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Steve Farrelly
AusGamers Editor
Sydney, New South Wales
9323 posts
I think it's time we just acknowledge moving forward, in any form of media, that nested undead, or parasite host husks, or whatever isn't officially tagged as a "zombie", is now a necromorph. Because there's almost no way I can go into Glen Schofield's The Callisto Protocol without seeing his new undead enemies as like-for-like to those he created all those years ago with Michael Condrey in the original Dead Space.

Especially after witnessing today's new trailer.



Now, before I dissect any of this, here's the official run down:
Set on Jupiter’s dead moon Callisto in the year 2320, The Callisto Protocol challenges players to escape the maximum-security Black Iron Prison and uncover the terrifying secrets of the United Jupiter Company. Players will need to search their surroundings and adapt their tactics, using a unique blend of shooting and close-quarters combat to survive a mysterious outbreak that has thrown Callisto into chaos.

The game stars Josh Duhamel as Jacob Lee, a cargo ship pilot trapped deep within Black Iron Prison, and Karen F**uhara, star of The Boys, who plays a mysterious fellow inmate. More details about the game’s cast and story will be revealed later this year.

“As a game director, there’s nothing more satisfying than taking players on a terrifying ride that stays with them long after they’ve put the controller down,” said Glen Schofield, CEO of Striking Distance Studios. “Survival horror games have been my passion for decades, and I’m excited to take advantage of the latest consoles to take the genre to terrifying new places when we ship The Callisto Protocol later this year.”

Striking Distance Studios is building The Callisto Protocol using a unique design process the team calls “Horror Engineering.” By blending elements of brutality, atmosphere, tension, humanity, and hopelessness, the studio delivers unforgettable scares that keep players’ hearts racing as they survive to escape the horrors of Callisto and Black Iron Prison.

“The team at Striking Distance Studios are masters of their craft, and we are thrilled to share The Callisto Protocol with the world later this year,” said C.H. Kim, CEO of KRAFTON. “At KRAFTON, we empower teams to build incredible experiences that sit at the intersection of art, design, and technology, and Striking Distance Studios is our flagship development team in the western world.”
So, out of the [Black] gate, the "spiritual successor" stuff to Dead Space is very, very clear. And that's okay. Outside of the upcoming Motive-developed remake of the original game, EA's vision for the IP has been spotty, at best. And in the hands of one of its co-creators, there's nothing wrong with The Callisto Protocol here being an almost 'reset', if you will, of what Schofield set out to do all those years ago, only now with him calling all of the shots.

What we can gather, loosely, from the trailer is that the necromorphic threat here nests and uses hosts (ala Alien), with varying enemy types forming through that process. This means a mixture of ranged and melee combat will drive this experience, and as a betting man I'm going to put my Callisto Cash on a greater emphasis where the latter is concerned, as Schofield loves tension. However, this should also mean there's a more scavenger-esque lean on weapons and items for the experience, burying the game deeply into survival horror.

The trailer also hints at a hive-mind speaking with our main protagonist, or some sort of puppeteer who has orchestrated whatever this outbreak is, so motivations for that, and from a prison no less, makes this a really interesting foundation to build a narrative from.

We can also assume the game will feature plenty of gameplay in exteriors, which will go a long way to separating it from Dead Space and should really allow the art teams to shine when it comes to atmosphere (heh).

We'll do our best to ask for more details on the game as we close in on release, which is slated for all major platforms in PC and next-gen consoles this December 2.

Check out a handful of screenshots of the game below.











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