STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl review

Meet and greet the shooter that came in from the cold

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Even details on the game’s setting and history are hazy unless you flick through text that sits somewhere between Proust and a DVD player manual in terms of readability. You can’t help but wonder how fraught the game’s translation processes were, because from this it’s hard to understand exactly why each faction is so murderously angry with each other, or what the hell is going on in the various gloomy facilities you find yourself poking around in. Thankfully, the brute force and exciting design of the story arc makes up for this to some extent - but you can’t help but wish it was helped rather than hindered by the sullen, unlovable game characters.

This lack of clarity and personality extends even into the game’s many sub-quests - whether randomly created or not. They’re all simply “kill him,” “fetch this,” “kill these” or “find that.” They’re essentially World of Warcraft quests, but whereas Blizzard gives you nothing but flowery text, grind and eventual character benefits, there seems little point in completing them here since the main story arc is so much more fun and the progress so much more tangible.

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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 rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""