Cold Winter

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Cold Winter
Cold Winter PS2.jpg
Developer(s)Swordfish Studios
Publisher(s)Vivendi Universal Games[a]
Director(s)Julian Widdows
Writer(s)Warren Ellis
Composer(s)Mark Willot
Platform(s)PlayStation 2
  • NA: May 11, 2005
  • EU: June 3, 2005
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

Cold Winter is a 2005 first-person shooter video game developed by Swordfish Studios and published by Vivendi Universal Games for the PlayStation 2. Its story was written by Warren Ellis.


Andrew Sterling is a former British SAS soldier working for MI6, who has been captured in the People's Republic of China and jailed in Chang political prison; MI6 destroyed all files on Sterling to prevent an international incident. He is rescued the night before his execution by an old female acquaintance named Kim and a former fellow SAS soldier Daniel Parish. To repay his debt to Parish for saving his life Andrew agrees to work for his private security agency. Sterling then travels to Egypt to eliminate the leaders of an arms dealing cartel, who possess a missile guidance system called Octopus. He completes his mission, but at the cost of Kim's life.

The antagonist is John Grey (voiced by Tom Baker), who as a young man who enlisted in the RAF to defend Britain at the height of World War II. Horrified by nuclear weapons John Grey formed a secret society, "Greywings" inspired by the heroes of the H. G. Wells novel The Shape of Things to Come. Greywings sought out and destroyed nuclear threats but ultimately came to the conclusion that the only way to abolish nuclear warfare would be to create a nuclear winter leaving the survivors afraid of nuclear warfare. Greywings planned on initiating their plan codenamed Operation: Cold Winter by providing world powers with the Octopus guidance systems.

It turns out that Grey hired Parish to liquidate the Egyptian arms ring because they stole an Octopus unit which was intended for world superpowers rather than the third world countries its thieves planned on selling it to. Grey soon after betrays his own organization to save the life of his infant granddaughter. Sterling is sent to Greywing's headquarters in the Himalayan mountains where he destroys the facility's power core and escapes in Parish's helicopter. Grey is then seen in the game's last scene on a bench in Prague where his former subordinates murder him.


The game uses the Karma Physics engine, allowing for interactivity with items in the game world and for ragdoll effects. Cover can also be improvised by using objects in the environment; for example, the player can flip a table to provide cover or grab a table and block a door. Over 30 weapons are available.

The game offers a multiplayer component that supports up to four players offline and eight players online; in the offline mode, human players may be substituted for CPU-controlled. There are a dozen maps and six modes, including deathmatch and king of the hill.


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer8.25/10[5]
GamePro4.5/5 stars[6]
Game RevolutionC−[7]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[9]
OPM (US)3.5/5 stars[13]
The Sydney Morning Herald3.5/5 stars[14]
The Times3/5 stars[15]

The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[1]

It was one of the five games nominated by GameSpot for the title of Best Story of 2005, with a comment: "A poignant, well-told story penned by Warren Ellis helps make Cold Winter a more engaging experience than your average first-person shooter."[16] The website considered the game to be sonically and graphically average, but an enjoyable straightforward shooter with a decent online mode. Whilst not the best game of its type it was "definitely worth playing".[8]


  1. ^ a b "Cold Winter for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Edge staff (July 2005). "Cold Winter". Edge. No. 151. Future plc. p. 88.
  3. ^ EGM staff (June 2005). "Cold Winter". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 192. Ziff Davis. p. 101.
  4. ^ Reed, Kristan (June 3, 2005). "Cold Winter". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Cold Winter". Game Informer. No. 146. GameStop. June 2005. p. 129.
  6. ^ Deuce Magnum (June 2005). "Cold Winter Review for PS2 on". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. p. 74. Archived from the original on May 26, 2005. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Hurh, JP (June 8, 2005). "Cold Winter Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Mueller, Greg (May 13, 2005). "Cold Winter Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.
  9. ^ Fischer, Russ (May 13, 2005). "GameSpy: Cold Winter". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on January 15, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  10. ^ "Cold Winter Review". GameTrailers. Viacom. May 13, 2005. Archived from the original on December 18, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Lafferty, Michael (May 15, 2005). "Cold Winter - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  12. ^ Sulic, Ivan (May 10, 2005). "Cold Winter". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cold Winter". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Ziff Davis. June 2005. p. 92.
  14. ^ Hill, Jason (June 9, 2005). "Conspiracy-laden plot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Miles, Stuart (June 11, 2005). "Cold Winter". The Times. Archived from the original on January 11, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2018.(subscription required)
  16. ^ "GameSpot's Best of 2005 - Special Achievement Awards (Best Story)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  1. ^ Released in PAL regions under the Sierra Entertainment brand name

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