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Isaac suited up in Dead Space (Photo credit @deadspaceTwitter)
Isaac suited up in Dead Space (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)

Dead Space and Callisto Protocol are products of the same horror genre, but that doesn’t mean they share equal admiration among gamers. Built in a similar light to Dead Space, Callisto Protocol debuted in December 2022. The semblance between the two was evident in the suit and the way they get supplies or upgrade their gears.

Although led by Glen Schofield’s Striking Distance Studios and backed by a huge budget, Callisto Protocol still failed to appeal to most gamers in the sci-fi horror genre because of obvious performance issues. Those performance glitches held Callisto Protocol back from hitting its sales target.

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The first Dead Space was released in 2008 by Motive Studio and the reception at that time was phenomenal. It was something different from the Resident Evil horror experience. After over 14 years, the game has resurfaced in the next-gen console—with shiny upgrades, of course.

Since the arrival of the Dead Space remake on 27 January 2023, fans of the game have continued to pour glowing reviews with many saying the remake outdid the original in almost every aspect. This is contrary to the mixed reviews that trailed the release of Callisto Protocol

That is not to say that Callisto Protocol was a total disaster. Far from it. Callisto Protocol is gorier and has more meat-mulching than Dead Space could muster. It seems to have been deliberately designed to satiate gore-hungry gamers. Placed side-by-side, gamers are rooting for Dead Space remake for the following reasons.


Callisto Protocol’s Jacob Lee with identification number #521 relies on uninspiring weapons to fight his way through survival. His arsenal is limited to shotguns, pistols, and assault rifles. Although they make combat easier, they are not distinctive from other games.

The case is different when you compare it to the large arsenal available to Dead Space’s Isaac Clarke which he scraps together using repurposed mining implements. One of the most iconic weapons of Dead Space mid-way through the game is the Plasma Cutter which dismembers the necromorphs in the most creative way.

Melee mechanics

Callisto Protocol forces the player to start the game with axes and stun batons in the first few hours of the game—and that is where the problem lies. A lot of players complained about the melee mechanic’s fussy timing.

Gamers often struggle to get the timing right. Once you miss the timing, the hit lands as a glancing slash instead of a knockback punch. This glitch in timing made the game unnecessarily harder than it should have been.

Even the best YouTuber gamers like TheRadBrad died a lot in the opening hours of the game.

The case is different in Dead Space. Although Isaac starts without a weapon, he quickly finds one in the next scene. Also, engaging in a melee is a choice rather than compulsory. However, you will find players of Dead Space stunning and stumping the necromorphs to save armor.


Callisto Protocol has a slim variety of enemies that at some point begins to feel as if the developers ran out of ideas. Also, the enemies often don’t present a challenge, no thanks to Jacob’s Kinesis-like gear that allows you to lift and throw enemies off cliffs or onto exposed fan blades or spiked walls. In other words, the tension is rarely sustained.

This felt like a let-off for gamers that are hungry for a real challenge. However, we do understand that developers are including accessibility options that will make it easier for specially-abled gamers to enjoy video games too. So, simply because a feature is in a game doesn’t mean you should use it, right?

Dead Space presents a better challenge with matched enemies. Isaac squares off against more menacing ghouls than Jacob. Also, they come in more variants and sizes. In terms of storytelling, Dead Space is broader, which explains the need for Dead Space 3 to exhaust the story.

Callisto Protocol, on the other hand, appears done for. However, we can never underestimate the creative power of scriptwriters to spin an entire tale from a little glitch.

Dead Space remake technical director is scared of playing the game

USG Ishimura comes to life in painstaking detail in Dead Space remake (Photo credit @deadspaceTwitter)
USG Ishimura comes to life in painstaking detail in Dead Space remake (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)

You will know that a horror game franchise is a success when people are scared of playing it in the dark. That was the same experience that Dead Space presented to some classes of gamers.

David Robillard, the game’s technical director, in a recent interview with PLAY Magazine said, “when playing [Dead Space] at night, I take out my headphones. It’s damn scary. It’s not just about the atmosphere and realism, it is in the way we handle effects, sound, ambiance, and having systems that will try to spook you.”

One of the ways the developers tried to achieve realism and increase the spookiness of the game was through the use of an AI director. Explaining how the concept worked, the Executive Editor of PC Gamer Tyler Wilde wrote,

Dead Space remake uses an AI director to spook gamers (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)
Dead Space remake uses an AI director to spook gamers (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)

“Throughout the remake, an ‘intensity AI’ will mix surprise necromorph attacks in with the pre-scripted ones and try to spook you by messing with the lights and sounds. A room that was brightly lit in one playthrough may be dark in a second.”

Dead Space remake promises a secret ending

While scores of gamers enjoyed the first game in 2008, a remake will be absolutely pointless if there are no alterations. Dead Space remake brings the USG Ishimura (the name of the planet-harvesting vessel that Isaac and his crew got stuck in) to life by including painstaking details. The airlocks, quarters, and decks have all gotten an upgrade.

Other alterations include the introduction of a voiced protagonist, additional in-game puzzles, the ability to detach from the ship in zero-gravity sections and float around with the help of thrusters, and the elimination of loading screens.

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Even more interesting is the secret ending that was announced through the official Dead Space Twitter handle. This has raised enthusiasm among those that played the original game. There is also a New Game Plus that is unlocked after the first playthrough.

Dead Space comes with handy accessibility tools

The blood and gore in Dead Space remake can be toned down using accessibility settings (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)
The blood and gore in Dead Space remake can be toned down using accessibility settings (Photo credit: @deadspace/Twitter)

Accessibility tools come in various shades, depending on the type of audience the developers want to appeal to. Dead Space remake appears to target a broader audience with its wide range of accessibility tools.

Firstly it starts off with a warning that gives the player a hint about the “explicit depictions of dismemberment, impalement, blood gore, vomit, and death.”

Apart from the initial warning, Motive Studios and Electronic Arts created an in-game toggle that warns you before various scenes unfold. If you are the type that hates surprises or is at high risk of heart attack, it may be a good idea to turn it on.

There is another toggle that will blur out disturbing scenes. However, the audio will not be affected. This is another feature that will come in handy for players without the stomach to watch Isaac’s gruesome decapitation.

The accessibility settings can be accessed through the pause menu. Once you pause the game, scroll to Settings, then Accessibility. You can always play around with the toggle just to have a full sense of the upgrades that have been done to the game compared to the 2008 release.

It is important to mention that most of the accessibility features are disabled by default. However, their presence gives gamers full control of what they want and what they don’t.