The Callisto Protocol (Alien Crunching Workplace Hazard Survival Horror)


Crunchy. The Callisto Protocol is the crunchiest game of 2022. Your protagonist’s head (Jacob) will go crunch. The enemies limbs, head, and torsos will go crunch after beating them with a stun baton. Your controller will go crunch after being thrown on the ground of one of the most frustrating dodge mechanics in a video game to date. Yet, The Callisto Protocol is a love letter to the Dead Space series, and I think it ultimately is let down by some extremely bizarre gameplay design to what would be an otherwise enjoyable survival horror experience. The game has a masterful ambience in both the musical score’s direction and the lighting effects throughout the entire game. The weapons click and clack with a delicious crunchiness to them. Limbs are lopped off with a satisfying schlork, and the sound of a not-so-distant abomination getting ready to play the worlds goriest game of whack-a-mole with Jacob’s face levitate the game to an unseen level of terror. This is a game best played with lights of, and a really decent set of directional headphones.


However, while the gameplay in both guns and ambience work together extremely well, the melee dodging mechanic is utterly horrible. It works by leaning the L-stick either left or right, and I swear throughout the entire game I didn’t understand how to get my character from becoming alien food, especially when two or more enemies were present. This becomes even more frustrating when compounded with the sharp difficulty jump with bosses. I brute-forced my way through almost every boss by simply getting hit, regenerating my health with pickups, and repeating. Dodging was utterly ridiculous, and furthermore Jacob is one of the slowest moving protagonists ever, so there was no chance to get away from any ranged attacks. Those sharp increases in seemingly unfair difficulty spikes could lead to frustration and a seriously crunched controller. Overall, The Callisto Protocol is an excellent survival horror experience let down by some of the most crunchy design choices in history. In time, I expect the difficulty spikes and some of the rougher edges to be tailored to the difficulty levels better, but nevertheless consider The Callisto Protocol an enjoyable experience. 


The Callisto Protocol Official Steam

Written by Steve, Cleaver of Plebian Flesh

The Callisto Protocol
Striking Distance Studios (developer), KRAFTON, Inc. (publisher)
3.7 / 5