Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason

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Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason


Popsicles and frozen little Russians

Dead or Sleeping?

Here’s an interesting fact for you: the word ‘cryostasis’ refers to the practice of preserving the remains of legally dead people (and sometimes pets) in order to revive them later, usually planned to happen when a cure is available. It’s what was rumoured to have happened to Walt Disney, and the process is a mainstay of certain science-fiction stories.

Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason is a sci-fi/horror FPS, set almost forty years ago, in 1968, and the story takes place in the Arctic Circle. Russian North Pole Station, “Pole 21” has been going through some strange changes, and it’s into this lonely world of snow and ice that the player is plunged into.

Ghosts and zombies and rust, oh my

Your reluctant hero, Alexander Nesterov is a meteorologist, and is now trapped inside an abandoned nuclear ice-breaker known as North Wind. Contact was lost with the vessel, and Alexander was sent in to the frozen graveyard alone.

This hunk of metal is your only source of protection from the freezing cold atmosphere and the possibility of instant hypothermia. With the plot creating a metaphysical horror story, god only knows what kind of disaster befell the steel creature and its inhabitants. Trapped in the ice many years ago, all creatures on board the North Wind were frozen. This saved their lives, but took from them their original appearance, and their right to die. In other words, it’s a world of mutant undead.

So, Alexander isn’t alone after all. He is trapped right alongside the lost souls of those aboard the vessel, and must fight his way through, with even the air against him.

"I’m just going outside. I may be some time."

Instead of a health bar, Alexander has a heat bar. His only strength comes from the warmth of the vessel, and by staying in cold areas for too long, his temperature will drop and he will be a frozen little Russian. That kind of thing isn’t very conductive to the detective and exorcism work he needs to do, and should be avoided at all costs. There are a number of heat sources within the game which can be used to raise your temperature and prevent popsicle status, including life-saving radiators and even the occasional light bulb. Light bulbs aren’t the best heat source, but, moving through the game, you may well find that every little helps. Enemies can also use the cold as a weapon against you. It was the Russian winter that stopped Hitler’s invasion, and now something even colder is coming for you. Be afraid.

Target Practice

Speaking of enemies, there are at least fifteen different varieties, from mutant zombies to strangely robotic creatures who seem to be dressed in heavy armour. Alexander has more than his bare hands with which to fight them off, of course. There are eight different weapons in the game, all historically accurate. These include World War I and II era bolt-action rifles and pistols. The game is a first person shooter, and it’s unlikely many – if any – weapons other than guns will be used, but, as is usual in first-person shooters the environment can be used strategically when fighting.