Striking Distance Studios has released a new episode of its docu-series “Mastering Horror” for The Callisto Protocol. The focus is on “Helplessness and Humanity,” but it outlines the five tenets of horror for the survival shooter – Brutality, Atmosphere, Tension, Helplessness and Humanity. Check it out below.
As clinical psychological Dr Drea Letamendi notes, “Helplessness and hopelessness usually go hand-in-hand. They both refer to an experience of being out of control.” The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman says, “As a storyteller, it’s important to ride that line between helplessness and hopelessness. You want your characters to be in the biggest pressure cooker situation possible, where, if you’re the audience watching them, ‘Oh, you poor thing. How are you gonna get out of this?’” However, having an element of hope is necessary or else “you’re gonna lose the audience,” adds Kirkman.
Director Glen Schofield discusses helplessness as a “physical condition,” which can include not having enough ammo, the right weapon, or knowing what to do next.” Creative director Scott Whitney feels, “It really should be a situation where, based on sort of scarcity of resources that you feel like, you know, only by the skin of your teeth are you getting through every single encounter.”
The Callisto Protocol does a lot to create helplessness, whether it’s restricting the amount of ammo available (encouraging melee combat) or the sheer number of things that can kill you. It also doesn’t help that the monstrous Biophages sometimes prioritize scaring the player over attacking.
Releasing on December 2nd, The Callisto Protocol will be available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. Stay tuned for more details en route to release.