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Gaming Ten Years On: S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech reviews, 22 Mar 2017.

  1. bit-tech reviews

    bit-tech reviews Administrator Administrator

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  2. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    Although I have both physical and digital copies of each game I've yet to actually get to play any of them ...at least properly.

    When I first saw SoC "in the flesh" it was on a woefully underpowered PC, or rather, at the time most PCs didn't have the necessary grunt to play the game. Later I had access to an adequate PC, but I found the difficulty prohibitively steep. So steep in fact, that I never returned to the game(s). I remember hardly making it out of the camp before being taken out by a sniper. The other directions weren't much better, so I eventually gave up and moved on.

    The series has always intrigued me, though. Which is probably why I kept buying and rebuying the games.
     
  3. SMIFFYDUDE

    SMIFFYDUDE Supermodders on my D

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    I have the games too, I've only tried SoC but never got very far into it before giving up. It really isn't interested in drawing the player in, it's too difficult too soon. Does this game even have a story or is it just a succession of 'go kill those guys' tasks? I never played long enough to find out, got sick of reloading and having to do the same thing again and again.
     
  4. Wakka

    Wakka Yo, eat this, ya?

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    I ADORE SoC, always have. It's a game that properly forces you into the scavenger/opportunist character role - Sure, that creepy looking underground laboratory probably has some sweet swag in it, but do you have the kit, and balls, to risk going in?

    I love how brutal the game feels when you first jump in, you try playing it like the other 90% of shooters and it'll smack you around seven ways to Sunday. But play cautious, move properly, pick your shots and know how and when to use the environment (and it's inhabitants) and you can overcome some crazy odds.

    I re-played through it about 2 years ago and loved every minute of it. Yeah the writing and UI is still clunky as all hell, but the mechanics hold up, the atmosphere still sends shivers down your spine, the enemies are still challenging and my balls still shrink a little whenever I go underground...

    EDIT:

    For those that get turned off because of the insane difficulty spike near the beginning - push through! Honestly, once you get your first proper rifle and armour (there's a secret set in one of the roofs where you start - look it up!) the game goes from being a meat grinder to a properly tactical FPS.
     
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2017
  5. David

    David RIP Tel

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    I too love SoC, but I found Clear Sky a chore and far less enjoyable.

    I still haven't gotten around to Call of Pripyat.
     
  6. Big-_-t0ny

    Big-_-t0ny Member

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    Stunning game series, can be daunting at first but once you stick with it you'll be hooked. All three games have a serious selection of mods, from both Russian/East Europe and western modders. It usually goes for a few pounds each on steam, pick it up!
     
  7. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    CoP was the best one. Clear Sky had a failed factions idea that they never updated and made for a poor game. CoP introduction was brutal. It drops you off with a GLFU and you have to get on with it with an unforgiving learning curve. Once you get past that it's satisfying though. Really pissed the brand and code for 2 got caught in development hell. We'll never see another.
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    As hard as the combat was in the first game I did get many hours of fun out of it. I remember every one complaining about the combat. It was tough.. Sometimes I would find myself behind a broken down car for what seemed like forever. Not only that if you hacked in a cheat to make your aim better it also made the enemies a much better shot too lmao. Parts of it wowed me though.

    Never played Clear Sky. It was £40 and I read it was a broken mess so I stayed away from it.

    Did play COP for a few hours. Found it tough going at first (those storms catch you out at the worst of times !) but then found it a little boring and old fashioned. It certainly ran a lot better than the first one though.

    Overall not bad. Both of the ones I played needed a few bottles of Mr Sheen though, as parts of the first game were obviously very broken. I recall reading that it was down to the publisher pushing too hard. Storms should have been in the first game, working vehicles (god what a difference that would have made !) and so on.
     
  9. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    I loved Shadow of Chernobyl at the time even with it's bugs and flaws. I remember restarting it at least twice due to the patches breaking the save games.

    I never did get on with it's sequels though, they never held my interest like the original did.
     
  10. LordPyrinc

    LordPyrinc Legomaniac

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    I played SoC a bit two years ago, picked all three up on a Steam sale. It does seem tough at first, but became fun after some trial and error. I haven't really spent any significant time with the other two titles. More recently, I've been playing Fallout4 which reminded me a bit of SoC. At some point I plan on revisiting all three of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series. Just never seems to be enough time.
     
  11. Metaporic

    Metaporic Member

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    Thanks for reminding me to play SoC again! I went back to play a few hours earlier, really enjoyed that time, think I will sink a few more hours into the game. Until it gets to creepy anyway. I would recommend playing with the Complete Mod http://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-complete-2009 it makes a big difference, to start with the game looks a lot better and it fixes quite a few bugs etc...

    Regarding difficulty, just play it slow and careful for the first few hours and once you pick up a few bits of gear you will be a lot better off, though there is a good amount of enjoyment from the constant feeling of vulnerability. In the end I agrroed the army base near the village you start in and picked the soldiers off one by one. In the end I was able to get some decent equipment that way. Also yes there is some hidden armour in that same starter village if you want a boost.
     
  12. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    Shadow of Chernobyl has a fantastic story, all you have to do complete the first mission in your PDA, find Strelok and KILL HIM.

    It's one of those games that gets better and better the more you delve into it. The opening fight against the bandits is one of the most difficult sections of the game since you have no armour and only a pistol, it's certainly not a user friendly opening, but so very worth wading through.

    I played SoC for hundreds of hours, Clear Sky wasn't nearly as good, but had an interesting story, Call of Pripyat is excellent too. Bugs and all I loved Shadow of Chernobyl, that first, panicking encounter with a Blood Sucker under the Agroprom Building is one of those golden gaming moments that can't ever be repeated.
     
  13. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Ah yes, STALKER, the experience that started with a video game and grew to week long LARP events...

    My personal pet-peeve was the dead-on AI grenade throws, you couldn't even reload without being blow to other dimension.
     
  14. gosh

    gosh Member

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    loved all of this series, certainly unforgiving but bits like when you first encounter as bloodsucker or the psychic mutant in the tunnels, a psydog or work out what new anomolies do and how to get past them (so much time spent throwing bolts...). having to scavenge everything to survive and when you finally get a decent set of -radiation/+health artifacts or a choice gun from a hidden stash are brilliant, or picking through the corpses left after an NPC fight. almost nothing can beat blowouts though, i think it's the 2nd game when weather becomes random instead of scripted but pegging it for shelter as the sky melts and you hear cries of animals and humans alike also running for shelter is amazing.

    lot of bugs and dodgy/unexplained features but few games have the same mix of atmosphere, mystery and bleakness.

    NPC grenades were the worst though, especially if you wandered into any military camps/patrols in the first half of the game.
     
  15. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I ...got stuck somewhere in, um, the middle I guess and never finished it.

    Yah the creeping-around-in-the-dark levels freaked me out...

    hmmm, must have missed that, go in, explore a base and it's surroundings, move on, find another base and its surroundings, repeat.
     
  16. Taua

    Taua Member

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    bought this and some others cheap on Steam but the rapid headbob literally made me so nauseous I couldn't play it! Don't think I even made it to getting killed by a sniper haha!
     
  17. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Agreed!

    I like all 3, but CoP was definitely the most rounded.

    The atmosphere later in SoC is absolutely brilliant, totally blasts away the boring and awkward start in the Cordon.
     
  18. Wakka

    Wakka Yo, eat this, ya?

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    It's definitely a grower - it's a game that puts you in your place and treats you like a rookie at the start, but rewards you for learning the ways of the land and the life of a Stalker.

    It's a natural progression too, one that comes from knowledge and skill. Sure better armour and artifacts do give stat boosts, but this isn't Skyrim, you can't power-level till the point that you steamroll entire outposts like a walking tank.
     
  19. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I'm now looking up CoP mods and daaamn there's a lot. I need to play this and the mods after Wildlands
     
  20. Almightyrastus

    Almightyrastus Rule #9

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    The thing that impressed me about these games was that you are not some magical chosen one with the whole world revolving around you. For example, take something like Skyrim or Oblivion, or the Fallouts, or most MMOs, you are placed as a character who is there to save the world or do the big thing that nobody else can, like they're all waiting around just for you to turn up, a Truman show supporting cast.

    Whereas with these, you turn up and you're just another stalker here to try his luck in the zone. People don't care if you live or die, they'll carry on without you. Get out there, find stuff and if you survive, the shopkeeper will take a look at what you have.

    The distant firefights and interactions between beasts and bandits or other factions, they'll happen whether you're there or not and it gives a lot more life to the world.
     
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