Callisto Protocol: Gory new game takes horror to new limits

You’re walking down a dark corridor of an abandoned spaceship, there’s a low growl buzzing in your ears. Out of nowhere, glass breaks to your left and a hideous monster is on top of you, its hands clawing at your face.

Welcome to The Callisto Protocol, the latest title that tries to do what many have tried to do since the early days of video games: scare and surprise gamers.

New technology has allowed its creators to create one of the most horrific gaming experiences ever seen, and they make no apologies for it.

The game is effectively banned in Japan because the team behind it was unwilling to change its content to pass local rating rules, which would have required cutscenes to be tweaked and toned down.

Speaking to the BBC, the game’s creative director Chris Stone says it’s “absolutely valid” to have visceral scenes on screen, “without question.”

While some horror experiences rely on the player’s imagination to do most of the work, Stone and his team have also chosen to harness the graphical power of the latest consoles to show in intricate detail what is happening with the characters of the game when they meet her unwelcome. and bloody end. He states that people who play horror games “like the adrenaline rush.”

“It’s the same reason why people skydive or bungee jump,” he continues. “On the morbid side, I think it’s the same reason people drive slowly when they’re in a car accident. They like to see things from a distance, it’s the taboo, which people want to be a part of.”

For Louise Blaine, horror expert and presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Sound of Gaming, “it’s a real treat to be struck by gore” when it’s “justified” within the story being told.

The Callisto Protocol is the latest in a long line of titles, such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, that have used fear and a lot of blood to entertain audiences.

“Games can tell more and more badass stories now, they can splash as much blood and guts on us as they want to get the job done,” Blaine explains.

“Feeling a moment of horror, and then laughing at the feeling it gave you, is an important part of the horror experience. We have to go through something, otherwise what’s the point?”

Like film and television before it, games sometimes have some who feel there is no need to display graphic content on screen.

Games have largely moved away from those conversations, just like their film and TV counterparts. But titles like these are an opportunity for some to question themselves and question their validity.

Blaine finds it frustrating that the horror genre can be treated like this. “This debate rears its ugly head every time someone dares to do something different or push something in a new direction,” he suggests.

“As long as the Callisto Protocol can justify its gore, whether it’s for comedy-horror, I can’t believe it did that shit, or something darker, I think soaking ourselves in monstrous alien blood can only be a good idea.” stuff

“And the truth is, if you don’t like horror games, nobody’s forcing you to play them. As long as it’s branded for the right audience, they should be able to watch and experience what they want.”

The Callisto protocol is a game that is 18 in Europe.

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