The Callisto Protocol interview: “there are no rules” with horror

The subsequent huge horror game from the creators of Dead Space arrives in December, and developer Striking Distance Studios hopes that The Callisto Protocol will turn out to be “the start of a franchise.” Nevertheless, there are nonetheless loads of questions left concerning the former PUBG spin-off, so PCGamesN spoke to Striking Distance to get some solutions.

After spectacular gameplay showings at PlayStation State of Play and Summer Game Fest, together with the reveal of the superior gravity gun weapon, anybody trying ahead to The Callisto Protocol will undoubtedly need to know extra concerning the scary house game. PCGamesN spoke with Striking Distance chief inventive officer Chris Stone – who was the animation director on Dead Space – concerning the group’s inspirations, why they ditched the PUBG connection, and the way The Callisto Protocol improves on Dead Space.

The Callisto Protocol interview: A man peers through a glowing glass panel aboard a stricken spacecraft

PCGamesN: Are the builders nervous about an excessive amount of of a crossover with the upcoming Dead Space remake?

Chris Stone: I’ve shipped almost 30 titles in my profession, and we’ve at all times had competitors. You can’t fear about it. We simply put ourselves within the sneakers of the gamer and make one of the best game we are able to.

Many of us labored on Dead Space – the game’s creator Glen Schofield, our chief growth officer, Steve Papoutsis, and myself. Our artwork director, lighting director, audio director, and design director all moreover labored on Dead Space. So naturally, our inventive fingerprints are throughout The Callisto Protocol, and right here’s some nice information – all these concepts we had years in the past on Dead Space that we couldn’t do as a result of the {hardware} couldn’t sustain? Now we are able to do them, and it’s superb!

PCGamesN: Comparisons between the 2 are understandably simple to make – how does the game push the style ahead and differentiate itself?

CS: We’ve all grown and developed loads as game makers and artists previously ten or fifteen years, and The Callisto Protocol displays that. There are 1,000,000 particulars that set this game aside, however the largest issues that I believe gamers will discover are the fight system and the story and the visuals.

We’ve constructed a deep fight system that blends up-close-and-personal melee motion and long-range gunplay with a gravity weapon referred to as the GRP (‘Grip’) that lets gamers seamlessly transition between the weapons. Low on ammo? Grab an enemy and pull them shut for a devastating blow with the stun baton. Getting mobbed? Throw an enemy throughout the room and shoot off their legs to get some respiration room. And after all, for those who see an environmental hazard, seize the enemy and throw them into it for a grisly immediate kill.

We’ve additionally moved on from a silent protagonist to a deep story with advanced characters and unimaginable performances from Josh Duhamel and Karen Fukuhara. We assume gamers can have quite a lot of enjoyable uncovering the darkish secrets and techniques of the United Jupiter Company as they wrestle to outlive the horrors of Black Iron Prison.

PCGamesN: Does the game take inspiration from another sources that the devs want to spotlight, together with exterior videogames?

CS: Games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil are apparent influences, however we additionally take quite a lot of inspiration from films like The Thing and Event Horizon. And extra not too long ago we’ve been watching quite a lot of international horror movies. There’s some actually loopy stuff on the market that’s pushing the style into some terrifying locations. The French and Koreans specifically are actually stepping up their game within the horror style. On high of that we’ve discovered ourselves taking a look at quite a lot of actual life examples of horror and gore. While these had been loads much less enjoyable to analysis, it was among the most memorable and helpful content material when it got here to creating real looking visuals and experiences.

PCGamesN: What form of stability are they hoping to strike between exploration, horror/environment, and fight?

CS: When it comes to creating horror video games, the one rule is that there are no guidelines. It’s all about going with your intestine. That’s why we take into consideration “horror engineering,” which suggests mixing and matching quite a lot of completely different points of what goes into scaring individuals – environment, rigidity, brutality, humanity, and helplessness. We combine and match these particulars to maintain gamers guessing so that they by no means know what’s subsequent. That stated, we hope the game delivers a satisfying mixture of exploration, environment, and fight.

PCGamesN: What led to the choice to desert associations with the broader PUBG universe?

CS: When we began engaged on the game, the story was a part of the PUBG Universe timeline. But video games change over the course of growth. As we labored on the story it grew larger and greater till it turned clear that it was its personal factor. We love PUBG and can nonetheless have surprises for followers of the franchise, however The Callisto Protocol is its personal story, with its personal characters, in its personal universe.

PCGamesN: What form of degree design can we anticipate – is it linear, linear with backtracking and forking paths, or one thing extra open?

CS: We’re a story-driven survival horror game, so the extent design will really feel acquainted to followers of video games like Resident Evil, however we’re creating plenty of alternatives for gamers to go off the crushed path to find new surprises.

PCGamesN: Will Callisto Protocol make use of any PC-specific options like Nvidia DLSS/Reflex or AMD FSR? Will it function ray tracing, and if that’s the case, what varieties?

CS: We’ll have extra to share about specs and PC-specific options as we get nearer to launch, however usually sure, we’re trying to help future PC applied sciences that help the picture high quality of the game.

PCGamesN: Do the devs envision this as the beginning of a franchise, and if that’s the case, do they have already got concepts for the place they’d wish to take a sequel?

CS: We’d love for The Callisto Protocol to be the beginning of a franchise, and now we have no scarcity of concepts. But proper now, we’re actually simply 100% centered on making The Callisto Protocol one of the best game it may be.

PCGamesN: Summer Game Fest confirmed a number of different new entrants within the sci-fi horror house – tendencies come and go, however this one appears particularly sudden and pronounced. Do the devs have any ideas on the reason for this resurgence?

As a large fan of sci-fi and horror, I’m personally tremendous enthusiastic about all the brand new video games being introduced. Trends simply form of ebb and circulation, whether or not that’s in video games, films, television, reveals, or music. We’re simply centered on making the game we’re enthusiastic about making. If it’s a part of a present pattern, all the higher!

The Callisto Protocol will launch on December 2, 2022.