Upcoming sci-fi horror, The Callisto Protocol, won’t just be loading players with guns and ammo, it has been revealed. Instead, players will also engage in a lot of melee combat.
This news comes from The Callisto Protocol’s design director, Ben Walker, who said Game Informer (opens in new tab) during an in-depth look at the game’s combat that it’s “leaning towards the survival side of things” and that the “overall tone” of the combat “is kind of a struggle”. It makes sense, then, that he reveals that “almost half of our combat is hand-to-hand.”
That’s not to say the game won’t arm players with ammo for ranged combat, of course, but Walker notes that the balanced split “means you have to be smart about how you use your bullets. So to that we added our melee combos, when they finish they kind of push the enemy away. So that gives you a chance to lock in really fast and get a good clean shot on an enemy.”
In his chat with Game Informer, Walker also talked about how the Striking Distance team will use the PS5’s DualSense controller. “We’re leaning very heavily on all of this,” he said. “As satisfying as it is to hear and see, to feel that it just adds that extra level and that control definitely gives us that ability, so all those little nuances and everything else, we’re working hard to put them in and make sure they really stand out in control.”
In terms of the details, Walker says that “since we have melee, we want the bones to break. Feeling it in control, right? So when you actually make that connection, you’re going to feel that little feeling of cracking the controller.”
The last time we saw the Callisto Protocol was during Summer Game Fest earlier this month, when a new gameplay trailer was revealed. It was an exceptionally gory and visceral affair, so the fact that the game’s combat isn’t afraid to really lean into the up close and personal nature of melee isn’t really all that surprising.
Callisto Protocol is scheduled to release on December 2, 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
These Dead Space comparisons
As more of The Callisto Protocol was shown in the past month, the game has been drawing comparisons to Dead Space, whose remake is due out in January of next year.
Aside from the atmospheric similarities, The Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance Studios has some Dead Space veterans on the team. They include studio head Glen Schofield, who was previously the general manager of Dead Space development studio Visceral Games. Comparisons, therefore, are to be expected.
But with these new details about combat emerging, we are increasingly able to see the points of difference. In a recent interview with PCGamesN (opens in new tab)Striking Distance’s creative director Chris Stone, who was previously the animation director on Dead Space, addressed the comparisons.
Stone highlighted that the team “have all grown and evolved a lot as game creators and artists over the last ten or fifteen years and The Callisto Protocol reflects that”, adding that he thinks the aforementioned mixed combat system, as well as the story and its visuals, will differentiate The Callisto Protocol.
“We built a deep combat system that combines up-close and personal melee action and long-range gunplay with a gravity weapon called the GRP (‘Grip’) that allows players to seamlessly transition between weapons,” Stone explained.
“Low ammo? Grab an enemy and pull them close for a devastating blow with the stun staff. be harassed? Throw an enemy across the room and shoot their legs to get some breathing room. And, of course, if you see an environmental hazard, pick up the enemy and throw them at him to an instant, horrible death.”