Protodroid DeLTA is set in the year 21XX during the aftermath of the Great Energy Revolution. Vyper Masters in remotely piloted machines rule their territories with an iron fist. World-renowned roboticist Dr Nora Shelton has created an advanced android which she named DeLTA. This android was created to demonstrate the positive impact AI can have on helping the human race, but she has a lot to prove to this sceptical world and show that she is not just a regular robot.
Suddenly, Dr Shelton's lab becomes a target for the Vypers, and Nora is forced to enable the combat systems for DeLTA and equip her with weapon systems for self-defence. DeLTA now has a new mission: to defend the regions against the uprising of the Vyper enemy, earn the trust of humans, and demonstrate what AI can become to the world.
Protodroid DeLTA is a 3D action platforming title clearly influenced by the Mega Man X series. Instead of sticking to the 2D format where Mega Man only moves left or right, this game introduces a third dimension, adding a whole new level of complexity and challenge. If you found the Mega Man series difficult before, Protodroid DeLTA takes it to a whole new level. I noticed that the jumping mechanics felt a bit clunky compared to the precise jumps you are used to in that series, but once you get used to the weight of the character and the difference between a dash jump and a regular jump, it gets easier to judge what is required to clear that spot.
Protodroid begins with an intro where you protect Dr Shelton's lab from an incoming attack from the Vypers; this is where you learn how to control DeLTA and use your weapons for self-defence. DeLTA has a blaster that can fire single shots or be charged for a powerful blast capable of easily taking down enemies or disabling their shields. Each charged shot consumes energy from the bar displayed in the top left of the screen — if the gauge is depleted, you can only use your weaker single shots. The game provides an easy way to replenish your charge attack by defeating enemies with melee attacks. Simply use a melee attack by pressing the B button (if using an Xbox gamepad) to destroy enemies, these combos will quickly fill the bar. Additionally, you have the ability to lock onto enemies, making it easy to target and defeat them while on the move. DeLTA can also dash, which helps avoid enemy attacks and traverse longer distances. You'll be using this ability frequently as there is a lot of platform jumping in the game.
Once the intro mission is complete, you are taken to the main menu, where you can select which stage/Vyper you want to take on first. There is also a Tribute Armoury created by Dr Shelton, based on her favourite videogame from when she was a child. In it, you can use Tribute Coins — which resemble purple cubes — to buy armour for DeLTA inspired by characters from the Mega Man X Series. All the main heroes and enemies from the series are available, including Mega Man X, Zero, Axl, Vile, Sigma, and an upgraded X with all his enhancements. The regular Mega Man armour costs 20 Tribute Coins, and each subsequent one increases by 20, with the final X armour costing 120.
You also have access to the Item Lab, where you can purchase single-use items and permanent upgrades for DeLTA. You will frequently visit this shop as you collect pickups throughout the stages that resemble black, shining triangles. Defeated enemies drop these, and you find them scattered throughout the stages. When starting a new stage, use the camera control to look around and locate these collectables so you don’t leave any behind. There are three permanent upgrades worth purchasing that help your progress in the game:
Accelcharge: reduces the time required to charge a shot.
Plusguard: reduces hit stun time and knockback when you get hit.
Magnetiser: pulls nearby pickups towards you.
There are also single-use items available for purchase, such as H-Capsules that refill your health gauge, E-Capsules that replenish the energy bar, and an item called Saving Grace that prevents pitfall damage you would acquire in the current level. The effect of Saving Grace lasts until you die, at which point you will need to use another one. It is incredibly helpful for the duration it lasts.
The four stages available that can be completed in any order you wish: Radiant Bay with Evelyn Wang as the Vyper in charge, Durbin with Rocky Jones, Edinburgh ruled by Sasha Shelton and Grand Soleil with Rey Alebrije. Each stage has a different theme, and each Vyper has a unique and eccentric personality — especially Rey. The one common element in all four stages is the amount of jumping required. Some stages have moving platforms that need well-timed jumps, while others have disappearing blocks or moving obstacles that necessitate running and making long leaps. DeLTA will frequently use her dash ability in combination with jumps to cover large gaps that cannot be cleared with a normal jump. However, be cautious that enemies do not get too close to you while attempting one, as your camera may auto-focus on them, making it difficult to land. It is advisable to eliminate as many foes as possible with your blaster before leaping. There are some enemies that have shields that appear and disappear on a set pattern, so you will have to time it so you don’t get hit because if you bump into the shield, you will be pushed off your platform.
Each level is visually appealing, and the water effects are particularly well done. Once I unlocked the Mega Man X armour, I enjoyed running through the levels as one of my favourite characters in a completely new environment we’ve never seen him in. The music in each stage is unique, energetic, and upbeat. However, due to dying frequently, I occasionally found myself getting tired of hearing the same music. In such cases, I would switch to a different stage to add variety.
I find Protodroid DeLTA to be an incredibly challenging game, despite having completed all the Mega Man X titles. Adjusting to the 3D platforming mechanics compared to the 2D format was a bit tricky for me, so I made sure to use the powerups available to me. Therefore, I recommend grinding and saving as many items as possible to purchase upgrades and items from the store while progressing through the stages. If you are accustomed to playing 3D platformers that require precise jumps, you may find this title less challenging than I did, but it is still an enjoyable game to try. However, if you are not typically familiar with this genre, you might become frustrated and feel the urge to quit.
Protodroid DeLTA (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Protodroid DeLTA is a challenging 3D platformer heavily influenced by the Mega Man X series. The game offers a variety of cool stages to choose from and presents crazy enemies to fight, but the jumps and enemy placement can feel unfair at times.