Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason
|Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason|
|Publisher(s)||EU 505 Games
NA Aspyr (Retail)
NA 1C Company (Steam)
POL 1C Company
JP Zoo Corporation
|Release date(s)||EU February 27, 2009
NA April 24, 2009 (Retail)
NA May 6, 2009 (Steam)
JP October 30, 2009
|Mode(s)||Single-player (First-person view)|
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.
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.
Cryostasis takes place in 1981 on an Arktika-class nuclear-powered 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; however he finds it's been shipwrecked since 1968 and its dead crewmen have undergone bizarre metamorphosis. Through the game the character finds fragments of Maxim Gorky's fairy tale The Flaming Heart of Danko, which parallels 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 the bottom ice is thick enough 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 ship's tragic past is put together. 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, which had already been considered long in the tooth, will be decommissioned upon returning to port. The ship's security officer, knowing that the message will break the captain, warns the first officer to not relay it to him. However, 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; however, he also dismisses him. Whilst the ship is undergoing repairs, it gradually becomes trapped by the shifting ice. After a few weeks, in an attempt to regain the respect of his crew and to finally break free of the ice, the captain decides to ram it at full speed. However, the Captain is wounded during the ramming when thrown off balance, and his actions are stopped by both the security officer and the first officer, who then throws the ship into full reverse, giving the dangerous "back emergency" order. 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 in a helicopter with the wounded Captain, abandoning the doomed ship and the rest of her crew. As the helicopter is about to take off, the ship's nuclear core finally fails, engulfing the ship with mysterious energy force, at which point the back-story ends and the ship turns into the ghost version of itself.
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, a battle with Kronos, the titan of time, ensues. Winning; he gains an opportunity to save the entire ship by using Mental Echo on one randomized primary character back when North Wind shipwrecked in 1968. Possessing the first officer, he chooses not to give the decommissioning note to the Captain and instead goes to help the crew with repairs; by possessing the chief of engineering, he sympathizes and cheer up the Captain when he arrives with the message from HQ; by possessing the chief of security, he does not help the first officer when he tries to stop the Captain from ramming the ice, instead helping the wounded Captain, which ends up freeing the ship.
After the final flashback, the character is returned to the beginning of the game. The dog sled sequence starts the same, but when Alexander is about to fall down the cliff, he is saved by the Captain, who, together with the first officer, the chief of engineering and the chief of security, leads him aboard the North Wind; now intact and free of ice.
Cryostasis has received mixed reviews. It received an aggregated score of 68.65% on GameRankings and 69/100 on Metacritic. 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." 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." 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."
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.
- GC 2008: Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason Updated Look - GameSpot.com
- "Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason for PC - GameRankings". GameRankings.
- "Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason (pc) reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic.
- "Cryostasis Review". Eurogamer.
- "Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason for PC - Reviews - G4tv.com". G4.
- "Cryostasis review for the PC". Game Revolution.
- "Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason Review for PC - GameSpot". GameSpot.
- "Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason Review". IGN.
- Best Story - GameSpot's Best Games of 2009
- Cryostasis Physics Benchmarking, Legit Reviews, 16 December 2008
- Comparison video/screenshots with and without PhysX