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News video games 02 December 2022, 14:06

author: Jakub Tarchala

Callisto Protocol Taking Flak From Gamers; Abysmal Performance on PC

The release of The Callisto Protocol is not particularly successful - the game is review bombed on Steam, and the reason is poor optimization. We check what the problem is.

Only a few hours have passed from the release of The Callisto Protocol, the long-awaited successor to the Dead Space series. During this time we have got to know the relatively positive reviews from the critics. Most players, however, are of a different opinion, massacring the game in Steam reviews. The reason is one - poor optimization.

Huge optimization problems

Criticism of the optimization can be found in the negative reviews on Steam. A recurring issue are drastic fps drops (even from 100 to 20) or the overall poor performance of the game (about 30-40 fps), even on computers with an RTX 4090. The problem seems extremely serious, and the game is review bombed on Steam - only 22% of 1133 reviews are positive.

Updated system requirements

Developers have updated the system requirements released last week with the configurations required to play with ray tracing. If you want to feast your eyes on the ray tracing feature in The Callisto Protocol, your computer should theoretically meet the following requirements (although currently even the best computers may have trouble meeting this task).

Maximum settings

  • Processor: Intel i7-9700k or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Graphics card: GeForce RTX 2070 or AMD Radeon RX 6700XT
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Disk: 75 GB

Ultra settings

  • Processor: Intel i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Graphics card: GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6900XT
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Disk: 75 GB

For both configurations, the developers recommend having an SSD and Windows 10 or 11. Unfortunately, they didn't specify what kind of performance we should expect from these requirements.

What is the problem? What can be done?

The reasons for the game's current performance problems are probably several, but according to the Reddit community, in some aspects the comfort from the game can be improved on one's own.

  • The first major problem is the game's poor ray tracing optimization. Players who have disabled ray tracing in the game say there is a significant increase in performance.
  • The game uses Denuvo DRM to stop players from "pirating" the game. Denuvo is notorious, however, mainly for the additional load that the computer must endure while playing the game. Many games have already suffered from this solution (including Dying Light 2 or Doom Eternal).
  • Currently, the title does not support the DLSS technology, which significantly improves performance on RTX cards from Nvidia. For the time being, the game only supports the competing FSR 2.0 technology, which also works on Nvidia cards.
  • Disabling motion blur in the options also improves the game's performance, and without any noticeable compromises to the visuals.
  • Some blame the game engine - Unreal Engine 4. According to some players, the way shaders are compiled in such a large game can affect performance badly. However, this is a suggestion unconfirmed by research.

For the moment, there is no perfect solution to the problem. The only options left are to cut graphics options, wait for an update or embrace the console version, although the latter option, according to the players, is also laced with small fps drops.

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