Since the end of the main game of The Callisto Protocol, things have gone from bad to worse in prison. The virus wreaking havoc within is about to break out of prison and it’s up to you to retrieve Mahler’s data and send it to another world. It won’t be a walk in the park. You’ll have to fight tooth and nail to fight your way through monster-infested corridors, where new horrors await.
When it comes to battling Biophage, players need reliable tools to survive. The Stun Baton is a great blunt tool, but new threats call for new equipment. According to Paul Guirao, Lead Systems Designer, the team behind The Callisto Protocol listened to fan feedback and decided to add a new melee weapon to the game. “We wanted to give players something more powerful than the Stun Baton,” explains Guirao.
The result is the all-new Kinetic Hammer. With its design and shape, you can feel the power and weight behind every swing. It has light and heavy melee attacks that hit harder than the Stun Baton, but that’s not all – Guirao explains: “Holding the heavy melee button will give you an even more powerful attack. But mastering the heavily loaded mechanic can be tricky… you’ll be the ultimate badass once you get the hang of it. It’s one of our favorite weapons because it destroys everything it touches.” As a bonus, a successfully executed charge attack also creates a powerful area of effect.
However, the thrill of wielding the Kinetic Hammer isn’t fully realized until you’re up against worthy opponents. Final Transmission introduces a new enemy and boss type for players to take on.
With twistedly agile corruptors and relentlessly powerful two-headed brutes lurking around every corner, not to mention hard-to-kill security units, Black Iron Prison has always been a treacherous place. But now a new foe is stalking its corridors: the Biophage Robot, or the Biobot as the developers affectionately call it. A combination of Biophage and UJC security units, this terrifying foe is a deadly reminder that Black Iron is still as dangerous as ever.
“In the main game, the security robots are only seen a few times,” Guirao tells me, “With the last chapter, we really went deeper into the idea of what happens when the Biophage starts taking over machines.”
Visualizing the Biobot as a grotesque and intimidating biomechanical enemy was an iterative process. “We worked closely with the Concept Art team to create a look that fits into TCP’s universe. It took several iterations to establish the look. We went to both extremes, too robotic and then too organic,” explains Guirao. The more robotic iterations were too similar to the existing security units and lacked the gruesomeness the team was looking for. On the other hand, the more organic versions seemed too fragile and didn’t do enough to distinguish the powerful new foes from their Biophage brethren. In the end, the team “found that sweet spot.”
Affectionate nicknames aside, the Biobot is not an enemy to be taken lightly. According to one of the Senior Systems Designers, “Security Unit Robots were big, terrifying enemies that couldn’t really be beaten up and would only come down after precision shots to the head.”
Guirao adds, “we’re not a tactical cover game, so it made more sense to make the Biobots a melee unit. We have an in-your-face style of fighting and we didn’t want to deviate from that.”
Guirao and the Striking Distance team watched hundreds of hours of streamers playing The Callisto Protocol, “there was a lot of feedback about how all of our NPCs felt the same and it was something we had to address.” To survive, players must use new tactics to take down Biobots, but once players have the new melee weapon, they have a chance to take satisfying and well-deserved revenge on the biomechanical enemies and “finally get their shot”. to beat them apart.”
The Biobot isn’t the only new enemy you’ll encounter on your return to Black Iron. Without giving too much away, the final boss in Final Transmission is something really special. “Our goal was to demonstrate the power of the Kinetic Hammer and get players thinking about the best ways to beat the boss; decide when to use melee or ranged attacks and use the arena to their advantage,” reveals senior system designer Quinlan Richards, “we gave the boss the same mechanics as Jacob, switching seamlessly between hard-hitting melee and aggressive ranged attacks. And to keep things interesting, we’ve given the final boss an ability beyond anything Jacob can do.”
We can’t wait for you to return to Black Iron Prison to face the new horrors that lie in wait. PS4 and PS5 players will get exclusive 48-hour early access to The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission starting June 26 at 9PM PST.