Tagged: STALKER Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • bowlisimo 4:48 pm on May 8, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER,   

    @redswir1 Did you start collecting heart contain- I mean skull fragments yet? Yeah, Darksiders is a weird game, give it a chance, though. I wasn’t really into the biblical comic book setting either, but for whatever reason, I had a lot of fun playing through it. It’s a modern video gaming chimera. Zelda but not Zelda, done well.

    @pepperized Yes! STALKER, go get em. I think I’ve said all I need to say about the series, but if you’re only going to play one, play Call of Pripyat. Add the Misery Mod if you want to drag yourself through Zone like a Stalker would. The narrative is not particularly strong in any of those games, and they usually fall flat when it comes to endings, but Call of Pripyat, to its credit, does have the closure that Mass Effect 3 didn’t.

    And that’s all she wrote for STALKER. On to Survivarium?

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  • bowlisimo 9:16 pm on January 25, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER,   

    @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.

     
  • bowlisimo 4:41 pm on January 25, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , STALKER,   

    @redswir1 It says a lot about that game when you compare it to prison. It doesn’t sound like you enjoyed it at all, were you just playing it out of spite at some point?

    I know I’ve said this before, but as far as that series goes, FF12 may be my best hope of ever cracking those games. It’s one of the last widely revered gaming series left for me to dig into or forever be ignorant about. Maybe after MGS4 (which is great so far), before Mass Effect 3 hits.

    @unmanneddrone Call of Pripyat / Misery done. I feel like after all that time, Pripyat was the low point of that game, which is weird considering the game’s name. As interesting as visiting a long abandoned town with a history like that is (and you can tell they spent a lot of time making it accurate), it just wasn’t interesting to be a Stalker in it. The narrative thread there really unraveled quickly and wasn’t very satisfying at all. Although, it was nice to get a little SoC closure, and I did enjoy the character focused “where did everyone end up” final scenes. I managed to keep all the important people alive without knowing it would matter in the end. They did right by me in that regard.

     
  • bowlisimo 8:15 pm on January 23, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER,   

    @Roc Call of Pripyat (at least with the Misery Mod installed) feels like the game they wanted to make back in 2006, especially with how much attention “The Zone” itself has gotten. The environment feels much more alive and moody while still totally being an oppressive, muddy wasteland, punctuated by empty concrete structures and gutted ship hulks bleeding rust. But you’ve played the original game, so you know what you’re in for in terms of setting (and also technical jank).

    I can’t quite speak towards the story end of things, yet, but they take a similar approach of dropping you in alone with fuck-all but a long term objective. It’s been very detective-y so far, but I’m not too hopeful for any amazing conclusion if the previous two games are anything to go by. Anyway, Stalker was always more interested in getting the experience of schlepping around in a patched together survival suit, with a half-working firearm, and a can of tunafish that’s well past the expiration date right moreso than building some kind of strong and memorable narrative.

    @UMD My favorite part of any storm is the moment right before it hits. They captured that “oh shit…something bad’s coming” feeling perfectly. Also…technically…it’s the “Noosphere”, but whatever. : P

     
  • impynickers 8:29 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    Stalker was a special breed. It had rough edges you could cut yourself on, but man did it provide some memories. I guess it is up to the modding community to carry on the memory now. Last I heard some crazy russian people were porting Stalker to the crysis engine. Yeah. Here is the video:

    Other than that … I guess its up to Fallout and Metro 2033 to pick up the post apocalyptic slack. Neither have quite the same PC’ness as it were, but I guess thats a sign of the times. The New vegas Hardcore mode was a step in the right direction. I guess PC’ness has that slight tendency toward simulation rather than arcadiness. I believe it will come back into style one day. I believe ….

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:49 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @bowlisimo What can I say…more RTS goodness, the brief footage looked like a jumped-up C&C3, so colour me intrigued. Bioware, though…I know there’s a lot of love for the studio around these parts, but I’m not entirely convinced as yet.

    Can we also have a moment of silence for the 99% probable news of GSC Gameworld shuttering, taking STALKER 2 with it? The world turns, we’ll get more backslap-inducing frathouse manshoots, but damn…we won’t get another game quite like STALKER. Hold me, brothers and sisters. Hold me.

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:55 am on November 22, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER,   

    @beige @bowlisimo @any other fellow who’s a STALKER fan.

    The Misery Mod is at 93% completion for Call of Pripyat! Was linked to it via that scallywag @GKokoris, and by the heavens, that feature list looks like it’s going to be an absolute corker. Savage stuff. Waving e-peens only puts the member at risk of being torn off at the hilt by a snork, but it certainly looks like it’ll be one of those ridiculously terrifying and terrifically exhausting experiences.

    An excerpt from the features list, on the topic of difficulty:

    • Stronger and deadlier anomalies.
    • Zombified stalkers are mindless wanderers that attack everything and are killed effectively only with headshots.
    • Fewer weapons to be found in The Zone.
    • Low weapon and ammo ressources. No more “killing zombies to easily find loads of weapons and ammo”.
    • No gifts in your stash after the quest’s “friend of stalkers” & “monsterhunter”.
    • Changes to actor health system, item effects, economy and damage system for very high difficulty.
    • “Easy” and “Normal” difficulty setting has been disabled in the main menu. Only “Hard” available.
    • Minimap shows no enemies or dead bodies, only traders and your cooperatives.
    • Universal silencer has been removed: You will need the correct sound suppressor variant for your weapon calibre.
    • No warnings, task messages or safezone indications on pda during emmisions (only sirens).
    • Seek a more natural day/night rhythm without drugs if you want to avoid a blurred vision caused by headache or the need for recreation and rest.
    • Food doesn’t restore your health.
     
  • unmanneddrone 2:13 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @beige Very good. And not unfounded reservations. But the big question is…what does one follow up STALKER with? What’s the palate cleanser one chooses to wash away the grit, grime, concrete shards and buzzing isotopes?

    If you’re in the mood for something free, colourful and undeniably cathartic, the Darkspore open beta is on. It’d be nice to hear someone else’s thoughts on this new action-RPG.

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:26 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER   

    @cgrajko Once more unto the Zone, I say.

    @beige @feenwager @angryjedi – another great squadcast. It made me think of all the nice expansion packs that we’ve received over the years…back before they castrated them for the most part and turned a nice idea in a nickel-n-diming exercise. There were the two Quake xpacs, Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity, that – at least for me – showcased value for money and a decent take on expanding the initial framework. Dark Reign’s Rise of the Shadowhand added two new factions to the franchise, plus a host of new maps and features. Many fond memories there. (Still wish Dark Reign had made a bigger splash in the 90s RTS arms race. For my money it was a much more fulfilling strategy experience than Starcraft, and offered a much more dynamic AI to fiddle around with).

    DLC on console that I’ve felt was good value had to be the expansions for Warhawk. The vanilla game is fantastic anyhow, but to add things like jetpacks, dropships and other new vehicles, maps, etc. for a relatively low cost – compared to the meagre map-only offerings we get for other games – makes a strong case. Plus, unlike a lot of online-centric games, the community lapped up these xpacs, so there wasn’t a split in the player-base. Can’t blame them, Warhawk is pretty much top tier online fun.

    Preorder bonuses? Well…I think my first pre-order bonus will come in the form of a particular skin and gun for Brink. I’m not particularly excited about it specifically, but I’ll be honest, I’m a bit of a virtual gun fetishist, amongst an insatiable vehicle and mechanical design fetishism…the utilitarian gun kinda makes me smile. Not a huge issue either way.

    As previously stated, I don’t play any Bioware or Bethesda stuff to experience the onslaught of narrative-expansions, so no big revelations there…outside of thinking that, if I did, I’d only be wishing they’d included all this stuff from the get-go. Make the complete package, for story’s sake.

    If you can do something like GSC Gameworld did with STALKER: Call of Pripyat Loyalty Edition – ala, if you’ve got the original game, you can nab the sequel for much cheaper, as it requires the original Shadow of Chernobyl game, otherwise pay more for the standalone version – instead of doing these trivial one-to-three hour affairs, I think I’d have a much better appreciation for this barrage of content.

    That’s about all I can offer. Again, great show.

     
  • unmanneddrone 12:56 am on April 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @rampantbicycle Funnily enough, despite their name, I find the snorks the most unnerving NPC in the game…something about their movement gives me chills.

     
  • rampantbicycle 12:23 am on April 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    Okay, so…I’m digging STALKER. Honest.

    But really. It’s terribly unfortunate that there is an enemy called the Snork. Because I am unable to think of that word without this leaping at once to mind:

    Okay. Sorry. In apology, please to accept this legitimately fantastic Periodic Table of Storytelling. Which I kind of want a print of for my wall.

     
  • unmanneddrone 10:22 pm on April 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @RocGaude The Stalkers in that railyard better be appreciative of your hard work there!

     
  • RocGaude 7:11 pm on April 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    Speaking of STALKER’s gun play, this was fun:

     
  • RocGaude 7:09 pm on April 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @redswir1 @sinfony I’m sticking with Far Cry 2 on the 360 since that’s the one I have. I’m not against trying it on the PC should Steam have another “too cheap to pass up” sale.

    Having a GREAT time with STALKER right now. @unmanneddrone, the gun play is right up my alley. Since I’m no longer the “twitch player” I once was, the ability to take my own sweet time deciding how I’m going to engage my enemies is very welcome. I love that the game is primarily exploration and resource management with just enough combat to spice it up. It’s very much what I imagine a Fallout FPS would be had Fallout 3 not been one. This is definitely one for the “dark and miserable” lover in all of us.

     
  • unmanneddrone 7:07 am on April 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @RedSwirl @sinfony @bowlisimo I found Farcry 2 incredibly compelling, but it’s one of those games that has experiential differences based on what you bring to the table. It’s flawed, sure…it needed civilians, more wildlife etc., but I found it an intoxicating game.

    If anyone wants to follow up Red’s fine words with another look into Farcry 2, I threw this together on the old blog last year. http://4xscope.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/life-itself-is-will-to-power/

    @RocGaude Another fellow yomping through the rain! Looking forward to hearing more thoughts on STALKER from you.

    Actually, just a question for @beige and @RocGaude. STALKER’s gunplay. Seems like an asinine thing to observe and discuss, but how do you guys find it? Does the fact it isn’t a point ‘n’ click shooter enhance the experience? The emphasis on upping accuracy via crouching etc.?

     
  • unmanneddrone 3:00 pm on April 8, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @beige STALK TALK indeed! *applauds*

    From one wandering loner to another…if a deal sounds too good to be true, either get the hell out of there or make the bastards pay. Let’s just say I had to lay down Zone Law this evening after dishonesty was enacted against me. Do not take advantage of a man looking for hardware, especially when he’s just been doing work for the Duty faction. He packs more than…er…tasty sausage.

    I dragged the bodies outside into the rain, and as night fell and beasts howled over the hills, I ate army rations next to the fire and drank Stolichnaya, before unrolling my sleeping bag to slumber.

    I’d love to jump into the audio breach, but sadly must face the reality of having a six month old bub and a wife now back at work…outside of GMT +9 late nights, there’s little sync time to be had, sadly. I’d be happy to write or record something to be slotted in, though, but I wouldn’t want to kill the smooth format.

     
  • cptcarnage 3:54 pm on April 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    I was planning on giving Stalker another go, seeing as the Squad’s picked up some interest on it again and I am wondering if I should just run the vanilla version of the game or go all out and get the STALKER complete patch?

     
  • unmanneddrone 1:16 pm on April 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @beige Well, you’ve gone and done it. I’m back into SoC and skirting the Zone. It’s raining. I’m low on anti-rads and I’ve just run out of buckshot for my sawn-off after being set upon by a pack of dogs marauding in the downpour.

    @Shingro Fair enough. I simply cannot argue with a game that spawned the greatest LARPing airsoft group in the world.

     
  • bowlisimo 12:45 am on April 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER,   

    I need to replay The Witcher anyway, I deleted my save files thinking there would never be a sequel, let alone a sequel that actually uses them. Surprise! I don’t really mind, but she ‘aint exactly a short game.

    @beige I remember that bunker entrance well, right down to the spinning backup light. Ole tentacle mouth snuck up on me from behind after I entered that room. It was a genuine shit your pants moment for gaming in 2006.

    Anyway, here’s another reason why Stalker is awesome.

     
  • Shingro 12:07 am on April 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @unmanneddrone well not, ‘bad’ certainly its atmosphere alone is a good case for squadding, but not ideal I’d say, just my two cents… If it takes top spot I will not be committing ritual suicide =P

    Full disclosure: I played the game, got bored in oblivion style and wandered off, so I got a bit of bias honestly.

     
  • unmanneddrone 11:09 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @beige Some of STALKER’s underground sequences are incredibly tense! I ran like a terrified child when I first came up against that psychic “thing”.

    So many terrific moments. It’s got a self-propelled narrative, too. I see a military patrol, I see an opportunity to enhance my loadout somewhat – maybe get the chance to ditch this goddamn jam-prone Viper 5 for a Akm 74/2. I also see the chance to die very quickly. Thus begins the scoping and weighing of options.

    I recall wandering into an abandoned facility and seeing bodies of Stalkers everywhere…something *must* have gone down recently. Not letting a good opportunity go to waste, I start picking through the bodies, nabbing anti-rads and ammunition. There’s a light rain falling, met with the tiniest echo of a Ukrainian pop song bleeding out of tinny bassless speakers somewhere. As I finish looting the last corpse, I look up to see the Military squad obviously responsible for my sprawled brothers coming around the corner after they’d swept the complex. I scrambled backwards as they opened fire, darting around the other side of the building and quickly scampered up a ladder onto the roof. And thus began an incredibly tense engagement of trying to take this squad of six or seven heavily armoured, heavily armed soldiers down…a vicious and perhaps Pyrrhic semi-victory in terms of inventory. The rain never stopped during our encounter. Neither did the pop song.

    Haunting.

    @Shingro I don’t think STALKER is at all as open as Oblivion. However, STALKER allowing for a large proponent of personal experience doesn’t necessarily mean it’d make for bad Squad Missioning. I reckon, anyway.

     
  • Shingro 10:21 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER,   

    Red’s right, we gotta get this poll-ed. I support The Witcher more then STALKER just because of STALKER’s Oblivion Effect. STALKER is so open a world that 3/4 people will wander off and have all their fun in small bite sized moments in totally different sections of the map and never actually finish the game. Then when it comes to talk about it it’ll all come down to themes and personal experience because everyone will have seen different stuff and been different places, then only two guys will have finished it if that. Laugh at me now, but I’ve seen it before.

    Conversely, I’ve never seen The Witcher’s like in any other RPG setting, probably because of its strong basis in a solid already established mythos. Everyone can get through it, guaranteed and due to the nature of the story branches in The Witcher everyone will have a different experience but still be headed towards the end in a timely fashion.

    Lets do this thing, I got both games and I’d like to be part of a mission =)

    Either way, I’m pretty sure one of the two candidates will beat out Trackmania. Sorry Pete, it’s really kind of a side mission or individual segment thing due to it’s lack of themes and suchlike.

     
  • RedSwirl 9:30 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER,   

    @unmanneddrone I would bruh, but I got decisions to make.

    After I’m done chatting up a couple hostesses in Yakuza 4 I’ll probably see if I can motor through Radiant Historia, which has managed to go almost nine hours without ANY, of the usual JRPG trope bullshit.

    The clock is also ticking on The Witcher, which everyone else also seems to be starting right about now. I WANT to get on STALKER, but we gotta choose man.

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:25 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @bowlisimo You know, I don’t rightly know! It’d be interesting to see if there is such a mod. And you’re right, too. Spooky timing…but spooky timing demands a spooky game. I’ve just reinstalled SoC+Complete Mod so I’m going to jump back in for a dabble when time, wife and Men of War permits.

    @RedSwirl Get on this STALKER business if you can. The more the merrier.

     
  • bowlisimo 2:11 pm on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    I told this to him yesterday, but with Fukushima-Daiichi partially melting down, Chernobyl’s 25th anniversary coming up this month, and the consequences of nuclear power back in the forefront of everyone’s minds, Beige couldn’t have picked a more relevant time to traverse The Zone.

    @unmanneddrone Was there ever a mod that applied English subtitles to the random Russian conversations? That was one thing I always wondered about, what do Stalkers talk about around a campfire?

     
  • unmanneddrone 9:25 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @beige For me personally, STALKER (and, to a lesser extent, Precursors and Xenus 2: White Gold – both on sale this week at Gamersgate for 15 bucks a pop! Do what you have to do…) is the RPG experience I want – a true “role playing game”.

    There’s so much to love about the STALKER world. The disconsolate romance of the rain-drenched scavengers…STALKER stories are by far the most interesting of all gamer stories. There’s nothing quite like Shadow of Chernobyl. I might reinstall SoC, despite revelling in Call of Pripyat with its new Complete Mod, so we can get irradiated synergy happening and trade stories from the Zone.

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:43 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @beige Nothing is more exciting that a fellow finding his way towards the Zone for the first time. If there ever was a FPS built for Mark Whiting, I’d say it’d be STALKER! Yes, even in a Bioshock world. I cannot wait to hear of your adventures!

    The NPC AI in STALKER is something unique, too. Especially when just observed, or you happen upon things that have recently “gone down”. Amazing stuff.

    Sadly, no naming of your men in Men of War. They all come prenamed, so there’s a little bit of personality there already.

     
  • bowlisimo 2:32 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @Shingro All good points. I’d really be arguing for the sake of arguing here, because other than the few things I bought on Impulse, I have no stake in whether or not Gamestop/EB continues to thrive. I don’t visit or buy from them, and haven’t for years. As a consumer, there’s nothing more I can do.

    Two quick experiences that helps color my usually passive dislike for the company. First, they tried to sell me game insurance. GAME INSURANCE. Second, their practice of gutting new game boxes and then giving you the contents at purchase turned into me paying full price for a game and walking out of the store without the necessary code to install it.

    @beige FINALLY, a nice bowl of borscht for your gaming food snobbery. I love the beginning of that game. Find Strelok…GO! “Wait…what?” You will enjoy the first time you walk into an anomaly, swirl up into the air and explode, without any check points. ENJOY IT!

     
  • unmanneddrone 4:47 am on March 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER   

    @shingro Indeed we did. I wanted to include the great @RocGaude, but he’s been off-the-air for public consumption and I do miss his broadcaster cadence.

    However, yes, squad high five!

    @RedSwirl Interesting that they’d say Far Cry 2 is the closest living relative to STALKER on console (or a lighter experience on PC). I love both of them. Funnily enough, I got more out of the admittedly more empty FC2 than I did out of Bioshock! Probably had something to do with me devouring Wilbur Smith novels as a younger fellow and revelling in the decayed, inscrutable romance of a post-colonial Africa. I gotta be honest with you, it’ll be interesting to see how you go tackling something like Crysis 2 then STALKER…I mean, as a player, you’re almost polar opposites in terms of ability and durability – even when playing Crysis on Delta difficulty!

    We’ll have to keep arguing for a Squad mission on STALKER, though. Folks wouldn’t even need to complete it, just wander about in the Zone and soak up its rich, dark, dreary atmosphere.

     
  • RedSwirl 2:24 am on March 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @unmanneddrone I’ve had STALKER sitting on my hard drive for… three years now? I’ll get to it, 2009-mod-in-all, sometime down the line.

    Yeah, thinking about it now it’s probably prime Squad material. When I compare Crysis to other shooters though, I mainly mean the mainstream crop of Call of Duty clones. Crysis isn’t open-world at all. Each area is a sort of micro-sandbox that presents a problem with multiple solutions. I just really hope that people end up taking to Crysis 2.

    The closest thing to STALKER that you could get on consoles is probably Far Cry 2, which a lot of people called a more accessible or console-friendly version of STALKER. We’ll see if STALKER 2 doesn’t end up being “consolized”.

     
  • unmanneddrone 12:08 am on January 8, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER   

    @bowlisimo Yeah, much like AvP, I do believe you can tout firearms of various shapes and sizes and still have a very tense game. While having to concede that you’re not only dealing with melee NPCs down in those access tunnels and bomb shelters, I still say the atmosphere is unnerving and – true to the mainstay idea of horror – your life can be ended just as quickly.

    But let’s just celebrate them both. Both have atmospheres head and shoulders above their peers. Amnesia has, of this moment, sold almost 200,000 copies! Nice work, Frictional.

     
  • unmanneddrone 6:08 pm on January 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @bowlisimo Maybe not flinch, but in terms of sheer variety and the eeriness of that same ambitious AI governing what goes down there (plus with the new sound and textures of the 2009 mod), STALKER offers its own uneasy ambience. For me, at least, part of the appeal in horror/powerlessness comes from having something that should guarantee your safety…but it merely offers an adequate and tentative level of protection.

    Give me the constant ticking of a Geiger counter and a Hind graveyard over Lovecraftian business, though!

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:39 pm on January 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @beige Jump on that STALKER urge. If you nab the .exe 2009 Complete mod installer, it does say it works with the Steam version. Amazing mod, reinvigorates without a need to reinvent.

    And you might find the underground sequences in the game up there with Amnesia.

     
  • unmanneddrone 5:17 pm on January 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER,   

    @bowlisimo and any other STALKER fans…can I just get a group hug and a round on me for this Ukranian gem? After entertaining my visiting family for a few weeks, I found the time to burn a little midnight oil and get back into the zone this eve. And as I retire just past the hour of two in the morning, I’m grinning from ear to ear and thinking that this could very well be the most atmospheric game known to man. Be it sitting on a hill and watching mutant dogs terrorise a patrol in a rainswept valley, picking your way through a deserted factory and happening across the remnants of a shoot-out, crouching at the end of a corridor with a shaking pistol pointed at where you think a Spetznaz soldier will appear or simply trudging about with the odd howl of some unknown creature echoing out across the countryside…you can’t deny the brilliance of STALKER.

    The character designs, the dilapidated machinery, the scary underground sections – topping my most scary gaming experience – to the almost perfect balance of sim vs accessible shooting and weapon feel…it’s all so damn sumptuous. Gloriously depressing landscapes and wonderfully subtle writing.

    To balance this dark and brooding experience, I felt a little colour was the order of the day and decided upon the recently localised Precursors! A nice balance, though still in the realm of former Soviet Bloc hijinx. Looking forward to getting stuck into that Ukrainian sci-fi RPG-FPS. Impressions forthcoming!

     
  • iscariot83 11:34 pm on January 1, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER,   

    Hey Squadmates –

    Figured I should drop in and at least say a happy new year to everyone…I’ve been too busy lately to do much but lurk, what with work and holidays and family and playing through the entire halo series with my little sister. I’m also moving to NYC in two weeks, which is pretty cool…I know some of you guys are up around there, so we should totally hang out and stuff.

    I’ll also jump on the bandwagon for supporting Stalker…it’s one of the games that got me to go out and build my first gaming PC. The atmosphere and the eerie degree of accuracy make it easily one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played. Definitely worth the five bucks…although these days, I have to think about games in terms of their cost in time more than anything.

     
  • unmanneddrone 7:38 am on December 30, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    @RedSwirl They’re not bad tactical shooters at all, and Gearbox did a pretty good job injecting some character into them with Baker and his crew. I’d put them around a 7.5 to 8 on reasonable difficulty, although the latest one has some lone-wolf missions that seem to waste the squad mechanics slightly.

    And STALKER continues to be the most awesome thing ever.

     
  • bowlisimo 11:02 pm on December 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER   

    @unmanneddrone I didn’t really get much out of Clear Sky. I don’t think they took the idea of a prequel far enough. You basically traipse through the same areas you did in the first game, but from a slightly earlier and different perspective (that doesn’t feel like a different perspective). I did like how the factions actually warred with each other and took/lost territory (although it wasn’t perfect), and ducking under cover from an emission from the zone was crazy. Waiting on a sale to pick up Pripyat.

    @angryjedi Hell yeah I’ve played Space Rangers 2. I picked it up when Beige was talking about getting it as a present a few years ago (pretty sure I’ve extolled its virtues on the old club page too). Definitely a weird genre mash-up. Not many contemporary games have the balls to launch you into several exceptionally well designed text adventures. The RTS missions were piss poor, but thankfully avoidable. It was just really cool to have a back and forth struggle in the galaxy between the Dominators actually happening at the same time that you’re delivering modulators and working your way up to a sweet space chassis so you can join in the fight.

    P.S. This is the best music in the entire game.

     
  • unmanneddrone 7:42 am on December 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , STALKER,   

    @bowlisimo I agree wholeheartedly. Eastern Bloc ideas and notions are infinitely more exciting in regards to game development. STALKER is a prime example. Such evocation and grime-flecked romance throughout it all. The 2009 mod is essentially an overhaul of the default game, so nothing of the original intent is changed…but I highly recommend you check out the mod down the line when you’re in the mood for another trudge through the Zone. http://bit.ly/fkX6W8

    Also, nabbed Call of Pripyat Loyalty Edition off Gamersgate – eight bucks for the non-stand alone “sequel” was too good an offer to pass up. I hear Clear Sky is a bit of a disappointment, but down the line I’ll check it out. Consider me a STALKER convert and disciple.

    By the by, have you seen the two new Eastern Euro RPG-Shooters on Gamersgate? Xenus 2: White Gold – http://bit.ly/homp6s (sequel to the chronically ambitious Boiling Point) and Precursors – http://bit.ly/eTVZAG (Freelancer and a Halo/Outcast mix) just got translated into English. Hilarious voice work at times are the main issues with both, allegedly, but they appear to be terrific. White Gold the tongue-in-cheek product of a mating at gunpoint between Far Cry and STALKER, Precursors offering a unique, non-palette swapped galaxy to explore with fully-fledged planetary landscapes to walk, run, drive and fly machines around in – replete with indigenous lifeforms, various alien factions etc. – and space ship combat…kinda like Parkan 2 if you played that.

    Trailers:

    Precursors – http://bit.ly/idSe24
    Xenus 2 – http://bit.ly/ieJtic

    And just keep this in mind, you can ride a shark in Xenus 2.

     
  • bowlisimo 8:49 pm on December 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , STALKER   

    @unmanneddrone Awesome. I’m not sure what the 2009 complete mod is, but my friend and I both agree that default S.T.A.L.K.E.R. portrays a much better post apocalyptic atmosphere than Fallout 3 does (even though it’s not exactly the apocalypse in Stalker). Worth playing for the Eastern European game experience. They’re an acquired taste, but I love the hard depressing edge they build into their games, no doubt inspired by different cultural values and hard years spent behind the Iron Curtain.

    If you’re this far (assuming you’ve played The Witcher), you might as well try Cryostasis and then I’ll join you when you get around to Metro 2033.

    I said come een, don’t just stand there!
    I said come een, don’t just stand there!

     
  • unmanneddrone 4:47 pm on December 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: STALKER   

    Bit late to the party on this one, but I got STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl for Christmas! Undoubtedly, @bowlisimo has already wandered about The Zone, but since the game’s announcement, I’d waited patiently for the day to come where I could soak up the Strugatsky legacy in this Ukranian gem. Applied the 2009 Complete Mod and off I waddled into the forlorn, despairing and rainswept locales. Skirting packs of wild beasts, looting corpses and scrounging for goods to trade, there is an experience utterly unique to be found. Without a doubt, and even with the few hours I’ve put into the game thus far, it has far and away the most beguiling atmosphere I’ve experienced in a long, long time.

    So far, the 2009 Mod has kept my stalking pretty much bug-free. Awesome stuff.

     
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