Space survival horror shooter Callisto Protocol has now received two big patches after some versions of it were panned for performance issues at launch, and more fixes are on the way. After releasing the latest update to address frame rate drops and other problems with the Xbox Series X/S edition, Striking Distance Studios said it’s listening to player feedback and continuing to work on improving the game where it can.
“We are listening, working hard on updates, and will have details to share on more upcoming improvements early this week,” tweeted the development team in a refrain that will sound familiar to anyone who’s bought a blockbuster game at launch in the past five years. “Thanks for your patience.” Director Glen Schofield reiterated that sentiment in a separate tweet, adding, “We want you to play the game as intended.”
While our critic Ashley Bardhan didn’t run into many issues on PS5 when playing for her Callisto Protocol review, players on PC and even Xbox Series X/S haven’t been as fortunate. Many review-bombed the PC version on Steam over claims of poor frame rates, bugs, and frequent game crashes, especially when ray-tracing was turned on. “More like ‘Stuttering Protocol,’” joked some players. Many of these issues were also corroborated in Digital Foundry’s performance analysis breakdown of the game.
A PC patch that went out shortly after launch appeared to address most of the frame rate stuttering issues, but players on Xbox Series X/S were reporting similar problems. Today’s latest update for the console version is aimed at fixing some of the frame rate and crashing issues players have reported so far, but complaints about ray-tracing on the Series X version may take more time. “We are aware of issues with ray-traced reflections that we are addressing,” the studio wrote. “More information is coming this week.”
Despite the quick updates and responsiveness from the developers, Callisto Protocol’s launch issues once again raise questions about the state big games are released in, and whether the game was rushed out. Schofield came under fire earlier this year for promoting studio crunch in a tweet he later retracted, with Bloomberg reporting that at least some developers at Striking Distance Studios felt pressure to work overtime.
Callisto Protocol is also one of the first third-party games to command a premium price of $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, despite still only costing $60 on PC. It also has a full suite of paid season pass DLC coming, including new death animations for the main character and additional story content. While not a live service game, it certainly has the feeling of a game that won’t quite be finished until a few months from now when a free update adds a new game plus and hardcore difficulty mode, and more patches have addressed the remaining bugs and performance shortcomings.