Snow Joke: New Cryostasis Demo

By Jim Rossignol on April 30th, 2009 at 9:34 am.


Creepy, clunky Cryostasis now has a proper demo, and it’s available here for a modest 1.1 of your gigabytes. The demo seems to be somehow connected to Nvidia drivers or somesuch technical promotion. I believe it contains the initial chapter of the survival-horror FPS, which is okay, but not great, as I outlined in this Eurogamer review.

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49 Comments »

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  1. unclelou says:

    Very good, thanks for the heads up. I’ve heard such different things about it, I need to try it myself.

  2. Theory says:

    So will this demo work on ATI cards?

  3. ChaosSmurf says:

    Remember when you had 1 gig download limits? >.>

  4. Lewis says:

    I’d imagine a lot of people playing the demo and really liking it, so being duped into buying the full game, which is basically the demo section repeated eight million times.

  5. Ian says:

    [Add the ice/snow pun of your choice here]

  6. Heliocentric says:

    Sometimes i’ll fully enjoy a demo and have no interest in actually buying the product. I suspect this will be such a demo. Other demos which contain all the fun of the game? Crysis halflife (really the demo was the hole game compressed into 30 minutes). Company of heroes (single player peak was the demo), battlefield 2. A notable mention, i got sword of the stars after playing the demo for 40 hours. The full game was the same as the demo. And i was already kinda bored. Sins of a solar empire was the same. Once you’ve let me nuke a planet from orbit in the demo, whats left?

  7. Dead Fish says:

    Says it requires the latest Nvidia beta driver for the demo. That driver only supports 9-series or better cards, though. I guess the full game runs on older cards too. Does this have any special features then or should I try playing it on my 8800? I have been interested in Cryostasis for a while now.

  8. hydra9 says:

    What I really want to know is when Cryostasis’ long-promised performance enhancement patch is going to arrive… Grr…

  9. Fenchurch says:

    Heliocentric: Yeah, I bought Sins the other day, and realized there is literally nothing new in the full version to make me want to play any longer than the demo!

    Ditto on that Company of Heroes judgement, the single player was so slickly presented but it peters out quite quickly.

    As for Cryostasis, seems a lot like Penumbra in setting (Just bought the collection on Steam). If I had a better PC I might try it out as it’s 2 for £25 in Game at the minute.

  10. diebroken says:

    @hydra9 : Seconded. Also for NecroVision, which I experienced slowdowns as well (could be my PC, but then again it handled Crysis fine).

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    It was a sad day when I discovered that Gamespot’s review of this game was better than Jim’s.

    Is the following line a valid criticism, considering that the POINT of the game is that you’re on a perfectly recreated Soviet icebreaker?

    It’s not quite creative enough – its environments fall into a monotony of samey rooms and bulkheads

    I’d say this is more accurate:

    In fact, as the tale evolves, so too do the environments that you explore. Just as the frosty hallways start to wear down your resolve, Cryostasis will introduce a new area, often via a grainy mental echo that recounts the eerie events of the past before you explore the same now-decrepit environs in the present. Some of these locales are constructed well, such as a room with a large reactor that looks far different in the present than it does when you first explore it via flashback episode.

  12. Jim Rossignol says:

    Cryostasis’ environments *are* monotonous. The fact that they refurbish areas you’ve already seen to be reused in mental echo sequences doesn’t really resolve that.

    Is the following line a valid criticism, considering that the POINT of the game is that you’re on a perfectly recreated Soviet icebreaker?

    Which results in samey, dreary environments. Are you saying we can’t find the premise of a game to be dull? There are a few moments of visual interest as the game progresses, but the point stands: it’s never quite creative enough. It’s not a game that ever really does anything new or brave, and surprises were rare. Perhaps that’s because, ultimately, a frozen ship isn’t actually that great a place to have an adventure?

    Crucially, however, my 6/10 on Eurogamer derives not from thinking that environmental design is samey, but from an entirely different criticism: the fact that it’s entirely linear, without any real problem solving or decision making. You never “use” the mental echo ability to solve something within the world, you just experience it because it’s the next thing in the way of progress, redoing it if you fail. My criticism of the game is that it’s simply not an interesting series of choices or puzzles, however evocative you may or may not find the frozen boat and its inhabitants.

  13. danielcardigan says:

    I don’t know… if you don’t enjoy the environments aboard frozen ships then are you even qualified to review a game like Cryostasis?

    Why do I feel like I already played this demo years ago?

  14. Lewis says:

    So you should only review games that you like, then? That’d result in some pretty exciting discussion, wouldn’t it?

    On yer bike.

    For what it’s worth, I agree totally with Jim’s review, though I’d have been, funnily enough, far harsher on the repetition. It’d scrape a 5/10 for me, but barely.

  15. Jim Rossignol says:

    I assumed Daniel was being sarcastic. But in seriousness: I love a good industrial environment, and would explore them forever. Which is why Cryostasis’ lack of creativity was so disappointing. Even exploring the ship wasn’t particularly enticing, because there was so little to see.

  16. Lewis says:

    Yeah, my sarcasm detectors aren’t in full swing. Odd, given that I’ve just reviewed Stalin vs Martians.

  17. Ravenger says:

    I’ve given up playing it for now due to poor performance, which doesn’t seem to be affected by changing any of the graphic options or resolution.

    I’ve got a reasonably good PC too: Q6600, Overclocked 8800 GTS 512. The sort of machine that can run Crysis at 1680×1050 at around 40-50fps, or Fear 2 and L4D full detail, 4xAA at 1680×1050 at a constant 60fps.

    I was lucky to get 20-30fps out of Cryostasis. Even worse it was inconsistent – sometimes the framerate was fine, other times it’d slow down to a crawl for no apparent reason.

    I was enjoying it though, despite its faults. It does have a fantastic atmosphere, and the blizzard and frost effects are very well done.

  18. danielcardigan says:

    Sarcasm from me? Never.

  19. danielcardigan says:

    Lewis says:”Yeah, my sarcasm detectors aren’t in full swing. Odd, given that I’ve just reviewed Stalin vs Martians.”

    I’m sure your many readers will appreciate your review.

    Good, this sarcasm lark.

  20. SirKicksalot says:

    Fair enough. I was pretty excited to know that I’m exploring something *real*, regardless of how ugly and functional it looks. I guess it’s my only chance to ever visit such a location…

    Anyway, it has cult status written all over it. You rarely see a game that divides opinions so much. Some note how varied and interesting the tasks and environments are ( http://www.resolution-magazine.co.uk/issue4/review_cryostasissleepofreason.htm ), others seem to have been expecting Necrovision, and a few fall in between.

    A patch will be released soon that will ensure that all levels of the game feature the same degree of physics that are available in the technical demo created for NVIDIA and featured on the nZone Web site. Graphics whores will love it, the tech-demo was mindblowing.

    By the way, don’t play Necrovision.

  21. Gpig says:

    A person that doesn’t like Stalin shouldn’t review a game about him.

  22. Lewis says:

    SirKicksalot: I was genuinely surprised that Andy found it to be a varied game. I *kind of* see where he’s coming from in terms of the mental echo stuff. But, at the same time, he’s very wrong and I should sack him immediately.

  23. Jim Rossignol says:

    I played Necrovision, that’s properly awful.

  24. Ketch says:

    This game is EXTREMELY clunky, and it clearly favours anybody with more money than sense (e.g. high end nvidia card owners)

    I set this crap up on my machine and set the graphics to full (most notably, pixel shader 4.0, which is supported on my ATi Radeon HD 4870 512MB)

    After setting up the graphics and resolution, I started a new game and before I knew it, I was in some weirdly decorated room full of snow and all light reflections looked strange and broken (switching to pixel shader 3.0 fixed this), when I moved forwards and back it was painfully slow and when I moved the mouse it was like I was moving the head of a rusted over robot corpse.

    At that point I just said “Meh” followed by an Alt+F4 and never looked back.

  25. Lewis says:

    Jim – funnily enough, I enjoyed Necrovision (slightly) more. Punching the air due to the awful collision detection was still rather satisfying.

  26. Heliocentric says:

    Splinter cell double agent had 3 boat levels. Only one was frozen. That game was still bad. Maybe frozen boats are bad for games.

  27. clive dunn says:

    Dammit, from that first picture i thought this was a Huskie sled simulator. I’d pay good money for that

  28. cheeba says:

    Christ, I just HAD to go and read the comments on that EG review, didn’t I? Yep, that’s right, I just never learn.

  29. jonfitt says:

    1.1 gigabytes?! Speak English man, what’s that in Her Majesty’s Peggles?

    Also as far as I know, 9 series Nvidia cards are the same as the 8 series cards but shrunk a bit. The 9800GT is nigh identical to the 8800GT.
    There’s a big jump usually every other number, the 7s-8s gained DX10 and all sorts of other stuff.
    So if it says it requires a 9xxx, a good 8xxx will do just as well.

  30. Charlie says:

    I really quite enjoyed this game tbh. I like how clunky the controls are and how dull the environments are, gives a horrible feeling while you are playing the game. I’m sick of games where you fly around unrealistically quickly getting headshots at 250m.

    Oh, and I actually found it scary in places.

  31. GeoffB says:

    I watched an LP of this game on SomethingAwful’s forums recently. It’s nice to see that its still getting some love.

  32. I heart Cryostasis says:

    I loved Cryostasis, and found it surprisingly varied. It had some seriously imaginative sequences (the one in the movie theatre, for instance). And the ending brought a tear to my eye, incredibly beautiful stuff.

  33. Lewis says:

    The ending is very good. But it’s, y’know, the ending. Most will have given up long before the big reveal.

  34. qrter says:

    This game has one of the most unforgiving engines I’ve ever seen in a game. My PC just chokes on it and keels over.

  35. Lewis says:

    The engine’s fucked. There was no discernable difference trying it on a P4 3.2Ghz and a Core 2 duo 2.4, either, which is really surreal.

  36. AbyssUK says:

    This actually made my ASUS 4850 overheat and cut out. I bought a new fan and it ran nicely. Shame I lost interest in the game as soon as the huskies went away…

  37. I heart Cryostasis says:

    Lewis: I enjoyed the entire game. Yeah, it was perhaps an hour or so too long, but it didn’t really bother me, and I was certainly never about to give up on it. I had loads of fun with it. The ending was just the icing on the cake.

  38. SirKicksalot says:

    One more thing to add – I played it in Russian. The voice acting was incredible, one of the best I’ve ever heard.

    The English version is rather mediocre.

  39. army of none says:

    I rather enjoyed the demo. Given that I’m a bit of a sissy when it comes to atmospheric or scary games at all, some of the bits were very cool. In the demo, the cow sequence (followed by how you changed it as the butcher) was particularly cool. won’t buy the game as I’m poor, but did enjoy it and may recommend it.

  40. Valentin Galea says:

    This could have been the ‘soviet’ Bioshock… but alas it got destroyed by… by… being made by soviets!:)

  41. ZIGS says:

    I really liked the game. Just saying

  42. suibhne says:

    Does the North American (or International English) release preserve the Russian voicing as an option?

  43. malkav11 says:

    I kind of petered off playing the Russian version (with helpful fan subtitling), but it was an incredible experience as far as I’d gotten. Not that great a -game-, but that wasn’t particularly important to me in this case.

  44. unclelou says:

    Hm, all a bit too Clunky McClumsy for my liking.

  45. lumpi says:

    Have to admit, the “cow scene” is one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. But yea, everything has a very done-beforey feel to it…

  46. apnea says:

    Eurogamer: when RPS is feeling negative.

    (Still reeling from RPS’s late endorsement of Dead Space. I know, I shouldn’t.)

  47. mufuti123 says:

    A lot of the criticism I read here is ridiculous. And who the hell listen to what eurogamer says!?
    If you really need some input stick to competent reviews.

    This is a game that does not try to be a Crysis. If you want shiny flashy exciting “creative” gameplay go play something else.

    what this game wants and DOES do is create a unique atmosphere a game liky Crysis can not even come close.

    Of course todays gamer generation cannot appreciate slowly building suspense and terror anymore, it is all about gore, cheap shock effects and “innovative gameplay”.

    this game is great.
    If they handle the performance issues this is one of the best fps of the last years – and definately in the top 3 of the most creepy on my list.

    Performance for me was poor at times,often dropping as low as 30fps but I have cranked up everything to max :)

    If you have more severe problems maybe you just need to play games the way they are meant to be played. With a nvidia high end card and not some ATI crap because it was cheaper lol

  48. Kieron Gillen says:

    Mufti123: Why on earth are you bringing Crysis into this?

    KG

  49. Papageno says:

    Probably no one will actually read this given the lateness of this comment, but is the demo as small as I think it is? I can only find three rooms–the beginning room with the fire in the corner, the room at the top of a stairwell with the lightbulb over the chair and finally the big room at the bottom of some broken stairs. Is that it for the demo?

    I’ve got a free download of this coming due to my purchase of a GTX260, so I’ll eventually have the full game on my HD anyway.