Game Review: Dead Space Remake & Callisto Protocol


Eagle Eye Photo Illustration

Game reviewer Dylon Brower reviews two of the top recent entries in the popular survival horror genre. (Game cover art by EA Games and SDS Games, graphic by Dylon Brower)

Two games making a buzz in the gaming industry are the newly released Dead Space Remake, and Callisto Protocol, which was released during the holiday season.

Dead Space and Callisto Protocol are part of the popular survival horror genre where players have to juggle their resources as well as their heart rates.

Both games have a similar premise/storyline. Both take place in the far future somewhere in space, and the main characters wear unique suits and use futuristic weapons to destroy zombie-like creatures.

While Callisto Protocol was made by Dead Space’s co-creator, Glen Schofield, it doesn’t capture the same glory as Dead Space.

Without even looking at the gameplay, the stories of both games show that, at least in this case, the copy is not better than the original.

Presentation is a big influencer in how well a game is received. Both games even start similarly, with a crew flying towards a planet/spaceship to complete their agenda.

In Callisto Protocol, the main character, Jacob Lee, and his partner, Max, are cargo pilots. They are making a drop on a prison planet when things go wrong, and Jacob gets enlisted in the prison.

The story has a good premise but why would a random cargo pilot get forced into a prison? This is where the story falters. Jacob is immediately an unlikable character because he openly talks badly about Max and plenty of the other allies he later makes.

The relationship between Jacob and Max is something Callisto Protocol tries to focus on, by highlighting Jacob’s trauma over his friends’ death. It obviously seems like an excuse, though, because it doesn’t change the plot in any way.

Jacob is depicted as a bad person, so the player never develops empathy for him. Throughout the game, Jacob rushes his allies and is constantly rude to them, even though they are trying to help.

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the Callisto Protocol, Jacob makes a sacrifice to help get one of his allies, Dani, off the planet. While a heroic sacrifice in most games would make the protagonist seem honorable, in Callisto, it seems to fall flat.

Even though so much of the game is about the main character’s development, Jacob doesn’t develop at all, even with his sacrifices. Until the very end, Jacob is consistently selfish and only helps his allies when he knows he needs them to get off the planet.

The Dead Space Remake adapts to the original Dead Space released in 2008.

The game opens with Isaac Clarke and the rest of the rescue crew making their way to the USG Ishimura, a planet cracker that harvests raw materials from planets but destroys them in the process.

Isaac makes his way onto the Ishimura and everything immediately goes wrong: 2 of his crewmates die and Isaac gets separated from the rest.

Just like Callisto Protocol, the story opens up well, but Dead Space has much more likable characters. Isaac doesn’t talk a lot throughout the game, but when he does he gives valuable input on the situation. He also gets along well with his crewmates, as well as trying to get in contact with his wife again after 6 months apart.

Isaac has to try and find his wife throughout the story, but instead of being selfish and only trying to find her, he multitasks and helps the surviving crew members repair and escape the ship.

Dead Space opens up better than Callisto because of how the characters react to what’s going on around them. Although he has limited dialogue because of the gruesome environment around him, Isaac reacts to his environment with simple words and sounds.

Isaac even has better character development, with him defying his commander’s orders who is clearly in the wrong, only wanting to save as many people as possible and get off of the ship.

Without even looking at the gameplay, the stories of both games show that, at least in this case, the copy is not better than the original.