I have been following Cryostasis for about six months now and I think the game has a lot of potential. It has a story that interests me and it has some of the best usage of water I have ever seen. The things I was not sure about were the actual game play and the optimization. The tech demo that was released in December of 2008 showed me lots of good visuals and physics but little of actual game play. It also showed me that the game may suffer from poor optimization. I got a poor frame rate in the tech demo even though I can get much better results from games like Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 which both look very good in their own rite. The demo did both appease some of my worries but also amplify others.
One of my worries that got put to rest was the game play. I didn't know what to expect from Cryostasis but I am happy with what I got. You actually have to manage your internal and external body heat. Every time you go outside the ship you start to lose body heat. Once your external body heat is depleted your internal body heat starts to lower. Once you are out of both you die. In most rooms inside the ship there are sources of heat that you can use to raise your internal and external body heat. The two sources I found were fires and power switches. The fire is straight forward and the power heats you by turning on power for that room and I guess the lights help out. One thing I didn't expect to experience was the BSODs I received. The most interesting I saw in the demo had to be the life echos. If you find the corpse of a crew member you can choose to live their last few moments to try to save them. In the course of this you get to see flashbacks of some of the problems the ship had that got it to this point. Cryostasis also had one of my favorite features which is quick saves. That made me a happy man. I was not able to finish the demo because after getting a BSOD twice in the same spot I just gave up. I hope the full game doesn't have these problems because it is a very serious issue.
I was pleasantly surprised by the options. The game supported my 1920*1200 resolution as well as having AA, AF, Vsync and EAX options. I would of liked to also see support for 5.1 or 7.1 sound but even as it was it supported many features that a lot of console ports don't include these days. This is why I tend to try to support PC exclusives because they tend to give PC gamers what they want.
The graphics themselves were pretty good. The water was among the best water I have ever seen. The way it interacts with the ground and walls is really something to see. The rest wasn't anything too special. The weapons and character models were both alright but nothing special. The game needs a ton of optimization though. I had to turn some things all the way to low and had to turn AA and AF off to get a frame rate I could live with. This isn't acceptable when I can get much better results on far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and even Crysis and Crysis Warhead which all look better overall then Cryostasis.
Overall I would say I will buy Cryostasis but not until at least one major patch comes out and maybe even two. The game has a very good core but the BSOD errors need to go and there needs to be better optimization because my system is better than that. The game play is solid and the game has some has some very interesting ideas not to mention a story I want to play through and unravel.