Sci-fi horror’s Gamescom appearance digs into the mutating Biophage and a sewage system setpiece.
Earlier this year we gave PlayStation fans a world-exclusive first look at The Callisto Protocol, a new science-fiction survival horror game from the team at Striking Distance Studios.
The response from the PlayStation community has been incredible. Fans have told us that they love the oppressive atmosphere, the terrifying creatures, and isolated deep space setting. We’re grateful for the awesome feedback. It has inspired the team as we polish the game for release in December.
But the community has also had a lot of questions – especially about the combat and gameplay.
That’s why I’m excited to be here to give you a first look at some new features that we’re rolling out this week at gamescom.
Brutal, strategic combat
Delivering an innovative new strategic combat system for The Callisto Protocol has been a huge focus for the team. Action in a survival horror game should be a delicate dance between feelings of desperate helplessness and strategic, skill-based gameplay. It’s a historically tough balance to get right.
To solve this, we made the combat in The Callisto Protocol a unique mix of ranged shooting and brutal melee, with a unique gravity weapon called the GRP (or “Grip”) that let’s players quickly move between the two.
We want players to have options, but we also want them to be terrified of every encounter as they get up close and personal with the enemies.
We think it’s one of the most intense, visceral, and terrifying combat systems we’ve experienced, and it’s amplified by some of the next-gen features on the PS5 – especially the incredible haptic feedback on the DualSense controller.
There’s nothing like feeling the powerful strike of the stun baton landing on one of the Biophage through haptic feedback. It gives me chills every time.
This week at gamescom we’re introducing an all-new mechanic called Mutations that add even more depth to the game’s combat.
The creatures in The Callisto Protocol – called Biophage – are inmates at Black Iron Prison who have been transformed by a mysterious outbreak that has thrown the moon into chaos. As the contagion ravages the host’s body, it spreads through a series of tentacles that violently erupt out of their flesh.
When the tentacles emerge, the player has a short window to kill the virus with a few well-placed shots at the tentacles before they can wreak further havoc on their host.
Kill the virus and you get a quick takedown of an enemy. Miss, and … well, you don’t want to miss.
If the player fails to take down a Biophage when the tentacles emerge, the virus takes over the creature and sets off a series of hideous mutations that make them stronger, harder to kill, and generally more deadly. Fail to stop the mutations on multiple creatures at once and players will face a mob of monstrous blood-thirsty foes.
Epic set piece moments
At gamescom we also revealed a thrilling moment from about halfway through the game where Jacob gets thrown into the sewage system in the underbelly of Black Iron Prison.
While The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game, we wanted to make sure to occasionally mix up the kinds of horror players experience. Sometimes Jacob is feeling his way through dark prison corridors, sometimes he’s flailing for his life in an uncontrollable slide into the depths of the prison’s sanitation system.
During this moment, players must avoid environmental hazards as they thrash in the unstoppable current. And of course, a brutal over-the-top death awaits for those who fail to make it out alive.
We’ve got a lot more to share in the months ahead, but we hope you enjoyed this new look at The Callisto Protocol.
The Callisto Protocol launches on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 December 2, 2022. Glen Schofield offers additional insights into the gamescom demo and the game as a whole in a new PS.Blog interview that you can read here.