Dead Space’s spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol is more like it than we expected, but the trailer for the Summer Game Fest made a great impression on us.
If we have learned anything from this Summer Game Fest is that modern software houses obviously love to develop horror. If those horror games are hugely inspired by Dead Space and led by members of the original team, then so much the better.
Obviously this is precisely the case with The Callisto Protocol, since the good Glen Schofield (director of the game and executive producer of Dead Space’s own) attended the stage, boldly showing not only a new trailer, but also some healthy ultraviolent gameplay. Now, the intent of the good Glen was crystal clear from the start: to create a spiritual successor to Visceral Games horror, more faithful than ever to the formula so loved by the fan base at the time; yet we must admit that we expected something more surprising from the gameplay shown, especially from a new team led by a veteran with a very respectable pedigree in the industry.
The Callisto Protocol, on the other hand, seemed to want to refer to its “ancestor” almost 100%, so much so that it seems almost an integral part of the original series. Some gems in the gameplay revealed, however, have been noticed, in addition to a technical sector of a certain level.
Today we try to analyze the trailer for the Summer Game Fest of The Callisto Protocolthe successor of Dead Space
No more unknowns, much more horror
Considering that it was born from an offshoot of what are now PUBG Studios, The Callisto Protocol was originally supposed to be set (very distantly) in the PUBG: Battlegrounds universe, but recently the publisher must have realized how absurd the connection was. and has decided to abandon everything to focus on a separate universe.
The game then takes place in 2320 in a prison located on Jupiter’s moon called Callisto, also known as “the dead moon”, where our alter ego – a prisoner named Jacob, apparently unfortunate enough to end up there by accident and be captured after a crash – finds himself suddenly free due to the chaos resulting from the transformation into monsters of most of the inmates.
Considering that the monstrosity wandering around Callisto are anything but friendly, the good Jacob decides to arm himself fully and seek a life of escape as soon as possible, perhaps even investigating what really happened in the meantime. And ok, it won’t have the charm of the narrative background of Dead Space and its mysterious monoliths, but as you can well guess it is more than enough basis to insert a random poor guy in a claustrophobic metal hell full of monsters ready to escape. every hole.
And the atmosphere is unmistakable: the silences, the scarcity of lighting, the movements of the monsters … everything seriously reminds us of Dead Space. God, maybe even too close, since the gameplay shown once again emphasizes dismemberment, thanks to clearly complex enemy hitboxes separated into several parts, which allow them to be crippled with precise blows to the legs or to make them less dangerous by cutting off the limbs. Hard at the moment to say if, unlike the Visceral title, here the dismemberment represents only an alternative to the good old shots to the head, however considering the focus on this type of elimination shown during the demo we find it difficult. If nothing else, the characteristics of the fight don’t seem to stop there.
Death around every corner
During the demo, in fact, in addition to a pistol extremely similar to the plasma gun – complete with a linear sight designed to facilitate shots to the limbs – a weapon called The Grip, which works as a mix between the Stasis Gun and a gravity gun. In practice, it immediately attracts enemies and paralyzes them and then hurls them at a long distance, and it seems very useful for warding off particularly aggressive monsters or to take advantage of another feature of the title: environmental dangers.
The maps of the game contain, after all, potentially lethal objects and traps; during a combat phase Jacob throws one of the game’s “space zombies” into a moving turbine, obtaining an inevitable smoothie in a few seconds, and it only takes a handful of moments for him to be eliminated inside a similar object nearby afterwards an enemy shoulder. This choice adds a bit of additional tactics to the combat and it wouldn’t surprise us if there were other weapons in the game that could move enemies in a similar way to the one just described.
Another gem of the title is the presence of weapons body to body, given that Jacob seems to be at least more knowledgeable in the fight than Isaac and does not disdain eliminations through a bit of healthy blows, aided by a sort of electric baton. Executions by stomping or brutal final blows are clearly an integral part of the experience here as well. Difficult to fully assess the rest, yet from the trailer it seems at least that the behavioral routines of the enemies are quite complex. They move like obsessed, and change patterns of movement and speed based on the limbs lost. They also seem to have the ability to load, and boast a minimum of diversification even among the basic types.
And the technical sector? Well, at the moment it seems very respectable, with excellent animations, a level of detail that cannot be underestimated, and the clever choice of an interface reduced to a minimum (another element taken in weight by Dead Space, with lots of bullets remaining clearly visible on the weapons and colored waist indicator on the protagonist’s neck). Only stumbles a couple of noticeable drops in frame rate during the action, fairly worrying considering that the game will be released at the end of the year. However, there is plenty of time to optimize the performance for the launch and what we have seen gives us some confidence.
The gameplay of The Callisto Protocol felt solid to us and, despite an almost morbid attachment to the original Dead Space concept, the title of Schofield and his new team seems to have the quality necessary to stand on its legs. Will he be able to be as distressing and atmospheric as his predecessor today? We will find out only by trying it, but it is not long before launch.
- Technically solid and full of atmosphere
- Combat very close to that of Dead Space, with some interesting additions
- The quality of the campaign and the narrative are all to be demonstrated
- There is clearly a need to tweak the game a bit
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