The Callisto Protocol will come out of the Alien Isolation horror book and use intelligent mutant monsters to cause unscript horror.
Speaking to TechRadar Gaming at Gamescom 2022, Technical Director Mark James says the Callisto protocol will contain a “variable environment” that will change regardless of the player. He describes the game as a “simulated world” that will keep running but will be gradually changed by the behavior of enemies.
“If I have an enemy that has walked through the world in front of me, I can show what that enemy has done to the world,” says James. “I can attack the world – if I kill something here, I can show the remains of that murder.”
The idea is that the enemies of the game will wander the corridors of the Black Iron prison together with the player. As they do so, they will interact with their environment and leave players clues about their presence that they can later discover. It is supposed to be suggestive, indicating to the player that something is lurking nearby – it is waiting for a jump.
“[If an] the enemy is behind you, he can make a path towards you through the ventilation system, ”says James. “If he is following you, he has entered the vent, which means he has dropped that vent plate. The first time I walked down this corridor there was no vent on the floor but now it is so I know something was using this corridor. It’s really scary the first time you see it. “
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James believes that this changing environment will form the basis of the horror film in The Callisto Protocol. Just like the xenomorph in Alien Isolation kept you on your toes as it ran in response to your actions, we hope the enemies in this game will also make it dynamic.
“One of [the things we wanted to achieve] was to make each step feel different, ”says James. “When you walk down the corridors you feel like ‘I’ve never been here before’. Although it was a corridor in the same habitat, in the same area. We want this place to feel alive – it moves and changes even when you are not there. “
This level of organic change may not have been possible until now. James believes that PS5, Xbox Series X | S SSDs, and modern gaming PCs were essential to constructing a changing game world. Their high speeds mean that objects can be loaded quickly and enemy behavior is modeled in flight.
“On old consoles [games could] change things only by interacting with the player, ”says James. “So these kinds of changing aspects are really something that wasn’t possible with a hard drive, but [now] we can load these things really fast and apply that extra detail that we couldn’t do with just a static load.
“Everyone focused on the ability of SSDs to create large environments. Well, our game isn’t about these huge open worlds, but about spooky corridor environments. But it does mean that I can change the corridor every time I walk through it. “
However, how this corridor changes will depend on what mutant is chasing you. Rushers will hide in the ceiling, disguising themselves until you are close enough to grab. In the meantime, grunts will make much more use of the vents, allowing you to measure them from a distance (or run away before they find you).
“The bigger ones will be more stubborn and will attack you directly,” says James. “Another guy with a big mouth will spit at you and not try to hide. He’s the ranged weapon guy. He’s just gonna try to knock you down.
James also dived into the realistic graphics of The Callisto Protocol, where even the eyeballs are tracked with ray tracing. The game is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 2, 2022. Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and PC.