Zero Punctuation: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

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You know, I was wondering shat S.T.A.L.K.E.R was a pseudonym for so I looked it up, it stands for Scavenger Trespasser Adventurer, Loner Killer Explorer Robber. Does this even seem to fit this kind of game?

It's like I just heard the game in one sentence.

Because half of the time you will be scavenging, trespassing, adventuring, alone, killing stuff, exploring forests and of course stealing shit. Rest of the time your dead :P.

I lol'd at the level difficulty part because you used a kitten as easy a house cat at medium and a lion for hard but the part that got me the most when showed very hard difficulty as a fursuit and I notice i have that same picture on my computer. I also like the golden lions spitting fire out of their mouths

Alydr:
All the Halo and CoD players need to stop complaining about the difficulty level. You're used to playing arcade shooters, this is a completely different kind of game. All that's hard about this game is figuring out a more realistic way of fighting - besides charging in with a machine gun. That doesn't work in real life and thank god the developers didn't chicken out and make their new game easier. Enemy accuracy is NOT better than your own, unless everyone but me has no idea how to aim.

For starters, use a rifle if you intend to hit something more than 20-30 feet away reliably. Just like in the real world, you can't aim from the hip and get 30 headshots in a row. Turn off your flashlight, crouch, hide behind cover, use bushes to mask your approach, and then go for the headshot. Virtually every enemy in this game outside of the first area (swamp) has body armor, and most beyond Cordon have heavy-duty bulletproof armor. The reason you seem to have no accuracy is that you're shooting his virtually impenetrable chest body armor, probably in full-auto mode. He on the other hand is firing short controlled bursts and is aiming for YOUR HEAD.

Guns don't break down more than once every couple hundred rounds - usually - unless they're not regularly maintained. Read stories about American infantry in Iraq - their M4 rifles are damn near useless there because they're not being used in the environment they were designed for. The Zone is a unique environment. Can you blame a gun for locking up when all the ammo you're using is scavenged, it's in the middle of a supernatural rainstorm, and you just wandered through an anomaly that defies all known physics?

You should also read descriptions of weapons. Some are noted for their high quality workmanship and reliability. The common ones are noted for breaking down frequently. My Yantar sniper rifle went through at least 1,000 rounds before it jammed the first time. I repaired it, and for the rest of the game it never jammed again.

Don't charge into battles unless you want to die. Don't use weapons in bad condition unless you want to die. Don't let your armor fall into disrepair unless you want to die. Use cover unless you want to die. Do any of these things not make sense? It isn't Halo, people... I think, for the sake of Halo-ers there's actually a few artifacts that automatically stop bleeding and regenerate health pretty quickly, btw.

Most of the game's weapons are - by design - of poor workmanship, inaccurate, and unreliable. This is by design - the developers wanted to create a feeling of decay, as if all that's readily available is garbage. That way, when you stumble upon real, high quality stuff like a high-end rifle or pistol, you have a feeling of accomplishment.

This game is only half about completing missions - half of it is simply managing to stay alive while under-equipped in a hostile environment full of deadly monsters and bandits. You're not a walking tank this time around, you're just a regular guy trying not to die in a place where dozens of people die every minute.

I noticed someone complaining about having to sell so much loot to get any money... If I recall correctly, yes in SoC you got better money for loot, but I think I prefer it this way. I remember having over 75,000 cash by the time I went for my first trip to Agropom. Maybe they took things too far, I don't know, but getting 800 or so per high-end rifle doesn't seem so unfair. Your problem is probably that you're selling to a non-allied faction. If you buy/sell to traders that don't belong to your faction, you get a significantly worse deal, by 50% or more.

The game's not perfect, I almost quit playing it half-way through because of a bug that prevented me from re-entering the Garbage and Cordon areas. Then totally at random I was able to enter those areas again but my faction seemed to be totally content to just sit around and do nothing... pissed me off, and I'm really disappointed that this game was rushed out the door the way it was. But a few months down the road when it's patched up, it will be the modern pinnacle of survival-horror and I'll buy the next STALKER game the instant it's released too, even being worried about bugs.

Games like this that don't hold your hand are a dying breed. If you want your "Halo" mod, I'm sure someone will make one. Just replace all the guns with Mattel plastic ray guns and homing explosive crystals and make your health regenerate every time you still manage to get your ass kicked. Then all we'll need are some new ewok voice-overs and some kind of "extra shittyness" shader that make everything pastel colors.

edit: someone mentioned "where's the horror of SoC"... this is true to an extent, there's not nearly as many mutants in this one which I fount disappointing. But when you reach the Red Forest suddenly you're beyond SoC-level of monster terror. That's the only place in the entire game that I ran through like hell without even thinking about checking for artifacts. Going on an artifact hunt in that place is suicide.

*thump thump thump thump*...
..
.
*hellish scream*..
..
.
louder *thump thump thump thump*
..
.
disembodied eyes suddenly coming at you
..
QUICKLOAD I WANT THE HELL OUT OF THIS PLACE

edit 2: Also, for the record I played on medium difficulty, as I always do the first time through a game.

----IN SUMMARY----
1) difficulty is GOOD, go back to Halo if you want a game a child can beat.
2) enemies aren't more accurate than you, you just don't have enough practice aiming when a computer doesn't do it for you (btw, running and gunning, doesn't work)
3) traders of factions you don't belong to rip you off, that's why you're... getting ripped off.
4) A gun that's traded hands several dozen times and is using scrounged ammunition that was taken from the dead body of a guy who also scrounged the ammo off another dead body (repeat infinitely) in a hostile environment will probably lock up a lot. Probably not as much as in STALKER, but meh.
5) Repair your guns and armor frequently, don't use guns that are noted for being unreliable like that yellow British one or the AK74.
6) This isn't Halo, you can't hit someone a mile away while running full tilt backwards across a pond made of eels.
7) Not as creepy as the original STALKER, but still has very creepy spots.
8) Buggy as hell and I'll be the one leading the lynch mob if they don't patch this thing up, and quickly.

WORD UP. This guy knows what he's talking about. Except the "AK74 is jamming"-part. My AK almost never jamms. But all the other facts and aspects are true. Swallow this one, you whining Halo-sissies!

jemborg:

ripper_hugme:

Sir_Montague:
Who is Michael Atkinson? Saw his name at the end of the show... Jw!

He's the head of Australian 'Censorship everything for no good reason League' (also known as the classification board).

I thought he would mention the very broken English of the dialogue, still very funny none the less hey buddy good times.

Also WTH is with the pothead Freedom bartender? That's the sort of thing I thought the classification board of Australia would stomp on. But I guess you can't actually smoke 'herb' in game as opposed to say using morphine like in Fallout 3(which is what caused censorship of drug names in all versions).

Close, Michael Atkinson is the Attorney-General of my home state South Australia. For some reason a unanimous decision is needed with the other state's AGs to make a "R" classification for games here. (An "R" classification in Oz means restricted to 18+ years of age, like "X" in the US of A).

This git is the only state AG who refuses steadfastly to give the go ahead; thinking that somehow kiddies are the only ones interested in comp gaming instead of 48 yo.s like myself. I got over playing Pong a while ago; I wish he would. Actually I wish he would go away quietly and die as I really resent this singular fart imposing his patronising values on myself and the rest of my fellow gaming countrymen.

The upshot is games get banned or neutered in ridiculous ways here and he is deservedly despised by the Oz gaming community. Oh, and I might add as a result of this idiot's policy many games slip under the net that you might actually NOT want your kids to play.

Him, Keith Vaz or something along those lines, and Jack Thompson were born with something up their ass

God, Yahtzee wasn't kidding about the difficulty I played on normal and I quit after the first mission because I was getting my ass kicked so hard. :(

oh wow, that's one of the funniest reviews of the lot. I never did have any respect for imitation real life shooter games and thought myself silently nodding in agreement until the end came and I was so incapacitated by laughter, I couldn't help but posting this comment and recommending this video to anyone with a sense of humor. oh, and those of Duke Nukem Forever and Resident Evil 5 are also quite good.

A year later and I'm still panting and holding my side from the laughter. This was one fantastic episode.

I also agree with most of what Alydr said. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are not difficult, tho indeed there are occasionaly situations when the shit hits the fan, some things you did not see coming, in which case there is the ''magic quicksave key'' that you can use to correct the situation. For the first time i play on the second or third difficlty lv to see whats there but after that only on the highest lv. It may take longer to complete but it makes you think of new and better ways to eliminate and evade hostiles. ShoC is a walk in the park(see previous sentence), don't really know about CS cause don't play it that much(they kinda messed it up a bit) but CoP is good more difficult then ShoC, sometimes you get overwhelmed by mutants in the night and occasionaly the npc's can be quite ''smart'' aswell, flanking and coming in from behind you( and yes they tend to go for the headshots). Other then that, if your not a complete idiote you can pass it in flying colours.

CS isn't hard, it's just that people are used to baby FPS's that hold your hand and give you uber weapons and magically regenerating health.

Once you understand that you can't kill everyone right from the get go, and that you actually have to upgrade your weapons/armor and play it safe for a while the game becomes ridiculously fun. Nothing is more satisfying than getting raped repeatedly by a group of militia than to come back later on with upgraded weapons and armor and completely destroy them.

I actually consider ZP went soft on Clear Sky. What fun is a game that needs you to save more often than fire your weapon? The concept of stealth is totally gone, and the game's atmosphere, compared to Shadow Of Chernobyl, is 60% down, or more. It is has if the excellent doomish, post-apocalyptic, dark, cold one from the first game in the series needed some life in it. It was perfect, they've ruined it all. In my opinion, STALKER: Clear Sky, after playing S.O.C., is a totally different game (a shittier one)! Grenades fall at your feet with chirurgycal precision, even if the enemy does not see you! They shoot you trough walls, and in complete dark while standing still and having no lights on. Takes all the fun out of it. It's downsides eclipse it's innovations!

If the ZP store had a t-shirt that said, "Reality is a cruel and unintuitive place, with frustrating gameplay mechanics", preferably with the pic/slide from 37 seconds on it, I would So Buy It!

Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus Parta Pus *ding*

Lol.Nice one.

I always found clear sky to be easier than the first game.

Im playing through SoC now on master difficulty and doing surprisingly well. (Minus enemies randomly appearing behind me with a shotgun and blowing the back of my skull off)

I actually played this on Master difficulty and, boy, was it difficult.
Well, at least at the beginning. Once you get your hands on some mid-game gear and a few artifacts, things become a lot easier. It reminds me somewhat of the Gothic series, where you start off as a total weakling and need to avoid the tougher enemies at first. I kind of like it, to be honest. It let's you really feel the progress your character is making (although it's a bit weird for a game to become easier the further you go). I didn't particularily like the faction wars, though, the AI is horrendous and one would often stand there waiting for the reinforcements to take a position for hours. The Red Forest and also the last few levels were amazing; especially the large push towards the CNPP was well staged. One really gets the feeling of being in a chaotic town-wide skirmish. Overall, I liked it, although I do recommend not participating in the faction wars where possible.

Anyone else notice that he doesn't swear a single time in this review?

I was dumbfounded.

I've never played this game, but per this review, I certainly wouldn't mind trying it.

One thing this game has is bugs. This is one of two games i could not complete due to bugs. and boy i tried. after finishing half of the game i managed to save in a position where the game crashes 3 seconds after loading the game no matter what i do, then at the last area i managed to save the same, except this time it took couple minutes to crash. and i dont even mention the crash of sunset in swamps. So after many hours i eventually gave up on it. I like the general idea of the game, but this is the buggies game i have seen.
Oh and the other game that was too bugged out to finish was Fallout 1. Crash at the final boss room.

i havent played this game but i saw some lps of it and it looks cool. also ive allways wanted an fps where you took realistic dama dama dama dama------- error

Yes, there should be a comic book superhero who's power is "QuickSave / QuickLoad". My favorite RPG power. The buggy lag bits get me every time! "...and whistled for a baboon!"

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