Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason was released December 5, 2008 by 1C Company and 505 Games. The game was developed by Action Forms. Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason is a survival/horror first person shooter.


Cryostasis takes place in 1981 on an Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreaker called the North Wind near the North Pole. The main character, Alexander Nesterov, is a Russian meteorologist who was supposed to board the ship for a lift home after completing a tour of duty at the pole; however he finds it’s been shipwrecked since 1968 and its dead crewmen have undergone bizarre metamorphosis. Through the game the character finds fragments of Maxim Gorky’s fairy tale The Flaming Heart of Danko, which parallels what happened to the ship and its crew.

Cryostasis uses PhysX extensively to make the blowing ice and snow more realistic. The real environment in the far north is very harsh and Cryostasis captures this well.

The player has to seek warmth to remain alive as its so cold the player would otherwise freeze. The cold air freezes with each breath. Outside the intense wind can blow a player slowly into crevasses. The use of PhysX is obvious throughout the game with crumbling ice and the extremes of the arctic cold.

As the player moves though the map, he is presented with flashback memories of the fallen. These show the life of the fallen crewman just before they died.

There are several of these flashbacks that help tell the story of the game. The story is based in old Russian monster stories of old. The ice and cold are part of Russian life. The game definitely has a good level of horror to it which is common among first person shooters.

The first chapter tries to develop the game play early with the flashbacks by viewing the world from another’s character’s experiences. Part of the time the player is inside and at others he is outside with dogs.

The game features a map based on a real Russian nuclear icebreaker which adds to the realism of the story. There are several different enemies that have unique capabilities. The game also uses Russian weapons to provide completely realistic gameplay.

In some parts of the ship the environment it is warm enough for water to flow. There are many wet places with pipes leaking and water pooling. There are even a few working radiators and incandescent light bulbs which are a convenient place to save the game if desired.


The player does not use a conventional weapon typical of a first person shooter: The player uses his fist, A metal object can be used as well to bludgeon the enemy bots. The game offers more than 15 different powerful enemy types, each with unique capabilities

Later on there are guns available but ammunition is in short supply. Careful use of the weapon using exactly enough bullets is best. The game needs some careful strategy to be able to get through the campaign.


The campaign is broken up into 18 chapters. The campaign is quite linear.

  • Dream
  • Forest
  • Swamp
  • Storm
  • Glacier
  • Ties
  • Darkness
  • Heart
  • Stress
  • Cold
  • Fear
  • Escape
  • Beasts
  • Poison
  • Choice
  • Heat
  • Chronos


Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason is a single player game only. This game and story does not lend itself to multiplayer.


Unfortunately, the game is sometimes unable to save progress (quick save, auto save, or manual save). (The game suggests saves happen, but nothing shows up in the Load menu.) The fix (after the game is downloaded and run the first time) is to create the directory for saving games.

Under the GameTap directory (e.g., C:GameTap or C:Program FilesGameTap), browse to the subdirectory GamescryostasisData, then create a new folder and call it Save (e.g., C:GameTapGamescryostasisDataSave). The next time the game is run it will be able to save progress.


1C has released a PhysX update 1.1. For the 505 version of the game use this update.


Operating SystemWindows XP or better
CPUIntel Core i5 or better
Memory2 GB or more
Hard Drive Space2.83 GB
Graphics HardwareGTX 480 or better
NetworkBroadband Internet Connection Required

This game makes very heavy use of PhysX which make the game hard to render much above 800×600.