While a Dead Space remake looms on the horizon, its original creator Glen Schoefield is hard at work bringing life to a spiritual successor. The Callisto Protocol has gone from an inexplicable PUBG spin-off to its own standalone sci-fi horror game. It also appears to be following the original premise for Dead Space – a prison moon gone to hell. However, rather than spirits of the damned like in the original pitch, the terror of Callisto Protocol is leaning more into genetically induced horror.
DEAD, BUT NOT IN SPACE
Gore and dismemberment are everywhere, as are mutated bodies that look to have received quite the bad 3D print job. Given the trailer’s narration, this mutation might not be an accident, but someone’s malevolent scheme. Granted, the killer security robots aren’t encouraging either. Even for a deep state prison, things are looking particularly dire.
What’s all the more amazing is how Schoefield’s team at Striking Distance have also captured the energy of cult-classic The Suffering. This is especially clear in the mix of ranged and melee combat. Like Isaac in Dead Space, players in Callisto will have an integrated health bar displayed on their neck. There’s a distinct variety of environments both interior and exterior despite the grime. Surprisingly, the exterior of the prison brings to mind the tundra of Dead Space 3, with the trailer showing frozen corpses still standing at one point.
Most notable for fans of Schoefield’s past work is how everything appears to be terrestrial. It looks like we won’t be zero-G jumping around. Instead, players are seen scrambling in the dark, decaying remains of the decrypt super-max prison. Though you’re on foot, there’s a distinct emphasis on vertical layouts, hinting at unique level navigation. There’s plenty grizzly hazards on display too.
Though our currently nameless protagonist is an inmate, it seems he’s not the usual convict. Instead, the trailer’s narrator mentions rescuing the lead from a ship wreckage. He then goes on to elaborate on the state of the prison in increasingly creepy ways. While he might not be the main antagonist, it’s clear your benefactor is anything but friendly.
CALLISTO PROTOCOL IS COMING REALLY SOON
Perhaps most surprising is the reveal that the Callisto Protocol is now receiving a PS4 port in addition to PS5. The title was already slated for PS5, Xbox Series S|X, and PC, but the inclusion of a last-gen port suggests a closer working relationship with Sony. It’s a noteworthy pull for PlayStation, as Dead Space’s own remake will be releasing a mere month later and be available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate players via EA Play. With PS5’s still struggling to fill store shelves, it’s just as much a practical decision to ensure the Callisto Protocol releases December 2nd, 2022 for hardware people actually own.
Whether you’re playing on last-gen or current-gen, Callisto Protocol continues to impress as it races towards its launch later this year.