The Callisto Protocol - Digital Foundry Tech Review


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Dec 2, 2022
We've been eagerly anticipating this one - and on PlayStation 5 at least, we're getting a simply brilliant game and a proper technical showcase. That's the bulk of our coverage in this tech review - but there's clearly something amiss with the Xbox Series port, while the stuttering problems on the day one PC experience are unbelievably bad. Note: At 21:35, the label under PlayStation 5 should read Quality, not Performance. Apologies for the typo.

  • made with UE4.27, the final version of the engine
  • lots of performance and motion capture
  • highly fidelity character rendering
    • in-game model is nearly as detailed as cinematics
  • environments are equally high quality
  • high quality motion blur, recommended to keep on
  • deformable snow and volumetric fog
  • most lights cast a dynamic shadow in quality mode
  • animation is exceptional
  • quality mode use RT reflections and hybrid RT shadows, and ray traced transmission
    • reflections are used on rough surfaces, which is pretty expensive
    • gloriously reflective toilets
    • lots of reflective surfaces in the game
    • lots of shadow casters
    • custom work done to UE4
    • RT shadows can dramatically change the mood of the game
  • PS5/Series X
    • quality and performance mode
    • volumetrics are lower res in performance
    • 1440p-1728p
  • Series s
    • not mode options
    • no RT
    • 1080p
    • lower res textures and no subsurface scattering
    • has some bugs
  • Series X has broken RT reflections and broken fog
    • DF sent this to the team
  • performance mode
    • some inconsistencies, but largely stable, especially with vrr
    • some scenes can drop to the 50s, might be cpu related
  • quality mode
    • series x has lots of drops, devs say a day zero patch would fix this
      • some areas still have drops
    • ps5 is more stable, doesn't have too many drops
    • all platforms has some loading drops
  • series s is a fairly stable save for some loading drops
  • PC
    • #stutterstruggle, no pre-compile option
    • 400ms stutter on an i9 13-series, 700ms stutter on 3600
    • in-game, you can't change settings other than resolution
    • very cpu limited, poor utilization
      • RT drops frame rate by 50% but cpu utilization is very low on a 3600
  • loading
    • loading a save is ~5s
  • SDR
    • three settings, use srgb if on an OLED
  • audio quality is superb
  • great positional audio for surround sound
I briefly seen some gameplay. It looks decent.

It actually looks like a Dead Space game. So I guess it's kind of meant to be a spiritual successor.

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