Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason

Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason
Cryostatis Sleep of Reason.jpg
Developer(s) Action Forms
Publisher(s) 1C Company, 505 Games, Aspyr Media
Engine AtmosFear 2.0
Version 1.1
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) CIS 20081205December 5, 2008
EU 20090227February 27, 2009
NA 20090420April 20, 2009
Genre(s) Action-adventure, First-person shooter, Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s)
Media/distribution DVD, Download

Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason is a first-person shooter/survival horror video game by Action Forms for Microsoft Windows. It was released on December 5th, 2008 in the CIS, February 27, 2009 in Europe and April 20, 2009 in North America.

Contents

Gameplay

The game story develops with help of a unique system called Mental Echo - the ability to penetrate another character's memory and change the actions taken by that character in the past. This can involve saving people's lives by taking over their bodies in their memories and changing the course of history.[1]

The game, being set in an arctic setting, employs body heat as a health meter - the player must use heat sources (such as lights or stoves) to replenish health.

Plot

Cryostasis takes place in 1981 on an Arktika class nuclear icebreaker called the North Wind near the North Pole. The main character, Alexander Nesterov, is a Russian meteorologist who was supposed to board the ship hovewer he finds it's been shipwrecked since 1968 and its dead crewmen have undergone bizarre metamorphosis. Through the game the player finds fragments of Maxim Gorky's fairy tale The Flaming Heart of Danko, which pararells what happened to the ship and its crew.

The game starts with Alexander approaching the North Wind on a dog sled. The ship's siren sounds, and the ice all around starts to break; he falls down through but somehow the ice is so thick that he doesn't end up in the water. He then enters the ship by following one of the dogs.

From flashbacks and Mental Echo the player is able to put together the ship's tragic past. The captain took a perilous course through the ice, ignoring the warnings of his first officer. The ship collides with an iceberg and suffers significant damage. The first officer reports the captain's mistake when sending a report to the HQ; in return, the HQ responds that the North Wind will be decomissioned upon returning to port. The ship's security officer, knowing that the message will break the captain, warns the first officer to not rely it to him. Hovewer, trying to take revenge for the captain's disdainful attitude, he does. The demoralized captain takes it to his old friend, the chief of engineering; hovewer, he also dismisses him. After a few weeks, in an attempt to regain the respect of his crew and to finally break free of the ice, he decides to ram it at full speed. Hovewer he is stopped by both the chief of engineering and the first officer, who then throws the ship into full reverse. The engine room catches fire and the nuclear reactor core destabilizes; as the crew starts to slowly die from cold, malnutrition and radiation, the first officer, security officer and the chief of engineering try to escape on their own on a helicopter, at which point the backstory ends and the ship turns into the ghost version of itself that the player is exploring in the game.

Throughout the game, the main character comes across fallen crew members and has a chance to correct their mistakes in the past using the Mental Echo. At the end of the game, the player battles Kronos, the titan of time - if he wins, he gains an opportunity to save the entire ship by using Mental Echo on one of the three main characters back when North Wind shipwrecked in 1968. By possessing the first officer, the character can choose not to give the decomissioning note to the Captain and instead go help the crew with repairs; by possessing the chief of engineering, he can sympathize and cheer up the Captain when he arrives with the message from HQ; by possessing the chief of security, he can not help the first officer when he tries to stop the Captain from ramming the ice, which ends up freeing the ship.

After the final flashback, the player is returned to the beginning of the game. The dog sled sequence plays exactly the same, but when Alexander is about to fall down, he is saved by the Captain, and looking down in the hole, it's full of water. This might suggest that Alexander himself was dead all this time(as there would be no one to pull him up if the North Wind shipwrecked).

Development

The game is the first to make use of Nvidia PhysX real-time water physics as displayed in a tech demo of the game engine.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 68.43[2]
Metacritic 69/100[3]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 6/10[4]
G4 4/5[5]
Game Revolution B+[6]
GameSpot 8/10[7]
IGN 6/10[8]
PC Gamer UK 40/100

Cryostasis has received mixed reviews, scoring 69/100 on Metacritic based on 28 reviews. Resolution Magazine praised the game as "tense, frequently innovative and attractive," and claimed that "its shortcomings are definitely outweighed by its strengths," awarding it 78%.[9] Eurogamer was slightly more critical, awarding the game 6 out of 10 and stating that "it's not quite creative enough - its environments fall into a monotony of samey rooms and bulkheads - and its combat is too clunky to be delicious."[10] PC Format meanwhile awarded the game 83% and called it "A beautiful, yet flawed gem that offers up a thoroughly unique experience."[11] Gamespot awarded the game 8 out of 10, saying "Flashes of frozen brilliance help this cold-blooded horror game overcome its technological flaws...few horror games elicit chills as well as Cryostasis."[12] IGN gave the game 6 out of 10, stating "Cryostasis benefits from the developer's creative intentions and has some very intriguing elements. The setting is spooky, the time-travel bits are engaging, and the overall vibe scores big in the traditional components of fright. On the other hand, the mystery doesn't unravel quickly enough to keep players interested and the overall progression of the game is restrictively linear. Quibbles about the relative temperature of light bulbs and campfires aside, the heat element of the game is a very creative idea that adds tension and tone to the game."[8]

Awards

Cryostasis received several awards during KRI in 2006 and 2007.

  • KRI 2006 - "Best technologies"
  • KRI 2007 - "Best game graphics"

Cryostasis also became the winner of GameSpot's Special Achievement Award 2009 in the Best Story nomination.[13]

GameTap

As of October 2010, Cryostasis can be played on GameTap with a Premium subscription.

Save Bug on GameTap

Unfortunately, the game is unable to save progress (quick save, auto save, or manual save) as installed as of October 2010. (The game suggests saves happen, but nothing shows up in the Load menu.) The fix (after the game is downloaded and run the first time) is to create the directory for saving games. Under the GameTap directory (e.g., C:\GameTap or C:\Program Files\GameTap), browse to the subdirectory Games\cryostasis\Data, then create a new folder and call it Save (e.g., C:\GameTap\Games\cryostasis\Data\Save). The next time the game is run it will be able to save progress.

References

External links



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