Blue Protocol: Everything You Need to Know About Bandai Namco’s RPG

Blue Protocol preview Anime MMORPG

Blue Protocol is one of the most exciting games to be announced this year. Bandai Namco’s RPG dropped like a bomb, bringing joy and excitement to the hearts of millions of gamers that have been waiting for years for a great online anime RPG. Phantasy Star Online 2 may be coming to North America in 2020, but Sega’s MMORPG originally launched in 2012, so… we need new games. Let's start with our Blue Protocol preview.

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The first Blue Protocol closed alpha test ran from July 26 to July 28, three mere days to see how it looks and plays. Bandai Namco isn’t allowing any Blue Protocol gameplay footage or screenshots to be shared, but apparently everyone is free to talk about their experience. This means that we have some interesting Blue Protocol info making the rounds.

Allegedly, there were over five million applications for the Blue Protocol alpha test! Considering that only 10 thousand players were accepted, a few of these being members of the press, these numbers are quite impressive, to say the least. Performance and optimization during the alpha test were amazing, with no crashes and a maximum of five seconds of loading time for each phase.

One of the most pressing questions about Blue Protocol is if it is a true MMORPG or not. Genshin Impact, for instance, is an online anime RPG where you can play with a few friends, but it isn’t an MMORPG per se – it’s more of a co-op online RPG.

Judging by some of the shared experiences available, Blue Protocol is, in fact, an MMORPG. There is no confirmation on the maximum number of players in each server, but there are channels with dozens of players roaming around, so this isn’t a mere co-op anime RPG.

Blue Protocol preview MMORPG action combat

Blue Protocol isn’t an open world game in the sense that Black Desert Online is. There are independent zones and each one requires a loading screen, so maybe that places Blue Protocol as a semi-open world MMORPG in the style of TERA or Aion. Zones are big, and each channel can have at least 30 players. The cities and other locations feel alive, with many NPCs roaming the streets. There is a day and night cycle in Blue Protocol, with some mobs only spawning during nighttime and some quests being related to those mobs.

There are four classes for now, revealed before the closed alpha, and there is no gender lock: Aegis Fighter, Twin Striker, Blast Archer and Spellcaster. The combat system is described as action combat in the style of Black Desert Online, with very low cooldown times, which sounds amazing. There is a lock-in feature, but it is optional and very few players seemed interested in using it. Combat is smooth and there is animation interrupt, so that you don’t have to watch the entire thing pan out against your will. Weapon and crafting systems are part of the game as well.

A dungeon boss was able to one-shot you if the timing was right, but you can block or evade his attacks. There was a second phase for the boss that made him stronger and added a couple more skills to his range. Conveniently, there is a dungeon finder that allows you to find a group and/or enter a dungeon without going through the trouble of running to the entrance point.

PvP remains a mystery at this point, because the closed alpha test didn’t include anything related to it. However, it will surely arrive in the future.

Blue Protocol preview MMORPG screenshot

Is Blue Protocol launching outside of Japan? Many clues seem to indicate that it will. First, Bandai Namco has mentioned that it wants to “impress the world” with Blue Protocol, and I doubt that their world is limited to Japan. But the most significant clue is the existence of some language files in the alpha client pointing to ongoing localization – these files include English, Korean, Portuguese and Russian languages, mostly initial work on the UI. While this isn’t a guarantee that Blue Protocol will be released in other markets, it’s a big indicator that there are plans to do so.

These details on the first Blue Protocol closed alpha test put some of our fears to rest. It’s not clear why Bandai Namco never really mentioned the MMO aspect of Blue Protocol, something that would certainly make many players even more excited for it. With great graphics and smooth action combat, Blue Protocol is shaping up to be a great MMORPG and a global release is something that has to happen – if we have waited eight years for Phantasy Star Online 2, I surely don’t mind waiting a couple of years for an English release of Blue Protocol. It’s unlikely that the NDA will lift anytime soon, so you’ll have to wait a while longer before seeing some actual footage of Blue Protocol.

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