I had been eagerly waiting for the release of The Callisto Protocol in the end of 2022. From the minds of Dead Space creators, Callisto is a spiritual successor to this survival horror classic. I have to be honest - maybe too much so. After the first couple of hours, I felt that there wasn’t enough of a novelty to have justified my pre-order. Nor to back up claims such as bringing survival horror to the 2020s. This remains a fair warning.
That said, Callisto is an extremely well crafted and high quality cinematic experience. As I kept immersing myself in the world of the game, my initial sense of disappointment diminished. Still, I feel the development team overestimated the novelty of the close combat system. It is, however, really satisfying once you embrace its way of creating flow. If this was paired with a more captivating story, it would have taken the game to the next level. Alas, it is what it is.
Gameplay won’t appeal to many, but chances are if you are Dead Space fan - you’d be fulfilled. Progression is linear, encounters scripted with little left to chance. This is perfectly fine, I enjoyed pre-planning and experimenting with difficult encounters, alongside improving my command of controls. Speaking of controls, there are a few rough edges around weapon swapping but it really forces you to remain composed and intentional under pressure.
In the end, I’m very happy with The Callisto Protocol and can absolutely recommend it. Seeing the level of polish of its visuals and fusion of cinematics with combat, it’s frustrating the whole package has some flaws that keep the game in the “Great” and not “Hall of Fame” category.
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