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STALKER: Clear Sky - review thread

dLMN8R

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COMPILATION
PC Zone - 88%
PC Gamer UK - 68%
EDGE Magazine - 7/10 (no further details)
GameMasters UK - 88% (no further details)
gamesTM - 9/10
Games Master UK - 88/100
Worth Playing - 8.3/10
1UP - B
Pelit (Finland) - 8/10
IGN - 7.3/10
Jolt UK - 7.2/10
PC Format UK - 7/10
Eurogamer - 7/10





============================

The first review from PC Zone is in, and after reading the whole thing, I'm very happy and just as excited as ever. It ends with an 88% - 5% higher than what they gave the original - and is overall very positive. Here are a few clips:
Schematics - There are mechanics who can fix guns and even upgrade them without necessarily using attachments.
"His repertoire of upgrades can be improved by bringing him the schematics you find throughout the game. Only one upgrade can be applied to any one part of a weapon (the barrel, for example), and combining them unlocks second and third tiers of upgrades. This allows for some hugely improved weapons, such as my trusty pistol, which could snipe the genitalia off an ant at 50 yards."
Pros:
-Dynamic faction warfare works
-Weapons and combat are meaty, visceral, and solid
-Some astounding visuals
-Random radiation blasts are ace

Cons:
-The odd bum mission
-Crap script, storytelling, and characters again
But not a single thing Clear Sky brings to the table negatively impacts what's already there. The interactions of all its elements, the factions, the loyalties, the unpredictable AI, the open world, the threat of nuclear annihilation, they're fiberous strands of the most enjoyable sort of rope. Clear Sky is a unique experience, so far unparalleled save for its predecessor.
By any measure, Clear Sky doesn't fix all of its forbears problems. Production values haven't shot through the roof for instance - it's still a dogeared lovable scamp of a game, peppered with almost endearing glitches - but what Clear Sky changes and improves upon is what made Shadow of Chernobyl such an appealing title to begin with
============================

PC Gamer UK review - 68%

ouch

Disappointment of the year so far
It's more beautiful, more violent, more annoying
It's not a worthy follow-up, clevery designed, oh happy day.
 

Chiggs

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This game kicks off the fall gaming season for me. It looks absolutely brilliant, and I can't wait to see the DX 10 effects. I went batshit over the original, because it is the most atsmospheric game I have ever played, and this looks to expand on that greatly.

Linkzg said:
So much for hoping this would have been improved on.
You didn't think the scientist at Tantar was memorable?

HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO?

Yeah, either did I. To be fair, the film Stalker doesn't have any memorable characters, either.
 

dLMN8R

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The handling of the weapons, and the gradual progression of getting new weapons (not to mention the huge variety of weapons there was) in the first game was one of its most appealing aspects IMO. The fact that they've seemingly improved the weapons systems dramatically from the first game, with upgrades, schematics, additional weapons, and more makes me giddy! :D


It sucks that the storytelling and localization hasn't improved much, if at all, from the first game, but small developers are capable of doing only so much. I'd much rather them focus on making a well-playing and fun game, which it looks like they've accomplished in spades here.
 

rollingstart

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Chiggs said:
You didn't think the scientist at Tantar was memorable?

HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO?

Yeah, either did I. To be fair, the film Stalker doesn't have any memorable characters, either.
I do think that the "DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN! DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!" guy was a great character who deserved to be fleshed out.
 

Chiggs

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Linkzg said:
I do think that the "DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN! DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!" guy was a great character who deserved to be fleshed out.

:lol
 

Decado

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I never bothered with the first since they removed skin/model damage in one of the beta phases. If the re-implemented it in Clear Sky I'll take a look.
 

EviLore

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I don't give a twat about the characterization or narrative when it comes to this game. All the things that really matter sound just right.
 
Oct 5, 2007
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The interactions of all its elements, the factions, the loyalties, the unpredictable AI, the open world, the threat of nuclear annihilation, they're fiberous strands of the most enjoyable sort of rope.
kinky...

Sounds solid though. When I upgrade my PC S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is going to be the first thing that I catch up on, it just sounds so much different from pretty much every other FPS out there.
 

Chiggs

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Fallout-NL said:
Wonder what they thought about the first STALKER's weapons if they think these are meaty and solid. Cause personally I wasn't really feeling em. 5 pistol clips to drop some random dude.

Some of the weapons in the game WERE meaty and solid. It's just that you really didn't get any of them right away.
 

Fallout-NL

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Chiggs said:
Some of the weapons in the game WERE meaty and solid. It's just that you really didn't get any of them right away.

Hmmm, some balance would have been welcome there. I was getting owned left and right (and put off subsequently). I do think it was a good game though, setting and mood were great obviously. I'll try again I guess.
 

BeeDog

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This one's on my purchase list. Anyone know if it will be priced as an expansion or as a true standalone game?
 

Kuran

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Decado said:
I never bothered with the first since they removed skin/model damage in one of the beta phases. If the re-implemented it in Clear Sky I'll take a look.
What? What kind of a reason is that to miss out on one of the great classics of recent years?
 

Chiggs

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Fallout-NL said:
Hmmm, some balance would have been welcome there. I was getting owned left and right (and put off subsequently). I do think it was a good game though, setting and mood were great obviously. I'll try again I guess.


GP37
FT200M
IL86
TRs301
Tunder S14

http://www.breueronline.de/klaus/stalker/stalkerlists.html

BeeDog said:
This one's on my purchase list. Anyone know if it will be priced as an expansion or as a true standalone game?
Standalone. $39.99.
 

Bunny

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Linkzg said:
I do think that the "DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN! DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!DON'T JUST STAND THERE! COME IN!" guy was a great character who deserved to be fleshed out.
:lol and that other guy on the catwalk that said, "get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker.get out of here stalker."

i don't think it was possible to kill him without alerting everyone else.
 
Apr 19, 2005
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GET OUT OF HERE STALKER

Decado said:
I never bothered with the first since they removed skin/model damage in one of the beta phases. If the re-implemented it in Clear Sky I'll take a look.
:lol :lol get out of here psycho
 

dLMN8R

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Decado said:
I never bothered with the first since they removed skin/model damage in one of the beta phases. If the re-implemented it in Clear Sky I'll take a look.
Really?

No, really? You avoided playing one of the most atmospheric, impressive, and ambitious games of 2007 because they removed some totally unnecessary, superficial visual features in a beta? Get out of here
STALKER

Fallout-NL said:
Wonder what they thought about the first STALKER's weapons if they think these are meaty and solid. Cause personally I wasn't really feeling em. 5 pistol clips to drop some random dude.
As other people have pointed out, the weapons in the first game grew to be some of the most satisfying, fun to use, realistic weapons in most any FPS out there. The only people I've ever seen say otherwise are those who couldn't get passed the first couple enemies. Stop trying to run and gun with a crappy starter pistol against heavily armored enemies using submachine guns and rifles.

The MP5 you get only 30-some minutes into the game is lots of fun to use, and if you raid enemies, it's not too hard to find ammo for it either.
 

Kamakazie!

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Damn i really need to find the time to finish STALKER. I was really enjoying it before getti ng caught up in work/exams.
I'll definitely get this once i've finished the first.
As with last year though, there are too many good games that deserve a day 1 purchase. Crysis Warhead is another one that is gonna have to wait for the first to be completed!!
 

K7 Avenger

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Ugh, never got around to beating the first. Buddy gave it to me and it runs fine on my new rig, it just never keeps me interested long enough.
 

Zeliard

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Getting into firefights with bandits in the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had a feel to it unlike any other game I've played, and even just walking around the Zone.

You actually felt like you were fighting to survive, like there was something tangible on the line (limited to the actual game, of course), and like some murderous bandits and mutated creatures could run at you at any moment's notice (which they did, often).

I don't think the word "atmosphere" should be used any longer in video game parlance to refer to anything but the two ST.A.L.K.E.R. games. They own it. Can't wait for this one.
 

Chiggs

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Zeliard said:
I don't think the word "atmosphere" should be used any longer in video game parlance to refer to anything but the two ST.A.L.K.E.R. games. They own it. Can't wait for this one.
Small team or not, they nailed the atmosphere. I've never seen a game that does it better. Silent Hill series be damned.
 

Vaporak

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Fallout-NL said:
Wonder what they thought about the first STALKER's weapons if they think these are meaty and solid. Cause personally I wasn't really feeling em. 5 pistol clips to drop some random dude.
Inaccurate guns are inaccurate, there's no autoaim safety net here. You live and die based on your own skills, like it should be. If you need 5 clips to kill a bandit that's more indicative of the player than the game.

More on topic, sign me up for some STALKER love. The first one is my favorite shooter ever and I can't wait to play Clear Sky. :D
 

Draft

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Is someone making an official thread?

I humbly request that it be titled "Get out of here, C.O.N.S.O.L.E.S."
 

WrikaWrek

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I played about two hours of the 1st one. I really didn't like it. And i wanted to like it, i was pretty excited to play it.
 

Draft

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WOW.

Look at the contents of the European special edition:



A STALKER Zippo. I'm popping game wood.
 

dLMN8R

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Draft said:
Is someone making an official thread?

I humbly request that it be titled "Get out of here, C.O.N.S.O.L.E.S."
Let's wait to make an official thread until the game comes out, then it can be used by people who've played the game to discuss it. For now, this should do for pre-release discussion and review postings.


In other words....DON'T YOU DARE DEVALUE MY THREAD, DRAFT. DON'T YOU ****ING DARE.
 

Draft

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dLMN8R said:
Let's wait to make an official thread until the game comes out, then it can be used by people who've played the game to discuss it. For now, this should do for pre-release discussion and review postings.


In other words....DON'T YOU DARE DEVALUE MY THREAD, DRAFT. DON'T YOU ****ING DARE.
I appreciate this thread. You did a good job.
 

Gattsu25

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Draft said:
WOW.

Look at the contents of the European special edition:



A STALKER Zippo. I'm popping game wood.
Geeze


Also: game sounds awesome. STALKER rocked, so improving on what already worked while adding new features that work well sounds like a good idea to me.
 

dogmaan

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bit of a derail but....

I have just entered the last level of the first game, and my health is draining like crazy from the radiation, im using anti radiation drugs like a madman, I can't see how to complete the entire level, while fighting superhard enemies, do I need a special suit or something, cause I thought the one I was wearing was pretty good
 

Chiggs

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dogmaan said:
bit of a derail but....

I have just entered the last level of the first game, and my health is draining like crazy from the radiation, im using anti radiation drugs like a madman, I can't see how to complete the entire level, while fighting superhard enemies, do I need a special suit or something, cause I thought the one I was wearing was pretty good

Kill a guy with an exoskeleton.
 

Draft

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dLMN8R said:
I think the sarcasm was lost within the tubes of the internet :p
I think we understand each other perfectly.

In other news, I am PMing fallen GAF poster Borys on a secret GAF refugee forum to see if he can get me a copy of that fucking ridiculous Collector's Edition.
 

zer0das

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Fallout-NL said:
Hmmm, some balance would have been welcome there. I was getting owned left and right (and put off subsequently). I do think it was a good game though, setting and mood were great obviously. I'll try again I guess.
Early game is a bit rough, but later on I don't think it's the weapons so much as the aim of the enemies being somewhat unreal. The gunplay late game is relatively easy- outrange everyone with a scope and an accurate/powerful gun and you won't get hurt. However, indoors they were way too accurate and responded too quickly in general. I seriously hope they came up a better system because it was pretty broken.

Also hoping the AI is better... it still pisses me off that if you knife a random STALKER in the middle of nowhere every neutral will shoot you on site. At least give it some time before they react, or some random STALKER you talk to says something like "Hey, I heard you knocked off Doctor. Good for you! But I heard a group of STALKERs is looking for you..."

zer0das said:
Early game is a bit rough, but later on I don't think it's the weapons so much as the aim of the enemies being somewhat unreal. The gunplay late game is relatively easy- outrange everyone with a scope and an accurate/powerful gun and you won't get hurt. However, indoors they were way too accurate and responded too quickly in general. I seriously hope they came up a better system because it was pretty broken.

Also hoping the AI is better... it still pisses me off that if you knife a random STALKER in the middle of nowhere every neutral will shoot you on site. At least give it some time before they react, or some random STALKER you talk to says something like "Hey, I heard you knocked off Doctor. Good for you! But I heard a group of STALKERs is looking for you..."

dogmaan said:
I have just entered the last level of the first game, and my health is draining like crazy from the radiation, im using anti radiation drugs like a madman, I can't see how to complete the entire level, while fighting superhard enemies, do I need a special suit or something, cause I thought the one I was wearing was pretty good
Get some anti rad artifacts if you can find them (without the stupid bleeding)... they slow the rate of radiation accumulation a ton. Also
There's a quest with the scientists that unlocks really cheap antirad suits. You might be wearing something that's more combat oriented... they tend to be slightly weaker on the radiation shielding. You still lose health pretty quickly even with these, as there are a few deadspots where the radiation is sky high, but they should help.
 

Draft

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I never found enemies to be unfairly accurate.

Though I do agree indoor combat can be a pain. You really needed to ambush dudes because otherwise they would take off a not small amount of health in the fight. That's part of the game's charm, in my opinion.
 

zer0das

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Draft said:
I never found enemies to be unfairly accurate.

Though I do agree indoor combat can be a pain. You really needed to ambush dudes because otherwise they would take off a not small amount of health in the fight. That's part of the game's charm, in my opinion.
They nail you from a mile away while standing up and moving towards you. Ambushing indoors isn't really even an option most of the time, especially in the final few bits of the game.

Although I have to admit, as much as I hated how hard the end was, there was something about crazed STALKERS in armored suits that took like 3-4 headshots from a normal gun to kill.
 

Vaporak

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Draft said:
I never found enemies to be unfairly accurate.

Though I do agree indoor combat can be a pain. You really needed to ambush dudes because otherwise they would take off a not small amount of health in the fight. That's part of the game's charm, in my opinion.
Same, I played on the hardest difficulty and there was nothing the AI could do that you couldn't do as the player. You just have to realize that STALKER is in the Counter Strike school of gun design: inaccurate, but it only takes a couple hits to take anyone down.
 

MaritalWheat

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Draft said:
WOW.

Look at the contents of the European special edition:



A STALKER Zippo. I'm popping game wood.
OOHHHHH!
How the do I get that shit to the states?!
Edit: Haha, they weren't kidding when they said they'd make it brighter for Americans: the European box is way more faded! :lol :lol
 

mambadragon

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I may be alone here, but I really hope they speed up if not altogether eliminate the time it takes to get accurate rifles. I realize it adds some artificial realism but it just makes the gameplay less fun.