Test – The Callisto Protocol, when Alien meets Dead Space

The Callisto Protocol is a howl of love to iconic horror and suspense licenses of the past 40 years. Technically up to par, this descent into hell in the not so completely dead moon of Callisto holds out and in suspense for about fifteen hours. The fights are as brutal as they are trying, even if the very frequent automatic saves limit the difficulty. If the French version sometimes leaves something to be desired (synchronization, tone), it remains a technically convincing, gory and jubilant spectacle, sometimes masochistic but hardly frightening, at least for those accustomed to Aliens and other xenomorphs. What’s next!?

Note from the tester: the screenshots below are taken from the very first hours

Callisto, c’est “the place to thrill”

Callisto, we’re not going there for tourism. Or the masochistic version. This dead moon of Jupiter is under the control of a megacorporation, a classic in the SF genre at the Alien. A cliché therefore, but which always has its little effect, namely being immediately crushed by an omnipotent machine. The UJC, United Jupiter Corporation fulfills this role perfectly by staging antagonists who are not very virtuous. Oh by the way, what is pleasant in this title is that no one is either all white or all black. For example, the main hero, Jacob Lee is a scoundrel from space…

What is crazy is also the successful mix of genres. The Callisto Protocol starts out as a prison escape movie and then slides into pure action-style Alien or Dead Space. With a “Hard Science” artistic direction as cold and metallic as a nightmarish prison can be, then in a deluge of organic matter lining absolutely everything, fans ofAlien and of Dead Space will not be disappointed. Everything is rusty, soiled, spitting steam or festering blood. To hear them rumble, creak and moan, one would also swear the installations are in full lament. Chills guaranteed.

Callisto isn’t just confined to her private prison at UJC. No, the megacorporation hides many shameful secrets that‘it will take about fifteen hours to partially reveal. Anyway, this time is enough to inscribe in blood a new mythology of SF, with its own strong and powerful identity. And after having finished my journey, I had only one desire, to discover more.

In space, no one will hear you enjoy

I was talking earlier about Dead Space. Of course, similarities are obvious, like the health indicator visible on the character, here, a chip delicately (it’s wrong) screwed on the back of the neck. Or this kick pounding the ground frantically to finish once and for all the deformed monsters. Or finally the propensity to masochism and torture. Yes of course, Dead Space. But be careful nevertheless, here Jacob will not be able to freely explore the whole of the moon, it is not a horrifying metroidvania. The Callisto Protocol is divided into chapters leaving little respite, with an obligatory visit to the sewers and very disgusting shallows. There is even a very short passage on the surface which will please those who worship The Thing. Anyway, forget the natural light, you will eat neon and even a little too much. The strobe effect on some lights is overused and can interfere. The absence of a map to orient oneself is not a problem, the wandering still requires rummaging around in order to collect the resources necessary for combat and crafting.

Regarding the clashes, there are also two rooms, two atmospheres. As long as Jacob tries to extricate himself from the prison hell UJC / creature invasion way, hand-to-hand combat takes precedence for a brutal, primal result and I must say that once mastered the dodges, it even turns out to be enjoyable. Then the more Jacob fashions himself a correct arsenal, the more The Callisto Protocol furiously slides into the uncompromising TPS for sometimes breathtaking and grueling fights. Especially since unlike 99% of other productions, we can’t necessarily decipher the room where we arrive. No obvious covers, no red barrels, monsters sometimes pop up when you least expect them. A treat for maintaining pressure and hypervigilance.

If she is fast as the monsters are powerful, death is never punitive. Indeed, checkpoints are very frequent, allowing you to try your luck again without having to repeat a long sequence. So it’s very practical but it nevertheless takes the tension out of the journey through Callisto’s bowels…

A five-star cast

The quality cast as well as a technique and staging at the height put you in the mood without delay. The modeling of the faces is stunning for cutscenes worthy of a film. Also in game we take full eyes and mouth. One or two panoramas stand out but almost everything takes place in very successful dilapidated and oppressive installations, claustrophobic abstain.

In the ray of regrets, the French version is not complete. The words are often frankly out of step with the lips of the characters. Special mention for the tone of the main hero completely off the mark and often wrong. Finally, within the same dialogue, certain sentences seem muffled compared to others. I can only advise you to play in the original version.

Finally, I despair of not being able to roll when I have to extricate myself from infected. Too bad also the impossibility of changing shoulder when aiming. However, this remains very little compared to this game brilliantly mixing survival, horror, dripping SF and gore. The start of a franchise (fingers crossed).


Accessibility criteria

Visual Impairment Hearing impairment
✔ High contrast (aiming reticle)✘ Subtitles with mood hints
✔ Font color size✔ Identification of the person speaking
✘ Marking enemies✘ Customizable font
✘ Interface personnalisable✔ Customizable font color
✘ Customizable minimap color✘ Alternative alert options (vibration, flash…)
✘ Color blindness option✘ Reported ambient sounds (notifies about presence)
✘ Option Text to speech
✘ Game Slowdown

Test conditions

TV details4K Game provided by the publisheroui
ConsoleXbox Series X Time spent in game16 hours
Difficulty levelnormal Game overoui

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