The Callisto Protocol creators studied “real-life” horror and gore during development

The Callisto Protocol’s creators went to extreme lengths to make the game look and feel as realistic as possible by studying “real-life” horror and gore during development. 

At this year’s Summer Game Fest showcase, we were treated to our first look at gameplay for Striking Distance Studios’ upcoming space horror title, The Callisto Protocol. The demo showed protagonist Jacob fending off gruesome enemies with a gun that literally tears them limb from limb, just like in Dead Space. It’s truly the stuff of nightmares and is sure to give us plenty of sleepless nights when it launches on December 2

In an interview with PCGamesN (opens in new tab), Chris Stone, chief creative officer at Striking Distance Studios and formerly animation director on Dead Space, speaks of the developer’s inspirations for the game. Stone cites survival horror heavyweights such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil as “obvious influences”. Outside of the realms of gaming, the team looked to horror movies like The Thing and Event Horizon for inspiration, as well as French and Korean cinema, which Stone says are “really stepping up their game in the horror genre.”

But the team didn’t stop at fiction when it came to creating The Callisto Protocol’s unnerving elements. It also drew inspiration from real-world horror and gore. “We’ve found ourselves looking at a lot of real-life examples of horror and gore,” Stone explains. “While these were a lot less fun to research, it was some of the most memorable and valuable content when it came to creating realistic visuals and experiences.”

The Callisto Protocol is directed by Dead Space creator Glen Schofield and worked on by various ex-Visceral employees, so of course, Isaac Clarke’s encounter with the Necromorphs is also a huge inspiration for the game. “Naturally, our creative fingerprints are all over The Callisto Protocol,” Stone says. “All those ideas we had years ago on Dead Space that we couldn’t do because the hardware couldn’t keep up, now we can do them, and it’s amazing.”

The Callisto Protocol will have some hefty competition when it’s released at the end of the year, as hot on its heels will be the Dead Space remake, which is set to launch on January 27, 2023. 

If you like games that give you the heebie-jeebies, check out our pick of the best horror games to play right now.  

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