Skip to main content

Trust me: Play The Callisto Protocol on its easiest difficulty setting

The Callisto Protocol is out today and it’s receiving a very mixed response. Reviews criticized the survival horror game for a host of issues, including its messy combat system, weak story, and performance issues. I highlighted those issues in Digital Trends’ own review, though I ultimately enjoy its Xbox 360 throwback feel. However, if you’re jumping in this weekend, here’s a word of advice.

Don’t be a hero; play The Callisto Protocol on its lowest difficulty setting.

Before the “get good” chorus fires up, that suggestion isn’t about making the game easy. In fact, easy mode is going to feel like hard mode in this game. While you can start on one of its two higher settings, the game experience is going to feel much better and more balanced if you swallow your pride and dial it down.

Jacob Lee fights an enemy in a water treatment facility in The Callisto Protocol.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That’s due to the game’s somewhat messy and complicated combat system. In The Callisto Protocol, dodging is key. It’s so key, in fact, that it overrides your movement. When you’re close to an enemy, your left stick turns into a directional dodge that you’ll need to perform to duck attacks. The timing on those dodges isn’t easy to get the hang of, which can make the earliest encounters hard to get through initially. Switching to easy allows you to learn that system with a lot less hair-pulling.

Once you do learn it, though, I still don’t recommend boosting the difficulty back up. The combat system works well for one-on-one encounters, but it isn’t nearly as smooth when there are multiple enemies on screen. You’ll often find yourself surrounded by monsters, unable to run away because you’re locked into a dodge. You end up taking a ton of damage in The Callisto Protocol because of that and there’s not much you can do about it. Switching to easy at least allows you to tank more of those hits.

Don’t be scared that you’ll breeze through the adventure that way. I played the game on its easiest difficulty and still found myself dying to certain bosses and enemies dozens of times. The challenge is still there; it’s just more of a fun challenge than a frustrating one.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
The best games on Meta Quest 3
A product shot of the Meta Quest 3 shown in dramatic lighting over a gradient background.

VR headsets have become a successful niche for gamers who want to fully immerse themselves in their gaming experiences. There are plenty of options out there in terms of which headset you could go with, including Sony's PSVR2 and Oculus, but the latest and greatest is the Meta Quest 3. This is the upgraded version of the already impressive Quest 2, and it not only boasts more powerful hardware, but also new features that can add even more immersion to games. This headset is fresh on the market, so if you picked one up and are looking for the best games to test it out, we've collected the best games for you to dive into.

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Read more
The best console emulators (NES, SNES, Genesis, and more) in 2023
Mario narrowly avoids a Chain Chimp in Super Mario 64.

The best emulators allow you to replay classic games from systems like the Super Nintendo and PlayStation 2 on modern hardware -- and usually with some enhancements to boot. Because emulators often meddle in a legal gray area, it can be hard to find emulators that run classic games consistently.

Thankfully, there's one go-to emulator for most platforms. In addition to RetroArch, which covers a large range of retro consoles, there are also several standalone emulators that can fake more recent hardware -- even the Nintendo Switch.
One to rule them all: RetroArch

Read more
The best Xbox Series X headsets
Controls on the SteelSeries Acris Nova Pro headset.

There’s nothing that can enhance your gaming experience quite like a good headset. In addition to bringing the game right to your ears, a good headset will offer spatial audio — allowing you to pinpoint sounds around you — a solid microphone, and excellent comfort, especially for long gaming sessions. Whether you're rocking the newest single-player experience or fighting for your life in multiplayer, our six best Xbox Series X headsets satisfy all these conditions and more.

Read more