Theseus Protocol - Dystopian Greek Anime
2.3Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

I Need A Hero

Theseus Protocol joins a large pantheon of great deck-building, rogue-like games alongside Slay the Spire and Hand of Fate 2. You take on the role of Prometheus, trying to save humanity by traversing the dystopian future to discover the secrets of Mark City.

Forewarning to you all though, Theseus Protocol is still in Early Access as I am writing this review, and while this already puts Theseus Protocol on shaky foundations, this cyberpunk deck builder still has a few goodies to offer right off the bat, the graphics of Theseus Protocol are damn pretty. It’s always nice to see a rogue-like game that takes its graphics seriously.

The backdrops as well are something to behold mid-battle. There are also some very fun and interesting story beats that you may randomly come across on your runs which I honestly quite enjoyed as they made me feel more immersed and gave me a little reward (sometimes at a price). Theseus Protocol does work diligently to at least key you into some important world-building beats, which is something that can be severely lacking in this genre sometimes. The gameplay is a good bit of fun.

I love the way primary weapons are incorporated using discard mechanics. My advice to any new players, upgrade your weapons ASAP or you will have an awful time early on. Also, the gameplay is not perfect by any means. I felt the UI and animates were very buggy and a bit clunky most of the time. A lot of the attack animations are very similar as well.

Outside of using your firearms and weapons, your character only does a clunky throw animation at your enemies. This wouldn’t have been an issue if the design had been more strategy-oriented and implemented minimal animations as other card rogue-likes do. But the fact that some fancy animations for weapons appear in the game, makes combat feel very dull outside of the turns you use your charged weapons. It just would’ve been nice to see some of these cool-sounding card names (like conductive strike and metal storm) have their own animations.

Theseus Protocol – A True Dystopia

Outside of the flair of animations and graphics, the gameplay is just okay. I played the two available classes Charlotte and Nena. The first class, Charlotte feels great to play but is a very boilerplate, regular hero type who gets old pretty quickly. She is nonetheless pretty strong at the outset. And the improvising decision system she uses is a well-executed gameplay loop.

The other class, Nena, is your summoner class. She summons robots to her aid and they fight for her and heal her. Nena is undoubtedly more powerful than Charlotte. Having two extra people on your side is just ridiculously overpowered. The caveat is that Nena’s deck has so few summon cards, half the time I barely play her summon abilities. So it can be pretty frustrating to play Nena.

Another class Antiope is a melee class but as I am writing this review she is not playable yet. Which is a shame cause I really wanted to see how she played. Speaking of shame, this game will put you right into a world of shame. It is a very punishing game, and I would call myself a seasoned regular to this genre of games. After my first couple of runs, I could barely survive making it to the second room of level 2. The learning curve is steep and not for the faint of heart.

On the rare occasions, I passed further into the game I did enjoy the battles when I could find a half-decent Nena card to play.

Overall Theseus Protocol has the beginnings of something good here. But a lot needs to be done to balance this game. It needs more interesting playstyles and a cleaner UI. And tone down the difficulty! I can only hope we see those improvements soon! 

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