@beige You played Shadows of Chernobyl, so as far as I’m concerned you’ve done your duty. The question is do you want to experience the Zone again? Do you want to visit a more openly designed (read: less map loading), more atmospheric, all around more well realized part of the Zone? This also means similar Eastern European game design jank, better artifact hunting and periodic “run for your life” emissions/psystorms and gun/armor upgrading from Clear Sky on top of the Misery Mod, which really distills (as far as I can tell) what was originally released into the most definitive Stalker experience to date.

The story really isn’t bad, in fact it’s pretty low key and in the background most of the time. You’re a military guy dropped in to figure out why these helicopters crashed during a mission into the Zone after what you did in SoC (hint, the zone is still there). This means that every once in a while you’ll check out a helicopter carcass or two, but the rest of the time you’ll be doing what Stalker does best, the real takeaway, the experience of walking through irradiated muck and surviving on moldy bread. It just never really culminates in anything terribly interesting once you hit Pripyat and kind of ends with an “Oh, wait, that’s it? Well that was easy” ending. There’s no real climax to the story in my opinion, but it was better than jumping through stupid portals, like you did in the first game.

If you forced me, I’d say yes, play it, if only to experience the terrifying and awesome experience of a Zone emission in first person, which has no equal in video games right now. Play it to drink in the atmosphere for a bit, including the dark-ass nights, but whether or not you take it all the way to the end is up to you.