New combat and gameplay details for The Callisto Protocol revealed

Earlier this year, we gave PlayStation fans a world-exclusive first look at The Callisto Protocol, a new sci-fi survival horror game from the team at Striking Distance Studios.

The response from the PlayStation community has been incredible. Fans tell us they love the oppressive atmosphere, terrifying creatures, and secluded deep space setting. We are grateful for the great feedback. This has inspired the team as we polish the game for release in December.

But the community also had a lot of questions – especially about combat and gameplay.

That’s why I’m delighted to be here to give you a first look at the new features we’re rolling out this week at gamescom.

Brutal and strategic combat

Delivering an innovative new strategic combat system for the Callisto Protocol has been a priority for the team. The action in a survival horror game should be a delicate dance between feelings of hopeless helplessness and skill-based strategic gameplay. It is a historically difficult balance to find.

To address this, we’ve made combat in The Callisto Protocol a unique blend of ranged fire and brutal melee, with a unique gravity weapon called GRP (or “Grip”) that allows players to quickly move between of them.

We want players to have a choice, but we also want them to be terrified with every encounter as they get closer to their enemies.

We think it’s one of the most intense, visceral and terrifying combat systems we’ve ever experienced, and it’s amplified by some of the PS5’s next-gen features, especially the amazing haptic feedback on the controller. DualSense.

There’s nothing quite like feeling the stun staff’s powerful strike land on one of the Biophages via haptic feedback. It gives me chills every time.


This week at gamescom, we’re introducing a brand new mechanic called Mutations that adds even more depth to combat in the game.

The Callisto Protocol Creatures – called Biophage – are inmates of Black Iron Prison who have been transformed by a mysterious epidemic that has thrown the moon into chaos. As the contagion ravages the host’s body, it spreads through a series of tentacles that violently protrude from their flesh.

When the tentacles emerge, the player has a short window to kill the virus with a few well-placed shots at the tentacles before they can wreak further havoc on their host.

Kill the virus and you get a quick takedown of an enemy. Miss, and… well, you don’t want to miss it.

A snarling, heavily mutated biophage shows its razor-sharp teeth as it roars at the protagonist.

If the player fails to eliminate a Biophage when the tentacles emerge, the virus takes control of the creature and unleashes a series of hideous mutations that make them stronger, harder to kill, and generally more deadly. If you fail to stop mutations on multiple creatures at once, players will face a host of bloodthirsty monstrous enemies.

Epic moments on set pieces

At gamescom, we also revealed a heart-pounding moment about halfway through the game where Jacob is thrown into the sewer system in the bowels of Black Iron Prison.

Although The Callisto Protocol is a survival horror game, we wanted to make sure to occasionally mix up the types of horror player experiences. Sometimes Jacob makes his way through the dark halls of the prison, sometimes he struggles to save his life in an uncontrollable slide through the depths of the prison’s sewage system.

During this time, players must avoid environmental hazards as they struggle through the unstoppable current. And of course, a rough and brutal death awaits those who don’t make it out alive.

We have a lot more to share in the coming months, but we hope you enjoyed this new look at the Callisto protocol.

Callisto Protocol will launch for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on December 2, 2022. Glen Schofield offers additional insight into the gamescom demo and the game as a whole in a new PS.Blog interview which you can read here.

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