Glen Schofield, CEO of Striking Distance Studios (also the game’s director, best known for Dead Space), has taken to the PlayStation Blog to reveal more about what looks to be one of the most promising games of the year.
Schofield wrote, “Delivering an innovative new strategic combat system for The Callisto Protocol has been a huge focus for the team. Action in a survival horror game should be a delicate dance between feelings of desperate helplessness and strategic, skill-based gameplay. It’s a historically tough balance to get right. To solve this, we made the combat in The Callisto Protocol a unique mix of ranged shooting and brutal melee, with a gravity weapon called the GRP (or “Grip”) that lets players quickly move between the two.
We want players to have options, but we also want them to be terrified of every encounter as they get up close and personal with the enemies. We think it’s one of the most intense, visceral, and terrifying combat systems we’ve experienced. Some of the next-gen features amplify it on the PS5 – especially the incredible haptic feedback on the DualSense controller. There’s nothing like feeling the powerful strike of the stun baton landing on one of the Biophage through haptic feedback. It gives me chills every time.
We’re introducing an all-new mechanic called Mutations that add even more depth to the game’s combat.
The creatures in The Callisto Protocol – called Biophage – are inmates at Black Iron Prison who have been transformed by a mysterious outbreak that has thrown the moon into chaos. As the contagion ravages the host’s body, it spreads through a series of tentacles that violently erupt out of their flesh.
When the tentacles emerge, the player has a short window to kill the virus with a few well-placed shots at the tentacles before they can wreak further havoc on their host. Kill the virus, and you get a quick takedown of an enemy. Miss, and … well, you don’t want to miss. If the player fails to take down a Biophage when the tentacles emerge, the virus takes over the creature and sets off a series of hideous mutations that make them stronger, harder to kill, and generally more deadly. Fail to stop the mutations on multiple creatures at once, and players will face a mob of monstrous blood-thirsty foes.
We also revealed a thrilling moment about halfway through the game where Jacob gets thrown into the sewage system in the underbelly of Black Iron Prison. While The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game, we wanted to make sure to mix up the kinds of horror players experience occasionally. Sometimes Jacob feels his way through dark prison corridors; sometimes, he’s flailing for his life in an uncontrollable slide into the depths of the prison’s sanitation system. During this moment, players must avoid environmental hazards as they thrash in the unstoppable current. And, of course, a brutal over-the-top death awaits for those who fail to make it out alive.”
The Callisto Protocol is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on December 2.