The Callisto Protocol PS5 Review

Futuristic game technology meets decade-old design

Alex Rowe

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Callisto Protocol title screen
PS5 screenshot captured by the author.

If you’re looking for a new game to show off your PS5, Xbox Series X, or beefy ray tracing equipped PC, and you don’t care about anything else other than seeing the future of gaming visuals — then The Callisto Protocol might be worth buying.

It’s one of the most striking-looking, technologically impressive games I’ve ever seen, and it has powerful sound design to back up its shocking visuals.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t advance game design even a single tiny step further than its spiritual predecessor Dead Space did way back in 2008.

I wasn’t asked by this game’s publisher to review it, and I don’t use gross affiliate links.

The Callisto Protocol (official site here) was made by a new studio called Striking Distance for publisher Krafton, and was originally going to be set in the PUBG universe of all things. The studio may be new, but many of its positions are filled by veterans of the gaming space, including one of the main creators of the Dead Space franchise, Glen Schofield. The game is out now for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and PC…though I strongly recommend you buy it for a new platform with ray tracing hardware if you’re considering it at all.

Jacob Lee, the protagonist of Callisto Protocol, sneaks near some enemies.
Sometimes the stealth is far too effective. PS5 screenshot taken by the author.

Callisto’s creative heritage is obvious in absolutely every big moment, story beat, gameplay choice, and sound effect. It’s more or less a modern reimaging of the original Dead Space but with modern technology and a gentle shift in focus away from shooting and towards melee combat. The story plays out much the same as in that seminal 2008 release, even down to all the major twists. You’re cast as a hapless man named Jacob Lee (actor Josh Duhamel), a guy whose ship crashes into a weird space zombie nightmare on a moon of Jupiter. You’ll have to heavily grunt your way through several unique environments battling enemies, gathering skill tree upgrade resources, and opening slow mechanical doors before fighting the people truly responsible for the mess.

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