Cryostasis: From Russia, With An Appetite For Fast Hardware

Evaluating Game Play: Good Intentions And Acceptable Outcomes

Because we’d like to be fair to the designers, we want to distinguish hardware considerations from the title’s content and game play experiences. Here, we’ll comment on how much we enjoyed playing the title and the virtual world in which this game is played. In the next section, we’ll dig into some hardware tests, after which we’ll evaluate the technical gaming environment and its playability.

The designers did a great job of creating a sharply delineated game universe. Much as with BioShock or FEAR 2: Project Origin, the boundaries for forward motion or progress within the game are narrowly limited. The current scenario is invariably cramped and crowded, so that players must fight with the spaces they inhabit as much as with their antagonists. Those looking for lots of blood splattering or other special effects are likely to be disappointed. The game’s ESRB rating is “Teen,” which seems appropriate.

We’ll also mention here that the English-language version (which is also cheaper than the Russian one) installs in other languages as well, such as German. Anybody who enjoys gaming–unless you have weak nerves or prefer to avoid virtual carnage—will find lots of pleasure with this title, as long as you have the right hardware with which to play it.


Cryostasis’ soundtrack helps to create a throbbing, menacing, and ice-cold backdrop for the North Wind’s brooding interior. It doesn’t matter if your rig uses onboard sound circuitry or a Sound Blaster X-Fi (although the latter will intensify an already well-rendered sonic atmosphere). But with lower-end systems, it might be worth contemplating the use of a separate sound card, if only to offload the CPU for other gaming tasks. The sound works equally well on systems running Windows XP or Vista (Ed.: Note that Cryostasis natively leverages OpenAL, so a card from Creative will work properly under Vista). Those who do own a Sound Blaster X-Fi should install the latest drivers for the best sound output. Older versions can cause problems, so you’ll want to update just to be sure to avoid them.

For a seasoned gamer, it will take between 10 and 12 hours to work through the game. This puts it in the same league as FEAR 2: Project Origin. Casual gamers and newbies will probably need 25 hours to make it all the way through Cryostasis. The degree of difficulty is not user-selectable, but varies between easy to medium-hard. When we played, we were able to work our way through all the game situations we encountered. Whether or not the game is worth its $25-$30 price tag is up to you to decide. In any case, Cryostasis is worth a look, and for some, will be well worth playing.

Quality of Game Play ( On a Scale of One to 10)
Game Concept
8 Points
Story
6 points
Difficulty
9 Points
Transitions
9 Points
Atmosphere
9 Points
Sound
9 Points
Voice Quality
6 Points
Weapons
6 Points
Interface
7 Points
Healing/Recovery
8 Points
Game Sequence
6 points
Game Duration
5 Points
Repeat Play Index
4 points


We give Cryostasis a 91 out of a possible 130, which is a solid but not stellar score. In addition to all these pros and cons, the system on which you play this game will also determine its playability and how much you enjoy the experience. In the following tests, we look at the impact of widely-used hardware components and a variety of PC configurations with a wide range in price and performance. Our tests will show which hardware is best-suited for this game, and what kinds of upgrades are most likely to improve your game-play experience.

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  • curnel_D
    I'll be honest, I really didnt like the way the benchmark sections were done. Not because of poor information, but because of poor management of that information. At 3 in the morning, it's hard to figure out what's going on.

    On the flip side, I do like the game reviews lately. Perhaps we can see a resurection of Toms Games, and perhaps even the illustrious Second Take? :D
  • falchard
    I would like to see a game developer say. Screw nVidia, they keep holding back progress and use their developers network as a method to retain a user base. I am going to make a game that completely takes advantage of ATI hardware. From multi-processing units, to tesselation and ray tracing.
  • Onus
    I think they mostly used nVidia because of PhysX, at least that was my take on it. They did use some ATI cards too.
    Although this is not my kind of game, the review was written in a manner that I thought gave good information on how it might run on my system.
    I'd like to see Second Take return as well, even though I don't recall it addressing hardware requirements the way this review did.
  • Other Comments
  • truehighroller
    I heard this game was messy. I recently purchased Prototype though and it is a good game...
  • werr20
    i played this game and it's nice ! i have x3 720be(2,8ghz),4gb ram ddr2, 4850 512mb .on my pc it runs smooth
  • anamaniac
    Penttium D 2.8GHz, 1gb ddr2 533, ATi 4670 (underclocked to hell because of computer stability recently).

    I took the game all not too bad.
    Looks and sounds amazing.

    However, it couldn't really catch my attention long enough to develop an interest to delve even 30 minutes into the game.
  • darkpower45
    soooo when did toms start to do game reviews? just a thought. The game looks pretty good though. The good think about the review is that it showed the performance on the low end systems. Good review even if its a game not hardware.
  • curnel_D
    I'll be honest, I really didnt like the way the benchmark sections were done. Not because of poor information, but because of poor management of that information. At 3 in the morning, it's hard to figure out what's going on.

    On the flip side, I do like the game reviews lately. Perhaps we can see a resurection of Toms Games, and perhaps even the illustrious Second Take? :D
  • Anonymous
    You managed to benchmark with Nvidia cards exclusively, you keep reminding me why I almost never visit this site any more.
  • Andraxxus
    If you have a good PC it might be an enjoyable experience but if you don't have one then stay away. I could not even run it but i've seen in on a good PC and it looks and sounds good.
  • falchard
    I would like to see a game developer say. Screw nVidia, they keep holding back progress and use their developers network as a method to retain a user base. I am going to make a game that completely takes advantage of ATI hardware. From multi-processing units, to tesselation and ray tracing.
  • Onus
    I think they mostly used nVidia because of PhysX, at least that was my take on it. They did use some ATI cards too.
    Although this is not my kind of game, the review was written in a manner that I thought gave good information on how it might run on my system.
    I'd like to see Second Take return as well, even though I don't recall it addressing hardware requirements the way this review did.
  • marraco
    Is fantasy, not science fiction.

    I played the game entirely, and I don't recommend it until a much needed patch is available.

    The game really gets no benefit from PhysX (I buyed the game hoping to play a game physx capable).

    And the performance is really poor. I was forced to play it on 1024x768, without any antialiasing, on a Geforce 8800 GT oc, and still got lots of glitches, and bad framerates.

    The sound frequently ruined itself completely, and sometimes crashed.

    Sometimes you get stuck on places, and finds yourself incapable of progressing. Then reload an older saved game, and finds that you got stuck because of a bug, instead a by design game. Sometimes a tube bends too vertically, and you cannot escape a room, or fix it.

    The savegame system is broken. Sometimes you save a game, but are unable to reload it, or reload it and after a looong reload time, just finds that the small screenshot and filename does not match what was showed, and you loaded another file.

    Although the game introduces some welcomed original innovations (common First Person Shooters are getting really repetitive lately), all the bugs it have make playing it a really painful experience. I had good hardware, but my experience was poor, and was no exception. I found lots of people with the same problems on internet (although others had slower hardware than me, and got no problems).

    I strongly recommend to wait for a patch to be released, before acquiring the game.

    After it, I played FEAR 2. It was so much optimized software, and played so smoothly, even on max settings, that I really enjoyed it.
  • theubersmurf
    There are some glitches, and I think it could use some serious optimization. I ran it on an i7 920 (no overclock) with a single gtx 260, got playable framerates...but not stellar ones (with physx on, 1680x1050). I think the game is worth seeing...Sadly, what is sort supposed to be horror in the game sort of comes across as ludicrous IMO, but it is different, and worth seeing in that light (again IMO).
  • cinergy
    asdasd777888You managed to benchmark with Nvidia cards exclusively, you keep reminding me why I almost never visit this site any more.


    I'd rather prefer them not use ATI cards if they do nvidia tech related articles. But then again, I'd prefer them not to do nvidia tech related articles/promo in the beginning with. Physx should be pretty much covered already. Its a dying proprietary technology anyhow (OpenCL).
  • GAZZOO
    I have been waiting for this game to come out for over a year now and what am i confronted with
    It was made for nvidia well you know where nvidia can put it because I wont be buying it or and nvidia card even though the cards Im running could play the game I will boycot the game Thankyou nvidia for the one eyed view of trying to monopolize the gameing industry
    Gazz
  • scooterlibby
    darkpower45soooo when did toms start to do game reviews? just a thought.


    When they completely eviscerated the Tom's Games site, which had been producing excellent game reviews for a while. I miss that site and wish it hadn't been turned into flash porn game hell. I don't mine the opining in this article at all!
  • hardwarekid9756
    AMAZING!

    Good objectivity in the opinion-part of the game.
    Great depth to the analysis.

    Phenomenal run-down of hardware. It gives the perfect idea of what you need and where to look. If Best of Media keeps their reviewing like this, there may be hope left!
  • megamanx00
    I would have liked to have seen the low end PC2 with 2GB of Ram rather than 1GB. Most systems around that time had 2GB and the extra Ram would have influenced playability. Just a thought. Anyway it seems interesting enough that I may give this game a try.
  • Pei-chen
    How much adventure/FPS games have fallen; from KOTOR to this dark alley piece of crap. Game should have good lighting and not "you-are-in-a-dark-room" lighting all the time.
  • starryman
    Hey I love FPS but damn they are getting really boring. Someone needs to break the mold. Typical screen shot - scenery with some kind of smoke, water, or fire in the background and a pair of bloody hands, or a sword, or a crazy ax, or oversized gun with sights. Well it was cool years ago but can someone build something more interesting.

    Also will some game manufacture get the balls and also build peripherals dedicated to their game? I'd spend $70-80 if a game is good and also comes with interesting controllers. Maybe foot operated buttons or additional USB attachment that has physical alerts.

    Damn... come on... I have better ideas in this single post than EA and Valve in the last decade.
  • jerreece
    Haven't finished Cryostasis yet, but have played it. As a game, it's alright. I did stay up late a couple nights plugging away, but I wouldn't see it as a game to play twice.

    Played it on my system and it was pretty smooth.

    Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz, 680i LT SLI, 4GB XMS2 @ 800Mhz, Win 7 64bit(7100), WD Black Caviar Raid-0 (1TB x 2), MSI GTX 260 Core 216 (655Mhz). Asus 22" @ 1920 x 1080.
  • turboflame
    The game is extremely slow paced and boring, lost interest about a quarter of the way through. It had some interesting ideas thrown in but overall the game is basically doom with better graphics in slow motion.

    Also I only got around 10-30 fps regardless of the graphics settings (7750BE, 4GB DDR2 800, HD3850).