STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl - updated hands-on

Pistol out, we pop a couple of banditos, but take a few slugs in return and start to bleed copiously, our breath coming out in laboured gasps. "If you bleed a lot, you die," a helpful on-screen pop-up bit of info warns us, but handily we stumble across a corpse which offers up bandages and a medical kit when looted.

Apply bandages. Stop bleeding. Use medical kit, get your health back. Incidentally, when you sprint there's a little gauge that displays your stamina capacity. The more weight you carry, the higher this gauge goes and presumably you can become so laden down with gear that running is no longer an option.

Bandits dead, Nimble found, flash drive retrieved, mission complete. Nimble starts babbling on about the perfect suit and asking us if we want to try and find it? Yeah, okay, and it turns out this is another mission - whether vital to the central story or simply a side-quest to score extra loot we don't know.

It was at this point that we noticed an icon depicting a broken pistol had appeared on-screen. We'd missed it during the heat of battle, but dipping into the inventory it became apparent that the gun was virtually broken. So, weapons degrade through use - and they jam too, it turns out - but with no apparent option to put it to rights we had to chuck it in the grass and equip a second pistol we'd luckily looted.

That done, we decided to have a bit of a run around to see what we could uncover. Radioactive anomalies litter the landscape. Close in on one - sort of a bubbly, wavering effect in the air - and the Geiger counter goes ballistic and vision fuzzy. Walk into one and it's massive damage time . And, crikey, you can get "infected" by radiation, but here GSC's sense of humour shines through - down vodka and it "heals" effects of radiation, although it makes you walk a bit wobbly, too.