The Callisto Protocol Visuals are Almost Too Detailed, Developers Have Had to Dial it Back

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The Callisto Protocol was unquestionably one of the most exciting new projects announced at this year’s Game Awards. Developed by Striking Distance, the new studio headed up by Glen Schofield and funded by PUBG publisher Krafton, The Callisto Protocol is very obviously a spiritual successor to Schofield’s own Dead Space series. The game’s debut trailer featured all the gruesome, ooze-drooling aliens you’d expect, but also left fans with a lot of questions.

Thankfully, Schofield has addressed some of those questions in a new interview with Polygon. For instance, Striking Distance’s project was originally said to take place in the PUBG universe, but is that still the case? Turns out it is, although The Callisto Project is set in the distant future in 2320. The game’s setting is the private Black Iron Prison, which is located on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. Obviously, things go bad in a horrific way, and it’s up to the player to uncover the mysteries of the prison and its owner the United Jupiter Company. According to Schofield, the game’s story will take into account the actual conditions on Callisto, specifically it’s large subsurface ocean. So yeah, seems we might be dealing with some slimy deep-sea alien monsters. Bring ‘em on!

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The Callisto Protocol is being developed by a team that includes 25 to 30 veterans from Schofield’s former studios Visceral Games and Sledgehammer Games. These include Dead Space vets Steve Papoutsis (executive producer), Scott Whitney (designer), and Christopher Stone (animation director). The game should be a visual stunner, with Schofield saying he's actually had to tell his designers to “dial back the detail” at times. Schofield explained the reasoning behind that in a separate interview with IGN

We’re getting so detailed, it slows us down on production, you know what I mean? We can get so detailed now and fit those graphics on the screen and it’s taking a lot of time to build it.

As for how the game will actually play, Schofield hints it will be fairly familiar…

You know, [I] have a particular style, and I can’t get away from my style. My style has grown and maybe matured a little bit, but it is my style. I’m sure there’ll be some familiar vibes within the game. It’s hard for me to step back and go, "Oh, I’ve got to make this different than that idea on Dead Space, and make this different and this different." […] I’m just going to make a game [with 10 more years of experience]. What have I learned? What am I doing different? You know, it has to just be natural.

The Callisto Protocol is coming is coming sometime in 2022. Platforms haven’t been specified. A new red-band trailer is scheduled to drop tomorrow.

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