Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game published by Krafton and developed by Striking Distance Studios. This is the first game developed by this studio that was made in 2019, but it is notably composed of veterans of the video game industry who notably worked on the creation of games such as Dead Space, some Call of Duty or the godfather . Games recognized for their narrative experience.
In addition, the project is allocated a budget of AAA. The resources and the people in charge of developing The Callisto Protocol have made it one of the most anticipated games for the end of 2022. We will see if the game lives up to the expectations of the players.
The Callisto Protocol game sheet
|Developed by||Notable Distance Studios||Provided by the publisher||Yes|
|Release Date||December 02, 2022||tried on||PS5|
An almost perfect method
As always, let’s look at the technical aspects of the game first. It offers, as is almost the norm these days, a graphics mode (sold at 30 fps) as well as a performance mode for 60 fps. The former will feature more visual effects while the latter will offer more fluidity. Unfortunately, like the latest games (I have The Witcher 3 or Saints Row in mind), the graphics mode can only be used to admire distant panoramas without movement. And as soon as you start rotating the camera, problems arise, textures blur and the experience becomes complicated immediately. It is quite possible that this is the evil of this generation at last. We would again opt for performance mode, which is very stable.
And despite the loss of graphic effects, the game remains an incredible beauty, which we have never seen in a survival horror. The modeling of characters, enemies, facial animations and texture detail is superb. The fire effects, the weather, the snow seem almost real. We feel here that the means have been implemented to achieve something very technically sound.
Note that there is no real loading during the game. A level design trick is everywhere in the game to manage this aspect. We deal with decontamination airlocks, very long corridors, where dialogues are present to load the rest of the game. This is a clever trick that allows you to maintain a good pace of play.
What are we talking about?
The Callisto Protocol takes place in the year 2320, in a universe where humanity is scattered throughout the solar system. The game features Jacob Lee, then pilot of a cargo ship for the United Jupiter Company. His ship finds itself boarded by a rebel militia led by Dani Nakamura who aims to stop this Jupiter Company’s dark research. Following this confrontation, the ship crashes on Callisto, a moon of Jupiter. Jacob and Dani then find themselves locked up in a high security prison.
After a long process of imprisonment that will see our character transferred with a chip. The goal then is to escape first from this prison, then from this month. To do this, we will cross paths with some fellow travelers. But we will also face a disease that has the effect of changing prison guards as well as prisoners into necro-morphs. At the same time, the prison security unit will deploy its elite robots to try to maintain order in the prison.
Controller in hand, the problem
In the first hours of the game, we enjoy evolving in a very nice setting (for the genre I hear), we recover as the tutorial part progresses, equipment that increases the power of our character. The battles are fierce, and the blood is so bad, our hero will also have his picture taken many times.
However, after two hours of play, we learn that the clashes consist of dodging a left punch, a right punch, before chaining with the baton on the counter attack, before placing a ball when it appears the marker. And this pattern will repeat itself until almost the end of the game, regardless of the different monsters that appear in front of us.
Besides, we are now in 2023, and games must be completed by 100% of players. Many access options are placed and this is a good thing because they can be activated or not depending on the player. On the other hand, there are so many checkpoints in the game, after each monster, the game saves, and here the whole survival part is lost. At no time in this game do we have any fear of dying. The game quickly devolved into a series of repetitive battles that broke down and lacked pressure. As I write these lines, a new game + has just come out, but it takes place under the same conditions, it does not have a permadeath mode, complete or partial game. By keeping the same technical elements, we can recover the “fear of dying”, the main characteristic of this type of game.
We also regret the lack of variety in non-combat gameplay. We evolve through successive corridors, where the decorations are certainly different, and the bestiary expands. But it lacks a puzzle, or a stage where the gameplay varies to break this monotony.
The Hunter’s Eye on The Callisto Protocol
Trophy hunting in The Callisto Protocol will be faster, as the list provided contains only 27 trophies. Most of them are related to progress in the story, which you need to finish on the highest difficulty “Maximum security”.
It will also be necessary to find 43 collectibles scattered throughout the game, which will allow you to learn a little more about the disastrous history of the crew. Then certain actions to be performed will complete this list of trophies.
The adventure will be short because ten hours is enough to get all the trophies by playing on the hard difficulty from the beginning. By dividing the adventure into two parts, to simplify the task, it will take between 15 and 20 hours of play.
Callisto Protocol has great expectations for the end of 2022. Various game presentations have highlighted the fact that it was developed by some of the people behind the iconic Dead Space. We can’t blame them for trying a different gaming experience, we end up with an absolutely awesome game, but unfortunately betrayed by the lack of fear it creates and a sense of repetitiveness that gradually comes home to never left again. We finally get to a gore game, but it doesn’t offer much more. Which is really a shame because of the methods implemented in this project.
High quality technical rendering
Gore at all times
To check the
… But can be messy against some enemies
Ultimately very repetitive gameplay
A sense of fear for its survival is almost nonexistent
Relatively short lifespan (10h)