In Defense of The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol generated immense anticipation as one of the highly awaited horror games of 2022. Helmed by Glen Schofield, the visionary behind...
The Callisto Protocol generated immense anticipation as one of the highly awaited horror games of 2022. Helmed by Glen Schofield, the visionary behind Dead Space, it appeared to be the much-desired sequel that many of us had longed for. It is important to note that it was announced prior to the Dead Space remake, thus making it the sole offering reminiscent of the atmospheric dread akin to Event Horizon, eagerly awaiting us on the, um, horizon.
Upon release, the game proved to be a disappointment, although not as abysmal as some initially portrayed it. Particularly with subsequent updates, additions, and the remarkably commendable Final Transmission DLC, The Callisto Protocol has evolved into a commendable horror game, despite its imperfections.
Let's begin with the primary criticism that many have raised regarding Callisto - its melee combat, specifically the excessive reliance on it. It is understandable that numerous players gravitate towards melee, given the absence of ranged options in the initial areas, and even when firearms become available, ammunition remains scarce. Nevertheless, this situation only persists for the first few hours. Subsequently, ammunition becomes more abundant. This is largely attributed to a gameplay feature absent in Resident Evil 4 but present in Dead Space - the ability to purchase ammunition, which happens to be quite affordable as well.
You can definitely approach Callisto in a similar manner to Dead Space, and it proves to be much more enjoyable than relying solely on melee combat throughout the entire game. Many individuals tend to opt for the melee route as the supposedly optimal strategy, but why choose it if it doesn't provide enjoyment? Even upon initial release, I had a rather positive experience with Callisto, despite its flaws, primarily because I predominantly utilized firearms about 90 percent of the time. It is also probable that some people overlooked the presence of superior hidden weapons, such as the Skunk Gun, which surpasses the default Riot Gun as a more effective shotgun.
Striking Distance persevered with this game, ensuring that the updates and additional content surpassed expectations. A plethora of additions were introduced, such as two new difficulty modes, a horde mode, and New Game Plus, although the latter should have been included from the outset. And let's not forget about Final Transmission.
You're aware of how certain DLCs surpass the quality of the core game itself, with Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den being the most renowned example. Final Transmission unquestionably falls into that category. Many individuals expressed their dislike for the ventilation shafts utilized as concealed loading screens, particularly during the initial half of the game. I share that sentiment too, as it became tedious and excessively repetitive even after a few brief sequences.
In this DLC, things are shaken up, and you will encounter some unexpected surprises within the ventilation system. The level design has also been enhanced, offering additional optional paths to explore. Moreover, the melee combat has been bolstered with the inclusion of the formidable Kinetic Hammer. This weapon is both merciless and capable of unleashing a devastating charged ground slam attack that inflicts significant damage.
Final Transmission also contains the most exceptional moment within the entire game. Towards the end, there is a lengthy corridor that unleashes an astonishingly overwhelming number of enemies upon you. Whether you're mowing down hordes of adversaries with your Assault Rifle or dispatching multiple foes simultaneously with a ground slam from the hammer, it's an absolute thrill. Even the final boss encounter proves to be enjoyable this time around, devoid of any disappointment.
It is disheartening to observe the limited attention given to the DLC and the overall lack of interest upon its release in June. Final Transmission demonstrated the potential that The Callisto Protocol possessed, and Striking Distance could have certainly crafted a sequel that astounded us. Regrettably, such a prospect is highly improbable now, given Callisto's underperformance in sales and the studio's unfortunate experience of staff reductions. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Schofield himself has also departed from the project.
The Callisto Protocol was not as terrible as some may claim. If you possess the knowledge of maximizing your firearms' potential, you will likely have an enjoyable experience, particularly with the comprehensive package. Riot Mode and Final Transmission stand out as perhaps the two most remarkable aspects of the entire endeavor. Do not allow the negative reception to discourage you from giving it a try.