The horror genre has seen a massive resurgence in gaming in recent years, and clearly, it’s going to gather a hell of a lot more momentum in the coming months. There’s a number of major new horror titles launching in the not-so-distant future, and one of the ones that has captured the attention of many is Striking Distance Studio’s The Callisto Protocol.
Seeing as it’s coming from the people that created Dead Space, it goes without saying that the game’s not going to pull any punches where the horror side of things is concerned. But with The Callisto Protocol’s heavy emphasis on gore and brutal combat, does that mean that action is going to be more of a focus than horror?
Not according to design director Ben Walker. Speaking during a recent interview with Game Informer, Walker assured that The Callisto Protocol is very much going to focus on horror and survival in both its tone and gameplay, which is something that its developers have expressed before as well.
Specifically where the combat is concerned, Walker explained that with equal emphasis placed on melee and ranged combat, ammo conservation will become an important consideration, while knowing how to combine those two sides will also be crucial.
“We’re definitely leaning into the survival side of things,” Walker said. “The overall tone of our combat is kind of a struggle. You’re doing whatever you can do to get by and get through. And since almost half of our combat is melee, that means you have to be smart about how you use your bullets. To that end, we’ve added our melee combos, that, when they finish, they push the enemy away. So that gives you a chance to lock on really quick and get a nice, clean shot on an enemy.”
Later in the interview, Walker also talked about The Callisto Protocol’s quintessential horror pacing and tone, explaining that it’s those elements that he personally is most excited about in the game.
“The pacing and the terror,” Walker said when the question was posed to him. “Knowing that something’s out there, being scared of it, and not knowing exactly when it’s gonna come. And it’s kind of the way the atmosphere all comes together. You’ll hear some things in the noise- is that really coming for me? When’s it gonna happen? It’s a little bit of that unknown, and just hitting that nice rhythm and then breaking that rhythm in just the right spots to really get people. You know, make them nervous and stop walking forward, or really startle them when they weren’t expecting it. It’s that pacing and hitting those beats that I always enjoy the most and enjoy working on the most.”
The Callisto Protocol launches on December 2 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In the same interview, Walker also talked about the game’s implementation of the PS5’s DualSense features- read more on that through here.