S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat Review


Introduction:

Released in 2007 after several years of chaotic development, STALKER:
Shadow of Chernobyl will be remembered as long marked the biggest video
game world Arles. Since then, Gran Turismo 5 has been there and it was
a few years and a sequel in the form of prequel later that Ukrainians
GSC Game World are back with a new version of their license fetish.
With a populated area irradiated mutants, RPG and turn its freedom of
action, as Ukrainians GSC Game World has managed to assemble a nice fan
base. Some fans have also taken possession of the game to improve it
with great blows of mods. Listening to their community, the developers
have incorporated some of his ideas in Call of Pripyat, a third episode
playable regardless of precedent. The episode of maturity, one might be
tempted to say, as he came close to perfection in all areas.

Even if some cranky remain desperately insensitive to the charms of
survival in a hostile environment and radioactive, it would be churlish
to deny the many qualities of the original STALKER. After a first
extension in the form of prequel, the series adopts a final component,
which provides some further clarification on the game world,
effectively extending the adventure and gets rid of the technical
problems that tarnished the reputation of date license. The opportunity
for all lovers of gunfights between mutants and mercenaries out of
dirty rangers and anti-radiation combination. The destination has not
changed direction the area, with a few months late on the test … but
better late than never.

Since Call of Pripyat is an extension that has the good taste to be
autonomous and not require advance purchase of a stalker, let us
briefly recall the main principles of the series. The action takes
place in 2012, on the outskirts of Chernobyl. Since the disaster of
April 26, 1986, the site has been invested by many treasure hunters in
search of artifacts to the mysterious powers. A life far from relaxing
as these stalkers must constantly fight against the bandits, the mutant
animals and even some of their colleagues. Not surprisingly, developers
have not taken a sudden urge to put their new album and tropical
latitudes is again on the Chernobyl site that the player begins the
adventure, just weeks after the end of first episode. It is now 2012
and the destruction of "Scorcher", a powerful psychic wave transmitter
capable of pureeing all the brains around in a few seconds, opened the
road to Pripyat region hitherto unexplored and the soil is riddled with
artifacts. This attractive new Eldorado of course all the scum of the
corner, the army decided to take action and launch the operation
"Fairway.

Game Story:

With over 2 million copies sold, the new episode of the most
internationally successful S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series seamlessly connects to
the first part of the Shadow of Chernobyl. For the player, the action
takes the form of a FPS with a lot of features inherited from the RPG.
We must solve dozens of quests, interact with a maximum of characters,
finely manage a very detailed inventory and make drastic choices at
times, which directly affect the following events and can even decide
how the game ends. Call of Pripyat also takes as its starting point one
of the seven purposes of STALKER and prolongs the natural scenario. The
new story revolves around the sudden disappearance of five helicopters,
previously sent by the central government until the accursed. You
embody the official military Alexander Degtyarev, infiltrated among the
stalkers to directly investigate the field. The cinematic intro we
mention this is not really a good beginning, because she just scroll a
few images captioned. We have enjoyed a small taste more dynamic and
engaging.

The Ukrainian government, equipped with a map of the anomalies of the
Zone, is able to reach his heart. The army then sent five helicopters
in the direction of the Chernobyl plant. Operation Name: Fairway. But
things quickly turn into a fiasco: the aircraft were to crash an
unknown reason. In order to investigate the circumstances of this
tragic event, the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) officer Alexander
Degtyarev send in the Area. This new player that you play as in Call of
Pripyat, infiltrated under the guise of a stalker lambda. You are now
released, alone and ill equipped, in the middle of hostile territory,
with the only indication the last known positions of helicopters. In
this CoP is respectful of his elders, leaving you at the outset a great
freedom and a certain feeling of abandonment and loneliness …

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat takes PC gamers once again into the
vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in 1986. This
so-called "Zone" is a highly contaminated area cordoned off by the
military and now is combed through by the so-called stalkers, modern
fortune hunters, in search of unique artifacts. In the role of Agent
Alexander Degtyarev, who is dressed up as stalker, the player has to
investigate the mysterious disappearance of five military helicopters
and thereby stand one’s ground against the various stalker groups.
Obviously, the authorities are also particular about the safety of
nuclear plants competent to mount a coup, the operation is a fiasco and
that Alexander Degtyarev, emeritus member and former secret service
stalker, which is sent to break pipe. Sold off in the midst of a
radioactive mess with him some outs still seem fuzzy, he’s alone and
abandoned in a hostile environment with only luggage, a Kalash ‘rusty
two weeks of sausage and some bandages. Yes, the day will be long …

The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfold shortly after the
end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered about the
open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a
large-scale military "Fairway" operation aimed to take the CNPP under
control. According to the operation’s plan, the first military group is
to conduct an air scouting of the territory to map out the detailed
layouts of anomalous fields location. Thereafter, making use of the
maps, the main military forces are to be dispatched. Despite thorough
preparations, the operation fails. Most of the avant-garde helicopters
crash. In order to collect information on reasons behind the operation
failure, Ukraine’s Security Service send their agent into the Zone
center.
From now on everything depends on the player.

 

Highlights:

 

  • Story begins where S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has ended
  • Photorealistic exclusion Zone: All locations are recreated by their true-to-life prototypes based on photographs
  • New exciting storyline with a number of unique characters
  • Extended system of side quests
  • New monsters: Chimera and Burer. New behavior and abilities for all monsters
  • New A-Life system, created using the players’ best-liked elements of the first two games in serie
  • 4 new quick slots and 2 weapon slots
  • 1 new weapon (shotgun) and a huge amount of upgrades for all weapons
  • Emissions considerably influence the world of the Zone
  • Sleep function added into the game
  • Possibility to continue the game after completion in a freeplay mode
  • X-Ray engine v.1.6 with DirectX11 support


Pripyat, dreary plain:

First observation: it is indeed a stalker post-apocalyptic atmosphere,
rust-colored sky, nauseating atmosphere, developers GSC succeed once
more to immerse the player in the claustrophobic and sulphide, which
made the reputation of their license. Like a good wine, the series
continues to improve throughout the album, a graphical perspective,
proposing once again the finer textures, beautiful landscapes, faces a
startling realism and attention to detail certain . All in the service
of a simple but insightful art direction. Far from the flashy
explosions and the abundance of special effects that can be found in
the majority of current productions, Call of Pripyat prefer to play on
lighting effects and shadows elegantly distilled a soundtrack
insidiously quiet while remaining in a coherent design. One can always
quibble over the vegetation modeling (raster to be) and looks a bit
"cheap" of certain weapons, it is clear that the developers have once
again produced a gem of good taste and elegance despite aging graphics
engine. But no time to marvel at the dark places, it is time to start
and establish a first contact. For a good secret service agent, the
primary concern of Degtyarev, other than to stay alive, will be to
learn more about the beautiful mess that is brewing in the corner. The
opportunity for the player to see that the general atmosphere is much
less tense than in previous titles.

Exit the wars of factions and mercenaries who shoot at sight, here the
recent events seem to have brought together the men and a tacit peace
has settled. And, unless Asmat everything that moves, most stalkers
that the player will meet quietly continue their mop without
necessarily filling it with lead. Just a small bet in play, if it
proves too insistent, but nothing too serious as we do not interfere
too much of local disputes. A real bargain, by the way, given the
colossal amount of evidence and information that will have to be stuck
with if one expects to come to the end of the twenty hours that make up
the game is ensure the blow not to have the trigger too easy, because a
NPC death is often a NPC that does not give quest. The defendants are
bitter: snipe anything that moves without thinking is not necessarily
the most profitable tactic. They are reassured all the same: the
bestiary is sufficiently supplied and they have their quota of mutant
zombies, bandits and whatnot believed the explosion, although STALKER
forces, the slightest gust misplaced illico can send the novice ad
patres a bit too soft.

The enemy, still twisted and tough, actually not hesitate to attack in
groups, using intelligently the topography and the different elements
of the scenery to take cover, bypassing the player to take him back, or
taking advantage of dark for snipe cheerfully. As for irradiated, they
have mastered the art of attacking by surprise in the back, always in
tight areas and less enlightened. The AI , even if it is not free from
reproach, however, is still effective without being damned frustrating
as it was in STALKER: Clear Sky . It will be seen also with relief that
the opponents are not the infamous killing machines capable of spraying
the player in a single grenade between the legs of 300 meters, at
night, high winds. But this is not the only innovation.

You have the club card?

Fortunately, immersion quickly resumed his duties since landed is found
in nature, a rifle and provisions for two weeks only companions. There
are more than try to approach the group of stalkers nearest! The
regulars of the series will enjoy being immersed in instantly find the
deep end, but novices might hurt a little. No tutorial to explain
clearly what are the bolts or how to use the anomaly detector for
example. Efforts accessibility have yet been made as the game gets a
new interface that provides some shortcuts to medikits and other health
emergencies. It must be to survive this injury, radiation and other
pleasures of everyday life in Chernobyl.

This impression is reinforced by the sadness of places where you begin
your investigation. The first game area – a total of only 3, but quite
extensive – organized around a large swamp, where patches of reeds
growing on the mounds of earth a few who manage to emerge from the
muddy pits. Eaten by rust, few carcasses of boats catch the eye when
their skeletal structure does not disappear in clouds of toxic fog.
From these bleak landscapes are endearing, which will not fail before
the end credits, regardless of the environment traversed. A big bravo
to the artists of SAG, who have overcome some technical limitations to
give us a lavish decor oh so immersible. Call of Pripyat can act as a
simulator ride to survey the area is a contemplative pleasure which is
sufficient to itself. However, you will not always dreaming of the
leisure admiring the view, because the places are as hostile as they
are beautiful. The grunts of a horde of pseudo-dogs started chasing you
will quickly remind you of the harsh reality of the Area: death lurks
here, it’s everywhere. The slightest misstep can be fatal as the
dangers are manifold: mutants, zombies, bandits, abnormal, etc.

How to survive in these conditions? First, by joining other stalkers
present in the area. After wandering alone in the cold wet swamps, it
is comforting to finally find the safety of a shelter, the friendly
face of a human being and nutritional value of a piece of sausage.
Beyond the simple pleasure afforded by such a meeting, the NPC is
mainly an opportunity to obtain material assistance needed: ammunition,
better armor, better weapons … But of course, nothing is free. To
receive these services, you must first fulfill certain tasks to earn a
few rubles. Do not worry, missions annexes are not as basic as in
previous Stalker, usually when it was enough to bring 10 pieces of
Snork as in the first MMO came.

Instead, the side quests Call of Pripyat were particularly well written
and will not break up in a really good RPG. Whether cleaning a nest of
leeches or finding a mysterious oasis, each quest is unique and offers
interesting developments. Far from you by the hand, the game often
leaves you in limbo, with just a hint on how to proceed. For you to
interact with other characters and peel the documents found to achieve
the goal. Moreover, even if the frame leads only one real conclusion,
small scenes will show you the consequences of your successes and your
failures. Finally, the RPG aspect is probably the greatest achievement
of the CoP, and relegates the two previous episodes the rank of pale
draft.

To the east:

For if it is really a FPS , with a lot of guns in every kind of
headshots and strafe , Call of Pripyat is nevertheless an app that
spotlights exploration. So that we find ourselves more often climb a
train through the "green" pastures of Ukraine in search of clues to
knock out the aggressive stalker. And perhaps this time, that jumps to
the front of the amazed world the biggest surprise of Call of Pripyat .
Once the game begins, after a few minutes of exploration, when in any
other episode in the saga have already crossed the player twenty-seven
textures before the PC does not crash for the eighth time in earnest It
happens … nothing! Incredible as it may seem for someone who has
already tasted even two minutes what a stalker , the game proves to be
an exemplary stability (for a production of the East) and pay the
luxury to run properly on a configuration is accessible to most
ordinary mortals. More than magic, a miracle. Of course, there is still
some clipping from time to time when we approach major buildings and
falling frame rate when the weather’s acting up or a radioactive
release promises but they are really little things all those who have
already completed somehow the game before and are now suffering from
premature baldness and hypertension to force corrupt backups and
untimely crashes.

Despite that, this new stalker remains primarily a shooter. In this
area of game play, the formula has not really changed. There are the
different types of ammunition, weapons and wearable s’enraillent,
add-ons (silencer, scope, grenade launchers), the enhancement system
introduced by Clear Sky, etc.. Ballistics is midway between the arch of
an entire Call of Duty and the realism of ArmA. A single new Blaster
appeared, it is little, but the arsenal was already well supplied,
since the beginning of obsolete guns to the powerful Gauss Rifle. In
short, CoP has what it takes to combat convincing. Note also a major
difference compared to previous episodes: there is little fighting
against human enemies.

Gameplay Video:

 

No more war between the factions, all stalkers
now seem to agree and welcome you with friendship or, at worst,
indifference. Only a few bandits and fanatics of the Monolith you
oppose a certain resistance, not as surreal as before elsewhere
(farewell rain of grenades with diabolical precision, phew). But do not
worry: if the action is not as strong, the lack of human opponents is
outweighed by the pervasiveness of mutants. Famous A-life system, which
manages the life of this population of monsters has been improved and
makes unpredictable encounters a party to the other. We noticed some
new creatures, such as Burer, terrible threat with telekinetic
capabilities, or a two-headed monster called chimera.

Part RPG is no exception either. The quests, more elaborate than in
previous titles, not simply ask the player to go find a particular
artifact, going up against a small-time hoodlum known or twelve feet
back mutant boar. To hope to advance in the scenario, it will browse,
chat, match the clues, listen to rumors, awaken his detective instincts
and dive deeper into the lives of those living here or risk being stuck
with sometimes a few long and arduous trips. We learn, for example,
that such person has a problem with alcohol and that it would be more
forthcoming with a bottle of vodka adulterated in the nose, so and so
has gone into investigating a nest of giant leeches, or that a stranger
met in a diner on the corner long a research associate trickster. It
does not really clear to the player what to do: before you even do
quests, is for him to pick them up. And the PDA, while effective and
comprehensive, does not always have the answers to all questions.
Involvement is what will be expected of the player wanting to learn a
little more … and earn some money.

Luckily, some of these mutants that lurk underground. You will,
however, no other choice than you may rub, as the game follows the
direction of groundwater Shadow of Chernobyl, which had been abandoned
in Clear Sky. Remember the X16 and X18 laboratories of the original
episode, this atmosphere of survival in the Doom 3 you suffocated in
dark and narrow alleyways … If you enjoyed these sequences, Call of
Pripyat is for you, being found several during progression. Including a
very successful transition that will make you meet the ghost town by
crossing an old tunnel, equipped with a combination of full and backed
by a team that you have previously set up. On a more global way, the
software also has the merit of proposing more scenes that worked
previously. The final sequence, which asks you (spoiler!) Through the
streets of Pripyat overrun by zombies before evacuating by helicopter
under fire from the Monolith, is a good example of this outcome.
Although it remains far from staging a scripted ultra modern warfare –
and thankfully it is off-topic. But we feel that the developers wanted
to put an ounce of narration in this ocean of freedom, and they did
alright. It’s done sparingly, but the process never take precedence
over the side of the sandbox series.

You’ll understand after reading these lines, Call of Pripyat is a
worthy successor to his elders, he surpasses even on several fronts.
There is an area where the play totally betrays the spirit of the
series: the finish. Normally, the Stalker games are characterized by an
avalanche of bugs, crashes, corrupted backups and whatnot. None of that
here, not the slightest technical problem, the engine is an exemplary
stability … Incomprehensible. SAG has apparently learned from its
past mistakes. So, you end up with a soft clean after the third test.
Better late than never. Besides this exemplary finish, Call of Pripyat
enjoys a host of small improvements, some of the mods from the
community, like the darkest nights or functionality to sleep. Finally,
the interface has been redesigned. It is thus possible to see the
visual and sound discretion of the character with both gauges in HUD.
The inventory can easily see what corresponds to what weapon
ammunition, which is not a luxury. In short, the post-apocalyptic FPS
Ukraine now touches perfection, so much so that hard to see who could
compete with him this year. Augur well for Stalker 2, on which
developers will now be able to concentrate after offering their first
trilogy this magnificent period.

For the money, once again, is of paramount importance. Surviving in a
dangerous environment will not be without difficulty, and the
mechanics, merchants and doctors are very fast corner indispensable as
long as the player is in bad shape or simply want to custom the old
Blaster. Between the enemies who sometimes require a whole magazine in
the teeth before taking the weapon to the left, anti-radiation suits
best to change by the end of each mission and the guns that s’enrayent
all three balls, the player will quickly learn to manage its budget on
pain of a hand to finish quickly, one hand behind. The era of easy
money and the wealth of previous episodes are gone. Spread the word.
Finally, more subtle and in another area, it also needs to think
sleeping and eating regularly if you do not want to falter between two
exchanges bastos. But be careful not to pitch a tent anywhere. The
night creatures prowl, it’s dark and dangerous. The famous A-life
system, which manages the life of the local wildlife, do not fail also
to remind the player unwise in the area, there is not much.

As newcomers, they would still good to finish STALKER , Clear Sky and
eventually, before going further. Although sold at low cost, the new
extension are more expensive than the two titles that preceded it, now
available in the budget range. And bugs that affect their output have
been corrected by many patches. In this connection, another important
note, can tear a smile to the most fussy of us: Call of Pripyat works
perfectly "out of the box and may end without a deal that we encounter
major problem.The game is also nice to share the adventure and
exploration, even overshadow the still inevitable fight sequences. This
focus a little more roleplayer is confirmed by the presence of a sleep
function (attention to hunger in the morning) and many quests cleverly
scripted. Here, "bring me ten skins of wolves and bandits will kill
twelve and a half" are the exception not the rule. We are not in an
ordinary MMORPG. Commendable in many respects, the game still accuses
his age a purely graphic. The 3D engine has yet been revived since the
day is one of the first to be compatible with the new DirectX 11
graphics cards. But the difference does not jump to the eye and some
technical choices made during development of Arles STALKER (released in
2007 and announced in 2001!) are now a little spot. Examples include
some elements of vegetation a bit too obviously composed of 2D sprites.
Nothing crippling fortunately because, in practice, the atmosphere is
sufficiently involved to completely forget that this kind of detail.

Conclusion:

All is not perfect in this STALKER: Call of Pripyat . Graphically
dated, with a sometimes uneven pace, it is nevertheless a FPS single
worn by a deliciously murky atmosphere. Requiring the youngest studios
GSC Game World will not allow so easily tamed, especially if it’s your
first trip to Chernobyl. But as long as you persist in this business a
little, at first very accessible, you will have the opportunity to
experience one of the harshest gaming experiences but also involved.
Culmination of a trilogy that has long characterized the Stakhanovists
of FPS on PC, Call of Pripyat stands out as one of the references of
its kind and the best STALKER in the series.

If it is a bit difficult to advise the purchase of Call of Pripyat
those who do not know yet the STALKER series, fans can, however, rush
over right out. The atmosphere is always exciting and, unlike its
predecessors, the title does no sulfur major bug. For once, it will not
need to wait several weeks the release of a patch before saving enjoy
the adventure! A little more focused on exploration and a little less
focused on exchanges of gunfire, the game is digging the way of what
could be a future STALKER 2 and already surpasses Fallout 3 on the
grounds of the SPF / post-apocalyptic RPG.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here