‘Blue Protocol’ First Look, Bandai Namco’s First Foray Into Action MMOs

During the very last few days of June, a rather odd announcement from Bandai Namco came out detailing the development of a new game titled Blue Protocol — quickly followed by a teaser trailer uploaded on the game’s dedicated YouTube channel last week.

All of the announcements and reveals, so far, have been scant on details. However, we can piece together a considerable amount of information that could hint at where exactly the game is heading.

First is the initial reveal itself. From what has been announced at the beginning, there is a particular focus on making its visuals as impressive as possible. As officially described, the game wants to “fabricate a world that has stunning graphics that would feel as if you are inside an anime movie.”

Indeed, the game is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and this backs up the previous declaration. The game, being an action MMO, makes this even more intriguing. Because, as we’ve witnessed from the likes of Monster Hunter World, the frenetic “liveliness” of multiple interacting visual elements makes for a dazzling world to look at.

Even something like Devil May Cry 5 occasionally makes players stop the combo frenzy, to momentarily appreciate the sheer amount of detail placed into each environment.

As for what the short teaser unveiled, it is apparently a world with a combination of fantasy and science fiction elements that would probably fit in the universe of Xenoblade Chronicles well. What seems to be materialization/teleportation sequences though, actually give a stronger impression of something like Star Ocean.

Regardless of any similarity to a previous title, the combination of designs is put together nicely to give this integrated “magic-tech” feel, something that would perhaps be the central theme of its world’s lore.

The action part, however, seemed a bit vague. When observed outwardly, it does not appear that much different from many action MMOs that are already out there. Though to be fair, there are no technical mechanics explained yet, and considering that what we have for now is the game’s teaser.

Given Bandai Namco’s track record for publishing action games created by well-established development teams, this is most likely not going to be a problem. In fact, this is probably where you should feel the most confident about in Blue Protocol. Apart from regular action games like the God Eater series, we have an actual action RPG series in the company’s release lineup such as Code Vein, as well as the all-famous Tales RPG series.

Case in point, if there’s any major game company that knows a thing or two about anime-themed action RPGs, it’s going to be Bandai Namco.

Ever since the first teaser trailer came out, the game’s official Twitter account had released several short clips of character creation sequences.

According to what’s seen on both tweets, the customization levels are so far satisfactory. Quite typical, nowhere near something the likes of Phantasy Star Online 2. But it is more than enough to cover for what is needed to create unique customizations.

In other words, what you would probably want will be there, such as height, body build, facial build, eyes, etc. Specifics like appendage bulk, muscularity/flabbiness, body part size ratios, will most likely be put aside. Piece by piece clothing customization is yet to be confirmed, and probably won’t be for a good long while, since alpha testers will only be given set pieces of equipment.

If you’re still worried about character creation options though, Blue Protocol has also released an official statement detailing how actual customization options will be different when the game is officially released.

Bandai Namco is currently holding a closed alpha tester registration campaign. The target was initially 5,000, but it was extended to 10,000 players as per the game development’s latest update.

If you currently live in Japan, instructions and additional details are available on the official website (Japanese). The registration period is until July 16th, with the alpha test itself starting on July 26th.

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