|»|4 Player 1969-12-31T17:00:00 [ImgOps] [iqdb]
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I don't care if the thread is dead, I do what I want. No one can stop me.
For many, the STALKER trilogy is an unforgettable experience. It's undoubtedly famous in both east and west. I won't be reviewing the entire trilogy, though, just the first entry to the series: Shadow of Chernobyl (shortened to ShoC, which is how I'll refer to it from now onwards on the review).
First, let me get this out of the way: ShoC isn't an impressive game. It feels unfinished, it has terrible gameplay (surprising, seeing as it's the selling point of an FPS), its story is nothing to write home about, so are its RPG and survival mechanics. Its translation and voice acting leaves much to be desired. Worst of all: It basically becomes a CoD-like action game after a certain segment! This is just criminal, seeing as it kind of IS an open-world game. Its implementation of an open-world environment is good and is a technical milestone, but it's arguably not really 'open-world' at all.
You may be saying: 'Sounds like it's shit. Why's it so famous? What's the deal with the 'chiki-briki' meme?' First off, its atmosphere is absolutely stellar, and you wouldn't expect decaying Soviet ruins to make for such good atmosphere! It's contributed by the full-dynamic lightning, which remains a technical achievement to this day. It features a brilliant AI that is arguably a standard-setter, with its fire-and-movement tactics and even its ability to sneak up on you (now you don't see this one often!) With a colorful and memorable (in both good and bad ways), its story fits well. It also features semi-realistic ballistics with bullet drop and ricochet, which was quite the technical achievement back then.
So, in essence, this game is an example of atmosphere done spectacularly well, and it's worth the experience solely for it, even if for once. Aside from its fame and its technical achievements, it's quite the treat even today and worth a shot.