Cryostasis: From Russia, With An Appetite For Fast Hardware

Cryostasis: The Game That Came In From The Cold

If, when you think about Russia, you associate it with vodka, mink-clad beauties, caviar, and Matryoshka dolls, then you probably haven't been playing the games that've been coming out of the country. Though there aren't a ton of super well-known developers hailing from Russia, it has recently been the source for a number of high-quality, innovative titles. More impressively, the country is now home to several successful publishers that have amassed considerable wealth, even in the face of punitive foreign exchange rates and taxes on international fund transfers.

These companies include Novyi Disk and Buka, as well as the formidable 1C, which has climbed to the top of the ranks of gaming publishers worldwide. Some may want to argue about protectionism or other unfair competitive practices to account for its position in the market. But, at the moment, 1C represents what anybody would have to recognize as a successful and forward-thinking organization. In addition to localizing leading international games for the Russian market, 1C is also a constant source for many unconventional and interesting new titles.

With the release of Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason ("Анабиоз: Сон разума" or Anabioz: Son Razuma in transliterated Russian), 1C’s Action Forms has created a title for the much-loved wartime science-fiction genre, while introducing new elements along with a breathtaking atmosphere to create a fresh new gaming experience. Indeed, it feels like a masterful mix of the best elements from Wolfenstein, Doom, and BioShock. 

Cryostasis' home page offers a story synopsis, scenes, artwork, a sample video, images, and other game-related content. There, you will find the thunderous, wind-wracked soundtrack, which adds lots of drama and impact to the game. Apparently, the wind always blows like mad at the North Pole. The game's trailer on YouTube is also worth checking out. The teaser pages can be accessed here (note: all in-game text is in Cyrillic, which adds to its mystery and suspense).

To some extent, Cryostasis makes use of Nvidia’s PhysX technology and will probably deliver a gaming experience that is a little bit more compelling for users whose PCs have Nvidia cards with a G80 chip or better (this means a GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB or a more recent card). For those patient enough to wait through the seemingly bollixed startup of the technology demo, which begins very slowly and seems to be broken, the demo does, in fact, get a lot better as it progresses. 

Unfortunately, a high-performance PC is necessary for a decent game experience, and even then it will be subject to some limitations. Only with the recommended configuration (or better), can you enjoy a smooth, visually-compelling Cryostasis experience. Caching and processing with a faster CPU, even a quad-core device that’s been overclocked to 3.6 GHz–whether from Intel or AMD–doesn’t add much to the gaming experience. That said, if you don’t have a reasonably speedy graphics card, you may find this game unplayable.

  • 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.