Reviews for Cryostasis

67

Not for everyone

pauljebe | Sept. 4, 2011 | See all pauljebe's reviews »

Cryostasis is almost in a genre of its own. It is part horror, part action, part puzzle game, and part cinematic. You are sent to explore the wreckage of a ship that is frozen in the ice. While exploring you encounter ghostly recreations of the events that led to the crew’s fate and are able to help them correct their mistakes. All the while you are running from one heat source to the next to keep from freezing, and dead seamen are hunting you.

Cryostasis manages to do several things very well. Unlike many horror games this one actually has heart pounding scary moments. It also creates a perfect sense of unbearable cold through its intricate visual elements and excellent sound effects. However, the very atmosphere that makes the cold palpable also makes the game visually repetitive and boring… there are only so many shades of grey and white. Also there are well document performance issues with this title that make it run sluggishly even on modern high end systems. Fortunately not much of the game is more about exploring than it is about action so the performance doesn’t hurt the experience as much as it could.

Above all this game is unique and gamers looking for something new will be delighted. However the average gamer will most likely find this one to be forgettable.

95

Incredibly immersive and amazing.

Xonus | Aug. 24, 2011 | See all Xonus's reviews »

If you play this game with the will to immerse yourself in it, preferably when your house is really cold, it becomes amazing. You truly feel the cold all around you, through the amazing visual and audio effects, and it feels like you just have to survive through the harsh and cold ship.

I personally loved the very slow build up, where you start with nothing at all, as you get inside the ship and slowly explore it, and then you slowly start getting smaller melee weapons, then bigger, and then gradually start getting ranged weapons, from really crappy to a few great ones around the mid-end part. The guns feel hard to control at times, but in a good way, considering it adds to the impression that you are simply freezing and aren't exactly experienced with guns to begin with (presumably).

The story of the game is not too grand, but the storytelling makes it for a very interesting tale, as you slowly uncover bits of it. I don't want to spoil too much, but the game contains various elements I really like in storytelling\stories in general. The added element of taking control of a certain point in dead peoples (and more) lives to then save them and change the course of events makes for a really great way to tell the story, as well as add fun puzzles to the game.

The last part of the game is entirely different from anything in it, but was surprisingly fun.

93

Diffrent

rhiannon9998 | Aug. 15, 2011 | See all rhiannon9998's reviews »

The game is not your typical FPS filled with explosions and gunfire. It is a very atmospheric game which requires a different approach as you walk thru the derelict icebreaker ship North Wind, iluminating your path a feeble torch, enduring the frostbite while searching for any possible heat source while a creature from beyond try to rip your face. Excellent graphics and ambient sounds, and if you do happen to have an NVIDA card the water effects are simply amazing courtesy of the PhysX engine.

89

Underrated Game

NoLove3827 | Aug. 3, 2011 | See all NoLove3827's reviews »

Great game, not so great optimization. Overall even if you have to turn the settings down the game is definantly worth playing, especially at its dirt cheap price. Very fun and scary shooter. Frozen "Zombies" that will randomly appear from almost nowhere to saving people who died along time ago with the strange flash backs you get from interacting with their bodies. I would reccomend this game to anyone who wants a quick scare.

85

Cryostasis: between the film and the game

klaros | July 28, 2011 | See all klaros's reviews »

Abstract - Cryostasis in my opinion is an underated game. It is different from other FPS in a way I would say it is an experimental one. Infact shooting isn't the main characteristic although it is essential. The point is both to let you feel the strive for surviving, the feeling to be hunted by mysteriuos creatures, and tring to understand what happened in the Icebreaker. Isn't the fast pace shooting at the center of this game, but it is the tension and the variety of situations.

Con: when doesn't happen a special triggered event you'll feel the repetitivity. Luckily there are enough of these, the issue is that they aren't uniformly distributed. The game is played most time in indoor big or little, orderd or half-destroyed places (outdoor mainly means cold, so hostile environment). Graphics could had better details and now it is 2 years old. If you need fast paced FPS with packs enemies to destroy in few secs, you'll not find Cryostasis fun at all. No any multiplay, when you end it you can just play it on an harder level.

Pro: it refreshes FPS genre having at the center the atmosphere and many various triggered situations to keep an high tension. This will remember you more a long film than a normal videogame. Graphics, some details apart, aren't bad at all, expecially the innovative freezing and melting ice effects on everything. Movements, sounds, weapons, lack of music, search for heat and bullets point on realism in shocking contrast with the horrific monsters.

Final Opinion: if you want to try an alternative FPS where isn't shooting the main game part, but it is the atmosphere and the situations, you should give a chance to Cryostasis. The game has also a final moral which you could find interesting because in opposition with the whole atmosphere played. Graphics also deserves to see effects that you'll not see elsewhere. If all this intrigues you, I suggest to read the more detailed review or to buy it without doubt if it drops to 5 EU or less.

Ps: the game has 3 possible endings

If Cryostasis intrigue you, read the following more datailed review Cryostasis is special FPS because it has staked everything, graphics, sounds, cutscenes, events and combat on the atmosphere creation. In Cryostasis you will seek refuge in a stranded ice breaker. Immediately you will feel like in Penumbra (from the Amnesia series), without weapons, in an inhospitable environment, unknown to explore. The weapons that you will initially find will be simple objects, to be used in close combat, then you'll get slow to load weapons; the constant need to try to search a heat source or to void cold environments to survive, the lack of bullets, and finally finding a path will let you feel the inadequacy and insecurity of your position.

-> Weapons - You will not use powerful weapons, capable to kill many enemies in a short time: if you aim wrong a time, you risk to be killed. You will have melee weapons, by collecting objects, and firearms like single-shot rifle, rifle with more bullets in magazine, sniper rifle, bengal light launcher and machine gun. -> Movements - Using a weapon will involve realistic camera and body movements. For example it is not immediate to understand how to use the axe because, while you try to hit something, the camera and your body will realistically move. Your character cannot run like an olimpic runner, but you will feel the character's weight as someone trying to survive in a polar zone. -> Sound - To increase tension, music will be present only in menus or in credits: you will clearly hear the scary noises in the empty vessel, your footsteps on the frozen ground, your enemies who come to hunt you. The just bark will frighten you while you'll be in a kitchen surrounded by ferocious dogs, ready to tear you at the slightest wrong movement. -> Gameplay – You have to figure out what happened into the ship and why those strange cold creatures attack you. Clearing the path will often requires to reason a little while the enemy tryes to kill you. To survive you'll need something more than just shooting, you will face a notable variety of situations to pass, which will be the real game attaction and which will express the atmosphere that a lonly hunted will feel while desperately try to survive. In addition, through flashbacks you try to change the past by saving the dead sailors' souls on a wide variety situations. The changes will free the path to next rooms. Your enemies will often catch you by surprise, taking high the tension. More uniquely than rarely you could kill an enemy using an AI glitch. -> Cutscene – Through them you'll know step by step the ship story, completing the puzzle and understanding what happened to all the crew only at the end. These cutscene would not be something distant that just will run statically in front of your eyes, but you'll walk in as you would be there at the time events happened. This way you'll feel them more involving. In these you'll see nothing mystical, but in parallel will be recounted to you a disquieting fable. -> Graphics – The game is approximately of 2009, Cryostasis hasn't a better graphics than Crysis, but has some positive and innovative aspects like ice formation on everything (also on your weapon and your snow googles) when the temperature will drastically fall, or ice melting and water flow and dropping near heat sources. Correspondingly colors will rapidly shift from cold white/blue to more alive ones, highly contributing to the stranded ice breaker atmosphere. Human characters are graphically well done. Some enemies could be done better, others are well done. -> Story interpretation – Cryostasis story in my opinion seems a Cernobyl reinterpretation, where the reactor responsibles are “inculpated” to be too much selfish (for the career, for trying to please the political party, for pride). Under this light hot colors mean humanity and cold ones selfishness and inhumanity.

99

Scarier than Doom3, colder than Lost Planet

FreeMan85 | July 27, 2011 | See all FreeMan85's reviews »

Cryostasis is a great game with fresh and new gameplay. Most of the AAA developers don't dare make something new, so if you want something new search other devs' game. Set on the Artic on a dead icebreaker ship the game gave you the claustrophic feeling like no other game. Cold, alone, mystery, fear. You're character has the special ability to see and control a dead man (or animal) last memories and with it change the past! In your way you will encounter weird men and creatures and in the beginning you don't have much weapon. A real survivor horror feeling, when you finally have a weapon you don't find much ammo. :) So even with better weapon you don't feel safe. The story also give you enough scary moments, till you learn what happened with the ship and the crew.

I recommend this game to everyone! Or if you like different games what you used it, or like survivor horror type games. The game only setback is it sysreq, you need a powerful Pc to run at max, but trust without fancy graphics and PhysX thi game rocks!

87

So great game

pngohuy | June 29, 2011 | See all pngohuy's reviews »

This game has many good things than I have ever thought : first of all, gameplay for this game is very creative, well-sustained, unique atmosphere. Secondly, the music in the menu is unique, I like it. During playing time, I just hear my footsteps and the occassional cranks and creaks of the ship's parts (it's really a horror survival game). Thirdly, the graphics in this game are incredible especially the water effects, when I try switching on a heater in a particular cabin, I can see the ice melting and the water slowly drizzling from the walls and reacts to the reflections from various light sources, it makes a good impression on me. Last of all, the price is cheaper than all things a horror game can give.

100

AWESOME

hotmando1 | June 28, 2011 | See all hotmando1's reviews »

The game held on to my wit's end the entire time! I didn't know what to expect half the time! Gameplay is really nice as it forces you to pick, flashlight or a weapon? Weapon choices may be small but fitting. What do players expect to find in a normal ship with a normal crew before everything the supernatural events? A BFG? The game doesn't throw countless enemies at you. It places them in places where it knows you'll be shocked or scared. Puzzles are in the game as well, another touch well executed as I had fun with them. The environment is entirely too good. You go outside, you'll freeze and you can barely see anything. Just like a real blizzard. Too cold? lose health. The game forces you to find or make a fire. The story is executed all too well with things like notes and flashbacks. The ending to the game is entirely random, another nice surprise, but I won't reveal that for now. For ten bucks, it's a good buy for the best scare.

75

Cool

steamisbetter | June 20, 2011 | See all steamisbetter's reviews »

Cryostasis is mostly remembered as a tech demo with its PhysX-driven fluid dynamics. As a game, it's a fairly standard survival-horror FPS with two notable gameplay features.

First is temperature, your body temperature acts as a health pool which slowly drains towards current ambient temperature and can be replenished by finding sources of heat. You can't die from cold in most areas, but there are some specific areas where the ambient temperature is zero. And since your body temperature is your health, it also protects you from enemies. The enemies are sort of frost zombies, and your damage indicator is an ice crystal rather than blood.

Second is "mental echo", the protagonist's inexplicable ability to dive inside the mind of a dead person and alter the past by reliving the dead person's last moments. This involves figuring out what killed the person and how to avoid getting killed by it. It's interesting at first, but the novelty quickly wears off. Many cases of mental echo are necessary to advance, as they involve removing some kind of obstacle in the process. You have infinite tries at mental echo.

The story of Cryostasis is told in many ways. The protagonist finds notes and letters scattered around the ship, and sometimes encounters black-and-white flashback cutscenes. You'll also use the mental echo ability to witness the ship's final moments through the eyes of its crew. Lastly, there's a parallel story of Danko, based on Russian author Maxim Gorky's work, which describes the events of the ship in a symbolic way.

As a shooter, it's fairly poor. There is no locational damage and the enemy AI is unfair, sometimes turning around 180 degrees and hitting you in a split second.

I'd recommend picking it up just to experience the great story.

80

Great underrated game.

malk | May 27, 2011 | See all malk's reviews »

You'll hear few people talking about this game and that is a shame. With beautiful graphics, great atmosphere, good storyline some inovative and interesting aspects the game sure makes up for it's flaws.

The ability to go back in time and change a person's fate, altering the present and enabling you to go through some areas, sure it's a refreshing new feature for the genre and adds for the storytelling, the health system can be anoying at times since you'll be running around all the time looking for a torch or a lamp to heat yourself up but it is a great change of pace for those tired of games with health regeneration and it adds to the atmosphere of being in the artic. The shooting mechanics are weird but nothing game breaking but leaves you wishing it was more polished. The visual it's great and the ice melting animation it's amazing but it has some serious performance issues that make it's recommend system configuration unreliable.

Although it has many flaws it's storyline and atmosphere makes up for all of them and leaves us with a great game that was largely skipped by the gaming community.

70

New Fresh Idea's...but

simonsix | May 24, 2011 | See all simonsix's reviews »

wouldn't say that Cryostasis is a GREAT GAME, but I will say that It deserves a solid rental and a consideration for buying it. People Who are just curious should rent it. People who are into Sci-Fi and a little bit of scare factor, should definetly buy this game.

80

The most underrated game of 2009

dark2025 | April 26, 2011 | See all dark2025's reviews »

The Good: Superb atmosphere, made possible by fantastic sound and visual effects, scary, great story woven in layers with many, many symbolic elements. You should know that the story carries the game here, it's not simply just a vehicle for more cool stuff to do. Be sure to keep playing to the end, the payoff is very much worth it, the mental echo ability (going back in time to solve puzzles that change the present as well as saving somebody's life) is very innovative and works very well.

The Bad: Combat feels a little off, which is made worse by the increasing amount of enemies near the end of the game. However, your character is no soldier, and the weapons are made to be more realistic than your average shooter, so the clunkiness of the combat may be forgiven a little. My complaint is that they stick you with too many enemies near the end that makes you wish you could have the option of skipping combat all together. The levels are too much of the same, by which I mean one empty frozen room after another. The biggest problem is the performance issue for the game. My PC is no Crysis killer, but it can run that game in 1680x1050 with medium-high settings with no problems. For this game I had to turn everything off/low (with the exception of PhysX, which my card should be able to handle) as well as a resolution of 1280x800, yet I only got around 20 fps. I can get maybe 50 at some areas, but where it matters - the combat - depending on how much is happening, my fps might drop down to 10. It's inexcusable given the claustrophobic environment you're trapped in. No replay value.

Overall: This game has its flaws, but thankfully overall it's not a combat intensive game. If you're looking for a game with a terrific atmosphere that will scare you then this game is for you - as long as you don't mind some clunky combat once in a while. You'll also be treated to one of the best stories I've seen in a game. The mental echo parts are pretty unique and fun, and often help to tell the story. It's very rewarding when you come back from one and see that the environment around you has changed as a result of saving somebody's life. I feel the positive elements of this game are way overwhelming than the negatives. It's a great, albeit very underrated game that anyone interested in survival horror should definitely check out.

75

Worth it despite the FPS

Pskult | April 19, 2011 | See all Pskult's reviews »

I suppose there might be some monster machine somewhere that can run Cryostasis at a decent FPS, but mine could not - not even after lowering all the settings as far as they went (despite having a PhysX-compatible GPU, I might add). It's truly a shame, because Cryostasis is both a beautiful, and thought-provoking game with an extremely memorable end, and a unique game mechanic by which the protagonist (you) are capable of going back in time and changing the actions of the crewmen on the boat in order to both allow yourself to continue in the game, and to ultimately change the fate of the entire ship.

What brings Cryostasis down aside from the aforementioned FPS issue is the gunplay - it is not very good (although this might also have been because my frames were so poor). You are slow and sluggish and there is no crosshair, and ammo is scarce - in almost all cases I preferred to use my sturdy axe instead of any of the guns. In the beginning combat is horror-based, but towards the end it becomes rather old hat. I rushed through the combat areas in order to get to the next "mental echo" which also furthers the storyline. The storyline is what made me finish this game, the storyline and the ship itself (which is a story in itself). If Cryostasis' performance problem were ever solved, and more people would play it, I think this is a game that deserves an entry into the 'games as art' discussion. Try it for yourself and see - but, as mentioned, watch out for the performance issues.

70

Cryostasis

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | See all xtrench's reviews »

This game is amazing as an adventure game but lacking in the first person shooter mechanics. The atmosphere is very well set with fitting sounds and feel of movement throughout the game. Slowly uncovering what happened to the crew of the North Wind ship. There's an interesting attention to details even in the smallest of things such as trash scattered around the ship, with authentic Russian cigarette packs. While you'll enjoy the adventure of the game the combat in this game will be frustrating especially if you're playing on a low end machine or even medium range machine because this game is riddled with frame drops.

58

Good Artic adventure, but still feels alittle cold

Truegamer | April 8, 2011 | See all Truegamer's reviews »

This game combines a mix of good and bad aspects, the positives contain great atmosphere and a fairly compitent storyline, but sadly due to a few awkward controls (especially with regard to shooting), strange system requirements and bugs it just let itself slide alittle, all of which felt avoidable with alittle more preperation.

Nevertheless the games storyline opens in the base of a ship which crashed in the artic, it doesnt take long to realise that you are discovering the origins behind its crash whilst fighting off zombie-esk monsters, and trying to change the fate of certain unfortunate crew members (all subsequent scenes contain a very visually pleasing special effect when travelling back in time, this perhaps being the most visually pleasing aspect in the game).

This game for me is fairly good but little better than average, for a single playthrough it is worth a few hours, however there isnt anything that compels me to come back and revisit it anytime soon (if ever), the shooting aspect, although unique, is very slow paced and the [also unique] health source can become tiresome, i'd recommened this game for those only interested in unfolding stories and mysteries and defintately not a dedicated FPS fan. Additionally the system recommendations seem very unproportional with no explained reason, the game is not particularly visually outstanding but requiring more power than Crysis (the ATI/AMD mid range cards and below seem to suffer alot, id recommended for Nvidia cards).

Overall id say this game is not bad but not worth much more than a few pounds and a few hours of anyones given time.

75

Very good design & atmosphere / not so good combat

Jahman | April 7, 2011 | See all Jahman's reviews »

When I started playing Cryostasis I was expecting something like a high-res version of Penumbra. While I was by no means disappointed by it, having finished it I now think that missed my prediction by a mile.

The atmosphere may be equally deep - both the ships dark interior and the enemy/character models go great lengths to reinforce the feeling of loneliness and danger – but the combat parts of the game quickly dispel the notion of slow, stealth-based gameplay. Don’t get me wrong – it’s by no means a bad thing – but I personally think that Cryo would be a lot better off without the clumsy punching & shooting (without cross-hair) and jumping around, trying to dodge loads of bullets and other monster’s attacks . It’s just not very good at it.

What the game is really good at is showing off its visual candy (lots of it), telling a decent story and using ‘Mental Echo’ gimmick. I truly enjoyed traversing the giant ship and was really intrigued by its history. I loved the “ice and snow” mechanics (the way it’s ever-present, the way its rendered and how it was used by developers to, say, temporarily block off some areas), but the ‘Echo’, while very innovative, often proved to be also quite frustrating as I had to die a couple of times before I event figured how, where and what I am supposed to do. On a brighter note, the ‘warmth instead of health’ aspect is a nice touch, although while hugging another fireplace I couldn’t shake the feeling of it being much too similar to the auto-regenerating health thingy coupled with often decreasing health level to keep you moving faster.

80

Epic adventure in the arctic

mikim | April 4, 2011 | See all mikim's reviews »

This is the game, which requirements are even bigger than, for example, Crysis or Empire: Total War. I could only play on minimum settings and with lags, but the game was so addicting that I finished it even though. Great atmosphere of loneliness and sadness. Greatly designed ship which through we're going. As I said, the only bad thing about the game is its requirements. I'd really like to see this game going fluently on maximum settings, but I don't think I'll have a chance.