S.T.A.L.K.E.R – SOC : A Review
S.T.A.L.K.E.R – Shadow of Chernobyl
is a FPS from the stables of GSC gameworld pusblished by THQ. The game is placed in the 30 km area surrounding the Chernobyl NPP called the Zone. Another explosion occurs in the area in 2006 causing nuclear fallout resulting in the zone. The game starts with a little cutscene of a truck accident. Apparently our character is in that truck just manages to survive the blast, but now he suffers from amnesia (quite a common disorder among gaming and hollywood heroes 😀 ).
As the amnesiac stalker (named “the marked one” ) the gameplay basically revolves around completing tasks assigned to us by guys around the zone, including traders, other stalkers and various factions. Completions of these tasks gains the player rewards and a few insight into his past and the answers to the questions regarding the zone. Besides the main storyline tasks there are various subtasks and missions which the player can choose to perform or to ignore depending upon his liking. As the game progresses the game goes deeper into the zone and its secrets. S.T.A.L.K.E.R, though basically a FPS , has a decent amount of RPG elements mixed in
it. Equipment changes and other stuff hav quite a lot of RPG touches. Although these are mostly well done they do tend to create a bit of frustation.
Besides the player there are a horde of NPC characters in the game who are free to do whatever they want in the zone ( including trying to kill us). The players actions towards the NPC and the completion of various tasks has an effect on the games progress….which can lead it to seven different endings….so theres lot to be explored in the zone and lots of ways to do it. ( resulting in a lot of re playability).
The story and the presentation are also pretty strong and do not disappoint.
What the hell!!! My weapons jammed ??? ( Realism in S.T.A.L.K.E.R)
Everything turning into an odd shade of black
and yellow!! Radiation looks dangerous.
Powering the graphics of stalker is the X-ray engine by GSC. The engine based on DX9, does an excellent job of rendering the zone. It provides for a detailed environment with believable radiation and psi effects. The strength of the engine shows in the detailed rendering of the complete day and night cycle through out the game together with stunning weather effects.
Detailed weather effects
Sound is a very important factor in stalker….it produces that immersing effect. The weapons, the ricochets and the general dialogs are very well done. However the failure of provision of subtitles for NPC conversations ( mostly in russian) is a letdown.
The sky is rendered quite beautifully
All in all S.T.A.L.K.E.R is a great game with a few negligible flaws which provides a very good FPS experience with a hell lot of re playability.
I would give it 8.5/10…..Highly recommended.