The Callisto Protocol - Dead Space spiritual successor?

I’m not a fan of this game, but the dodge system is pretty forgiving. Hold left, and when you auto dodge, change direction and hold right. The crappy part of it for me was attempting to heal or reload when constantly needed to dodge.

OK I got it, and I feel like a dummy.

I don’t know why it took me so long to think of using those containers on the transport to my advantage, but once it occurred to me to just kite the guy while walking backward and emptying the shotgun into his face, it was almost easy to beat.

Whoa, I did it, the game is beaten. I ended up dropping to easy difficulty because it felt like the game’s approach to making the game harder was making enemies require more hits/bullets to take out and that just gets tedious to me. And even then the final boss was a bear. But I’ll come back to that.

You guys weren’t joking about that Chapter Six boss - I ended up fighting him three more times! Luckily I was able to use basically the same trick to defeat it fairly easily.

But that last boss, man that was a bear, so to speak. It’s like a hodgepodge of annoying enemy tropes crammed into what felt like to me to be far too many stages. I despaired of actually beating the game until finally I did - and I don’t know that it was due to any improvement or refinement on my part, I feel like I just got lucky. But a win is a win, I guess.

I’m going to keep the rest of this as spoiler free as possible since the game hasn’t been out long. Overall my impressions are favorable, I enjoyed the experience. I should say that sci-fi horror is way into my wheelhouse and I’ll tolerate a lot if I get a good time, and I feel I did. Ready for Dead Space remake!

One might accuse me (fairly) of perpetuating a thread on a game that should maybe be allowed to drop into obscurity. But I do feel that I owe the game, and the thread, a little more detail and a bit of follow up on what I liked about it and what I didn’t care for.

One strength of the game I believe is its sense of place. Everything here makes sense, the places you will go and the path you will follow between them. There’s a cool little cutscene moment where your character will find a window and look out onto the surface of Callisto and see the next destination and then, beyond that, another that you’re working toward. And over the next couple of chapters, you’ll progress toward and reach them. It’s much like Dead Space in this way, in that I feel that its environments and characters and the story its telling are tightly bound and make sense together. Black Iron feels like a place, and not just a video game setting.

Second, and in service of the first point, the game looks amazing. As I mentioned, I played on Xbox and I know the PC had a rocky start though I think subsequent patches have gotten things going fairly smoothly. There are sections where I definitely thought to myself, ‘ah, that’s just gross’, and I don’t just mean the gnarly enemy designs.

Third, I like the feel of the character, he seems to have weight and mass. If he climbs a ladder or falls and gets back up, there’s a movement there that seems like what an actual person would use to perform them. I like the way he crawls through the little crawlspaces, pausing at corners to bend and haul himself around the corner. I know, a tiny thing, nobody buys a $70 game to watch someone crawl through tunnels, but it made an impression.

As for things I don’t like, the combat is just … odd. When it’s one-on-one, you’re good and there is even a flow that’s pretty easy to get into. As discussed above, dodging is almost easy once you get a feel for what they’re trying to get you to do. But add one or more enemy, and the game will do this, things get complicated quickly. It’s not uncommon for an enemy to pop up behind you and you can’t just flip around easily to face them. Would have been nice I guess if there was a ‘180’ button. But dodging and attacking more than one or two enemies could be difficult.

And the bosses were not great. That one boss I got stuck on above wasn’t too bad once I got the hang of it, but then he shows up three more times! Maybe they just ran out of time and felt like they needed another ‘boss moment’ and stuck that guy back in. I don’t know. But once you know its trick, it won’t give you as much trouble on subsequent encounters. The last boss though, if anyone has a reliable strategy for that dude, I’d love to hear it. I just banged my head against the wall until it (or my head) gave way. Did not enjoy that part much. But then, I usually don’t enjoy boss fights so maybe I’m not the best person to engage with that part of the game.

As I mentioned, I feel pretty positive overall and don’t regret buying the game. If you’re on the fence about the game, maybe wait for a sale or heck, maybe it will get to Game Pass or an equivalent down the road. I hope these guys get a chance to go back to this with a sequel down the road. I’d love to see things get expanded on.

Low difficulty setting, 2 headed monster in colony, 20 or so attempts, uninstalled. Ain’t got no time for that. For a PS5 next gen $70 game, very underwhelming. It can be pretty at times, even in performance mode, which is the only way to play on ps5. I wanted to like it 🤷‍♂️

Probably not too surprising this hasn’t sold well, but I am a bit surprised they had it forecasted at 5M copies?!

Kinda doubting they recoup their 160M on this one.

This is funny because Dead Space, while a solid game, was also a huge disappointment to the publisher for the same reason. They had pointed at the top performing game in the class (Resident Evil 4) and said “We’ll do better than this.”

Yep, that figure sounded all too familiar.

Fun bonus link.

I think even if Callisto had 92 metacritic and flawless technical state on all platforms it would do 4 million at most. More than that is really reserved for Resident Evil and that’s about it.

Gamefly has the physical discs for Series X and PS5 for $35. Tempting. Though I’d rather have it for that price in a digital edition without having to put in a disc.

First DLC tomorrow. Riot mode?

Is Riot mode what the game needed to make it more fun?

What was the verdict on Callisto?

Lot better than at launch, still not ideal. But Alex raises some fairly high requirements on them (like redoing entire menu system which is too nested and graphics options cannot be changed while ingame, only in main menu). I would not expect them to change this in a patch.
The game runs lot better, there is no stutter and CPU usage is better. I played first hour and it was smooth 60fps even with RT enabled.

Thanks for the info! Maybe I’ll get it during the Steam summer sale.

I watched a playthrough of it, and it felt like the combat was pretty “samey” - felt like you got your weapon pretty early and while you do add abilities to it (like stun) the combat style never really changed. There wasn’t a lot of variety to what you could wield and how you could modify it.

An A or AA title masquerading at AAA as a glance. But you’ll notice as you play. The levels are pretty linear (there are a few places that aren’t completely linear), IMO feeling streamlined due to constraints.
The voice acting is really good but it feels like there was story stuff that got cut due to there not being enough time/money to do what they originally wanted.

Combat is ok. The dodge and melee are pretty good. But the problem you run into is that the game sort of revolves around 1 on 1 melee battles. And you’ll notice this in the AI behavior of creatures when there’s several bearing down on you. It’s sort of an odd feeling at times.

I enjoyed it despite it’s flaws, but it wasn’t worth the AAA price tag TBH and waiting for a sale is the way to go.

Chief Executive Officer Glen Schofield is leaving, a Krafton representative confirmed Wednesday, saying he has “decided to pursue new opportunities.” Striking Distance’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer are also leaving. Krafton said all three departures were voluntary.

Chief Development Officer Steve Papoutsis will take over as CEO. In a statement, Schofield said his departure was “bittersweet, but I know the studio is in excellent hands.”

Schofield founded the studio in 2019 to make a spiritual successor to Dead Space, the sci-fi horror series he co-created while working at Electronic Arts Inc. In December 2022, the company released The Callisto Protocol to mediocre reviews. In January, analysts said the horror game was on track to sell 2 million copies, missing Krafton’s target of 5 million. In recent months, Striking Distance laid off more than 30 staffers. The company’s website now shows around 90 employees.

The OG CTO already left a few months ago, so that’s pretty much all of the old studio leadership gone.