Review: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Review: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl masterfully amplifies the bleak, surreal tragedy of a real-life post-apocalyptic landscape.

Read Full Article

I've been addicted to this game for a week and I've realized that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is the Cannibal Holocaust of videogames.

For those unfamiliar with it, Cannibal Holocaust is a horror/exploitation film by Italian director Ruggero Deodato, who, by incorporating actual shots of animal slaughter into his narrative, made his prosthetic gore sequences more horrifically believable.

Lloyd Kaufman writes:

"Cannibal Holocaust could be shown in film schools as proof of Pudovkin's theory of editing (although any professor brave enough to show this movie would almost certainly be fired)... Pudovkin's theory held that if you took a shot of someone with a neutral expression (like the Mona Lisa, for example) and cut to a shot of a steak, the viewer would think the person looked hungry. If you took a shot of that same person and then juxtaposed it with a shot of a baby, the viewer would think they wore an expression of love. In Cannibal Holocaust, we see the actors kill and rip apart a giant sea turtle and other animals. Later on, they run across a woman impaled on a stake (the shot clearly demonstrating that the actress is sitting on a bicycle seat). The audience has already seen actual death on screen, and have been subtly brainwashed into assuming they're now seeing a woman with a stake rammed up her genitalia."

Similarly, the makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., by situating their scenario in a real-world contaminated disaster zone, add ghastly immediacy to their game. It makes Half Life 2 or Doom 3 seem light, silly.

Half Life 2's City 17 is an entertainment cartoon, but Chernobyl is an actual place where there really are feral dogs with birth-defects running around. It really is an ecologically sick place where I would never want to actually set foot:

http://packrat.musm.ttu.edu/chornobyl/redforest.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4918742.stm

That is why I can't play this game late at night before I go to bed. I have to play it during the day--It creeps me out that badly.

(Has anyone here heard of this game causing any kind of outcry or controversy? I'd imagine if I was from Belarus and had been affected somehow by the Chernobyl disaster maybe I'd feel a first person shooter videogame set there would be a gross trivialization. How would, say, one of Chernobyl's 'liquidators' feel about this? http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,413019,00.html )

I really love this game. Absolutely love it.

I feel that the review really captured what I think about this game, really deep and insightful.

I am Russian, so I really understand some of the smaller details in the game, as well as the small-talk. I really feel that this is one of the best games ever made. Not hands down THE best, but definitely among the best.

And there was no serious controvercy. The actual liquidators and the director of the Chernobyl NPP played and/or watched this game being played for them. Their reactions were positive, they said it was realistic to a point they never would have thought. They say that it really raises awareness of what they thought people long forgot about.

Most of the public outcries and calls for the game to be pulled from the shelves because it's insensitive to the victims only came from Western sources and/or concerns. The actual victims and liquidators voiced their support for the game. ^^

I am an administrator on GSC Gameworld's main site and I helped them out with the game, so I know. Oh, and I'm not paid or employed by them or anything, just so you know. I didn't get ot play the game until it was released. :D

STALKER is an excellent game. There are a few bugs, and I feel that maybe an extra week in development could have ironed out a lot of em, but they're all quite trivial. (Some are larger, for example while trying to find the unique bodysuit for the scientists I managed to get into the secret lab without the brain-scorcher protection, and found the damage no longer applies once inside, effectively allowing you to bypass a quantity of the game's story. I reloaded and played through properly.) In another case, the Trader asked for an item I had no real hope of getting hold of at that stage in the game, leaving me rather bewildered, but as said, that adds to the feeling of harshness. But once you understand what you're doing, the feeling of reality and brutality and difficulty is incredibly strong (Should I pick up this ammo? Should I have a secondary weapon for when mine breaks? Both are heavy, and sprinting is pretty vital for me, etc).

Bloody brilliant I tell you!

Brilliant game but some moments in it can be quite frustrating, confusing, immersible and scary. Especially the first time you enter an underground lab though afterward when you enter a few more you realize that the game developers got somewhat lazy.

Dommyboy:
the game developers got somewhat lazy.

Well come on there has been much worse game design, have you played F.E.A.R.,

Grey wall + Ctrl C, Ctrl P = 90% of the levels

Also the designers put a dead Gorden Freeman in the game (he had to sell his crowbar for a tin of food), I love it when game developers put in little jokes like that.

full_empty:
Also the designers put a dead Gorden Freeman in the game (he had to sell his crowbar for a tin of food), I love it when game developers put in little jokes like that.

That bit was great. Nearby was the barreled desert eagle that fired rifle rounds, if I remember rightly.

RE Clear Sky, can anyone recommend it or is it just more of the same?

EpicFailGuy:

RE Clear Sky, can anyone recommend it or is it just more of the same?

Looks like more of the same BUT so much more, like you can join Freedom and the army and others, sounds pretty awesome to me!

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here