Cryostasis: From Russia, With An Appetite For Fast Hardware

Storyline: Chattering Teeth In The Polar Region

Cryostasis takes place in 1981 on a nuclear ice-breaker called the North Wind, which has become shipwrecked near the North Pole. The main character, Alexander Nesterov, is a Russian meteorologist who must investigate what happened onboard the ship.
 But he’s not alone, and the North Wind is now plagued by dead crewmen who have undergone a bizarre metamorphosis due to the effects of the incredibly cold climate. Alexander must try to unravel the mystery of the ship captain’s death and discover whether it was the cold, or possibly something far more sinister that wreaked havoc onboard.

Rewind a bit. Nesterov is the sole survivor of Ice Station 21. He is making his way as quickly as possible by dogsled to meet a polar ship at a pre-determined location. Driving his dogs as quickly as he dares, he makes his way through a weird and tortured icescape of frozen shapes and snow. But his plans and progress get derailed when the ice breaks and his sled plunges through the ice, though he is able to save himself before plummeting down into the icy depths below. A short time later, Nesterov spots an abandoned icebreaker that appears to have been locked in the ice for years.

Naturally, this is a first-person shooter (FPS), even if the boundaries are always fuzzy and diversions into other genres frequent. The game is not totally combat-oriented, and it isn’t overrun by large numbers of conflict-seeking antagonists out to knock off the human players, thanks to the influence of the title's artificial intelligence (AI) features. Even so, there are plenty of hairy situations throughout the game, even when the pace of play slows down to a leisurely exploration of the always-ominous game surroundings.

What’s unexpected, but which speaks eloquently to the quality and sophistication of the Russian development team, are the occasional quotations from or references to literary classics throughout the game. It’s all the same whether you run into a snippet of Maxim Gorky’s short story “Old Isergil” or a quote from Herman Hesse. In games today, it’s incredibly rare to see a mix of hard-core action, cold calculation, folk tales and customs, and highbrow literature meld so nicely. The old notion that FPS games never contributed to anybody’s character development doesn’t really apply to this game. Even if some younger players won’t recognize the quotes and visual references, they will likely still appreciate them.

During game play, you keep running into various types of notices or documents that explain the history of the North Wind. Likewise, the well-designed transition sequences won’t leave players in the dark for long. This makes the game an interesting experience, which includes interesting interludes every few minutes along the way.

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  • lumpy
    again..after what you folks did to gamers at this site You still want to talk about games?
    Ill give a shi..t when you bring back take two.
  • shrex
    lumpy what did they do, please remind me
  • strangestranger
    They bent over the people at tom's games and shagged them, with not even spit to lessen the pain.
  • Henrlk
    crap
  • pault123
    isnt this old news, the game was out in February?!

    and is it me or do the graphics totally suck! I mean the worst i've seen on a game for a LONG time,
  • pault123
    isnt this old news, the game was out in February?!

    and is it me or do the graphics totally suck! I mean the worst i've seen on a game for a LONG time,