EA Motive’s Dead Space remake is a fantastic opportunity for fans to see what the original game could have achieved with contemporary technology. The entire experience seems refurbished in a way that is modern yet faithful, but it is still only a remake of a beloved franchise’s original entry. There are currently no official plans for another Dead Space installment to be made, though the idea of a remake may always precipitate such a decision. In the meantime, Striking Distance Studios’ The Callisto Protocol is a brand-new IP and its narrative originality is exciting to behold.

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Dead Space and The Callisto Protocol will receive unending comparison as long as one features mechanics from the other. Minimal HUD UI, over-the-shoulder third-person combat, and enemies who are horrifically mutated from human tissue are only a handful of similarities the two games share. To be fair, The Callisto Protocol does have a ton of gameplay mechanics that Dead Space does not. Its environment and narrative, however, are its most compelling features, such as how much more potential The Callisto Protocol’s Black Iron Prison has compared to Dead Space’s USG Ishimura.

RELATED: The Callisto Protocol’s Late-Game Beta Paths Are Great for Replayability


Dead Space’s USG Ishimura is Still Only a Mining Ship

The colossal mining vessel USG Ishimura’s held a lot of appeal thanks to its nature as a blank canvas. It is an enormous landscape with eerie corridors and flickering lights, but the Ishimura’s intrigue has less to do with the ship itself and more with the horrors that have inhabited it.

The Ishimura is more of a haunted house situation, where players are invited into a dilapidated location that has unspeakable monstrosities within it. That is one of the most interesting improvements made in the Dead Space remake, since he can now make comments on things that he sees or have a genuine response to a necromorph that drops out of a ceiling duct into the corridor ahead.

The scares come from what may be lurking around a corner, and there are consequently fewer mysteries to uncover about the Ishimura itself. It also did not help that Isaac Clarke was mute in the original Dead Space, which meant he could not inquire into curiosities himself, only serving as an agent for the player. This haunted house environment is still fantastic and atmospheric for Dead Space’s science-fiction survival-horror, but The Callisto Protocol has an edge with a much more particular environment.

The Callisto Protocol’s Black Iron Prison May Be Harboring More Than Biophages

Black Iron Prison is compelling due to the rich history a penitentiary might have on a remote moon. This already works in The Callisto Protocol’s favor for world-building purposes, as it may be interesting to learn what sort of criminals are locked away at Black Iron Prison.

Players will not likely get enough time to meet all of their cell block neighbors before the contagion gets loose. If they did, Striking Distance might introduce players to horrible villains who deserve to be locked up there. Likewise, it could be full of innocent travelers who were grabbed from a nearby star system or a crash-landing on Callisto and admitted, like how Jacob Lee was seemingly incarcerated.

Further, The Callisto Protocol alludes to horrible contagions aboard Black Iron Prison, and it would not be surprising for the penitentiary to have its own secrets. Inmates have been turned into disfigured, mutating biophages, resulting in Black Iron Prison’s outbreak.

It seems like this is where at least the beginning of the game will take place, since there is also a snow-capped outdoor environment players traverse. More of Callisto may be depicted than just its prison facility, and a sequel could explore its furthest reaches if the entire moon is involved in The Callisto Protocol’s narrative.

The Callisto Protocol is scheduled to release on December 2, 2022, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: The Callisto Protocol: What Sam Witwer’s Role Could Be

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