The Callisto Protocol might be set 300 years in the future on a moon of a distant planet, but that has not stopped Striking Distance from drawing on the world around us for inspiration. If you’ve had a look at the new screenshots revealed by Game Informer in its exclusive cover story, you’ll notice the exaggerated monsters look somewhat human-like. And that’s intentional.
According to character director Glauco Longhi, every part of the mutated humans known as biophages actually started out as “human scans”, before they were then pulled apart and manipulated by the design team. This is a concept Striking Distance calls “designed realism” and it speaks of its efforts to make the biophages seem familiar, but terrifying.
“These enemies are grounded in reality,” character director Glauco Longhi explains in Game Informer #346 (you can read the full interview by subscribing here). “We start with something that was real, and now we are morphing into something that feels a bit more than real. It’s really expanding reality in a way, and we definitely want to piggyback on the idea of unleashing the beast and the animal. We want this to feel very brutal and scary and intimidating.”
With that in mind, biophages move like humans, but they’ll change the way in which they fight you depending on the damage you deal to them. If you lop off their legs for example, they’ll only be able to get to you by crawling. But, like all good horror games, biophages come in different forms and to best them you’ll need to get creative with the abilities of the main character, Jacob Lee.
Oh, and if you’re squeamish, then The Callisto Protocol probably isn’t for you. It sounds like there’s a lot of gore in Glen Schofield’s upcoming game, with disturbing player deaths that would give Mortal Kombat, Until Dawn, Dead Space, and Soldier of Fortune a run for their money. But, that’s arguably part of the fun when you play a horror game and something Striking Distance wants to utilise to the best of its abilities.
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To create these intensely gory moments, Striking Distance has apparently closely studied how flesh decays when shot and how blood spatters when struck with heavy objects. The team has even watched real police investigation footage of certain gruesome scenarios.
“We definitely want the player to feel satisfied when he’s shooting or very scared when he’s killed,” Longhi adds. “We definitely want to play into the horror. There’s a lot of gore. Gore is a really big part of how we’re going to be disturbing the player and creating horror experiences.”
It’s clear that while The Callisto Protocol is a game set in the same universe as PUBG: Battlegrounds, it has nothing to do with it. The stuff of nightmares seems to be Schofield’s real focus – something we should hopefully see more of as Summer Game Fest and The Callisto Protocol release date approaches.