The Callisto Protocol it was and still is on everyone’s lips. The Survival Horror from Krafton e Striking Distance Studios has intrigued fans and press of the gaming world since the announcement and has been available on for a few days PC, PlayStation e Xbox. The general curiosity about the title was born both from the high expectations given by the various trailers, and because he had been seen as a spiritual heir of Dead Space, a very successful video game series that shares the horror themes and style. However, the final result was not the best and part of the public did not react well. But what’s wrong with this title? Let’s find out all the details in this one review of The Callisto Protocol
Our review of The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol is set in 2320 on one of Jupiter’s moon and narrates the (dis)adventures of Jacob Lee, a space shipper who during his last delivery, crashes on Callisto. His spaceship has been attacked by what appears to be a terrorist group led by Dani Nakamura which ends, together with Jacob in the dungeon of Black Iron. It is a structure that welcomes the worst criminal masterminds and which gave Callisto the name of moon-prison.
The conditions with which the prisoners are treated are far from humane and they are subjected to experiments and torture. Before long, however, Jacob’s new life as a prisoner is once again thrown into turmoil by what appears to be a riot. Here, Jacob will meet for Eliasanother prisoner who will help him escape from prison and understand more about the situation.
In fact, the whole structure is teeming with creepy creatures with supernatural powers and abilities. And a nightmarish journey will begin for the protagonists that will lead them, little by little, to discover the true nature of the prison and what happened inside.
All’essenza del “Survival Horror”
As for the gameplay, The Callisto Protocol adopts the characteristics of survival horror by presenting us with a fresh gameplay but without excessive novelty. We have a third person camera with which we will play Jacob to explore and fight against the creatures. We will have available melee and ranged attacks as well as new gadgets and abilities that we will develop throughout the story. Unlike most titles of the genre, close combat is king and Jacob will be able to deliver light and fast blows or heavier and slower blows. These classic mechanics are joined by a interesting dodge system which involves moving the left analog depending on the direction in which you want to dodge or parry (pulling the lever back). It is a simple and effective mix but that in the long run, bored us a bit.
To move the situation we think the GRP glovea high-tech device that allows us to use telekinetic-like energy to “grab” enemies or objects and throw them away from us. In the setting there are spikes on the walls, precipices and valves that are just waiting to welcome our enemies and eliminate them with great satisfaction. As anticipated, ranged weapons perform more of a simple support function, also due to the scarce ammunition available. Alternating melee shots and ranged attacks will be the right strategy especially with the toughest monsters and bosses.
In general, the combat system moves very well but fails in many situations such as in the presence of many enemies or close to obstacles or chasms. Here, animations and action physics step back 10 years, really a shame.
In space, no one can hear you scream: “Mah”
Besides these, i main weaknesses they concern some development choices of the plot and of the characters. Although the story proposed by The Callisto Protocol has all the prerequisites for a truly interesting space tale, the rendering on screen has not been up to par. The plot develops too quickly and awkwardly, interspersed with game sequences. In the same way, the personalities of the characters too often get stuck in the cinematic stereotypes and none of the protagonists manage to stand out, not even Jacob. Added to this the question of “Horror” reduced to a series of Jump Scare which after a few hours of play are highly predictable becoming more boring than scary.
In general, the title moves discreetly and managed to entertain us for all the 13 hours it took us to finish the main story. The duration may increase if you decide to explore the various areas thoroughly. Even if we are in the presence of a fairly limited world, there are many areas to locate, collectibles to collect that give new details on the plot and items/abilities to obtain.
In fact, the game features an intelligent “Shop” system which, through the use of a futuristic 3D printer, will give us the opportunity to develop the skills of the weapons and gadgets that we will find. These are upgrades, new attacks or passive skills, some very useful but none worthy of note. In general, the “skill-tree” is quite meager and fails to give variety to the gameplay.
From a technical point of view…
… the situation is once again average. The game uses an alternative version of theUnreal Engine 4, the graphics engine from Epic Games. The result is a truly excellent graphic rendering with extremely detailed models, realistic faces and excellent animations (It goes without saying that those of the various ways of dying are the most sensational!). Su PlayStation5, the console with which we played The Callisto Protocol for this review, we have two graphics modes available between “performance” and “quality”. In both cases, The Callisto Protocol moves beautifully gives us a high quality thrilling atmosphere with plays of light and shadows, particles and reflectionsreally great.
Ups and downs also with regard to the audio sector. If on the one hand we have an excellent management of three-dimensional sounds, extremely engaging, the Italian dubbing is notably flawed. Despite the skill of our voice actors, the rendering presents a number of problems that we hoped never to be heard in the final version of the game. The volume level often flares resulting at times inaudible compared to ambient sounds or other voices, the times of some dialogues are accelerated or interrupted and some bars are not even dubbed. Therefore we advise you to take advantage of the dubbing in the original language (English).
The Callisto Protocol review in a few clicks
The Callisto Protocol has failed to live up to the hype that has been built around this game since its announcement. A classic gameplay but with interesting variations and a potentially interesting story, they have been spoiled by excessive repetitiveness and mediocre plot and character development.
On PlayStation 5, the technical performance has left us quite satisfied but there are still many defects and we hope that some corrective patches can solve them. If you are a fan of Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol can give you a lot of satisfaction in terms of gameplay and settings.
- Excellent graphics and technical realization
- Combat System well done and fulfilling
- Plot and character development too fast
- At times repetitive
- Don’t call it “horror”
- The Italian dubbing has a thousand flaws