Survival horror games are supposed to be a challenge to players, and The Callisto Protocol definitely goes all in on that philosophy. The problem is that it does so a bit too much, often pitting you against several aggressive, relentless enemies at the same time. Considering that ammo is scarce and health items don’t grow on trees, Callisto can prove to be a tough ride.
A word of advice: Play on easy mode, which the game calls Minimum Security. It’s by no means a walk in the park, but at the very least, you won’t find yourself frustrated by ridiculous difficulty spikes and maddening checkpoints that throw you into a battle unprepared.
Listen, you should play The Callisto Protocol on Minimum Security difficulty
Look, I enjoy playing hard games every now and then. I actually had the opportunity (or misfortune, depending on how you look at it) to cover notoriously challenging games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Elden Ring for work. This meant that, whenever I got stuck, the only way to proceed was to take a quick break, then keep on trying until I had vanquished the boss in front of me.
But those games offer a fun challenge, and it’s rewarding to learn to master them. The Callisto Protocol, on the other hand, does neither of these things. Even on Minimum Security difficulty — fancy wording for “easy” — enemies can be bullet sponges until you’ve got yourself quite a few upgrades. And even then, you still need to worry about the lack of ammo and health items.
Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect from each difficulty setting in The Callisto Protocol:
- Minimum Security: You can withstand a few hits here and there, and might avoid getting killed instantly by tougher foes if you have full health. Unless you’re in a really bad spot in terms of ammo and health, you won’t have to retry encounters that often.
- Medium Security: The annoyances of the first difficulty are increased, as you take more damage per hit. Group encounters require patience and planning.
- Maximum Security: Jacob is made of thin paper. Get ready to be taken down by just a few hits.
Unfortunately, the game suffers from the problem of giving even the most basic enemy too much health and damage. You won’t feel overwhelmed in the way you would in a well-balanced survival horror games. Rather, you’re more likely to frustrated over how long it can take to defeat two or three basic enemies at the same time.
As such, I recommend playing on Minimum Security difficulty. And if you’re unconvinced, set the game on medium or high difficulty, and play for a while. Restarting the same encounter over and over will get tiring fast — considering how little combat evolves throughout the story, despite meeting some new enemies along the way, it’s best if you don’t burn yourself out in the first few hours.