Striking Distance Studios details new weapon, monsters and all there is to discover along your harrowing journey through Black Iron Prison.
Since the end of The Callisto Protocol’s main game, things have gone from bad to worse inside the penitentiary. The virus that’s been wreaking havoc inside is threatening to escape the prison and it’s up to you to retrieve Mahler’s data and transmit it off-world. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. You’re going to have to fight tooth and nail to make your way through monster-infested corridors, where new abominations await.
When it comes to battling Biophage, players need reliable tools to survive. The Stun Baton is a great blunt instrument, but new threats call for new gear. According to Lead Systems Designer, Paul Guirao, the team behind The Callisto Protocol listened to fan feedback and decided to add a new melee weapon to the game. “We wanted to give players something more powerful than the Stun Baton,” Guirao explained.
The result is the all-new Kinetic Hammer. With its design and shape, you can feel the power and weight behind every swing. It has light and heavy melee attacks that hit harder than the Stun Baton, but that’s not all – Guirao explains, “Holding down the heavy melee button produces an even more powerful attack. But mastery of the heavy charged mechanic can be tricky… you become the ultimate badass once you’ve mastered it. It’s one of our favorite weapons because it obliterates everything it touches.” As a bonus, a successfully executed charge attack also creates a powerful area-of-effect.
However, the thrill of wielding the Kinetic Hammer is only fully realized when pitted against worthy adversaries. Final Transmission introduces a new enemy type and boss for players to square off with.
With twistedly agile corruptors and brutally powerful two-headed brutes lurking around every corner, not to mention the hard-to-kill Security Units, Black Iron Prison was always a treacherous place. But now a new enemy is stalking its halls: the Biophage Robot, or the Biobot as the developers affectionately call it. This terrifying foe is a combination of Biophage and UJC Security Units, and a deadly reminder that Black Iron is still as dangerous as ever.
“In the main game, the security robots are only seen a couple of times,” Guirao tells me, “With the final chapter, we really dug into the idea of what happens when the Biophage starts taking over machinery.”
Visualizing the Biobot as a grotesque and intimidating bio-mechanical enemy was an iterative process, “We worked closely with the Concept Art team to create a look that fits in TCP’s universe. It took several iterations to establish the look. We went in both extremes, too robotic and then too organic,” Guirao explains. The more robotic iterations felt too much like the existing Security Units and lacked the gruesomeness the team was looking for. On the other hand, the more organic versions appeared too fragile and didn’t do enough to differentiate the powerful new enemies from their Biophage brethren. Eventually the team “found that sweet spot.”
Affectionate nicknames aside, the Biobot is not an enemy to be taken lightly. According to one of the Senior Systems Designers, “Security Unit Robots were big, daunting enemies that couldn’t really be beaten up and would only go down from precision headshots.”
Guirao adds, “we’re not a tactical cover-based game, so making the Biobots a melee unit made more sense for us. We have an in-your-face style of combat and did not want to deviate from that.”
Guirao and the team at Striking Distance watched hundreds of hours of streamers playing The Callisto Protocol, “there was a lot of feedback on how all our NPCs felt the same and it was something that we needed to address.” To survive, players need to employ new tactics to take down Biobots, however, once players get the new melee weapon, they’ll have the chance to exact satisfying and well-deserved revenge on the bio-mechanical enemies and “finally get their chance to smash them apart.”
The Biobot isn’t the only new enemy you’ll encounter in your return to Black Iron. Without giving too much away, the final boss in Final Transmission is truly something special. “Our goal was to showcase the Kinetic Hammer’s power and make players strategize on the best ways to beat the boss; deciding when to use melee or ranged attacks and utilizing the arena to their advantage,” Senior Systems Designer Quinlan Richards reveals, “we’ve given the boss similar mechanics as Jacob, switching seamlessly between hard-hitting melee and aggressive ranged attacks. And to keep things interesting, we’ve given the final boss an ability that goes beyond anything Jacob can do.”
We can’t wait for you to return to Black Iron Prison to face the new horrors lurking its halls. PS4 and PS5 players get exclusive 48-hour early access to The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission starting on June 26 at 9:00pm PST.