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Cryostasis: From Russia, With An Appetite For Fast Hardware

An Overview Of Test Platforms And Tested Game Scenes

(Editor's Note: These tests were run using patch 1.0.1.0, which was only available for the Russian version of Cryostasis. The patch fixed bugs and improved memory management. However, it was not the EU patch that added PhysX support.)

Low-End PC 1

  • Athlon 64 3200+ up to 3800+ (tested with an Athlon X64 3800+ (Venice core) with clock speeds ranging from 2.0 GHz up to 2.6 GHz)
  • 1 GB DDR RAM
  • Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 3
  • GeForce 8400 GS, GeForce 7800 GS (AGP), GeForce 8600 GT, Radeon HD 3650 (AGP)

We wanted to see if a system with merely average components would work for this game. That’s what led to the specifications for this particular PC. We underclocked and overclocked the CPU to simulate the full range of processors listed above. Our test system also let us use both PCI Express (PCIe) and AGP graphics cards, and gave us an opportunity to make some interesting comparisons.

Low-End PC 2

  • Athlon 64 X2 3800+ up to 5000+ (tested with an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ from 2.0 GHz up to 2.6 GHz)
  • 1 GB DDR RAM
  • Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 3
  • GeForce 8400 GS, GeForce 7800 GS (AGP), GeForce 8600 GT, Radeon HD 3650 (AGP), GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB

This PC barely offered the minimum system requirements for the game. Later, we overclocked this PC to 2.6 GHz and dropped in a GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB, so that we could also meet the vendor’s minimum-system requirements. The test results will reveal whether or not this actually did the trick.

Gaming PC 1

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 with two cores turned off (tested as a dual-core from 1.8 GHz up to 3.0 GHz)
  • Asus P5K (P45 chipset)
  • 4 GB A-Data Vitesta DDR2-800 RAM, CL4 Timings
  • Windows Vista Ultimate x86 with Service Pack 1
  • GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB, overclocked to 780 MHz GPU clock and 1,100 MHz memory clock

This configuration represents a wide spectrum of common gaming PCs, which are usually equipped with a fast dual-core CPU and a graphics card with performance like that of a GeForce 9800 GTX+ or a Radeon HD 4850. To keep the four-core CPU from influencing the test results, we turned two cores off.

Gaming PC 2

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 from 3.0 GHz up to 3.6 GHz
  • Asus P5K (P45 chipset)
  • 8 GB A-Data Vitesta DDR2-800, CL4 Timings
  • Windows Vista Ultimate x86 with Service Pack 1
  • GeForce GTX 285



Gaming PC 3 

  • AMD Phenom II X4 from 3.0 GHz up to 3.6 GHz
  • Asus M3N-HD/HDMI SLI
  • 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ DDR2 RAM
  • Windows Vista Ultimate x86 with Service Pack 1
  • 2 x GeForce GTX 260 in SLI and GeForce GTX 285 (also used in single-card configurations)

Patch

The game was patched to make it current. This led to a noticeable increase in frame rates in some test situations. The patches had only a negligible impact on lower-end hardware configurations. Nevertheless, you should definitely install this patch if you’re going to play Cryostasis. We tested both the Russian- and English-language versions (with the latter installed in German as well).

Selection of Game Scenes

We used three typical scenes from the game as the basis for our test, as well as various selected animated sequences. To gauge game-play metrics without actually touching the systems, we wrote a keyboard macro, so that all user interactions during all of the tests would be as identical as possible. For each configuration, we took measurements for three test runs using Fraps 2.9.8, and accumulated individual values across those sets of readings.


From a visual perspective, the real crux of the game lies in the balance between physics effects and the level of the graphics-processing load related to 3D rendering. Naturally, there are lots of scenes in this game where the hardware is barely stressed, but, of course, there are also other scenes in which even a high-end system is brought to its knees. We chose our three sample scenes deemed most representative of game play, and used them in all our tests along with a set of animation sequences.

  • truehighroller
    I heard this game was messy. I recently purchased Prototype though and it is a good game...
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • You managed to benchmark with Nvidia cards exclusively, you keep reminding me why I almost never visit this site any more.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply