Top positive review
57 people found this helpful
A very good game!
on 5 February 2010
This is a very good game - and it may even nudge at greatness once or twice. It's not perfect of course, but it is very good, exciting, thought provoking, very puzzling in parts (but always logical), difficult and easy, simple and complex, and hugely immersive. To say up front, I've played the Russian-released game, so the cut-scenes are a bit hard to follow (!) for me.
Coming in three large (not huge, but large enough to feel big) maps, how you play influences aspects in the game. I suspect some (particularly experienced stalkers) may feel that the game is a bit easy in parts, and sometimes a little too heavy on atmosphere (versus shooting). Certainly the third map (in my opinion excellently) conveys the desolation and hollowness of a city bereft of inhabitants - trust me, after a while it really does 'get to you' - others may just find it a bit too empty.
For those who have played neither Shadow of Chernobyl (SoC) nor Clear Sky (CS) before, be warned, it can feel like there is quite a bit of 'just walking around' to be done, interspersed with some sometimes quite sudden deaths. Previous Stalker-series players will know well what I mean here.
There are many (many) hours of game play here, and a lot of exploration you will have to do for yourselves to crack all of the game, and all the side-tasks. For those who prefer their game-play to be spoon-fed to them and be supplied 'on rails' (I'm thinking of the Call of Duty'ers), avoid this game as you'll hate it.
The game is very stable right out of the (Russian) box, and looks really nice, with fully functioning dynamic weather and day/night cycles. There are some underground parts to the gameplay - not as many as SoC, but more than CS. Sleeping is woven in well, but not mandated. The nights are inky black and, until you get night-vision, largely sensible to sleep through.
Artefact hunting is pretty key to your survival and progress - but again not mandated if you don't enjoy - both to generate money as well as augment the armour/weapons - all of which can be upgraded to personal taste by the mechanics dotted around. The guns sound fab and seem well aligned to the game. The ballistics are fab, seeing a target hit (and damaged) by a ricochet deserves 12/10.
There are serveral truly excellent set-piece tasks to think (as well as fight) your way through, and some very tense periods of exploration to do - I shan't spoil them by saying more! Albeit it's not as scary as SoC - the only game that still scares me!
Like I say it's not perfect thought - the head wobble/bobble is a bit excessive (fixed by a mod), the weapons wear out far far too fast (fixed by a mod), the flashlight is a feeble joke (fixed by a mod), the HUD is a big bulky and intrusive (fixed by a mod), all the text (in my game) is in Russian (fixed by a mod), the players field-of-view is too narrow (fixed by a mod), the iron-sights of the guns also need a mod to work properly... are you getting the picture yet... for, as with all the Stalker games, the modding cummunity is already very active on this game - and with this excellent base to work from, I think we can expect much.
Oh - and it has on-line game play too... Well I'll stop now, there's really a lot to enjoy in this game, and it marks a good evolution of the Stalker series! Only minor worry, GSC don't seem to have found publishers easy to come by - I suspect a facet of the previously unreliable 'fist releases' of SoC and CS. No such problems here - it's working first time!!!
Summary: if you like open and multi-faceted games where you can do what you want, and explore and play the game as you choose to, then buy this game - it would be rude not to, and you'd be missing a little gem!