#1 posted by DaZ
on 2007/03/27 17:37:00
Completed it last night, but got quite a dull ending as I didnt really do any side quests or join any factions.
I think the best shorthand way to describe stalker is "Flawed brilliance".
If you are the kind of guy/girl that dribbles over the industrial pictures in the inspiration & reference thread then you will LOVE this game, its full of old, burnt out, rusting industrial complexes, factories, underground stations, mines and all sorts of things in between. This really is the most gritty and atmospheric gameworld I have ever seen, its really great just to explore and see what you find, virtually every building interior can be entered and explored.
Special mention must go to the lightning storms in the game, they are just amazing :) The lightning flashes light up the entire area casting flickering shadows onto everything as you explore, while the deep thunder rolls and churns creating a very tense atmosphere for you.
Ok so its a visual spectacle and has tons of atmosphere, but what about the actual gameplay?
Hmm well I suppose it is a cross of Counterstrike and FEAR. The realistic weapons and movement, and the downright bizarre influence of radiation and mutants on the zone can create some interesting scenarios. Combat is usually at medium to long range and 90% of the time you will be using your iron sights to pick off enemies with headshots before they spot you.
The human enemies are basicly what you would expect, they work in groups and flank / find cover / use suppression fire etc, its all very convincing and sometimes genuinely impressive as a soldier who you thought you had lost ages ago gets the drop on you from behind.
Fighting mutants is whole other business however. Most have pyschic or visual powers to make encounters more interesting. The bloodsucker for instance has no ranged attacks but can turn translucent which makes it very hard to see until it is right on top of you, usually you spot the bright yellow eyes just before it takes a chunk out of your face :) Scary stuff indeed. Other cool mutants include the blind dogs, who are generally quite passive unless they are hungry or you stray into their territory, in which case they all gang up on you.
Its nice that some mutants can be scared away without actually fighting them, the dogs for example will scatter and run if you fire a burst of bullets into the air when they are close.
The RPG elements are very light indeed, but still there and influence the gameplay somewhat. As you buy/find better armoured suits you can withstand more radiation so can venture into more dangerous areas.
#2 posted by JPL
on 2007/03/27 20:24:01
I just took a look to Stalker official website (i.e http://www.stalker-game.com/
), and I was very impressed by the screenshots/animations/etc... If this game is as good as DaZ said, and as good as the others said in general Abuse thread, I really have to plan to:
1- find funds to buy a new PC that will support the game
2- buy Stalker
3- spend my nights playing the game...
Nice program actually... :D
#3 posted by Spirit
on 2007/03/27 21:46:25
at least wait for more patches and until the game is cheaper and until a pc that runs it with dynamic lights is cheap enough. :)
In the german Radiation Pack there was a novel included. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Todeszone (Zone of Death). I read that and it's very good!
Why'd You Use The Counterstrike Icon?
#4 posted by Lunaran
on 2007/03/28 08:39:54
From The Sound Of It...
#5 posted by Shambler
on 2007/03/28 12:59:18
A cross hair icon is most suitable for this (lots of stealth sniping).
Worthy topic, I think. Feel free to keep rambling on about it, chaps :).
My impressions from what I read is that I'll intend to get it, it sounds like it's got some awkwardness to get used to, but is fundamentally interesting and intriguing.
#6 posted by ijed
on 2007/03/28 16:02:25
Sounds like they've done thier own thing instead of making a Halo clone. Also sounds like it can run on mid-spec machines, although sacrificing some (most?) of the visual effects.
#7 posted by DaZ
on 2007/03/28 17:46:22
It comes with a DX8 and a DX9 renderer, the dx8 mode runs silky smooth with everything on max details but you lose some very important visual things like the dynamic shadowing and all the normal mapping effects that really bring the game to life.
The difference in atmosphere running in dx9 as opposed to dx8 is huge, in dx9 mode you can almost taste the radioactive dust in your mouth :)
#8 posted by pjw
on 2007/03/29 16:30:56
So, I was playing last night and cleared out a large-ish building and the surrounding grounds and guard towers and so forth, taking probably an hour to do so, and headed up toward the top floor to retrieve some documents.
I wasn't really paying attention to the radar display, and I'm not sure if I had just missed one guy that had been following me for a while (probably) or there was some random trigger that spawned one guy for the hell of it, but I came sneaking around a corner shining my light here and there to make sure I didn't miss anything in a dark corner, and literally ran into a guy. He was crouched down so when I turned the corner his face pretty much filled my whole monitor, and I LOST IT.
I spazzed out like I had been hit with high-voltage, hitting a bunch of semi-random keys with my left hand (causing me to accidentally switch to grenades and fling a bunch of them), and knocking over my drink with my right hand, and damn near falling out of my chair. (And then I giggled like a moron for about five minutes.)
Holy shit. I don't think a game has ever made me jump like that.
#9 posted by necros
on 2007/03/29 18:53:56
i still haven't been able to play these last couple of days because the level i need to get through is freaking me out.
i *hate* blood suckers and those damned jumping mutants with the gas masks on their faces o.o
#10 posted by DaZ
on 2007/03/29 19:20:35
I totally forgot about those evil bastards!
Its like a fiend (but human) for people that dont know. They make evil noises and jump around all over the place trying to kill you :)
From what I read in this thread I think that I really need to buy this game... :(
#12 posted by negke
on 2007/03/30 10:00:29
i'm a little disappointed that it's not a seemless world as expected but only large levels.
enemies respawn, not only upon re-entering a level, but also within one. while this is a good thing in theory (always keeping you on your toes, never feeling safe anywhere), it's just downright annoying in some instances, e.g. i was entrenching at the scrapyard killing dozens of bandits but reinforcements just kept coming so quickly i couldn't even loot the corpses properly. the solution seems to be just progressing further into the zone, though that's tricky too with enemies approaching from all directions, as they are quite tough to take out without proper cover (playing on hard).
drinking vodka to get rid of radiation effects is nice though, because one really gets drunk, which strongly affects aiming (and movement?). so better avoid enemies then. :)
#13 posted by bal
on 2007/03/30 10:22:05
Yeah I pointed that out on IRC once, by the time you've taken one groupe of enemies out, there's another one coming down the road to take their place, the fact that you have to juggle around with stuff when looting corpses to stay under the weitht limit doesn't help.
I think the respawn should be alot slower.
And yeah, the game not being seemless may seem trivial, but to me it really adds alot to the credibility of the world. Games like Oblivion and Gothic 3 just feel that much nicer cause of it, and Stalker would have definetely deserved it.
#14 posted by Shambler
on 2007/03/30 12:51:21
(causing me to accidentally switch to grenades and fling a bunch of them)
Always the best option...:)
#15 posted by nitin
on 2007/03/30 15:34:48
I have to day I did that a couple of times in AvP2 in the marine missions. Dont know if it was just the AI, a dodgy motion sensor or whatever but there were times where I would continuously spin 360 degrees with my hand on the fire key (with flamethrower) because I had no idea what to do during some sudden alien attacks.
#16 posted by gone
on 2007/03/30 17:47:47
First of all - the patch makes all the previous saves unusable. Be warned.
Spawning issue is fixed there. Firing-thru walls bug fixed.
Also they`v changed the balance and shops - now more stuff is available, but it costs more as well. Armor 'decays' from hits, so you have to buy a new one.
Overall the patch is very recommended for the 2nd time play. The game feels quite different (and harder) and you get more motivation to do all the quests to collect money and stuff.
#17 posted by gone
on 2007/03/30 17:48:38
Weight problem - I see no real issue there. 60kg limit lets me carry pistol, SWD, shotgun and 2 assault rifles and all the other crap. I have 5 artifacts for stamina tho, to sprint all the time.
#18 posted by bal
on 2007/03/30 19:12:53
Well there's the problem, needing to always have 5 stamina artifacts on makes the rest of them fairly useless...
Will play through it again with the patch in a week or so probably. =)
#19 posted by DaZ
on 2007/03/31 20:04:16
I like how everything just feel so weird in this game.
Hmm, maybe its the fact that the game is not made by an american on british company, but the whole chernobyl thing in the game is just weird, and the developers tend to leave it that way, letting you draw your own conclusions. Usually in a "western" made game (ugh) by the end you understand the entire plot and everything that has happened, but here you are left with many questions and some serious WTF moments by the end (I don't mean that in a bad way) that could have been explained away very easily but are not, at least in the parts of the game I saw on my 1st play through.
I understood the general gist of the plot but leaving things un-explained makes we want to go back to see if I can find anything to shed light on them.
I think I wrote that without any spoilers too =)
P.S - The British SA-80 rifle you can get in the game rocks, throw away your russian crap and join the dark side!
Bought It Yesterday
#20 posted by BlackDog
on 2007/04/01 05:50:00
This game is such a wierd mix of obvious mistakes and technical brilliance that I'm not sure quite what to think yet, other than being highly impressed. "Flawed brilliance" seems to hit the mark, though.
There's a lot to enjoy here, despite the ui quirks and wacked out mission system. I could whine a bit more about poor interface design... but I'm gonna go and play some more. :)
#21 posted by gone
on 2007/04/02 10:01:09
I recon you skipped some important plot-related quests and got the 'wrong' ending.
If you do the 'right' quests you get most of the things explained. (I hope its all translated into english, unlike most of the other voice action hahaha)
And L85 is crap.
Dog did you try MP? You arent allowed to whine about iface till then :)
Not Yet, No
#22 posted by BlackDog
on 2007/04/02 19:51:41
I just finished the SP. And shitty interface or no, I haven't enjoyed a game this much in aaaages.
#23 posted by megaman
on 2007/04/04 15:36:34
what's so shitty about the ui? I havne't played much, but it didn't strike me as bad.
#24 posted by BlackDog
on 2007/04/04 17:33:50
The minimap zoom and basic functioning is terrible and non-intuitive, there are two different item layout screens that appear to be very similar but aren't (and which share some, but not all, functionality), the context menus which pop up are frustratingly hard to click on at times, etc. Then there are little annoyances. The items like to rearrange themselves in your pack so you have no idea where anything is whenever you throw something away. When your player icon in the map obscures one of the little info spots, you can't mouse over the spot to read the accompanying text. And so on.
For the most part the ui is solid and workable, but it could have been much better in spots.
Is Ther A Demo
#25 posted by nakasuhito on 2007/04/04 22:10:42
out yet? i mean a sp one, i think there is a mp one out already?