Callisto Protocol combat will be equal parts melee and ranged

Upcoming sci-fi horror The Callisto Protocol will not only load players with guns and ammo, it has been revealed. Instead, players will also find themselves in plenty of melee combat.

This news comes from The Callisto Protocol design director, Ben Walker, who said game informant (opens in a new tab) during an in-depth examination of the game’s combat, he “leans into the survival side of things” and that the “overall tone” of the combat “is a kind of struggle”. So it makes sense that he reveals that “almost half of our fights are hand-to-hand”.

That’s not to say the game won’t arm players with ammo for ranged combat, of course, but Walker notes that the balanced spread “means you have to be smart about how you use your bullets. So, to that end we added our melee combos, when they end they kind of knock the enemy back, so it gives you a chance to lock in really quickly and get a nice clean shot on an enemy.

In his chat with Game Informer, Walker also touched on how the Striking Distance team will use the PS5’s DualSense controller. “We lean very heavily on all of that,” he said. “As satisfying as it is to hear and see, feeling it just adds that extra level and this controller definitely gives us that capability, so all of those little nuances and stuff, we’re working hard to put in place and make sure that ‘they really stand out on the gamepad.’

In terms of specifics, Walker says that “since we have the fray, we want the bones to break. Feeling that in the controller, right? So when you actually make that connection, you’ll kind of have that little feeling of a crack in the control.”

The last time we saw The Callisto Protocol was during Summer Game Fest earlier this month, when a new gameplay trailer was revealed. It was an exceptionally bloody and visceral affair, so the fact that the game’s combat isn’t afraid to really lean into the up-close and personal nature of melee isn’t exactly surprising.

Callisto Protocol is set to release on December 2, 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

These Dead Space Comparisons

As more of The Callisto Protocol has been shown over the past month, the game has drawn comparisons to Dead Space, the remake of which is due out in January next year.

Atmospheric similarities aside, The Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance Studios has a few Dead Space veterans on staff. They include studio head Glen Schofield, who previously served as general manager of Dead Space development studio Visceral Games. Comparisons are therefore to be expected.

But with these new combat details emerging, we’re increasingly able to see the points of difference. In a recent interview with PCGamesN (opens in a new tab)Striking Distance creative director Chris Stone, who previously served as animation director on Dead Space, addressed the comparisons.

Stone pointed out that the team has “all grown and evolved a lot as game makers and artists over the past ten or fifteen years and the Callisto Protocol reflects that,” adding that he believes the combat system mixed discussed above, as well as the story and its visuals, will differentiate The Callisto Protocol.

“We’ve built an in-depth combat system that blends close-range, personal melee action and long-range gunplay with a gravity weapon called GRP (“Grip”) that allows players to easily switch between weapons to another,” Stone explained.

“Running out of ammunition?” Grab an enemy and bring them close for a devastating blow with the stun staff. To be assaulted? Throw an enemy across the room and shoot their legs to breathe a little. And of course, if you see an environmental hazard, grab the enemy and throw them in for a gruesome instant kill.

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