We’ve gone over in great detail how terrible the PC version of The Callisto Protocol currently is due to stuttering issues brought on by the compilation of Unreal Engine shaders, and now Digital Foundry has joined the conversation with their in-depth video analysis. Alexander Battaglia gave the following explanation:

Unfortunately, the PC version of The Callisto Protocol is abysmally lousy right from the start. The Callisto Protocol on PC is an Unreal Engine 4 game, and it does not pre-compile its shaders. As with nearly every Unreal Engine game I’ve reviewed in the past few years, the Callisto protocol on PC has terrible shader compilation stutter. There are many other problems with this game on PC, but the most significant problem is that The Callisto Protocol on PC is an Unreal Engine 4 game.

Massive stuttering is triggered by everything that can be done in the game that is brand new or is being presented for the first time. The beginning of the game nearly had a comedic quality to it due to the frequency and intensity of the stutters that were caused by the shader compilation.

To summarise, the shader compilation delay completely undermines the experience of playing The Callisto Protocol on a personal computer, as well as any efforts the game makes to create an atmosphere or draw you into the narrative. It is essential to emphasize that lower-end CPUs will exhibit pauses and stutters significantly longer when they occur.

For example, a big delay that measured 400 milliseconds on the Core i9 12900k became an even more monstrous stutter that measured 750 milliseconds on the Ryzen 5 3600.

In any case, it is not the only problem with the PC version of The Callisto Protocol. The CPU is said to be the game’s limiting factor, which we had also hypothesized when testing.

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