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Review: The Callisto Protocol - An Uneven Spiritual Successor To Dead Space

1 month ago 18

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Striking Distance Studios has made no secret of the fact that its inaugural effort, The Callisto Protocol, shares plenty of DNA with Visceral Games' genre-defining Dead Space franchise, and with a bunch of ex-Visceral staff, including Dead Space's co-creator, designer, animation director and co-developer all involved here, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of similarities to be found, plenty of parallels to be drawn, between the two games. But has Glen Schofield's new dev team managed to deliver us a game that can stand toe to toe with 2008's Necromorph-hacking classic? Has Striking Distance Studios successfully extracted the essence of Visceral's breakout hit and reworked it into another standout survival horror experience?

As soon as you take control of protagonist Jacob Lee for the very first time you can immediately feel the deep connections to Isaac Clarke's adventure, with the same purposeful weight and heft to movement and tight third-person perspective that puts you close to the action whilst also allowing you to keep an eye on the game's clever diegetic interface. Just as in Dead Space, Jacob's health bar and various other gauges are represented on his body and suit via holographic elements rather than a more traditional HUD. It's still a super slick and satisfying way to convey vital information, and one that we'd have expected to see borrowed by far more games in the years since we first clapped eyes on it some 14 years ago.

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