Contrary to the genre’s name, survival horror fans are living in the best timeline. The launch of The Callisto Protocol kicks off a period of reinvigoration where the genre will see old faces make their triumphant returns, with Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 remakes coming in 2023.
While The Callisto Protocol may not have been the most well-received title of all time or a serviceable appetizer for the upcoming buffet of horror, there are plenty of titles that can fill that void while you wait. Horror comes in many forms, with these featured titles providing terrifying themes, gameplay or a blend of the two. Horror fans read on; here are 10 games similar to The Callisto Protocol.
Dead Space Trilogy
What better way to start this list than to reference the game that started it all? The Callisto Protocol is the spiritual successor of Dead Space, with many elements shared between the two titles.
Dead Space was the big break that co-creator Glen Schofield needed to reinvent survival horror, placing players in the role of Isaac Clarke as he battles the mutilated Necromorph species and his mind. Pioneering the dismemberment of foes to weaken them and placing you in a variety of uncomfortable situations, the trilogy mastered survival horror until its unfortunate end. However, the upcoming remake looks to reignite the fire with the aid of the glorious Frostbite engine.
The remake is set to hit Jan. 2023, but if you can’t wait, you can find the trilogy for cheap on Steam.
The Aliens series has had its fair share of misses when looking at its video game adaptations. However, it seems many fans can all agree that Alien: Isolation is a horrific game in all the right ways.
Alien: Isolation drops players into the role of Amanda Ripley as she investigates the disappearance of the legendary Ellen Ripley on the Sevastopol, who happens to be the former’s mother. Amanda soon discovers that the Sevastopol has fallen into disarray due to an Alien running amok. What ensues is a dangerous game of cat and mouse, one that fans have heaped enormous amounts of praise.
This game focuses heavily on outsmarting your foes, whether it be humans, androids, or the Alien itself. The Alien pursues you, but it cannot be killed, forcing you to outsmart the monstrosity. Much like The Callisto Protocol, Isolation nails the audio design instilling fear into your very being as you slink through the Sevastopol to survive a being you cannot kill.
The Last of Us
Even after all these years since The Last of Us first exploded onto the gaming scene, Naughty Dog’s title still manages to excel at creating a sense of utter powerlessness in a post-apocalyptic world. Players are thrust into the role of Joel as he must deliver Ellie to the Fireflies across the United States while fighting off cannibalistic zombies and the worst threat of them all: humans who have forsaken their humanity.
Upon playing The Callisto Protocol, it becomes very apparent a lot of the game’s combat was inspired by what The Last of Us featured. The Last of Us puts players in a powerless position as they scramble to throw together resources to fight off enemies of all kinds, with the game’s melee combat being meaty and rewarding. While not heavy into the horror part of survival horror, The Last of Us created many terror-inducing moments as you slink around numerous zombies or humans, with one false moving meaning death.
The Callisto Protocol is by no means as complex as The Last of Us aims to be. However, it does draw plenty of themes and gameplay inspiration from the title, making it a worthy game to experience.
Resident Evil has been the king of the survival horror genre, and it doesn’t intend to slow down anytime soon with Resident Evil 4 returning with a fresh coat of paint. By now, you might’ve already experienced a few of these. As it goes, these titles are some of the best survival horror games to play.
It’s pretty hard to nail down exactly which title to play if you’re looking for a similar style to The Callisto Protocol. However, a good starting point would be Resident Evil 2’s remake or the later entries such as Resident Evil 7 or RE8. Both titles master the survival horror formula but to different lengths; Resident Evil 2 puts you in the shoes of the legendary Leon S. Kennedy as he’s trapped in the Raccoon City Police department and hunted by the unkillable Tyrant. It’s a similar setup to Callisto’s, although RE2’s offers way more exploration.
Conversely, Resident Evil 7 and 8 follow the story of Ethan Winters and are presented in a much more grounded experience, focusing more on the horror aspect. Both of these entries nail said aspect and excel at making you feel uncomfortable, making them worthy entries to play.
Following the conclusion of the Dishonored series, fans of Arkane Studios were curious as to what was next for the developer. Surprisingly, the studio took a page from the history book and reinvented a game of the same name that was released in 2006, infusing the studio’s beloved open-world design and throwing in a battle for your life.
Players assume the role of Morgan Yu, who finds themself aboard the Talos 1 space station. Yu awakens on the Talos to discover that the crew has been killed by a species of shapeshifting and psychic-wielding aliens known as the Typhon, with their goal being to survive and get off the ship. It proves to be easier said than done, as the Typhon is dastardly and cunning. The game plays much like Bioshock in the sense, you must use powers and makeshift weaponry to survive. However, the Typhon is smart and throws you into a sinister game of Prop Hunt, as they use their powers to hide amongst the most common objects.
Prey launched in 2017, and while the demo that came before the launch spoiled a major plot point, the game itself was well-done. Prey wasn’t overly scary, but managing to combine different elements from games like Bioshock and Alien: Isolation proved to be a winning formula for this game.
The Evil Within Series
Mastermind Shinji Mikami lent his talents to create The Evil Within, a psychological horror story starring Sebastian Castellanos. Across two games, Sebastian enters a world full of nightmarish creatures and monstrosities that he must battle to uncover murder mysteries and eventually face his past.
The best way to describe these titles is to picture Inception with horror splashed all over it. Throughout the course of two games, Sebastian finds himself on the defensive as monsters relentlessly hunt him down. The first title was a linear one, as Sebastian uncovers a horror story decades in the making. The gameplay loop was fun as well as players were essentially versions of John Constantine banishing nightmares from the artificially created worlds.
Conversely, the second title featured a semi-open-world structure that did a decent amount of good things, presenting players with a risk-reward system of facing their fears to uncover new methods to survive. It was a nice change of pace on what was originally a linear experience, creating many thrills and psychological chills.
Scorn’s addition to this list is for those who are fans of the nightmarish side of technology. Scorn is a game that doesn’t overly focus on a narrative, as it instead aims to focus on the horror hidden within a factory full of horror. Players must find a way out of the factory through the use of grotesque equipment and various machinery while combating the mutated inhabitants they come across.
This game marries many elements to make a terrifying experience, such as “biopunk” themes, the works of visual artists like H. R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, and much more. The story leaves much room for interpretation, but the gameplay loop and final product will make those with weak stomaches want to turn away.
Planes are one of the most convenient forms of transportation until Eric LeBlanc and his son, Timmy, find themselves crash-landing on a remote island. Waking up on the island, Eric discovers that Timmy is missing, and as any father would do, he embarks on a search for his son. Eric’s journey quickly escalates into a nightmare as he discovers the island is home to feral cannibalistic mutants who have stolen Timmy.
The Forest was released in 2018 and found itself on the receiving end of notable praise. The game is more than what the premise presents itself as; Eric must use his surroundings to craft weapons and safe houses as the cannibals haunt his every move. Players can venture deep into the island to discover hidden caves and lore about what took place previous to the crash landing. Keep in mind, the more information uncovered about the island’s past, the more the island’s disfigured inhabitants evolve.
The Forest is quite the experience and one that can be shared with four players for plenty of high jinks and tomfoolery. A sequel is on its way this February, but be sure to check out a unique take on survival-horror.
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill has been around since 1999, with plenty of hits and misses in the long-standing horror anthology. Ask any fan of the horror series what game is the best, and nearly all of them will shout from the rooftop that Silent Hill 2 is the pinnacle of the series.
Silent Hill 2 focuses on a more personal story as players follow the journey of James Sunderland. James receives a letter from his deceased wife that she’s waiting for him in their special place, and as James arrives at Silent Hill, what ensues is a horror-filled journey into the psyche of a deeply wounded individual. The narrative presented in this sequel is twisted in every way, and the atmosphere is a masterful representation of the twisted story as it houses the monstrosities created by James himself.
A remake of this entry is on the way after being announced during Konami’s Silent Hill Transmission back in October.
Much like The Last of Us, the Metro series focuses on life in a post-apocalyptic world. However, unlike the former series, Metro focuses on the life of citizens living in a bunker after a global nuclear war wipes out the majority of the world, leaving the above world uninhabitable.
The Metro series does a great job at recreating the lore created by Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels, as players find themselves traversing through the Moscow Metro system combatting humans and mutated monstrosities. Certain levels will take the players to the world above the bunker, charging them with find resources while fighting off radiation and much more. The games did a great of balancing survival and horror as series protagonist Artyom scrambles through the tunnels while presenting plenty of opportunity to prove his humanity in a desolate world.
It’s hard to choose just one title to experience, so the recommendation is to go through them all. The penultimate entry, Metro Exodus, is the series’ highlight, as the story travels across the Russian wasteland while introducing engaging and challenging mechanics.
Any games you’d recommend for fans of The Callisto Protocol? Let us know in the comments below!
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