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STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl review

Meet and greet the shooter that came in from the cold

Finally, if you can’t be bothered with the scripted stuff, certain missions ask you to do semi-random stuff like clearing out warehouses and mutant nests or seeking out rare radioactive artifacts that, rather than rendering you sterile and making your hair fall out, offer a variety of RPG-ish upgrades. All around you, meanwhile, is what developer GSC Game World call “A-Life” - a landscape teeming with packs of creatures and humans who roam and behave according to their own whims (whims that generally involve killing each other or maybe running away).

Low-powered weapons and general insecurity about exactly what you’re supposed to be doing plague your opening hours, but after a little while you realize that the action is very much a blend of Far Cry and Deus Ex. The inventory system and “any which way you can” mentality of JC Denton merges with the unpredictable, sniper-centric and really freaking difficult stylings of Jack Carver, making for some excellent action that gives you moments of extreme self-congratulation as you pull off swift headshots here and there. The need to salvage bullets and med-packs from your deceased foes’ backpacks, meanwhile, adds a subdued survival element that’s completely lacking in most modern-day mainstream shooters.

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DescriptionMixing key RPG elements with classic FPS action makes for an excellent game, though it can be argued if it was worth all the delays.
US censor ratingMature
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