The success of Dead Space Remake underscores the failure of the Callisto protocol

Motive Studio’s remake of Dead Space has been out for a little over a week, and unsurprisingly it’s making headlines in the industry. Our review was outstanding as Motive has successfully managed to faithfully recreate the survival horror sensation that swept the nation in 2008, while carefully adjusting bits and pieces to make it a complete experience.

After years of debate about the “true remake,” Dead Space Remake has provided a solid definition of what a future remake should look like. I’ve been pretty vocal about Dead Space to anyone who’s going to hear or read it, as someone who’s itching to see the remake mill spin again (I’m looking at you Sony).

My playthrough has been overwhelmingly positive for the reasons listed above, and I can’t wait to see what’s next from Motive Studio, be it Iron Man and/or Dead Space 2. Aside from the fact that it drew me in as much as I did I used to play in front of school at 5 a.m. all those years ago, my time aboard the Ishimura has left me in a strange state of regret.

Seeing Dead Space so meticulously reforged made me focus on the other survival horror game that released almost two months ago: The Callisto Protocol.

The Callisto Protocol adds a highly requested game mode but eliminates a helpful bug
Image Credit: Striking Distance Studios

Yeah, I can’t believe it either. It’s been two months since the title was released by Striking Distance Studios and for a game so hyped it came, went and was sentenced to serve his sentence in Callisto solitary confinement with no visitation rights. Let’s get one thing straight; The Callisto Protocol is not a bad game. It was just an unfortunate series of events that began in 2020 when the Dead Space co-creator showed up at this year’s Game Awards and announced that his next project would be a spiritual sequel to the series he had so nightmarishly put together.

As we got closer to the release of The Callisto Protocol, it became increasingly clear that this title was going to be Dead Space, albeit with this guy from Transformers (Josh Duhamel) somehow ending up in prison. The Kinesis ability was there, the display almost identical, and the nightmarish monstrosities looked like kin, sending my personal hype skyrocketing to the moon. Dead Space has still held up well all these years later, some form of replication of that blueprint with minor changes was destined to succeed.

The Callisto Protocol finally arrived in December, and the end product is far from what I could have ever imagined. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the best tech showcases of all time, as Black Iron Prison looks as wild as a space prison could get, character models look exquisitely detailed, and combat is as visceral as ever.

X biggest changes from the original Dead Space
Image Credit: Motive Studio via Twinfinite

However, it’s the other things that faltered that ultimately made me abandon my playthrough before halfway. Where Isaac Clarke’s journey through horror felt like a surgical experience as you painstakingly dismembered Necromorphs and his mind, The Callisto Protocol felt like a degraded version of For Honor as you pointlessly smashed everything in Black Iron Prison like a piñata.

I’d like to give Striking Distance Studios the benefit of the doubt by mentioning that the team was probably aiming for an authentic prison experience. However, I’m 95% sure that prison isn’t like that, while the other 5% aren’t sure what the darkest depths of prison look like.

Callisto Protocol was a bit of a disappointment, and when story DLC and new death animations are released later this year it only adds to the pain of what this title could have been, as Dead Space was delivered completely out of the box. This experience could have been shown to Clarke Isaac, fighting “Velcromorphers” aboard the USJ Ishimoora; I didn’t expect this project to be the evolution of survival horror, or as massive as the expectations Cyberpunk 2077 had when it was announced.

Honestly, I was disappointed, and it hurts to know that this could have been the timeline where survival horror’s new challenger raises the bar even slightly. As someone said in a YouTube review for Dead Space Remake, “Who knew Dead Space’s spiritual successor would be Dead Space?” The success of Dead Space Remake underscores the failure of the Callisto protocol

Fry Electronics Team

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