Safer Sephiroth
01-29-2010, 07:49 AM
I picked up STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl off of Steam a few weeks ago when it was just a mere $2 thanks to how generous the folks over at Steam are. I had absolutely no idea what the game was about when I bought it but I couldn't resist a game that costs less than an Energy Drink. Before I continue, yes this game is an RPG but not in the traditional sense. The good folks at GSC Game World feel that an RPG shouldn't be complicated by obscene amounts of stat tracking and level grinding in order to make your character improve. They believe that your character in the true sense of Role Playing should only be as good as you are as the gamer. This is why there is no leveling up, no exp or skill points to be found in STALKER.

Instead you are presented with an open ended world based in a post apocalyptic aftermath 20 years after the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster that's literally a breathing entity in it's own. The atmosphere found here is absolutely stunning and incredibly deep. You'll find that almost everything in the world (We'll now refer to it as the Zone) is detailed with amazing amounts of attention. So much in fact that at least 60% of the game is actually based on real places from Chernobyl itself. You'll be exploring abandoned buildings, underground sewers and bases, railroads, villages, swamps, factories and warehouses trying to unravel the mysteries that the game has set for you and just survive. The world is far from being a safe and pleasant place to reside. The inhabitants of the Zone consist of mutants, monsters, anomalies, thieves, bandits and STALKERS (Treasure Hunters so to speak).

I'm not going to really go full in depth about the story because I don't want to give away any possible spoilers. But the basic plot throws you into the game as a man known as nothing more than the "Marked One". You were found as a lone survivor in an accident and you have no memory of your past or who you are or what you're doing. You are soon sent out to find a man by the name of Strelok and you are supposed to kill him. Who is he? That's what you're supposed to find out for yourself. The story progresses much deeper than this and involves military conspiracy amongst other things. It may not necessarily be the best story in a game but it definitely has a strange appeal to it.

The gameplay of STALKER plays similar to most modern FPS games in the market. The one major difference however is the fact you have a weight limit that you must keep an eye on and you have to eat food to survive. The bullet physics are one of the most impressive I've ever seen in a game. The recoil is amazingly realistic and bullets actually will drop due to gravity or ricochet off of objects and even shoot through various objects such as wood, tree's, thin walls, etc. The real time lighting effects are also nothing but pure eye candy and reflect every single object in the environment. Considering how long this game was in development for the system requirements are surprisingly low for the minimum specs. If you have any rig with at least a Pentium4 2Ghz processor and a Radeon 9600 or GeForce 5700 Ultra then you are set.

This game isn't without it's flaws obviously. But what flaws there are can easily be overlooked thanks to how amazing the experience is overall and just how beautiful the game is to look at regardless if it is dated in the visuals. The game however is one of those unfortunate you love it or you hate it games.

Link to the trailer:
Trailer 2:

01-29-2010, 08:31 AM
Recently replayed STALKER. I recommend you try out some mods for the game (STALKER Complete 2009 (this is what I am currently playing with), L.U.R.K. (I wouldn't bother with it until v1.1 comes out), Oblivion Lost (old), AMK (older))

These are overhauls, just for the record. STALKER Complete 2009 is the only mod in that list that doesn't change the game, just updates it. L.U.R.K. updates the weather/graphics/gameplay similar to STALKER Complete 2009, but also adds in actual stealth mechanics, which the game was originally intended to have. I recommend you check both of them out, at least.

01-30-2010, 02:12 PM
nice game, the athmosphere is great (and the best part of it IMO), which is why i think it's wearing off in the sequels, because they don't really add much gameplay to it, and the story is okay, but badly presented.

02-13-2010, 09:30 PM
Didn't really care much for this one. Being a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction the game was bit of a letdown, really unimaginative world and retarded "free roaming" gameplay, which seems to be the trend these days and it's not really my thing, just a ridiculous way to mask the rather linear story to seem more open-ended. The much praised AI was rather weak too, I shot one dog from a pack and others started to scatter and the biggest strategies in the minds of enemy humans was to run between 3 predetermined hiding spots. And if anyone considered the plot to be clever in 2007 I'd suggest you to read a book, seriously, almost any book will do.

03-16-2010, 06:07 PM
Isn't lurk by a bunch of guys from /v/ ?