Update - December 17: True to its word, Striking Distance Studios released an uncut version of The Callisto Protocol's announcement trailer today, and if the mind flayers in those Baldur's Gate 3 trailers were too much for you, you should probably turn back now.
To help shake off those shivers, here are some new story details that chief development officer Steve Papoutsis shared in the game's official Discord as part of a post-trailer community discussion.
"The idea is that the player must escape Black Iron Prison and uncover the dark secrets of the United Jupiter Company," Papoutsis said. "The game takes place on Jupiter's dead moon, Callisto, and one of the things that's kind of interesting about it is that in reality it's a moon made of ice and water. We felt that it could be an interesting place, and maybe in the future that's a place civilization could migrate to if we ever need water."
Studio lead Glen Schofield added a bit more on the game's setting. "To start with, prison is a really scary place, and a prison on Jupiter's dead moon is terrifying – can't think of anything more desolate and isolated than that … from a storytelling perspective, it's very ominous to be a prisoner with nothing but the clothes on your back, and that's how you begin the game."
Original story - December 10:
Striking Distance Studios announced its debut game The Callisto Protocol at The Game Awards tonight, and it looks like a scream.
Dead Space co-creator and Sledgehammer Games founder Glen Schofield is the founder and CEO of Striking Distance, so it comes as no surprise that The Callisto Protocol is packing some big Dead Space energy. The reveal trailer opens with an inmate waking up in Black Iron Prison, a maximum-security jail on Jupiter's titular moon Callisto. Things quickly go awry as the inmate discovers that his roommate has been swapped with (and perhaps devoured by, if not transformed into) a bulbous humanoid monster, and the robot guards patrolling the halls seem to be on the fritz. This goes about as well as you'd expect for our inmate, but the incident doesn't seem to phase an ominous onlooker watching the scene through a camera.
"Set on Jupiter’s moon Callisto in the year 2320, The Callisto Protocol is a next-generation take on survival horror," Striking Distance says on the game's official site. "The game challenges players to escape the maximum-security Black Iron Prison and uncover its terrifying secrets. A blend of horror, action, and immersive storytelling, the game aims to set a new bar for horror in interactive entertainment."
Schofield channeled Hideo Kojima in a comment about making "one of the most terrifying games of all time," and confirmed that The Callisto Protocol will get a more in-depth reveal next year. It's currently scheduled to launch on PC and (an unspecified number of) consoles in 2022.