After an exciting incident, the astronaut “Jacob”, the hero of our game, is arrested and taken to the Black Iron Detention Center, the prison that people have built on the moon “Callisto”, to spend the rest of his life there, Our adventure begins when “Jacob” encounters mutated creatures. This prison became a disaster area for unknown reasons. The prison camp seems like a perfect setting for a horror game, with designer Glen Schofield finally returning to the genre after a long absence. Ultimately, The Callisto Protocol wasn’t quite the game we envisioned.
Famed designer Glen Schofield, former creator of the Dead Space series, worked on The Callisto Protocol. It’s clear that he is a fan and has a passion for the horror and science fiction films that were popular in the eighties and early nineties. as well as other horror games whose inspiration appears in the sprawling corners of Callisto. The emerging development team Striking Distance Studios includes many of Visceral’s talents, including Steve Papoutsis, who co-designed Dead Space with Glenn, Scott Whitney, one of its designers, and former animation director Christopher Stone. The core of the team that worked on this game is generally the same that worked on the wonderful game.
After a dramatic incident in the game’s introduction and an argument with an unknown girl, Jacob is arrested and sent to Callisto, the second largest moon of Jupiter, even though it appears that he has committed no crime. There, Jacob learns about the catastrophe that has occurred in this place and how everyone in it has turned into a terrible creature. The player must control Jacob and try to escape from the “Black Metal” prison, which has turned into a hell. The first half of the game doesn’t reveal much, but in the second half of the game, facts and secrets gradually come to light. The developers of Striking Distance paid particular attention to the story, put a lot of effort into making it believable.
This was also made possible by the extremely advanced, even astonishing character modeling, which was shockingly close to reality. The skin and the pores of the hair on it, the facial features and expressions, the folds of the clothes, the sweat, the hair follicles on Jacob’s head, are details that you have to see for yourself to believe, especially on the PC version, which We tested with the RTX 4080 graphics card at the highest settings and 4K resolution with a performance of more than 60 frames. The excellent graphics performance, along with motion capture techniques, helped give the story the realism desired by the designers, which we thought was satisfactory, but of course this will not be the main reason why gamers might buy this game, and so Let’s talk more about the gameplay. .
The gameplay is what surprised us most about this game, and we don’t necessarily mean that in a positive way. It reminds us a lot of Resident Evil 6, not because it is similar to it in mechanics, but because it is similar to it in its unusual design philosophy that encourages the player to play. In a specific and specific way, this method is based on avoiding enemy attacks with the analog stick and then using the stick to direct blows at the transformed enemy, which results in the appearance of an automatic target mark on the enemy for a very short period of time, and when you click on If you shoot him and wound him, you can then perform a manual strike. Miscellaneous. By correctly and sequential execution of attacks, the enemy can be completely eliminated.
This sounds good on paper, but it becomes boring and monotonous over time, especially since weapons are very limited in the first half of the game. In the second half, despite the larger number of weapons, we don’t get any major variety in gameplay. The idea remains essentially the same, and what’s worse is that the combat system doesn’t work well when a group of creatures attacks you, which can cause a cheap loss. Creatures can attack you while you are busy directing consecutive blows at another enemy, and they can kill you in an instant without you being able to do anything, especially since the game does not offer real and effective solutions to counter groups , are other than trying to attract enemies in some way or exploit the environment to get rid of them. The combat system works well in one-on-one battles, but doesn’t really work when facing hordes of enemies, and the second half of the game is full of such group confrontations, which detracts from the value of the game as a whole in our view. There are many provocative moments caused by this strange gameplay system.
The Striking Distance development team is truly talented and has fulfilled its promise of introducing enemies that transform in real time if you don’t eliminate them first, reminding us of the villagers in Capcom’s immortal legend Resident Evil 4, who went through similar stages of transformation , and the player can also exploit the environment through Jacob’s arm, which gains the ability to attract enemies and then throw them in different directions, and throwing them over metal bars results in outright death, but the game isn’t really scary , and it has plenty of action and a few horrifying situations, and we won’t hide from saying that we expected horror. Bigger than the developers of Dead Space. However, the game allows you to develop weapons using the currency you collect throughout the game. We recommend focusing on specific weapons and their abilities.
Additionally, similar to some Silent Hill games, players can step on the corpses of mutated enemies to obtain additional items such as ammo or healing, which is particularly useful given the scarcity of resources. The treatment can be carried out from the main menu, and Jacob will inject himself with the needle and empty its contents into his veins, allowing the green elixir of life to fill his throat again. There is a special system for mutilating enemies and cutting off their bodies such as arms or heads, and they even attack you with their heads severed! Shattering the arm reduces the enemy’s ability to deal multiple blows to Jacob…Jacob himself can also be subjected to similar damage in the same way, and you will often see his flesh, bones and internal parts in a hideous manner.
Callisto Protocol is a game that responds to the needs of players regarding the current trend in the gaming world. It is linear in nature and based on moving forward without going back. It offers an element of exploration via branching paths without leading the player there, but this does mean that the player can also inadvertently pass on some of this content if they head down the high road. The Callisto Protocol contains no real puzzles, as the player simply needs to open locked doors and find the encrypted keys or fuses to progress. Yes, this game is primarily an action game and is again very reminiscent of the Resident Evil action games.
As already mentioned, The Callisto Protocol is one of the best games graphically and across all devices. In addition to the characters, the environment is again very elaborate with ores, metals, dancing flame effects and the destruction surrounding the place. The lighting is some of the best in gaming, with artificial light sources and pulsating red lights triggered by alarms. The game supports ray tracing effects, but unfortunately performance drops when enabled independently of the graphics card. This is simply because the game is based on the Unreal 4 engine and has not been adapted to take advantage of the multiple cores in the central processors. It is based on just a few cores and relies on the speed of a single core being higher and therefore the additional graphics load created by enabling the technology is not distributed across the central processor cores. Below 60 frames, performance drops significantly, although the GPU utilization percentage never reaches 100% or even 90%, so we had to disable the ray tracing options to enjoy the game. We had the same problem with Ghostwire Tokyo this year.
Performance suffered from stutters when the game was first released on PC. This is a curse that has accompanied a large number of games since the release of Microsoft’s DirectX 12 software, which gave programmers more freedom to adjust performance. It solved the problem. These issues are significant because the game now starts compiling shaders from the start, rather than during gameplay. At the moment the game performance is stable. As for the audio performance, as expected, it is another strength of this game and supports ambient sounds, but the music is forgettable and it is content with the role of “extras” in the game without adding anything and we are not a fan of this trend at all.
Tremendous effort went into the design of The Callisto Protocol and it heralds the birth of a studio that will be one of the giants of the industry in the future, and we regret that the design decisions behind the gameplay gave rise to many problems have led to confusion in the confrontations. Video games remain, first and foremost, an interactive medium, and no matter how much effort is put into other aspects, the level of that interaction between the player and the game and its response to what the player thinks and what he wants to do is the first measure for the level of experience as a whole. Callisto Protocol is a really great game and we can confidently recommend it to fans of these types of games, but it’s not the horror game we dreamed of.
We received a review copy from the publisher
- The game features stunning graphics and realistic character modeling, creating a visually immersive experience.
- The story is well-developed and engaging, with gradual reveals of facts and secrets that keep players intrigued.
- The game offers a unique combat system that requires strategic thinking and execution, adding a layer of depth to the gameplay.
- Players can develop weapons using in-game currency, allowing for customization and enhancing the combat experience.
- The game includes a system for mutilating enemies and cutting off their bodies, adding a gruesome and visceral element to the gameplay.
- The game offers an element of exploration through branching paths, providing opportunities for players to discover hidden content.
- The game’s graphics and lighting effects, including ray tracing, contribute to a visually stunning and immersive environment.
- The audio performance is well-executed, with ambient sounds adding to the overall atmospheric experience.
- The gameplay can become repetitive and monotonous over time, especially due to limited weapon options and lack of variety in combat.
- The combat system struggles to handle group confrontations, leading to frustrating and cheap losses.
- The game falls short in delivering the expected horror experience, focusing more on action and fewer terrifying moments.
- The game lacks real puzzles, with progression mainly relying on finding keys or fuses to open locked doors.
- The performance on PC may suffer from stutters and frame rate drops, particularly when ray tracing is enabled.
- The music in the game is forgettable and does not significantly enhance the overall experience.
- The design decisions behind the gameplay have led to confusion in confrontations, impacting the level of interaction and player experience.
1. What is the storyline of The Callisto Protocol?
The game follows the story of an astronaut named Jacob who is arrested and taken to the Black Iron Detention Center on the moon Callisto. He encounters mutated creatures in the prison, which has become a disaster area for unknown reasons.
2. Who is the designer of The Callisto Protocol?
The game was designed by Glen Schofield, the former creator of the Dead Space series. Schofield is known for his passion for horror and science fiction films of the eighties and nineties.
3. How is the gameplay of The Callisto Protocol?
The gameplay of The Callisto Protocol is similar to Resident Evil 6 in terms of its design philosophy. It involves avoiding enemy attacks and using the analog stick to direct blows at the transformed enemy. The combat system works well in one-on-one battles but struggles when facing groups of enemies.
4. Are there horror elements in The Callisto Protocol?
While The Callisto Protocol is primarily an action game, it does have some horrifying situations. However, it may not be as scary as some players might expect, especially compared to the developers’ previous game, Dead Space.
5. How is the graphics and performance of The Callisto Protocol?
The Callisto Protocol is praised for its advanced character modeling and realistic graphics. It supports ray tracing effects but may experience performance drops when enabled. The game’s performance has improved since its initial release. The audio performance is also well-done, although the music is forgettable.