With Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason a shooter that makes excessive use of Nvidia's Physx and DirectX 10 is scheduled for early 2009. We took a closer look at the tech demo and check what benefit the game gets from Physx and what hardware is required.
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason - Outline
Cryostasis (PCGH) (3) [Source: view picture gallery]
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason puts you in 1968 at the Arctic Circle, Russian North Pole. The main character, Alexander Nesterov is a meteorologist incidentally caught inside an old nuclear ice-breaker North Wind, frozen in the ice desert for decades. Nesterov's mission is to investigate the mystery of the ship's captain death - or, as it may well be, a murder.
Thus the game is described at Nvidia's Nzone and the official summary only adds few details.
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason - Tech demo
Cryostasis (PCGH) (13) [Source: view picture gallery]
The DirectX 10 tech demo available to PC Games Hardware primarily demonstrates the water simulation of Cryostasis which is put into effect by so called smoothed particle hydrodynamics
(SPH). Contrary to common particle engines SPH calculates the visualized liquids in dependence to their viscosity and the way the rendered particles rejected by the environment and each other. Water splashes when hitting a surface and forms puddles. Or the water runs into the correct direction. According to the developers about 30,000 particles that are reacting with each other and the environment are rendered in the first scene of the demo. Furthermore the demo exemplifies a cloth and heat simulation as well as several ragdoll effects.
Cryostasis (PCGH) (14) [Source: view picture gallery]
All these features are based on Nvidia's Physx technology. With the Cuda interface the graphics processor can calculate the SPH and some parts of the remaining physics effects besides the normal game engine. If the used graphics card doesn't support Physx effects, the CPU has to do the work - but in the version of the demo available to us, the performance can only be called unacceptable and the programmers don't deny this in anyway. The final version of Cryostasis should not be that demanding, since the game is supposed to deliver good framerates with CPU physics.
The video below shows the tech demo - only a scene a mutant is shot down in has been removed. Furthermore we also offer the video in 720p quality for download.