The Callisto Protocol trailer is giving us serious Alien 3 meets Dead Space vibes

Man in astronaut suit on his knees looking defeated and holding a gun
(Image credit: Sony)

Sci-fi horror The Callisto Protocol blessed us with a new trailer during State of Play, as well as a deep dive into what makes it so scary.

Dead Space creator Glen Schofield is "returning to his roots" with his self-proclaimed "all-new take on the sci-fi survival horror genre." And he isn't kidding: The trailer is a blend of cinematics, gameplay, and some extra pizazz thrown in for the show, and it looks great. Dead Space fans won't be disappointed.

Schofield also shared more details about the game in a PlayStation blog post.

The Callisto Project is set against the spooky backdrop of Jupiter’s dead moon Callisto in the year 2320. The plot has Alien 3 vibes with Black Iron Prison inmates having to fight for their life – although instead of aliens, they're dealing with a "mysterious outbreak". 

Guards and inmates alike are mutating into Cronenbergian monsters called Biophage that – let's face it – are probably the result of shady goings-on from the United Jupiter Company. We'll be stepping into the shoes of Jacob Lee, battling to survive and ferret out the corporation's secrets.  

In the blog post, Schofield explains that the dev team used something called Horror Engineering to "hand-craft unforgettable scares." He elaborates, " It’s about blending atmosphere, tension, brutality, helplessness, and humanity to thrill players … and hopefully scare the crap out of them."

Atmosphere plays a large part in that with the lighting making the dark, creepy corners all the more foreboding. Of course, there's the PS5’s 3D Audio that takes advantage of "acoustic ray tracing, diffraction, and portaling to fully immerse players in the world."

Thankfully, The Callisto Protocol won't be relying on jump scares to do all the heavy horror-lifting -- although it still sounds like a wild ride. "Sometimes we space scares out to give players time to catch their breath, and sometimes we hit them with two or three scares in a row.  We want your heart to race with every tick of the PS5’s awesome haptics," Schofield reveals.

And of course there's the the blend of melee combat and third-person shooter gameplay for utter carnage. Equipped with a gravity weapon called the GRP – a guard's weapon used to subdue the inmates – Jacob can freeze and throw enemies around to your heart's content.

But as Schofield points out, he's not a soldier. Players "should feel helpless" with every encounter being a life or death struggle. You'll be scrounging around for resources too, so look forward to that.

The Callisto Project releases on December 2, 2022. Pre-orders on the PlayStation Store include a special Contraband Pack which sounds like it'll include resources and maybe weapons, to make the struggle slightly more bearable.     

Shabana Arif
News Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.