With the release of 2022’s most anticipated horror game, The Callisto Protocol, merely two months away, December 2, 2022 can’t arrive soon enough for gamers excited to explore Black Iron Prison and battle its nightmarish denizens. However, despite the enthusiasm surrounding the debut effort from Striking Distance Studios, many questions have arisen: Will this new sci-fi horror experience be able to fill the shoes of Dead Space? Is December 2 going to mark the launch of a game of the year contender? Can The Callisto Protocol become the next beloved survival horror series, a la Resident Evil?
While those questions can only be answered by playing The Callisto Protocol when it releases, in order to truly prepare for the horrors that await gamers on Jupiter’s moon, there are a few games that should be experienced first. Whether you’re a survival horror veteran or a newcomer, this article will present a list of games that deserve to be played prior to the release of The Callisto Protocol, which will help to aid in the enjoyment of Striking Distance’s debut, and are the titles that 2022’s most anticipated horror game should be measured up against when it launches for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Dead Space (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) and Dead Space 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The Callisto Protocol has become synonymous with its 2008 sci-fi horror predecessor, Dead Space, for many reasons including its combination of science fiction and horror, the game’s gory aesthetics, and the fact that The Callisto Protocol is being directed by Dead Space co-creator, Glen Schofield. It only makes sense that players should experience Dead Space, as well as its 2011 sequel Dead Space 2 prior to exploring Schofield’s latest foray into sci-fi horror, as both of those games were the essential horror experiences of their generation. Furthermore, for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, both titles can be immediately downloaded.
PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) (Android, iOS, Google Stadia, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
While it might be surprising to see a 2017 multiplayer battle royale game in a list of games to play before an upcoming sci-fi survival horror title, there is a very good reason for this. Unbeknownst to some, PUBG (aka PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) and The Callisto Protocol are both published by Krafton, with both games reportedly taking place in the same universe. While it is unclear if there will be any crossover between The Callisto Protocol and PUBG, as the games’ genres and mechanics seem very different from each other, there is no denying that this development is highly intriguing, and makes Krafton’s battle royale classic deserving of a second look prior to December 2.
Alien: Isolation (Amazon Luna, Android, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
The “Alien” brand is undeniably the IP most associated with science fiction horror and has inspired and spawned many descendants in film, television, and videogames, with the iconic Xenomorph becoming one of the most recognizable movie monsters of all time. 2014’s Alien: Isolation is currently the preeminent sci-fi horror experience of the previous generation of videogames, making it a must-play prior to The Callisto Protocol.
Resident Evil 2 (Amazon Luna, Nintendo Switch [soon], PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S) AND/OR
Resident Evil 4 (Android, GameCube, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii)
Last, but certainly not least are two of the most beloved titles from the highest-selling horror videogame franchise, Resident Evil, with 2005’s Resident Evil 4, as well as Resident Evil 2, the 2019 remake of the 1998 survival horror classic of the same name. Both games were the most critically acclaimed survival horror titles of their respective generations, and have similarities to The Callisto Protocol. For instance, The Callisto Protocol’s enemy “mutation” mechanic is reminiscent of Resident Evil 4’s tentacled Plagas enemies, while Resident Evil 2’s foreboding, compact, labyrinthian setting seems more in line with the Black Iron Prison location created by Striking Distance Studios. While these games aren’t quite as essential to play prior to The Callisto Protocol as the previously mentioned entries that are more connected with the game’s universe and genre, if Schofield and Striking Distance Studios want to create the next classic horror series, then they need to meet the illustrious standard set by the Resident Evil brand.