‘The Callisto Protocol’ is prioritising the fear factor over body horror

'The Callisto Protocol' developers want to offer a wide range of terrors - aiming to be the scariest, not the goriest game on the market

Striking Distance Studios’ upcoming horror title The Callisto Protocol certainly promises to be a terrifying experience, making good use of the team’s Dead Space experience. However, the developer is keen to note that while it aims to be the scariest game on the market, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the goriest.

The Callisto Protocol, which is due to release on December 2 on PC and consoles, takes place on a prison colony called Black Iron, which becomes the staging ground for an alien invasion seemingly engineered by the prison’s warden.


One look at the gameplay trailer released at this year’s Summer Game Fest will tell you that it’s going to be gory – but according to Striking Distance’s chief technical officer Mark James, it isn’t the game’s core focus.

“We don’t want to be the goriest game because gore only appeals to a certain type of person,” said James, speaking to The Loadout. “We want to be the scariest game, and being the scariest is something very different.”

Instead, thanks to Striking Distance Studios’ ‘horror engineering’, The Callisto Protocol will prey on different fears during different parts of the game’s story – with a key focus on psychological horror. James likens it to the idea of seeing a door creepily closing in the distance ahead of you, rather than pure body horror.

James’ comments put the game at odds with Dambuster Studios’ upcoming Dead Island 2, which is aiming to be the “goriest game out there” according to an interview with Eurogamer.

Striking Distance Studios founder Glen Schofield recently caused controversy by seemingly glorifying crunch culture on Twitter, where he stated that the game’s developers were working 6 to 7 days a week.

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