Page 1:Cryostasis: The Game That Came In From The Cold
Page 2:Storyline: Chattering Teeth In The Polar Region
Page 3:Game Play: Ice-Cold Hands And Equally Cold Feet
Page 4:Evaluating Game Play: Good Intentions And Acceptable Outcomes
Page 5:An Overview Of Test Platforms And Tested Game Scenes
Page 6:Hardware Test: Minimum System Requirements
Page 7:Hardware Test: Recommended System Configurations
Page 8:Hardware Test: Mid-Range PCs
Page 9:Hardware Test: Can A High-End PC Achieve A Performance Break-Through?
Page 10:Graphics Tips For Cryostasis And Conclusion
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.
- Cryostasis: The Game That Came In From The Cold
- Storyline: Chattering Teeth In The Polar Region
- Game Play: Ice-Cold Hands And Equally Cold Feet
- Evaluating Game Play: Good Intentions And Acceptable Outcomes
- An Overview Of Test Platforms And Tested Game Scenes
- Hardware Test: Minimum System Requirements
- Hardware Test: Recommended System Configurations
- Hardware Test: Mid-Range PCs
- Hardware Test: Can A High-End PC Achieve A Performance Break-Through?
- Graphics Tips For Cryostasis And Conclusion