‘The Callisto Protocol’ launches to “mostly negative” Steam reviews due to performance woes

"The very first cutscene I was getting constant frame drops and [it] only got worse from there"

Striking Distance Studios‘ debut horror game The Callisto Protocol launched today (December 2), however it’s been met with a poor reception from fans who are struggling with a range of performance issues.

The Callisto Protocol‘s Steam page has tagged the user reviews as ‘Mostly Negative’, with 71 per cent of the game’s 2,840 reviews being negative at time of writing.

Most of these negative reviews spotlight stuttering and performance issues in The Callisto Protocol, with players experiencing frequent FPS drops despite claiming to run the game on high-end hardware.

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“Currently I can’t even walk through the opening area and turn a corner without stuttering on a 3080 with ray tracing off,” reads one review. “Performance is not good at all right now.”

“I am running a 3080, and this game constantly drops frames all the way into [20 FPS]. The very first cutscene I was getting constant frame drops and [it] only got worse from there,” adds another.

Elsewhere, some players’ reviews have taken a lighter approach. “The stutter protocol” jokes one reviewer, while another claims “the real horror is in the FPS.”

The Callisto Protocol.
The Callisto Protocol. Credit: Striking Distance Studios.

While Striking Distance Studios is yet to remark on the issues, some players have shared tips on getting the game to run better – including turning off Vsync and motion blur in the graphics settings, and setting The Callisto Protocol‘s priority to ‘High’ in Task Manager.

Months before The Callisto Protocol launched, Striking Distance Studios founder Glen Schofield apologised for appearing to glorify crunch culture surrounding the game’s development.

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“I only talk about the game during an event. We are working 6 to 7 days a week, nobody’s forcing us,” read Schofield’s original tweet. “Exhaustion, tired, COVID, but we’re working. Bugs, glitches, performance fixes, One last pass through audio. 12 to 15 hours days. This is gaming. Hard work. Lunch, dinner, working. You do it ‘cos you love it.”

After facing backlash for the comments, Schofield apologised – claiming “We value passion and creativity, not long hours. I’m sorry to the team for coming across like this.”

In other gaming news, Erik Wolpaw, one of the writers behind Valve‘s Portal series, has shared that he has a “pretty awesome starting point” for Portal 3.

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