Cryostasis First Look

Set aboard a vessel trapped in the artic circle, Cryostasis has you trying to survive against the bitter cold and the horrors aboard the ship.

While 1C is best known for its strategy and simulation games, such as IL-2 Sturmovik, the company also publishes a small number of first-person shooters. And with Cryostasis, 1C is planning to release its most advanced shooter yet. Cryostasis is a variation on the haunted-house style of shooter, as you'll be placed in a very dark and mysterious environment and must use your wits and reflexes to survive.

The game is set aboard the North Wind, a nuclear-powered icebreaker that's frozen inside the artic circle. You play as Alexander Nesterov, a meteorologist who is somehow trapped aboard the vessel, which provides the only shelter from the deadly cold outside. However, you aren't alone, because the North Wind was being used for some kind of weird mutant experiments. Of course, those went badly awry, and now you've got to get out.

In Cryostasis, your character's health bar is actually a heat bar, which shows your body's internal temperature. If you venture outside in the cold, the heat will quickly drain away. To make things worse, the mutants on the ship are able to use cold as a weapon. The only way to heal is to find a heat source and warm up. These can range from life-saving heaters to a simple light bulb, though the latter can't restore a lot of warmth. Still, every little bit of warmth will help.

Your challenge will be to navigate your way through the ship while staying alive. This will involve going outside to get from one section to another, as well as working your way through the ship's dark and complex innards. 1C says that the level designs are based on real-world Russian icebreakers. In addition to battles against the enemies you encounter, there will be a pretty intriguing puzzle system that's based on the idea of a "mental echo." Basically, your character has the power to approach a dead body and mentally tap into its last memories. This lets you "move" back in time and see what the deceased saw right before he or she died. Another twist on this is that you can try to influence events in the past. The example that was given was that you may find your path blocked by a crane. There may be a body nearby, and by seeing its mental echo, you can not only watch the events that caused the crane to block the path, but you can change those events to prevent the crane from moving. Then, when you return to the present, the path will be clear.

Thankfully, you won't be completely unarmed as you make your way through the ship. You will have a handful of weapons. We saw an old bolt-action rifle, like the kind used in World War I or World War II, as well as a pistol, and there are about eight weapons in the game. Meanwhile, there are 15 enemies, ranging from what looked like mutant zombies to a formidable heavily armed opponent clad in what looks like heavy armor.

The visuals in Cryostasis look great, because the game uses an advanced graphics engine that's comparable to other high-end shooters. For instance, advanced lighting and shadowing effects will be important to help establish the mood, and we saw swaying lamps that cast their light back and forth across a dimly lit corridor. There's also very sophisticated water simulation in the game, and liquid water will actually freeze to ice in real time.

Cryostasis is being developed by Action Forms, and 1C says that the game has a lot of work left in development. We can expect Cryostasis to ship either late this year or in 2008.

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Discussion

39 comments
Acurev
Acurev

Derek... Half Life isn't from Russia. It was developed my Valve which, as a company was started by Gabe Newell who worked for Microsoft....

Derek1177
Derek1177

looks cool.A russian company is making it and most russian games ive played are real good. like the Half Life series. I like the idea of your health being how warm you are. It adds some flavor to the standard health bar.

cyrone0us
cyrone0us

i hate how its the norm in games these days for graphical..'fluidity' to be overlooked. like ragdoll bodys going limp and flopping around in weird poses is the standard in games. i only say that because, for a trailer, look at the **** they just let slide. his hand reaches out and turns a handle without touching it, but as long as his hand reached out thats "just enough" to look realistic. or when that thing is shooting at him and theres a table just sideways in front of it just hanging out and getting in the way. maybe im nitpicking, maybe itll all be fixed in the final release, but i still feel like games are taking 10 steps forward and maybe a half step back. i dunno im drunk

Aegyss
Aegyss

When I first saw the trailer I was immediately reminded of Bioshock. Looks kinda lame to me, but that's just my first impression.

Pointer-Duke
Pointer-Duke

gonna be a really bad game, it alot like bioshock and they give it a little twist of doom. sure il give it a try but i doubt that im gonna like it

ldonyo
ldonyo

It sounds good. I hope that the end result is as promising as the premise and gameplay descriptions.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

Oh nice, Resident Evil meets Back to the Future.

Kool_j
Kool_j

Crysis what? oohh, cryostasis... nubs

lahoor
lahoor

what this game horror ? help me plz

pidow
pidow

It might be a good game, will have to wait and see!

nevereathim
nevereathim

Probably gonna be a great game, or a sleeper. The graphics look a little dated though

veveqa
veveqa

To be quite honest, this sounds incredibly boring. Heat loss isn't exactly an exciting subject, nor are "Russian Ice-breakers" an exciting location, and "bolt action rifles" aren't really what gets me going in an action game. I'm really mystified as to how games like this get green-lighted at all, annd who, exactly, thinks that it's a good idea? There is a small possibility that somehow, someway, they'll make the gameplay so fun as to make it worthwhile, but I think I'll wait for the review before believing that.

termadoyle
termadoyle

"cold fear" anyone? some games just reek of mediocrity the moment they are announced.

integr8d
integr8d

Cryostasis, eh? I wonder how much they're banking on people mistaking this for Crysis and picking up a copy...

conti027
conti027

sweet-ness but probly wont see it til late 08

jack4571
jack4571

i hope its as good as doom

radik87
radik87

looking forward to playing it...... must be a really great game

SWarrior
SWarrior

It's hard to get excited about a game whose principal selling point is a semantic shift (health packs --> light bulbs), but if Action Forms executes the "mental echo" aspect of the game really well, they may have a winner. Like Max Payne had a lot of little things that made it good, but what made the game stand out was the really well-done slo-mo effect. Same with the new Prince of Persia series and its time rewind. I hope the developers can really polish the visual/audio effect to make the "mental echo" puzzles intense-feeling, because it may have to carry the game to its success.

evolutionex
evolutionex

The graphics look really great albeit a bit jagged but it's probably because the screens are low res (1280x1024). looking forward to this game :)

drkndr3amer
drkndr3amer

it would be nice if the screenshots made were using AA and AF, and max settings on.

NacresErut
NacresErut

wait wasnt lost plantet the game with the heatbar as an hp bar? and its funny its like actualy russian icebergs lol

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Well it kind of looks interesting, maybe a little different.. which is always good.

phakscion
phakscion

Hopefully no monster boxes a la Doom 3

War_hammer_ftw
War_hammer_ftw

Seems similar to doom3, which was a great games and hopefully it has things jumping out at you when you least expect it :) I look forward to hearing more about the types of weapons you get to use.

Vycan
Vycan

seems worth keeping an eye on. the gameplay looks kind of repetitive, so i hope there's a good storyline to go with it

racerx737
racerx737

sounds cool,I'll keep an eye on this one.

lahoor
lahoor

wow this game horror

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

I cant wait to see more of this game. Very creepy.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Not impressed so far. I need to know a little more.

jcptopi
jcptopi

This definitely looks interesting...