The Callisto Protocol: A Dead Space-Inspired Survival Horror

The Callisto Protocol

The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game developed by Striking Distance Studios and published by KRAFTON, Bluehole Inc. that draws heavily from the iconic Dead Space franchise. The game is set in a prison on the Callisto moon, which has been overrun by infected and rapidly mutating inmates, and follows the story of Jacob Lee, a courier who crash lands on the moon and becomes embroiled in the plans of a terrorist cell.

While the game has a solid core and offers a terrifying experience for players, it has been met with mixed reviews due to its frequent reliance on Dead Space for inspiration.

In this article, we will delve deeper into The Callisto Protocol and explore its similarities and differences with Dead Space. We will examine its gameplay mechanics, setting and story, criticisms and flaws, and more. By doing so, we hope to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the game and its place within the survival horror genre.

The Callisto Protocol

Key Takeaways

  • The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game heavily inspired by Dead Space, developed by Striking Distance Studios and published by KRAFTON, Bluehole Inc.
  • The game features a third-person corridor horror shooter gameplay format, set in a prison on the Callisto moon called Black Iron Prison, and the protagonist is Jacob Lee, a courier who crash lands on Callisto and gets embroiled in the plans of a terrorist cell.
  • While the game has good-looking visuals and a solid core, it often defers to its inspirations, lacks complexity and variety in its combat system, and suffers from repetitive enemy types and combat encounters.
  • The game’s setting and story allude to themes of a for-profit prison system and systematic protection of violent police, but never really does anything with them, relying heavily on stereotypes and tropes for its characters, and its environmental storytelling often doesn’t tell any meaningful story about the penitentiary itself or the people that lived and worked there.

The Callisto Protocol Overview

The Callisto Protocol

The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game developed by Striking Distance Studios and published by KRAFTON, heavily inspired by Dead Space. The game features a third-person corridor horror shooter gameplay format, and is set in a prison on the Callisto moon called Black Iron Prison. The player takes on the role of Jacob Lee, a courier who crash lands on Callisto and finds himself caught up in the plans of a terrorist cell.

The game’s roughly 12-hour runtime includes areas like rotating botany stations and snowy environments, but according to a review by Nicholas Kennedy on GamesHub, it suffers from a lack of originality and fails to subvert expectations or introduce something new.

Despite its shortcomings, The Callisto Protocol has generated interest among fans of the survival horror genre. The game’s release on multiple platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X, has helped to expand its audience. The inclusion of 3D printing stalls for weapon upgrades and a special glove called the GRP that allows for telekinesis are some of the features that have garnered attention.

However, Kennedy’s review notes that the game’s rudimentary stealth system, limited combat mechanics, and lack of enemy variety make for a repetitive experience.

Gameplay Mechanics

The Callisto Protocol

Combat encounters in The Callisto Protocol suffer from a lack of variety and complexity. While the game’s committed, one-on-one melee combat system borrows from The Last of Us, it fails to offer much beyond that. The game’s dodge system is forgiving but limited, and enemies lack diversity, with only six distinct types present. Boss encounters are particularly disappointing, as they lack complexity and variety.

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The actions available to the player are reliable but restrictive, making the game’s combat encounters feel repetitive after a while. The game’s rudimentary stealth system is used to sneak around blind enemies, but it does not add much depth to the gameplay.

Overall, The Callisto Protocol’s gameplay mechanics have some solid core elements, but every opportunity it gets to subvert expectations or do something new is a moment of deferral to its inspirations. The game’s actions and combat system could benefit from more complexity and variety, which would make the gameplay more engaging and less repetitive.

The Callisto Protocol Setting and Story

The Callisto Protocol

Despite alluding to themes of a for-profit prison system and systematic protection of violent police in its lore, The Callisto Protocol fails to explore these concepts in a meaningful way, relying heavily on stereotypes and tropes for its characters while its environmental storytelling often falls flat.

The setting of the Black Iron Prison on the Callisto moon is intriguing, with the prison overrun with infected and rapidly mutating inmates. However, the game’s lore does not delve deeper into the implications of a for-profit prison system, instead using it as a backdrop for the horror elements of the game.

The protagonist, Jacob Lee, is a courier who crash lands on Callisto and gets embroiled in the plans of a terrorist cell. While Lee’s backstory is interesting, the game’s reliance on stereotypes for its characters detracts from the overall experience.

The environmental storytelling also does not add much to the game, with the details about the penitentiary and the people who lived and worked there not expanding or telling any kind of meaningful story.

Overall, while the setting and story have potential, The Callisto Protocol fails to fully realize its ideas, resulting in a lackluster experience.

Criticisms and Flaws

The Callisto Protocol

One major criticism of The Callisto Protocol is its lack of originality, as it heavily relies on its inspirations and fails to offer anything new or innovative to the survival horror genre. The game seems to borrow heavily from Dead Space, to the point where it feels like a copycat rather than a unique entity. It is understandable that games draw inspiration from successful titles, but The Callisto Protocol’s reliance on its predecessors is so heavy-handed that it detracts from the overall experience.

Another flaw of The Callisto Protocol lies in its lack of fully fleshed-out characters and world-building. The game relies heavily on stereotypes and tropes, without offering any meaningful development or exploration of its characters or setting. The environmental storytelling often falls flat, failing to expand on the penitentiary’s story or the people who lived and worked there.

Overall, while The Callisto Protocol has its strong points, such as solid gameplay mechanics and good-looking visuals, its lack of originality and flat characters prevent it from truly standing out in the survival horror genre.

The Callisto Protocol Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GRP glove in The Callisto Protocol and how does it affect gameplay?

The GRP glove in The Callisto Protocol is a special glove that enables the player to use telekinesis during combat. It affects gameplay by allowing the player to manipulate objects and throw them at enemies, adding a layer of strategy to combat encounters.

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Does The Callisto Protocol have any multiplayer options?

The Callisto Protocol does not have any multiplayer options.

How does the game handle difficulty settings and customization?

Difficulty settings and customization options in The Callisto Protocol are limited, with only two difficulty levels available. Players can adjust the game’s graphics settings and toggle options like aim assist, but there is no option to change the game’s fundamental mechanics or gameplay systems.

Are there any notable voice actors or musical composers involved in the game’s production?

The voice actors and musical composers involved in The Callisto Protocol’s production are not mentioned in the available information.

How does The Callisto Protocol’s story tie into the greater universe of Dead Space, if at all?

There is no direct tie-in between The Callisto Protocol and the Dead Space universe. The game draws inspiration from Dead Space but is a standalone story set on the Callisto moon in a prison overrun by infected inmates.

Conclusion

The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game that draws heavily from Dead Space. While it has solid gameplay mechanics and an intriguing setting, it ultimately fails to fully break free from its inspirations and establish its own identity.

The game’s story, while intriguing, falls short in execution, and the game’s reliance on jump scares can become tiresome.

Despite these criticisms, The Callisto Protocol still manages to deliver a thrilling horror experience that will satisfy fans of the genre. The game’s attention to detail in both its gameplay and setting is commendable, and the oppressive atmosphere of the prison on Callisto moon is truly chilling.

However, the game’s lack of originality ultimately holds it back from being a standout title in the genre.

In conclusion, The Callisto Protocol is a competent survival horror game that is worth checking out for fans of the genre. However, its reliance on its inspirations and lack of originality prevent it from truly standing out.

As players navigate the dark corridors of the prison, they may find themselves asking: can a game truly be successful if it never fully breaks free from its inspirations?

The Callisto Protocol

PlatformsPlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperStriking Distance Studios
Initial release dateDecember 2, 2022
PublishersKRAFTON, KRAFTON, Inc.
WriterR. Eric Lieb
ModeSingle-player video game
GenresSurvival horror, Shooter Video Game, Adventure game, Fighting game
 
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