Review of the Callisto Protocol: Survival and Horror Without Depth

Callisto protocol It could have been much better than it is. In the absence of Dead Space and other similar games over the past decade, Callisto protocol It is released here at the end of 2022 to give a shot in the arm of the survival horror genre. and while Callisto It pretty much hits all the basic standards you’d expect from a game of this type, and doesn’t do anything special to make it an unforgettable experience.

Much like the Dead Space series Callisto protocol Director Glen Scofield helped co-create in 2008, Callisto protocol is a sci-fi horror game that takes players to the titular moon of Callisto. Here central protagonist Jacob Lee (portrayed by Josh Duhamel) finds himself trapped inside the Black Iron Prison where he is overrun by vicious and mysterious monsters. Through the help of a number of other characters Lee encounters, you are tasked with trying to find a way out of Callisto while also discovering how this brutal outbreak got started in the first place.

(photo: Striking Distance Studios)

Story of the Callisto protocol Pretty simple, and for the most part, I don’t have a problem with it. I think horror stories often work best when their central conflicts are quite basic, so you have the vast majority of Callisto protocol Focusing on the idea of ​​escaping from the black iron prison works well. Still, without much depth, Callisto He becomes very predictable and non-reactive. So much so, that I could actually work out what was going to happen at the end of the game hours before I even got to it.

One of the biggest issues I have with storytelling Callisto protocol is that many of the subtleties and beliefs about this world are fleshed out through audio records that can be collected over the course of the game. And while this is a perfectly adequate way to fill in the gaps, my main annoyance on this front is that the audio logs can’t even be listened to unless you manually access them from the game menu. Instead of being able to listen to these recordings as you go to a certain level, you instead have to stop whatever you’re doing, find the audio recording question you just chose, and then activate it. It’s an annoying feature and one that I was shocked to see in a 2022 video game.

When it comes to the characters in Callisto protocolThe best thing I can say is that the performance across the board is very strong. Duhamel, in particular, adds a lot of weight to Lee’s character and does a great job in the game’s more emotional moments. Karen Fukuhara, who portrays Danny Nakamura, is also a prominent presence throughout.

(photo: Striking Distance Studios)

Play is part of it Callisto protocol Which I find myself frustrating the most. In general, Lee acquires a number of gadgets over the course of the game, each one very diverse from one another. Lots of fighting in Callisto protocol It encourages you to use melee attacks in an effort to save ammo. This is a good idea on paper, but the melee combat seen in the game is too basic to be fun after the first hour. Lee’s hand attacks remain a one-note for the entirety of the game, and the added dodging and blocking mechanics don’t really change things up.

Guns are also in Callisto protocolHowever, unlike what was seen with Dead Space, there aren’t any weapons that are unique or fun to use. Every weapon you will get over the course Callisto protocol It is a type of handgun, rifle, or assault rifle. These weapons can be upgraded over time and can unlock different shooting modes, but even then, they still work pretty much in the same ways. About a game that wanted to be a spiritual successor dead spaceI was shocked to see her weapons so tacky.

The most unique attack Lee has in his arsenal Callisto protocol It is known as GRP. Basically, GRP allows you to pick up different objects or enemies and push them into the environment. While simply throwing enemies around deals damage on its own, environmental hazards are also frequent and can be used to quickly suppress enemies. GRP isn’t necessarily a game-changing feature Callistobut grabbing a monster and hurling it into the spinning blades of a fan was always fun.


Boss fights are not very common in Callisto protocol, but when they appear, they are not amusing. My primary annoyance is with bosses in Callisto is that they can all shoot you at once at any moment. If you get too close to them and fail to dodge in time, you’ll be quickly greeted with one of the game’s many death animations (which are comically violent to the point of hilarity). The bosses only served to amplify many of my complaints about the gameplay mechanics of the game Callisto protocolwith the game’s final villain proving frustrating beyond the point of enjoyment.

In terms of its merits as a horror game, Callisto protocol At least it does a solid job crafting eerie environments and hideous monsters. Striking Distance Studios has really proven the tone and dynamism I hoped it would be Callisto protocol It will appear since it was first revealed. However, I have to say that I never really found myself afraid of the game in the same way that other survival horror titles have instilled fear in me. There is a notable lack of jump scares and the ones that come up are often relied upon more than once.

Far and away my biggest difficulty with Callisto protocol He came up with his performance and other artistic struggles. I mainly played the game with the Switch’s high-resolution mode (as that was the default option) and constantly saw the frame rate come in below 30fps on the Xbox Series X. This was further exaggerated during the fight sequences, but some of the game’s levels were much worse. In this area where I couldn’t hit 30fps when doing basic tasks. In short, I cannot recommend that you play Callisto On anything other than a high-performance graphical option.

(photo: Striking Distance Studios)

To go along with this, I found myself running into quite a few other small bugs in the game as well. In addition to one crash, I often find myself unable to pick up items or even fail to see certain items regenerate when starting over from a checkpoint. I can’t speak to how the day one patch might have improved some of these bugs, but my time with the game has been very challenging.

Callisto protocol Not necessarily bad, but it does little to validate why survival fans would want these types of games back in the first place. With more depth to its various systems and mechanics, Callisto protocol It would have been more enjoyable from start to finish. Instead, my main takeaways from Callisto I was now much more excited to play a number of other survival horror games that are due to be released in 2023.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Callisto protocol Available now across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC. The publisher provided a review copy for the purpose of this review and the game was played on Xbox Series X.


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