“You Don’t Want a Talkative Protagonist”

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Horror games often have different approaches to how often their protagonists talk and what they say depending on which game you’re talking about. If you watch the original dead space, Isaac Clarke rarely uttered a word and mostly made noise, whereas Resident Evil games are full of one-liners and frequent responses to different situations. In the case of The Callisto Protocol, we know the game will feature actor Josh Duhamel as the protagonist Jacob Lee, which suggests we’ll hear him speak often enough to know it’s him, but it seems the devs are aware that players don’t always want a “talkative protagonist”.

It’s something The Callisto Protocol Steve Papoutsis, director of development at Striking Distance Studios, is particularly aware of this. Papoutsis was the lead producer on dead space as well as executive producer on Dead space 2 where it was decided that Isaac would take on more of a speaking role. The developer explained at the time that it made sense for Isaac to be more talkative in the sequel given the events he went through in the first, but what’s the philosophy behind a new actor-backed character? famous ?

“Well, for me personally, I really like the story,” Papoutsis said in an interview with ComicBook.com. “I think you want a protagonist. You don’t want a talkative protagonist. You don’t want a wise, ironic character. I’ve always…hopefully with the games I’m in that the main character channels the the player’s thoughts in a certain way.”

Papoutsis continued to say that talking points for protagonists like Jacob could be attempts to mirror what a player might be thinking or could be something that is needed to move the story forward. The latter is an appropriate time to speak, he said, but some opportunities to speak just aren’t as important.

“So while you’re having the experience, they might say something that you’re thinking,” he said. “And then to move the narrative forward, which is really important to us in all of the games that I’ve been in, to really create a narrative that allows players to escape into that world or enjoy that universe that we let’s create . I think it’s important if the story asks that character to talk. So in different cases sometimes it’s not important. Maybe there’s no one to talk to and that would be weird if they were only talking to themselves. And other times, as I’ve described, if something is going to help move the story forward or create a connection with another character, then I think it’s appropriate.”

Papoutsis also talked to us about the game’s atypical focus on melee combat and how that will translate into that particular horror experience.

The Callisto Protocol releases on December 2.

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