The Callisto Protocol review. A lovely nod to Dead Space fans

Dead Space has stolen the hearts of players. The Callisto Protocol will do the same

Most players thinking about a really solid survival horror without much thought will point to the Dead Space series. A phenomenal atmosphere, a science fiction world that made all your worst dreams come true, with phenomenal gameplay and a unique atmosphere. Unfortunately, the whole thing began to slightly lose its identity, and the culmination of bad ideas was the third installment of the series, which was packed with microtransactions, and unnecessary co-op appeared in the background. Thus, from a suspenseful game that was a unique experience, we got a regular adventure game with the same core gameplay, but a completely different premise – and players did not hide their disappointment.

The failure must have been extremely painful, as there has been no new entry in the series since 2013. Although the video game market is rich in various horrors, in recent years the first-person view and a completely different combat system (Resident Evil 7: biohazard, Resident Evil Village, Outlast, Layers of Fear) dominate. There was a lack of this type of atmosphere and hope for many was the announcement of a full remake of the first part of Dead Space. Well, wait no more hungry ones – The Callisto Protocol is the perfect dish for your appetite.

Like a debut, but not

The Callisto Protocol is the debut project of Striking Distance Studios. This does not mean, however, that a bunch of rookies worked on the game – quite the opposite. The founder of the studio is Glen Schofield, who was the executive producer of the first part of Dead Space, and the director responsible for the development of the production is Steve Papoutsis, the person who supervised the second and third parts of the iconic series from Electronic Arts. Thus, we have a combination of geniuses who simply did what they do best.

No longer Isaac, but Jacob – but we’re still in space

The Callisto Protocol takes us to 2320 and allows us to play as Jacob Lee, whom we meet while traveling in a spaceship with his companion. However, it seems that the gentlemen do not really like each other – they must cooperate when a group of intruders appears on board their machine. The clash leads to a huge collision, from which only two people come out alive – our protagonist and Dani Nakamura, the woman at the head of the organization that broke into the ship.

However, the ship did not crash in the dream place. The two heroes land on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. However, we will not be able to visit, because we are immediately thrown into the Black Iron prison. The dark place, accompanied by extremely surly guards, does not inspire trust from the very beginning – but the whole “fun” begins when the real destruction occurs. As a result of a mysterious event, everyone in the prison begins to turn into bloodthirsty and terrifying beasts, and Black Iron turns into a hell in which we must survive. I will not reveal further plot details – I will only admit that this story is really worth getting to know.

The Callisto Protocol is the Dead Space of today

The fact that people responsible for Dead Space worked on The Callisto Protocol can be seen at first glance. The core of the gameplay is exactly the same as in the survival horror series beloved by many. The view from behind the hero’s back, gentle pace and slow gait – although we have the possibility of a gentle “sprint”, usually there is not even room for our hero to accelerate. Low light, disturbing music and a struggle for survival – we got everything we wanted.

It’s the same with the fight itself. Our main tools for brutally eliminating mysterious space beasts are a machete with electric “attachments” and a pistol that severs the limbs of opponents as effectively as the popper from Dead Space did. As the game progresses, our arsenal will develop, which will allow for even more effective and spectacular gameplay.

Interestingly, we use … 3D printers to upgrade all weapons. So we can’t increase the damage dealt or unlock a new attack from the menu – for this we have to find a special place in the prison. For everything, however, we need Callisto credits, i.e. the currency supported in this production. Well, we don’t have much of that.

The Callisto Protocol is not a walk. Survival horror in full swing

The Callisto Protocol can scare, but above all it is an extremely brutal production. Fights with opponents are satisfying, but by cutting off or tearing off limbs, Jacob ends most of the duels covered in blood – and in order to collect loot from the defeated aliens, you have to … stomp on their corpses with impetus.

Dead beasts drop, among other things, the aforementioned currency, ammunition for firearms or small amounts of health points, which are worth their weight in gold. Other items, such as first aid kits or batteries, can be found in chests or containers hanging on the wall. Our equipment, however, is very limited, so we will often have to choose what is more important to us. Spoiler: everything is just as important.

At the moment when we get to the 3D printer, we will prefer to spend the money set aside for upgrading the selected weapon on a first aid kit. This happened many times, especially in the later stages of the game – because The Callisto Protocol is not an easy production. We always have too little of everything, and the opponents are really powerful. There will never be a situation where we won’t analyze the consumption of one first aid kit – and when it turns out that there is a small health pack a bit further, you will even load a save from a few minutes ago.

Duels are exciting and on medium difficulty I had to approach any major clashes several times. The whole atmosphere and heaviness of the place and the difficulties of fighting rivals are felt at every turn – but that’s a good thing. This is exactly what I wanted when reaching for this production.

The audiovisual setting rocks

The whole atmosphere is also built by the audiovisual setting. The Callisto Protocol is a game so beautiful it’s nasty. Incredible graphics make everything that happens on the titular moon look extremely real – and therefore even more disturbing. Adding to this the play with light, which is not too much, we get a real revelation. On the one hand, it’s hard to take your eyes off the TV, but on the other hand, we want to do it as often as possible for fear of what awaits us around the corner.

It is also worth mentioning the interface elements that are simply part of the game here. There is no question of a health bar or ammo bar in one of the corners of the screen – the HP level is observed on a special chip on Jacob’s neck, the color and filling of which changes. The number of available bullets is displayed only when aiming and is simply a part of the weapon. There are plenty of such ideas here, which significantly affects the immersion.

The atmosphere is also built by the audio layer. Disturbing music, which constantly plays in the background and can send shivers all over the body in climactic moments, does its job.

The Callisto Protocol review – summary

The Callisto Protocol is exactly what everyone wanted. Survival horror of flesh and blood, where survival is extremely difficult, and the whole thing can scare – but it does not focus on useless jump scares, but builds tension with the atmosphere – and apart from small problems, such as invisible elements that can get in the way during the fight, there is no I just have something to cling to. The first work of Striking Distance Studios is an extremely elegant nod to fans of this genre.

Rating: 9.5/10

The Callisto Protocol – plusy i minusy
  • Keeps you in suspense
  • Effectively scares
  • Survival is a real challenge
  • Combat system
  • How to upgrade weapons
  • Small amount of resources
  • Excellent graphics
  • interface
  • The music enhances the atmosphere of the game
  • Jacob is a worthy replacement for Isaac
  • Survival horror of flesh and blood
  • Some problems before the premiere

Source: AntyWeb by

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