In the spiritual sequel to Dead Space, it’s not just firearms you have to use to keep your opponents at bay.
Glen Schofield was the creator of Dead Space as Visceral Games’ general manager. Still, after Electronic Arts shut down the entire team, he founded a new studio called Striking Distance Studios. This group is now making a sci-fi survival horror for Krafton. Game Informer interviewed Ben Walker, the game’s design director, on the subject of how players can fight weird, slimy enemies.
There will be firearms so you can take them down from a distance, but unlike Dead Space, there are no other purpose-built engineering tools to mow them down. There will be more conventional weapons that can be upgraded through tech trees. The downside will be a lack of ammunition, which will result in a heavy emphasis on melee combat, which will also require a more tactical approach with a combo system. Walker states, “We’re leaning into the survival side of things. The overall tone of our combat is kind of a struggle, right? You’re doing whatever you can to get by and get through. And since we do have, almost half of our combat is melee, [it] means you have to be smart about how you use your bullets. So to that end, we’ve added our melee combos. When they finish, they kind of push the enemy away. So that gives you a chance to lock on quickly and get a nice clean shot on an enemy.”
A stun baton will be with you throughout the game, and the GRP is a weapon similar to Half-Life 2’s gravity gun that can pick up and pull opponents in or even push them away. On the other hand, Striking Distance aimed for blood, violence and its depiction. Bones can be broken quite nicely, limbs can be lost, and disembowelling is not impossible in the game.
Walker added, “A lot of teams still get squeamish when they see them. It’s always fascinating, yeah. Even if you see it repeatedly in development, some of these go all out, and it’s fun. I know everybody likes them. Personally, it’s one of my favourite parts. Also, it helps us when we’re making combat. We can be a little bit more brutal because if losing is a reward to the player in itself, and they get to see a new anim(ation), that’s kind of fun, because great, let’s make our combat a little bit harder and get to enjoy everything it has to offer.”
Schofield also said that it wasn’t just about biting the head off, but they’ve taken the top off to make everything more disgusting, and with the power of the new consoles, they can do that. But we’ll have to wait until December 2 for the results because that’s when The Callisto Protocol comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.