The Callisto Protocol was a tragic misfire that fell properly in need of its potential. Tedious fight, a predictable story, and a daunting lack of scares all coalesced to kind a lackluster debut from Hanging Distance Studios.
However like a patch, post-launch DLC is a chance to proper wrongs and tackle criticism. (And there are loads to select from.) Final Transmission might have been the growth to set issues proper for the fledgling horror title. Sadly, it suffers from the identical issues as the bottom recreation and calcifies how basically flawed The Callisto Protocol is.
Final Transmission retains the only real brilliant spot of the bottom recreation — its eerie visuals and lighting — but in addition retains each final one in every of its faults. Melee fight is sticky and repetitive. Mechanically dodging isn’t partaking, and ready for a similar patterns is tiresome. That is very true in irksome moments the place enemies push by means of hits to get in low-cost pictures. Aiming is floaty and inaccurate, which makes the gunplay equally disagreeable for various causes altogether.
Final Transmission even tries to boost fight by giving gamers a brand new melee weapon: the Kinetic Hammer. This explosive instrument outclasses the stun baton in each approach, because it pulverizes nearly something to goop with few hits. Clubbing mutants could be satisfying because of this gooey, splashy spectacle.
However this weapon, like most issues on this recreation, fails on a number of ranges. The heavy assault is now a shockwave that gibs or stuns all the pieces on the receiving finish, however there’s no actual depth to it. Gamers are simply meant to cost it, wait till enemies get shut, and repeat the area-of-effect slam till all the pieces has been was bloody bits.
This bland technique is inspired for the brand new Biobots which can be proof against different kinds of injury. Having the ability to flip the tables on these slimy cyborgs and go from sneaking previous them to sending them to the scrapyard is a pleasant approach to swap up the tempo. Nevertheless, the melee fight is just too boring to make that change entertaining. And as an added bonus, enemies can even inexplicably tank by means of shockwaves occasionally to disembowel the participant. This heaps yet one more ache level on an already disagreeable expertise.
The moments earlier than bludgeoning Biobots aren’t scary, both, since Final Transmission is devoid of pressure. Foes usually leap out with none buildup (even the Biobot is randomly launched) or creepy aural foreshadowing, and the makes an attempt at psychological horror between encounters are laughable.
Final Transmission’s new hallucinations are filled with hackneyed clichés present in most of the most subpar horror video games. There’s the endlessly looping string of hallways, a room that modifications because the participant turns round, ghost enemies that aren’t truly there, and bloody graffiti with ominous messaging. The motion horror bits are too mundane to compensate for these trite makes an attempt to get contained in the participant’s head, which means The Callisto Protocol continues to be a horror recreation with little to no precise horror.
Psychological displacement could be a highly effective instrument for horror, too. Protagonist Jacob Lee begins to doubt his sanity as he’s uncovered to additional abominations and questions what’s actual. The recreation desires gamers to second guess all the pieces it throws at them, which is a unique method than the one within the base recreation. In the best palms, with a succesful writing group, this may very well be a successful setup. It labored for Occasion Horizon and — extra relevantly — the Useless House franchise.
However Final Transmission barely has a narrative to talk of. It leaves gamers to stumble in darkness for too lengthy with little efficient foreshadowing for its one massive story beat. The grim twist on the finish makes an attempt to make clear the scenario, however it’s very sudden and brings up questions that poke gaping holes in the whole premise. It’s a fittingly sinister finale, however completely unearned — undercut by these lingering questions and the tonal whiplash of a jokey post-credits scene.
The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission DLC Review: The last verdict
With an inconsistent story, whole absence of scares, and clunky fight, Final Transmission makes for a shallow final gasp of air for The Callisto Protocol. This new franchise has been misplaced in area since launch and an onslaught of patches and DLC hasn’t made it any much less of a disappointment. Final Transmission simply highlights what was already unhealthy about The Callisto Protocol, and ensures that it has ended as poorly because it started.
Detailed visuals with lovely lighting
Poorly paced story with a twist that makes little sense
Laughable scares and an entire lack of pressure
Fight continues to be clunky and the brand new hammer would not change that
Disclaimer: This The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission evaluation is predicated on a PS5 copy supplied by the writer. Reviewed on model 1.024.000.