The Callisto Protocol

released on Dec 02, 2022

In this narrative-driven, third-person survival horror game set 300 years in the future, the player will take on the role of Jacob Lee – a victim of fate thrown into Black Iron Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary located on Jupiter's moon, Callisto. When inmates begin to transform into monstrous creatures, the prison is thrown into chaos.

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I enjoyed the gameplay, but it overstays its welcome. Game gets repetitive about 2 thirds in. Although there are some great sequences and combat can end up being very satisfying, it is a very shallow experience. Story is utter balls too especially the ending. Boss fights also suck every time.

Great graphics and some cool sequences, but it got boring about halfway through. Also the final boss battle is horrible.

Reminded me of all those B-level Resident Evil-like clones that were all over the PS1 era. Tries to do a survival horror game with a Dead Space feel but doesn't completely succeed.
If you go in expecting a Dead Space like game, you'll be severely disappointed which is I think where a lot of the negative reviews came from when it launched. Combat is pretty simplified and slow paced. Once you mastered it, the game isn't hard. Especially when you can start stealth killing about 2/3rds of the way in.
Story isn't bad, it looks great with some great atmosphere and creepy settings. Around 10-12 hrs long? If you're interested, get it when it's cheap like I did.

It's a huge red flag when a spiritual successor to Dead Space nearly guts out the predecessor's brilliant design of mutilating enemies to kill them. The Callisto Protocol, while having potential for improvement, is an underwhelming product.
Probably the highlight of this game for me is the production of everything. Performances from Josh Duhamel and Karen Fukuhara are both excellent, the animation mixed with Sony's Visual Arts motion capture technology is exceptional (with some cool suit designs and visual effects when using the GRP), and the overall fidelity of everything is quite impressive for a game built with last-gen in mind. Some other things I enjoyed include the great implementation of haptics, neat enemy encounters involving mutations, and some stupid, cheesy jump scares to keep me entertained. It's all surprising for such a small team.
The rest of this game is a mess though. Like stated at the beginning, the biggest flaw I found with The Callisto Protocol is in its combat; a design that's lacking to the point where it feels repetitive and easy at times. I found myself attacking most enemies using my melee weapon, and with a dodge/block mechanic strictly attached to the movement of the left stick, there's barely any challenge here (especially with enemies later on with pretty rough detection AI). Among that, other annoyances like an abrupt and incomplete narrative, which is disappointing because its revelations in the third act make for some cool sci-fi, as well as other small issues like audio logs not playing at all unless you leave the menu open.
When compared to Dead Space, the flaws here are apparent. The Callisto Protocol isn't awful, but a really mediocre survival horror game that does all the right things wrong and the wrong things right. Needless to say, with an attention to production design here, this should've been placed in a different game genre.

The shining example of mid+. Incredible production value, but good lord its gameplay is just Dead Space but shallow with a weird centering on melee combat it can't even make fun.