The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers us

The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space? The creator of the horror game answers us

Game News The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space? The creator of the horror game answers us

Returning to much fanfare at the latest State of Play, The Callisto Protocol will soon arrive to slay the jitters on PC and consoles. A project that is very reminiscent of Dead Space, the famous survival-horror that had thrilled the crowds at the time PS3 / 360. And for good reason, it is again Glen Schofield – father of the series – who is in charge! Imagine that we had the chance to ask him a few questions. Ready to shiver? Here we go, time for the interview.

Like a tasty “jump scare”, The Callisto Protocol took everyone by surprise when it was announced at the Game Awards 2020. A reveal that was enough to make you jump with joy – and not fear. How to decline a new survival horror from the creators of dead space with on board Glen Schofield himself, father of the famous license? Ten years ago, it was the ultimate horror game, simultaneously oppressive, bloody, brutal. Simply scary. But after a half-hearted third installment and the closure of the Visceral Games studio (at the origin of the three opuses released to date) the series was plunged into a deep silence. Glen Schofield, for his part, had already left the ship to join Sledgehammer Games, a company he co-founded a few years earlier. We owe him several games of a famous FPS. “Believe it or not (before The Callisto Protocol, editor’s note) I was in the desert to rest after my ten years on Call of Duty” tells us the creator of Dead Space, via Zoom. “And when I was there, by dint of drawing, ideas came to me. The future The Callisto Protocol was one of his ideas”.

Still related to PUBG?

If you follow the news around The Callisto Protocol, you probably know that the game was originally supposed to take place in the universe of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegroundsthe famous battle royale (Glen Schofield’s project is published by the Krafton company, which publishes and develops PUBG). But that’s no longer the case. The Dead Space dad had already confirmed it on Twitter, and repeated it to us again during the interview. “Player’s Unknown Battleground had a really rich universe, but The Callisto Protocol just continued on its own path,” explains Glen Schofield.
The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers usThe Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers us

Beyond Dead Space

Watching The Callisto Protocol, it’s impossible not to think of Dead Space. Everything seems to be in the game: a solitary hero who must get out of a base in space, a game interface that is integrated into his back to reinforce immersion, a kind of telekinesis to escape desperate situations. Not to mention the brutality, the atmosphere, a lot of things actually. “Callisto has its own identity” says Glen Schofield. “The game is set on the moon, in a prison, while Dead Space was set on a mining ship, so everything had to have something to do with mining resources. For this game, everything has to have a connection with the prison”.

In The Callisto Protocol the main character is a pilot, while in Dead Space he was an engineer. They don’t have the same skills at all. -Glen Schofield

It is for this reason that the hero, Jacob Lee, will be able to count on his stun baton. And that the creatures – the “Biophages” – (guards and prisoners who have mutated) carry implants with a biography, which the player will have the opportunity to consult. But above all, the Black Iron prison offers a maze of corridors of choice for Glen Schofield and his Striking Distance studio. “In The Callisto Protocol there is a deeper mystery” explains the developer to us. “The further you progress in the game, the deeper you will sink into the prison”.

The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers usThe Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers us

The new project of the father of Dead Space will thus be able to count on “a rich history” and “worked characters”, obviously more than in the famous horror series which made him known. A way for Glen Schofield to bring a little humanity back to The Callisto Protocol, one of the pillars of “horror engineering”, the nickname given to the creative vision of the project. A term that refers to the sum of details needed to create a game of its kind. “When you create a scary title, a lot of things are done by hand” Glen Schofield enlightens us. “We are not talking about big systems like in an action game (…) here, everything starts from the guts (…) there is no pre-established scheme, no “pattern”, because otherwise, it’s no longer creepy”.

For me, sound is a mechanism. I spent a lot of time with my sound director to review, detail by detail, the sound effects of the project (…) The graphics are also important. In The Callisto Protocol, you will see a real maturity in terms of sets and lights (compared to Dead Space, editor’s note) -Glen Schofield

Succeed in creating horror

The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers us

Among the other pillars, Glen Schofield cites the atmosphere, the tension, the brutality, the impotence. It is therefore certain, in The Callisto Protocol, you will first have to rely on yourselves, manage your ammunition well to anticipate the trials to come (“there is a companion who will help Jacob Lee at different times in the story ”says the developer, however). With this in mind, Glen Schofield says his new project hides many secondary roads – where are hiding improvements for the hero and explanations about the scenario. Despite a structure assumed to be “fairly linear”, Jacob Lee will undoubtedly be disoriented in the lair of Black Iron.

In The Callisto Protocol, there is a lot of replayability. You will not find all the optional paths and all the upgrades during your first game -Glen Schofield

Something to add even more to the atmosphere. Above all, in The Castillo Protocol, there will be no no navigation system à la Dead Space, explains Glen Schofield, or a pretty line on the ground that shows you the direction to follow. Another difference: the possibility of grabbing enemies from a distance thanks to the GRP, a gravitational weapon. “If four monsters charge at you, with this tool, I can grab the first front, lift it and send it into the scenery. I can also send it against obstacles, spikes, crushers” describes the developer. “I can even bring an enemy back into melee and attack them with the stun baton.” Not to mention that the environment is your friend, with items – saws – to throw at opponents.

The Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers usThe Callisto Protocol: A simple clone of Dead Space?  The creator of the horror game answers us

Would The Callisto Protocol wink at Half Life 2 ? Maybe yes! “I’m a big fan of the game” concedes Glen Schofield. “Sometimes you take inspiration from the best games and cross your fingers that we don’t blame you too much (laughs)”. Words that resonate in a particular way, as Electronic Arts works today on a remake of Dead Space, scheduled for January 27, 2023. “I wish good luck to the developers, to the colleagues” says the father of the license. “They’re doing a remake of my game, and it makes sense (…) but it’s true that it makes me feel a little weird. I wouldn’t have done a remake. I would have done something different”.

  • The Callisto Protocol will be released on December 2, 2022 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series

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