the callisto protocol launch trailer cover
Game: The Callisto Protocol
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: November 17, 2022

The launch trailer for the upcoming 3rd person horror game The Callisto Protocol was released today at the end of a “Mastering Horror” roundtable featuring the game’s director, Glen Schofield. The two-minute “launch trailer” shows us snapshots of protagonist Jacob Lee’s journey through Black Iron Prison. Set to Kings Elliot’s composed-for-this-purpose “Lost Again,” the trailer shows Jacob and other characters in a variety of high-stakes encounters with several threats, including the monstrous biophages who will serve as the game’s primary antagonists.

The trailer showcases some things we expected to be in the game — albeit in gorgeously-rendered, hype-forming detail. But, alongside the space-horror monsters and haunting environments, there was also a lot of unexpected elements which might reveal more than it first seems.

In many ways, this trailer just seeks to confirm what people already knew or assumed about The Callisto Protocol. From the utterly stunning graphics to the terrifying and disturbing designs for the biophages, the launch trailer goes out of its way to showcase things that we’ve already seen about the game. That said, it is worth going over those attributes

the callisto protocol experiment grotsque
Grotesque and futuristic, the set pieces on display in the trailer hint at masterfully-done space horror

As expected, the launch trailer did it’s best to make the most of the game’s utterly stunning graphics and animation. Both in the cinematics and in the brief snippets of gameplay shown, everything — from character models to environments to gory splatter — looks incredible, bordering on lifelike.

The narration throughout the trailer also introduces us to some of the story of The Callisto Protocol. Both Josh Duhamel and Karen Fukuhara sink into their character’s voice lines and mocap animations, and the haunting lines hint at a story full of confusion, emotion, and character growth. Though there is talk of an “outbreak” and an implied government cover-up, a surprising amount of the trailer’s narration was emotional and raw, hinting that The Callisto Protocol might have more than horror up its sleeve, like real emotional depth.

Furthering this notion is the surprising and unique choice for the music. While one might expect a synth-enhanced orchestral suite of violin trills and industrial racket in a horror title, The Callisto Protocol‘s launch trailer takes a different approach, instead taking on a piano-driven, somber vocal piece as its main theme.

“Lost Again,” performed by the relatively unknown Kings Elliot, sounds more like a downbeat James Bond theme (especially Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die”), and its soft, haunting melody gives the otherwise action-packed trailed a desperate quality. That, in combination with the songs mournful, pained lyrics, go even further to indicate that The Callisto Protocol might have more heart than it let on.

Heart isn’t the only thing that Callisto might have more of, either: the trailer also showcases plenty of explosions, gunfire, and action-movie set pieces so that you know it isn’t just going to be space horror. No, instead, the trailer promises a game also packed with action and bombast, with plenty of huge moments that go well beyond the usual purview of “horror.” Think Aliens more than Alien.

callisto protocol action
Jacob Lee doesn’t look at explosions.

There is more to say, about everything from the stunning environments on display to the double-headed brute that might be a boss fight, but the trailer does more than enough (for me) to do what it needed to do: get me excited about The Callisto Protocol, which will be out on December 2nd for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X.

If the trailer has you as excited as it has me, you can pre-order the game here (I know I already have). Either way, though, let us know what you think. Does the trailer make you more excited to play, or does it open up new worries for you? Is there some detail we missed, or something that looks especially interesting to you? Let us know below, to help tide over the wait before December 2nd finally (and terrifyingly) arrives.

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