Cryostasis: From Russia, With An Appetite For Fast Hardware

After our initial set of disappointing test results for the bare-minimum setup, we simulated a graphics card update. To do this, we used an older GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB so we could test how much of a limitation the CPU imposed on the game, and how play might improve by speeding up the processor clock. That’s why we also elected not to turn on PhysX, because we wanted to load the CPU as much as possible.

Test: Average Frame Rates vs. Clock Rate: Single Core vs. Dual Core

For this test, we used the CPU from the previous test (Low-End PC 1) to compare a similar dual-core PC (Low-End PC 2) that was also supposed to represent a configuration that met the minimum requirements. We varied the clock speeds from 2.0 GHz to 2.6 GHz, which involved underclocking as well as overclocking our test rigs, emulating a full range of processors. We tested the same three scenes as before, but this time we used the frame rates from the individual game scenes and those from the animated sequences to calculate a cumulative value for each specific clock rate. We ran three test runs for both single- and dual-core PCs, and got results that offered no surprises.

Without GPU-assisted PhysX, the recommended configuration delivered fluid play only for minimal or mid-range settings.

Results: Average Frame Rates vs. CPU Clock Rates

Although the maximum frame rates measured didn’t change much, and were more or less limited by the platform configurations we were testing, we did see minimal values increase measurably with processor clock rates. At the top-end of the range, in fact, the game became playable. Subjective differences between individual clock rates are more noticeable than the reported differences in frame rates may suggest. As the clock rate increased, we saw far fewer hiccups or stutters in game play and faster level load times. At higher AA and AF levels, the CPU performed up to expectations.

Results: Single- vs. Dual-Core

Not surprisingly, the dual-core processor delivered better results across the board at the same clock rates, even though the game itself in these configurations hardly benefited from the second core. This difference is perhaps best understood in terms of minimum frame rates observed. On a single-core system, the operating system and the game have to compete for the same core, whereas on a dual-core system, this bottleneck is alleviated somewhat. Despite all of this, we recommend using an AMD dual-core CPU running 2.6 GHz or faster. Anything less will result in a less satisfactory gaming experience.

Game play was tolerable to acceptable. The best approach is to use the lowest graphics settings and live with the resulting modest but playable frame rates.


Things don’t change much here from the previous test results for the rock-bottom configuration, as low graphics settings produce unattractive results. It’s a good thing most of this game takes place in the dark or at low light levels since this ambience hides more than zombies, in this particular case.

  • 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
  • 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.