Aptly taking its name from scientist Michael Faraday and his background in electrochemistry and electro science (thank you, Wikipedia!), Faraday Protocol is a first-person sci-fi puzzle game that initially wowed me. Once the honeymoon phase was over, though, I was ready to move on to something else.
Developed by the Italian studio Red Koi Box, Faraday Protocol puts you in the shoes of Raug and tasks you with exploring an ancient biome called Opis. Upon your arrival, you’re granted access to one of Opis’s testing facilities, Ziqqurat 1, and given a gun-shaped tool that quickly becomes paramount to your quest.
As you progress through Faraday Protocol, Raug will chronicle his findings that detail Opis’s mysteries and serve as the narrative’s forward momentum. It was interesting enough to keep me going, but what really grabbed my attention were the puzzles.
Using your tool (shut up) to draw and redistribute power, you’ll tickle your brain as you revisit familiar areas in order to solve a laundry list of electricity-based puzzles. LT absorbs power from statues while RT shoots it into another one — it’s that easy! Well, the concept is.
Certain doors only open with a specific type of energy attached to them and you’ll be navigating corridors by following wires in order to access power nodes in different areas. I’m struggling to explain it properly (I think), but the long and short of it is that you’ll be absorbing and distributing power in ways that aren’t always clear, but is always rewarding once you figure it out.
Faraday Protocol is good at delivering those “a-ha!” moments, which drips that sweet dopamine into our brains. However, with many of the game’s puzzles taking time to figure out, it’s a shame that it has a pretty atrocious checkpoint system.
For starters, there’s no way to manually save your game. The first time I got stumped and needed to take a break, I was furious to discover my progress had been sent back nearly 45 minutes when I loaded back in. 45 minutes! It doesn’t support the Xbox’s amazing Quick Resume feature either, which is always a bummer.
This caused me to immediately shut the game off and ignore it for a day or so. Every time I came back to it I was never sure when it was safe to close it down. The thought was always in the back of my mind that I’d load back in with a bunch of progress lost again, and that’s the polar opposite of fun.
Faraday Protocol isn’t enhanced for Xbox Series S|X, but it does run at 4K resolution and 60fps on Series X. This is where I played it so I can’t confirm it’s the same on Series S, but it’s not graphically intense or anything.
In terms of accessibility, it does offer larger subtitle options but doesn’t allow you to remap buttons or toggle any sort of colorblind mode. The subtitles aren’t descriptive either, which isn’t helping anyone that’s hearing impared. In 2021, this should be the bare minimum, so it’s safe to say I’m pretty disappointed by the lack of accessibility features.
Overall, Faraday Protocol is an attractive first-person puzzle game that certainly has “a look” and builds the universe around its tool (shut up) in some really neat ways. But man, that checkpoint system soured the experience so much. I never want to repeat things I’ve already accomplished, let alone 45 minutes worth.
After another 2 hours I’d had my fill of the game and my desire to continue dwindled since I was never sure where I’d load back into. Today I decided to just move on to the next game on my list.
A digital Xbox code was provided for the purpose of this review. It was played entirely on an Xbox Series X. The current price is $19.99 USD. All screenshots were taken by me.
3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About ‘Faraday Protocol’ – An Intriguing First-Person Sci-fi Puzzler With Questionable Checkpoints”
Oh that is the freaking worst. I had that issue with of demo of Blue Reflection. I wanted to save and come back to it, but there was no way to and now I’m not sure if I want to buy the game. If you only have automatic save you better do it often. Better yet just allow me to save whenever the hell I want. Having to retrace steps is enough to make me call quits. I remember one time I lost like two hours in FFVIII and I was SO pissed (saving and moving to differnt console issue). It took me a week to get over and redo the parts.
RPGs without an autosave can go fuck the devil in hell.
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Like why would you do that??? Do you NOT want people to play your game?
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