Most OP Combat for Survival Horror Game Callisto Protocol

Callisto Protocol is a recent horror game built to be a spiritual successor to the more positive game, Dead Space. The game focuses on Jacob, a pilot who falls into a disastrous predicament during his delivery job. He’s forced into prison before a contagious infection reigns over the prisoners and guards. 

Many features are inspired by Dead Space: a health gauge engraved into the character, the isolated atmosphere in space, the traumatic illusions, and many others. Everything it did to emphasize horror is ruined by one significant influence, its melee-based combat.

Callisto Protocol is Disgustingly Dull Up-Close

Dead Space

Melee combat isn’t new in horror games, but it’s never been the main type of combat in this specific genre, for good reasons. One major issue is its low scare factor. Its jumpscares don’t work well with the creatures’ basic design. When enemies close in on protagonists in other horror games like Resident Evil and Dead Space, players need to push them away at comfortable distances to defeat them. Though it’s possible to fight at close range, it stresses the player to not be within their most comfortable range.

 While other survival horror games supply players with ammo, Callisto Protocol discourages guns by giving fewer portions of ammo. It wants players to fight with the stick, which dissuades its implied genre. If the comfortable range is close-range, the enemies aren’t scary. It has the opposite effect since it’s easier for the player to kill the monsters.

Another issue with the combat is its simplicity. There’s not much depth in gameplay; it only involves swinging a stick, shooting a bit, and dodging. While the hits are satisfying and impactful, it’s very repetitive. The enemies’ health is too great, and the stick does little damage, even with its upgrades. Many enemy attacks are designed to allow the player to dodge without any timing window. 

The game has such detailed animations, though, for some reason, Jacob has too many of them. He feels like a slug when trying to reload his weapons, interact with his surroundings, and dodge. Jacob can’t efficiently reload his guns or heal mid-fight since he takes too long to use his items. If the area is too small, his only reliable ally is his stick. There’s so much frustration when the enemies gang up on Jacob and punish him when he’s stuck performing any action.

Disappointing Bosses

The one who took the most toll has been the bosses themselves. Only three bosses occur in the game: a two-headed freak, Leon Ferris, and evolved Leon Ferris. They don’t appear until late-game instead of throughout the main story, which weighs off the gradual pacing.

Callisto Protocol Boss

The two-headed infected forces the player to change his usual melee tactic and shoot them from a distance, like in a normal horror game. The boss only charges at the player and swings his attacks, which the player can dodge. Here, the only gimmick is that the boss one-shots the player. That’s the only difficulty of the fight. It isn’t programmed to do anything other than swing two different attacks and call enemies to swing more repetitive attacks. After killing the monster, it will reappear multiple times as a common enemy in more awkwardly designed areas within the game’s last few hours.

Melee Combat in Callisto Protocol

Leon Ferris is the only decent enemy in the game due to his very well-designed animations, especially his unique finisher. He was a guard captain following the warden’s rules before falling to the infection and blaming Jacob. The main issue with him is his limited moves to swing attacks at the player and counter when it’s still his turn. The only time he can get damaged is when he’s taunting the player, begging to get hit. Why his taunt wasn’t a sign as a counter is beyond comprehension, especially when other fighting games tend to do that.

Truth bombs from the boss

 For the game’s finale, Leon Ferris will challenge the player before evolving into a more ferocious monster. He looks and acts like the same two-headed monster from before. The only difference is that he throws acid projectiles. After that, he runs and tries to hit the player with a slow, melee attack before he repeats the combo in a simple cycle. That’s his full strategy. 

He can also call other enemies in the arena to kill Jacob, who can somehow grab and insta-kill him if he’s not paying attention. Jacob must look down to kill them since they crawl on the floor and appear from anywhere mid-fight. If he gets too distracted, the boss can attack him, who ALSO one-shots the player. If difficulty in a game relies on insta-kills, it reveals shallow gameplay depths.

Callisto Protocol isn’t bad, but it is very disappointing and shallow in its contents. The game’s graphical features are very detailed. It has fantastic sound effects, animations, enemy designs, and atmosphere. Though as the game progresses, these features start to become dull. Fighting slightly varied enemies becomes more like a chore, especially with the boss fights. It gets worse when having to deal with Jacob’s sluggish animations, leaving him very little time to reload or heal up.

It would’ve been better suited as its own action game rather than trying to imitate what Dead Space has accomplished. This game is only suitable for gamers that want to step into the horror franchise. Other than that, the game is below average. There is a season pass for Callisto Protocol which includes new skin, difficulty, battle challenge arena, and story content. Everything will be released throughout 2023 in four bundles until summer. The upcoming updates could give the game another chance to redeem itself while revealing more dangers for Jacob.

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