The Callisto Protocol Reviews


New member
Dec 1, 2022

Opencritic (75)
When I think back on playing The Callisto Protocol, what sticks out most is the mounting sense of dread throughout. Right up through the story's conclusion, I felt satisfied and excited by how much the action and scares kept ramping up. Still, the story did leave me wanting a bit more during the closing act, even as the conclusion clearly set up some potential follow-ups.

Even when I felt frustrated by how overwhelming combat was during the most intense encounters, I was still taken in by the game's flow of action and the impeccable atmosphere. While The Callisto Protocol doesn't totally evolve from its predecessors, it's still a thrilling and intense spin on survival horror that makes its own mark on the growing genre.
Ars Technica (Unscored)

While issues like that are disappointing, I find myself willing to forgive The Callisto Protocol when looking at the work as a whole. This is an ambitious project for a new studio of this scale and, for the most part, the developer rises to meet the challenge with a horror game that feels both classic and original. It's clear that a lot of care — and unfortunately a lot of crunch, which is worth reading up on before making a buying decision — went into creating a game that wouldn't just imitate Dead Space, but bring its legacy forwards. Though parts of it feel overworked as a result of that goal, there's a strong foundation here which I expect to be overflowing with gore next time around.

We all know Dead Space 2 was the best one anyway, right?
Digital Trends (3.5/5)

Ultimately, the Callisto Protocol's frenzied action and brutal battles have still impressed me in all the right ways, drawing on all that makes Dead Space brilliant and building upon that impressive framework. No, it hasn't got it all right and no, it's not anywhere near as scary as I was expecting. But if you, like me, are coming into The Callisto Protocol thinking it's a shallow facsimile of Dead Space? Well, not quite.
Eurogamer (Recommended)

The Callisto Protocol is still doing a lot of what Dead Space did, for better and worse. And to that end, there are moments of fun, even if, in contrast, they're light on genuine terror. I'm okay with The Callisto Protocol being another version of its spiritual predecessor, but it struggles to nail even the basics. As a result, I'm underwhelmed, annoyed, and disappointed. If you wanted anything more out of this second crack at making a new sci-fi IP in survival horror, or something markedly different that acknowledges just how far gaming has come since 2008, The Callisto Protocol is not your answer.
Game Informer (6/10)

Overall, individual elements of The Callisto Protocol are just at odds with one another too often. The enemy design and melee-focused combat mechanics lend themselves to these incredibly tense and fun close-quarters brawls when you're only fighting against a couple of targets at a time, but the game regularly locks you into frantic moshpits or frustratingly difficult boss fights instead. And despite the vocal talent and mocap skill on display, The Callisto Protocol's story isn't all that interesting, save for an intriguing final twist. Some genuine horror might have improved the experience of this survival-action game, but The Callisto Protocol instead leans too far into absurd high-octane spectacle, dampening the tension and adulterating the narrative core of the experience.
Gamespot (5/10)

I'd honestly recommend playing The Callisto Protocol on 'easy'. Once I'd finished the game on default difficulty I restarted it on the lower setting and it's so much more enjoyable. There's still some challenge, but it's a much more manageable, and far less crushing journey. There's obviously a whole discourse here to be had on difficulty but I've reviewed the game as presented by the developers, aware that many will resist changing the challenge for one reason or another. There's a great sci-fi game here but one marred by its combat system. Which seems such a shame given the world Striking Distance has built, and the quality of The Callisto Protocol overall. It's a hard thing to love as a result, but even after all the frustration I'd still like to see a sequel in the future.
Gamesradar (2.5/5)

The Callisto Protocol drip-feeds you with story until some big reveals in the final third, and while I wasn't particularly playing it for its plot, there're some interesting reveals. The acting is great, with a special nod to Karen Fukuhara from The Boys who gives a great performance. It's a stunning game in both the animations and how it creates a tense and scary atmosphere, and the sound design is excellent. While it can be more difficult than it needs to be due to zoomed in camera angles, I won't be forgetting it in a hurry. It's disturbing, savage, and forces you to survive in the worst possible conditions.
God Is A Geek (8.5/10)

The Callisto Protocol is a supremely atmospheric and action-heavy tour through a spectacular slaughterhouse set in distant space. Its largely linear design makes for minimal backtracking, meaning it trims the fat while leaving no shortage of bone and gristle to rip and tear. However, it also betrays its survival horror roots by regularly tipping the balance of power too far in favour of the player, and while there's plenty of murderous fun to be had using giant grinding mechanisms to make mulch out of mutants, such cheap thrills come at the high cost of puncturing any tension and dread that the tremendous art and audio design work so hard to invoke. Aside from the meaty melee combat, there's also the overriding sense that there's not a lot here that hasn't been done before – and there's disappointingly little to do once you've beaten the campaign. Thus The Callisto Protocol is a satisfyingly gory spiritual successor to the Dead Space series, but it's ultimately more of a striking modern mimic than a scary new mutation.
IGN (7/10)

This is a rollercoaster videogame. It's riddled with cinematic videogame clichés. Yes, you'll navigate a crumbling structure that will start to collapse as you cross it. Yes, you'll need to power on a generator by finding three breakers that are located in three dangerous locations. Yep, you'll need to survive a certain amount of time locked in a claustrophobic space as baddies attack you. And naturally, there is more to what's going on than the narrative précis provided above suggests. In a lot of ways, The Callisto Protocol feels like a new, albeit well-qualified studio, singing to the crowd: "We can make the kind of games we know you really, really want." And we, the crowd—most of us anyway—will sing back: "Yes, you can, keep on going."

A big part of me wants a blockbuster horror game to go off the rails a bit, in a way a lot of people hoped Hideo Kojima would with Silent Hills. But it's hard to fault The Callisto Protocol for nailing—or GRPing to a row of wall-mounted spikes—exactly what it sets out to achieve: engaging, linear sci-fi survival horror that spins a deepening dystopian yarn around dozens of stressful encounters. In other words, for the abundant masochists among us: comfort food for weirdos, or Wario Dragon Quest.
PC Gamer (79/100)

Calling The Callisto Protocol uninspired is incorrect; on the contrary, it wears its many inspirations boldly on its sleeve. Rather, The Callisto Protocol is a celebration of the best horror games of the previous generation, including Dead Space. It excels at what it sets out to do, which is deliver a rollicking good ride with plenty of scares along the way, and it takes clear pride in its heritage. During the game's denouement, a line of dialogue seems to address me directly: "I do hope you've enjoyed your stay at Black Iron." I'm gratified to say that I have, and I'll certainly be making a return to The Callisto Protocol again in the future.
PCGamesN (9/10)

With The Callisto Protocol, Striking Distance proves it can capably create nerve-wracking moments of tension and horror with a well-crafted combination of sights, sounds, and atmosphere. The studio was smart not to create a one-to-one copy of Dead Space — especially with original publisher Electronic Arts now returning to the franchise with a remake due next month. But still: The Callisto Protocol could have borrowed a few more lessons from its spiritual inspiration, and further refined its mechanics to make a game that plays as good as it looks.
Polygon (Unscored)

Hopefully, it sells well enough to get a sequel because there are ideas here worth salvaging and improving on and I'd like to see where Striking Distance takes the "franchise." However, if you were hoping this would be the second coming of Dead Space, you'll need to wait for next year's remake.
PowerUp! - 5.5/10

The Callisto Protocol is a consistently good game that, when it's at its best, gives many of the survival horror greats a run for their money. However, there's no getting around the fact the game has very little to truly call its own. In borrowing so heavily from Dead Space, there's always a sense of having been there, done that. With frame rate issues and an unimaginative story with poor characters, The Callisto Protocol is good. But it's not great.
Push Square (7/10)

The Callisto Protocol isn't that scary and has potentially annoying combat, but it would still be pretty fun if it didn't run like your three day old reheated takeaway.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun (Unscored)

For what may be one of the most highly detailed sci-fi horror environments ever seen in a game, its rooms and hallways remain an empty - though grisly - backdrop, rarely presenting environmental narrative, anything to interact with, or a compelling pathway through. Killing mutants in the first hour feels identical to killing them in the last, and three difficulty levels only seem to affect mutant health pools. Maybe The Callisto Protocol's upcoming DLC will breathe new life and wonder into its world, but Black Iron Prison remains a far cry from the dynamic decks of the USG Ishimura.
Screenrant (2.5/5)

The Callisto Protocol is a deeply immersive sci-fi horror experience that firmly grabs you at the start and doesn't let go. While this immersion shows its cracks during the transition into new areas, it's not enough to ruin the overall experience. The Callisto Protocol is an impressive first outing for Striking Distance Studios, and the latest entry in the pantheon of excellent sci-fi horror stories.
Shacknews (8/10)

It's a shame that The Callisto Protocol is so uninteresting at its core. Though it looks gorgeous on the surface, a dozen hours of nothing special can have a clarifying effect. Like a monstrous two-headed enemy banging Jacob's head into the ground until it collapses, the game's tedium forces you to reckon with the fact that there just isn't much once the facade splatters away.
TheGamer (2.5/5)

This isn't to say there isn't a good game oozing within the sticky flesh of this Frankenstein, though; it just feels like it's not what Striking Distance wanted it to be. It's not the next step in horror gaming, the evolution of Dead Space, or a proposition unlike anything you've seen before – it's the opposite. An amalgam, less than the sum of its parts, whose main focus becomes overwrought and frustrating by the time you're halfway through its short run-time. The scariest thing about The Callisto Protocol, sadly, is all the potential that's been wasted on a small moon in Jupiter's orbit.
VG247 (3/5)
The Callisto Protocol delivers the violence, intensity and horror that lives up to its Dead Space predecessor, but with deeper strategic combat. However, a clichéd story and lack of original ideas means that it has one tentacle stuck in the past.
VGC (3/5)

While an incredible looker in screenshots and death scenes, The Callisto Protocol suffers from a lack of intriguing content that makes the twelve-plus hour journey through Black Iron Prison worth two, even perhaps one single playthrough. Crafting and skill trees are both minimal in nature (with both costing a heavy amount of credits where players might only be able to fully upgrade two or three weapons in the full playthrough) while melee combat and combat encounters as a whole feel largely scripted. The horror elements stand out as reason alone to play Striking Distance's debut horror game, but you might want to find yourself getting thrown back into Black Iron Prison rather than see the journey through to the end.
Wccftech (7.2/10)

An unflinchingly violent and gruesome survival horror that ratchets up the tension from the get-go and doesn't let up, The Callisto Protocol is superlative stuff, and a must for anyone with even a passing fancy for Dead Space and its ilk.
Xbox Achievements (8/10)

Latest content

General chat
Help Show users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    ReprovedBrick @ ReprovedBrick: real