THE CALLISTO PROTOCOL
The Dark Side Of The Moon
RELEASED OUT NOW! Reviewed on Playstation 5
Also available on Playstation 4, Xbox
One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC Publisher Krafton
VIDEOGAME There’s a lot to like about the general vibe of this spiritual successor to Dead Space from co-creator Glen Schofield – shades of Aliens meet The Thing, with a dose of The Expanse’s contemporary hard SF holding it together. It’s all grimy metal corridors with heavy doors, and weary, everyman spacers who can’t believe the shit they’re having to deal with when an extraterrestrial infection turns a space prison’s entire population into pustule-covered zombies.
It’s a good set-up, and makes for an incredible looking game as you explore a base on the moon of Jupiter, battling barely human creatures with a bone-crunching stun baton and an array of satisfyingly violent guns that blast off limbs and faces alike. Neither of which seem to bother the monsters you cross as you try to escape. There are no heroic aims here, no saving the galaxy, just a healthy desire to find a ship and get the hell out of there.
Unfortunately, while the set-up, looks and story have the makings of a decent sci-fi survival-horror blast, the combat completely fails to deliver. The core mechanics let you battle single opponents beautifully – dodging blows with left stick taps much like a fighting game – but most of the time you’ll fight groups, and then the one-on-one approach falls apart completely, creating a frustrating cycle of deaths you don’t have any real tools to avoid.
Playing on easy makes surviving easier and lets you enjoy the story, but never makes up for a fighting system that isn’t fit for purpose.
Discovered by Galileo in 1610, Callisto is named after one of Zeus’s lovers. German astronomer Johannes Kepler had the idea.