X35 Earthwalker. The Callisto Protocol.

The Callisto Protocol came out last year and it was highly anticipated. It’s survival horror and off course similar to Dead Space in a number of ways. The Callisto Protocol has been unfairly attacked and low balled in the rating department and for terrible or not good reasons. We expect that now of low skilled reviews and trash reviewers. Modern gamers are quite toxic too. We have see many people, especially on twitter have such ridiculous standards for rating games and a bad understanding of game scores. So X35 Earthwalker will give his review of the game in his style, as the world’s smartest gamer and ultimate strategist, his view is better than all. Let’s take a look.

X35 Earthwalker. The Callisto Protocol.

For some quick back story information. The Callisto Protocol got development help from Dead Space. For example Glen Schofield, who co-created the dead Space series, directed the development of The Callisto Protocol. Steve Papoutsis, Scott Whitney, Christopher Stone are other examples. Schofield said that about 25 to 30 former coworkers from visceral games and sledgehammer games worked on The Callisto Protocol. Dead Space is highly loved and respected, especially the survival horror game world. So it’s clear these guys know how to make a good game. They might now a thing or two. So we have veterans on The Callisto Protocol team.

Now The Callisto Protocol is an excellent game. We can say that right out the gates. The Callisto Protocol is made very well and we enjoyed the journey. There isn’t really a part of the game we do not like. There were parts of Dead that we didn’t like but not so with The Callisto Protocol. The developers wanted The Callisto Protocol to be the standard for survival horror games going forward… next gen survival horror. We think they did that. Not the best of all time but the standard. Now does The Callisto Protocol have the scares? Yes! Take into account that X35 Earthwalker is built different. X35 didn’t get scared, not even once. We have seen others get truly scared. Is The Callisto Protocol survival heavy? It’s more mid than heavy. You get surprisingly a lot more ammo than you would expect. We always had ammo for shooting and have not once, ran out of ammo. To be fair we did prefer to melee fight enemies for.

Speaking of melee, this has divided some fans. We don’t find this divided at all. The melee combat system is very good. Definitely something innovative and new to the genre. Every battle can be intense and if you mess up… you really mess up. Especially when you are fighting two enemies at a time. You have to really know when to attack and when to switch who you are dodging against. Players have to pay attention to the enemies attacks as some foes may throw in multiple attacks. You can’t assume the enemies will always swing twice and then stop. They might go up to 4 swings. The melee mechanics are quite deep as you can dodge, blocker end your attack string with a quick aim shot. You can dismember enemies too which unlike other games, it does make a different here. Dodging is obvious, get out of the way and take no damage. Block, you heavily reduce the damage you would take but if you block the enemies last hit this allows for a ‘blocking counter attack’ where you do a low attack which knocks the enemy down. This gives you time to decide what to do next. Dismembering enemies matter here as standard enemies can’t do multiple attacks if they are missing an arm. So upgrade the baton to destroy the arm of an enemy that blocks your attack or shoot it off and that enemy can only do one swing at you instead of an attack chain. If you get rid of their leg then they will crawl and lose the majority of their hit points. A crawling enemy gets one shotted if you hit them with your baton. Just remember to block their first attack as it is fast.

What’s also interesting and next gen about The Callisto Protocol is that depending on where you defeat an enemy you might trigger an animated kill. We have shoved an enemy into the wall, parted its legs and went for the head. There’s more of the animated kills too and that’s next gen. The enemies have these animated kills too and they are brutal! We have seen players get their head stomped on multiple times, get beaten to death while in a headlock, have their jaw ripped open and off, grabbed by a massive enemy and ripped in two and more. This is next gen and detailed. Just watching them is quite heavy at times. There’s even a death animation during that section of the game where you are sliding down on huge currents of water and had to dodge pillars and the fans. If the fan gets you, you are caught in it, raised to the top and cut in half. Now that’s gory to watch. Dead Space had gory environmental kills but not enemy kills and player melee like The Callisto Protocol. Stuff like this makes a difference.

Next is the other things you can do like environmental kills thanks to the GRP. Let’s get this one thing quickly out of the way. We found the GRP more useful than the kinesis from Dead Space. The GRP doesn’t just grab objects and items but also the whole person as well which makes it stronger. You can grab a rushing enemy and throw it back to create space or you can just throw them over the edge into the abyss, drop them off in deep water, throw them into spikes on the wall or a giant blender thing. There’s options. The Callisto Protocol gives many environmental kill areas for the players to use. It encourages GRP action and we use it.

X35 Earthwalker. The Callisto Protocol.

We like the use of darkness in this game. The Callisto Protocol is quite dark. Dark with the humour too. This is quite new and an unpleasant change. Those chests that have loot and goods in them are throughout the game. They are worth looking for but there are some that are a trap. If you open one of these traps, you won’t find loot but instead a small foe that will leap on you and attack. So yeah, that sucks but it keeps players on their toes and not falling into some patterns. The enemies will also track you down or try to follow you through the vent and pipe systems. Here’s where The Callisto Protocol sound design is excellent. We remember standing inn an area and hearing a foe going through the vents. We heard it go up, then to the side, then down and we looked down and saw a vent point and moved some distance away and got the weapon ready. It soon popped out off the vent and it was greeted with gun fire. Excellent sound design. We could hear everything and sometimes… that was a bad thing. As noises would be heard and you hear foes but nothing came for you. Atmosphere nonsense. Trying to get in your head.

Now is The Callisto Protocol perfect? No. Only very few games are actually perfect. We will go over some negatives but first let’s defend the game from bad critics and reviewers. Most people bashed the game for having bugs on launch. That’s not that common with games today. No one wants bus but it does happen. Games should not be down marked for bugs as bugs are fixable and not intentional. They aren’t a feature of the game itself. So they shouldn’t be counted. Even Markiplier stated this in his The Callisto Protocol gameplay videos on youtube. It’s not a reason to say the game is bad. Most of the bug issues are coming from people who played on pc. While the true gamers who play on console like Xbox Series X didn’t have much problems. X35 Earthwalker didn’t experience any bugs at all. As for the visuals, we went into the settings and basically turned on performance mode and got 60 frames per second and smooth gameplay. Guess it pays to be on a gaming console. Sounds more like a pc issue. People want to bash it over the combat but it’s better than the combat in Dead Space. Melee in Dead Space is useless, except for Dead Space 3 where you build a melee weapon. If you want to fight like Dead Space, then use your gun and fire at a distance. If they come close, you can dodge and fight back. It’s a weak argument and excuse. We never had any problems with camera except for one moment. Some described the game as unfair or cheap. It’s a survival horror game, you are in an unfair situation by default. You have to find things and be disciplined with your ammo. The Callisto Protocol has a realistic healing process. Not some magical instant heal like in other videos games. By the way, angry joe has one of the worst reviews of this game. We had a counter to every complaint they had. Their arguments weren’t even good.

X35 Earthwalker. The Callisto Protocol.

Now what we think that’s negative with The Callisto Protocol. The inventory. Now we get that as prisoners and only prison clothes, we don’t have much space for items nor would we have access to a storage box like in pokemon. We are on our own. Just hated the lack of space at the start and mid of the game. Wish there was some sort of system to help with inventory space but we made it work. It’s intentional design and it fits the situation of the game but the real issue with the inventory was when you got multiple weapons and you therefore got ammo for each individual weapon. Our space was filled with 5 different ammo typos and they all shared the space. You couldn’t store weapons and their ammo so you had to carry it all… all the time. It was very annoying. We wished we could store or remove some weapons so we only get ammo for certain weapons that we liked. The next issue is the weapons themselves. Some weapons are far more useful than others. Some weapons, we rather didn’t have. The tactical pistol is cool and its projectiles reminds us of Star Wars guns. It’s cool but not needed. We only want three guns and that’s it. There should’ve been a better variety of weapons. A sniper would have been a better weapon. Maybe weapon mods to add more variety to the firepower. The skunk gun and the riot gun just basically do the same thing. Shouldn’t have both. The assault rifle needs increased damage. It’s a full on weapon and yet the pistol is stronger. That ain’t right.

Next complaint is the upgrade costs. The Callisto Protocol was designed for new game + which was recently added to the game. You cannot afford all the upgrades in one play through. You have do decide what matters to you and what to invest in. Some stuff was far too expensive and discouraged us from aiming for it. The top upgrade of the assault rifle is like 4500 Callisto credits. That’s ridiculous. Other’s were 3600. No way. No thank you. We know inflation Issa thing and energy costs have risen but this is so unfair. Next issue is their use of the variety of enemies. The variety isn’t strong but how they use them is weak. We needed more enemies thrown in the mix or utilise more based on how they work. We may have to go into more detail on the X35 Earthwalker podcast. Next up is the length the game. It’s too short for us. We wanted more for sure. It’s solid and great for what’s in it but it being a bigger game would have added more to the experience. There was room for more. Lastly though is that there should have been a gallery mode for players who have beat the game. A gallery where we can view all the executions the enemies can get on the player. The developers clearly worked on these animated kills so make a mode for us to view it.

Back to positives. The attention to details in The Callisto Protocol is immense. There is lots of details. Even angry Joe stated that it was best graphics of the year which is mighty praise. We have to almost agree but the graphics and visuals are crazy good and very few games can compete with it. Look at the snow, the dome, the biome, the icicles and even the sweat on the face of our characters and others. The first, the marks, the blood stains. Come on. You have to give it that. The lighting was top level too. In a horror game, lighting makes a big difference. Sometimes you can’t see the threat… well sort off. Some areas don’t look safe to enter. Speaking of safe to enter. There are optional side areas that in real life, we would never set foot in there… but it’s a video game and we want the loot so we literally jumped down into infected red water with cysts and goopy stuff everywhere and something moving in the water. Nope, nope and more nope. Some areas make you literally not want to go. Now there is much more to say. Another positive which most ignore but it should be said. They’re a photo mode for the game. You can access it at anytime in gameplay and take pictures with the enemies, posing, weapons in hand, remove things in view, put on filters, zoom, rotate and so much more. The photo mode is actually very in depth. More detailed than we thought. It surprised us. You should give that mode a try. Work went into it.

There’s the characters. We hated Dani, then disliked Dani and now care for Dani. She has a good character and it makes sense the way that she is. Once you know more about her. Elias is our favourite and we loved Elias. We trusted Elias and we were right to do so even though others doubted him. Elias was honest, helpful and changed to become a better person. Wish things turned out differently for him. Captain ferris is a piece of crap and will always be crap. Typical abusive guard who needs his but kicked. The warden was a bad guy and we knew its right from the start from how he talked. There’s more but let’s leave it there. The characters are good and interesting individuals. You understand them and get to know them pretty well. We can talk about the story and what is the cause of the infection, what the warden wanted and that he is part of something much bigger, we could talk about the alpha and captain leon ferris and so much more but if you want something more fluid then check out the X35 Earthwalker podcast on Anchor and Spotify. This G-blog is already really long. Spent hours on this.

Overall The Callisto Protocol is an excellent game. It’s not average or as some of these ignorant people online wants to ay it’s bad. They even think 7/10 is bad for some reason. No. The Callisto Protocol is easily 9/10. We aren’t mad at anyone who can argue that it’s a solid 8/10. That’s fair but we see all the work and effort. We enjoyed the combat, we enjoyed the story, we enjoyed the atmosphere, the lighting, the good weapons, the suit upgrade, the characters and more.  Another example of do not listen to the dumb reviewers and critics. The Callisto Protocol is not a 6/10. It’s excellent and lots of hard work went into it. The developers ‘Striking Distance Studios’ have done an excellent job and they can learn from this. X35 Earthwalker knows how to review games. is Now The Callisto Protocol may be an excellent game but it’s not good enough for… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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