done before.
With character and class
This could also be due to the fact that I first have to assemble my character in the character editor, although the number of options is quite decent. In addition to classics like gender, hairstyle and hair color, I can also screw around with the eyebrows, decide on a voice color and equip my traveler without memory with scars or freckles. Only the choice of outfits is a bit humiliating at the beginning, even if I can mix the individual pieces of clothing of the two available at will.
Once the visuals are set, the class selection follows, where I had to choose one of five during the play-in event: With the Bladesman, who uses a shield and a sword; the Twin Slayer, who wields two xte at the same time; the Farlander, who uses his bow for ranged attacks and healing spells; the Spellweaver, who keeps enemies at bay with powerful magic; and the Enemy Breaker, whose powerful hammer has nasty projectiles up its sleeve in addition to powerful strikes, the choice was anything but easy. A sixth class is already announced, called Lightning Thrower and wielding a medium-length spear – more classes are to follow in the future.
Visually, the characters, whether self-created or NPC, all cut a good figure, but didn’t blow me away with creative designs.
As a fan of two-handed swords and broadswords, I chose the Fine Breaker, and had obviously chosen one of the more demanding classes, because the hammer allows blunt strikes, but its ranged attacks and skills require ammunition for use, and that has to be reloaded. Not so easy in the heat of the moment, while I’m trying to find the CTRL key to dodge with my little left finger, deal damage to the demonic boar boss and at the same time not get hit by his area-covering attacks. A few sample videos show the abilities of the different classes, but do without lengthy explanations – probably also to ensure a quick start .