PREVIEW – The Callisto Protocol is an upcoming survival horror game from Dead Space creator Glen Schofield and the spiritual successor to Dead Space. First revealed during the Game Awards back in 2020, we’ve been learning more about the game’s setting, features and mechanics.
The game, set on Jupiter, will see you play as the protagonist Jacob Lee in the year 2320 and promises to be a story-driven, third-person experience. The release date was officially revealed during Sony’s State of Play presentation in June 2022, and we also got to see in-game footage during this year’s Summer Game Fest, which gave us a better idea of what to expect. As a horror-survival game, the latest news is that the Striking Distance Studios team has been studying “real-life” horror and gore during development.
Please read on below to find out everything we know so far about The Callisto Protocol.
Release date of The Callisto Protocol
As revealed at Sony’s State of Play presentation, The Callisto Protocol will have a release date of 2 June 2022, and The Callisto Protocol will have a release date of 2 December 2022.
The Callisto Protocol preview and gameplay trailer
We first got a glimpse of The Callisto Protocol at the 2020 Game Awards show. While that trailer only gave a glimpse of the terrifying journey ahead, it didn’t reveal any key gameplay details.
Things aren’t going too well for our unsuspecting inmate as to be expected. And in the stunningly rendered teaser below, we see a nervous prisoner investigating suspicious noises echoing in a dimly lit prison. As the lights flicker outside his cell and his fear grows, a terrifying, Alien-like creature invades his sleeping cellmate and eerily devours our poor nameless protagonist in a very creepy way.
During Summer Game Fest 2022, we got the clearest, most extended glimpse of The Callisto Protocol, which looked great. The inspiration for the game’s Dead Space is evident here, but even in this brief video, it’s clear that this is no mere clone. Come 2 December.
And the latest trailer, which we received on 30 September from Hungarian distributor Magnew Ltd, gives us a glimpse into the primary setting of The Callisto Protocol: the Black Iron Prison, a maximum security facility on Jupiter’s moon Callisto “where something has gone horribly wrong”.
Callisto Protocol platforms
The game’s platforms revealed so far are PS5, Xbox series consoles and PC. Still, since the game is published by Krafton, the publisher of PUBG, who also released the battle royale on Stadium, there’s a chance that Callisto Protocol will also be on Google’s streaming service. 2 December is just a little bit away; which means we have more time to immerse ourselves in the mysterious history of this fantastic new world…
Callisto Protocol gameplay, settings and characters
As mentioned above, this intergalactic survival horror story takes place 300 years in the future, in 2320, on a Jupiter moon where humanity has never set foot – Callisto. The game revolves around creepy creatures and a conspiracy that unfolds in the dirty and dangerous Black Iron prison on the moon of Callisto. Details of the story are still scarce. What we do know is that the game will be third-person and story-driven.
As in Dead Space, the game is played from a third-person perspective as players fight a variety of melee and ranged weapons against fearsome Biophage opponents.
Like Isaac from the classic EA series, the protagonist of The Callisto Protocol can use a gravity gun called GRP to wield different abilities. From freezing enemies to shooting them down, this tool seems to offer a wide range of possibilities.
As for the project’s ambitions, Schofield has officially stated that he wants to “create the scariest game on next-gen platforms”. Expect plenty of jump scares, an intense atmosphere, and some genuinely creepy monster designs.
Mystery above all else
“Mystery is part of the atmosphere of a game like this,” Schofield said in an interview with GamesRadar. “What’s around the next corner? What’s around the corner? I think it was a good mix of showing enough and still keeping some things like the mechanics, the characters, the story – most of the story – hidden so that we can reveal a little bit more as the game evolves, you know? Some things we have to leave to the audience to figure out. “
Thanks to the May issue of Game Informer, which revealed more screenshots and details about the game, we now know that the main character of Callisto is known as Jacob Lee, who can push and pull objects from a distance. The official Twitter account also revealed that Jacob will be played by Transformers actor Josh Duhamel.
“The game challenges players to break out of the heavily guarded Black Iron prison and uncover its terrifying secrets,” reads the game’s official website – “Blending horror, action and immersive storytelling, the game aims to set a new standard in interactive entertainment horror.”
Not just a new generation of Dead Space
The Callisto Protocol marks Glen Schofield’s return to survival horror, but it’s much more than just a next-generation Dead Space. Callisto appears to bring back Dead Space’s brilliant „diegetic” HUD that will please Dead Space fans. What does that mean in English? It means that your character’s health and other important information will be displayed through your protagonist’s avatar, through his clothes, weapon overlays, etc. You can see an example of this diegetic HUD in the trailer, located on the neck of the prisoner.
The only other notable character in the above teaser is a mysterious figure who monitors the prison’s security cameras. While it’s unclear if it’s the warden of the prison or someone responsible for the outbreak of these monstrous creatures, we’re sure to learn more about this shadowy figure as time passes. The final piece of a surprisingly tight narrative puzzle? A ship called Charon. Though we know little about who is on this ship, as soon as we see this mysterious man towering over the camera control panel, an announcement authorizes the Charon’s landing.
Callisto Protocol is no longer part of the more expansive PUBG universe
Initially, it was revealed that Callisto Protocol occupies the same fictional timeline as PUBG. The reason? Callisto Protocol is published by the company behind the battle royale sensation. Even though this horror jaunt set on Jupiter takes place 300 years in the future, Schofield told GamesRadar+ that “there will be little connections here and there” between the two vastly different games and that this unlikely story-building “will make more sense once the game is released. “
However, in May 2022, Schofield further clarified in a tweet that this was no longer the case. In the statement, Schofield said that Callisto “has its own story and world” that “no longer takes place in the PUBG universe”, explaining that the upcoming horror has grown into its own universe.
Collector’s editions of the Callisto Protocol
As well as the standard Day One Edition includes downloadable content in the form of the Retro Prisoner Character & Weapons Skins Pack and the Contraband Pack on PlayStation only, The Callisto Protocol will also offer a Collector’s Edition.
This physical version includes everything from the Day One Edition, plus issue 0 of The Callisto Protocol comic book series, a Steelbook case, some collectible badges, and a statue of Jacob fighting a mutant enemy.
Notably, this version is only available on Xbox and PlayStation. No PC Collector’s Edition has been announced.