The Callisto Protocol will feature dodge mechanics similar to “old fighting games”, with controller-using players able to weave left, right, and backwards away from enemy attacks via the left analogue stick, as the game attempts to make combat feel like “a struggle”.
In an interview with Game Informer, Ben Walker, design director at Callisto Protocol’s developer Striking Distance, explains how the sci-fi shooter is “leaning into” survival horror, with low amounts of ammunition for your weapons, and enemy encounters that present a heavy sense of threat.
“We’re definitely leaning into the survival side of things,” says Walker. “Our overall tone in the combat is that it’s kind of a struggle. Half of our combat is melee – you have to be smart if you do use your bullets.
“And that brings us to our defensive left stick. You have the ability to dodge left and right, and block when you pull back on the stick. As guys come and engage with you, you dodge one way…but if you want to dodge again, you have to go the other way. So what that does is create a little bit of a rhythm. We always went with the left stick. It was an idea we had early on and it kind of came from old fighting games. It just feels natural. In horror games, people kind of pull away, like in fighting games.”
From Walker’s description, The Callisto Protocol sounds like exactly the survival horror experience we’ve been wanting – slow, methodical, and intense, the scariest games are the ones where any wrong move could be your last, and the focus on dodging sounds like it will certainly pile on that pressure.
Like any decent horror developer, Striking Distance is also going to great lengths to deliver vicious, vibrant gore. We’re looking forward to seeing it all in action when The Callisto Protocol launches in December.