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

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Cid SilverWing:
01:26 - Please explain why you referenced furries.

Durrrrrrrrrrrr? Take it off Mute and watch it again. That bit was a total comedy headshot.

Heheh. This was a good one in my opinion. The crash jokes I thought were the highlights.

C'mon, I finished Clear Sky on master without too much difficulty.

The toughest part was running past the machine gunner at the military base right after leaving the swamps. Probably about 20 reloads there.

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

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.

hehe crashes :P
really liked this weeks video, cant wait for next wednesday

If you keep making them like this my faith in you will be restored. Seriously, the last couple before your Mercs2 reviews were just plain shit, it was as if you forgot how you reviews games and just chose to be extremely mean.

Hilarious. This actually made me nervous when i heard that stupid windows error sound. it's like if you heard the halloween theme music randomly start playing while you are walking down a suburban street late at night.


I think this is one of Yahtzee's best.

Really great stuff.

And I like the Blair Witch Project, too.

Funny! Its nice to know I dont just suck at games in general though, this game is just insanely hard. Laughs and self comfort, what a nice mix dont you think.

BugBugBugBugBug *Dun!*
also, YAY! SH:H Review! :3

*liberal snip*

You can excuse bad design choices as intentional if you want, but after the durability system of the first game (and no repair system that I could find after RTFMing and running around aimlessly), the fact that armor got shot to hell almost instantly, and the godawful endurance/stamina system (made only marginally better by stacking the fuck out of artifacts that boost endurance -- which made getting into unexpected combat almost instant death), I just plain don't care anymore.

There's realistic but fun, like Deus Ex (which wasn't terribly realistic even still, but digression), and then there's realistic and expensive train model set fun like STALKER. There might be fun under there somewhere, but without having an entry-level learning curve or any form of tutorial help, the layperson experience is going to be "this is shit." Especially when the game maintains the complexity of the original STALKER.

Most people don't want extensive military training to play their video games, that's why they tend to fudge a bit when it comes to run n' gun gameplay. However, I will say that I dislike Halo for being too run n' gun and not enough do things that aren't shoot shit/stab shit/blow shit up -- the first being an exception given the time period it was released, when SPACE MARINES IN CARS was still somewhat fresh (in an SP environ anyways, Tribes had been beating that drum for a while). At least with Gears of War you had to constantly interact with the cover system, which behaved like a minigame in and of itself. Nevermind if you went a little crazy in Co-op and played "Boomer Tag" and "Chainsaw the fuck out of everything" like I did.

And, since I mentioned Tribes, one thing a lot of developers seem to be being a lot more wary of are things like Tribes 2's infamous UE error.

Who all's been gaming long enough to remember that SNAFU? :P Too bad STALKER's crew didn't learn from that.

Got around to finishing STALKER the other day and the games ending, like the first one, is amazingly stupid and difficult to get to.

I hope he reviews Dead Space after Silent Hill.

haha, getting back to the awesomeness now. I'm happy the ads at the end are gone now too.

uber pownage :]
go Yahtzee!

This is probably one of his best reviews in weeks, and viewing it with full screen totally caught me off guard when he pulled that freezing gag. I was laughing so hard furing this review, it reminded me of when I first found Zero Punctuation and almost went into an Asthma attack because of how hard and often I was laughing my butt off.

wait a minute, have I got the right channel? YahtZed really seems to like this game! He's at least taking pity on it quite a lot.

anyway, if you're blanded over by Mr ZP's bleary-eyed acquiesence, watch this informative ditty ZEITGEIST, ADDENDUM and discover all about sinister corporatocrasy and The Venus Project (yes venus rhymes with penis)


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

To elaborate on what was said earlier, Michael Atkinson is the Southern Australian Attorney General. You know all those games being banned in Australia? It's his fault, because he refuses to allow a MA18+ rating for videogames, and they need unanimous support before they can make that a law. Basically, picture Jack Thompson with power. I hate Atkinson, and I'm not even Australian. And apparently, he isn't very popular.

good review the error message totally tricked me lol

Capo Taco:
Everyone say "Aye!" for difficult games!


Well, if I'd but known I was supposed to be coddling my system and singing it lullabies, I wouldn't have wasted all that time beating it up! Another priceless gem of wisdom from the man with lungs the size of a small country.

Yet another satisfying story from Yahtzee.

I agree on the crashing... very annoying... patches that dont allow for save games... insane...

But I disagree on your opinion of the difficulty level. Grow a pair. Yahtzee, swallow a teaspoon of concrete and harden the FARK up!

Realism in FPS type shooters is a matter of taste. I recommend the Redux mod for the first Stalker and Stalker 2 will be better in about 6 months when the bugs are ironed out and someone else has made a mod for it like Redux.

(Redux provides more weapons, less ammo, more realistic damage, yes girly men! Run in fear!)

Awesome ending

Question????Did anyone notice the pic of Hulk Hogan in a chefs hat. Just me? Yeah i guess im a loser.

Good stuff, I enjoyed the baboon joke.


Ahh, good times. The best ZP in a while, nice one.

Games having bugs is the standard these days. A fully playtested game is the odd man out!

Yahtzee is awesome and so are his reviews!!!

That last bit's funny because Michael Atkinson is a turd.

Stalker is fun... once you find the right weapon to use - go for the submachine gun and aim generally for the head- you won't hit it spot on, but because of its handling and rate of fire- you're bound to land a headshot within the few rounds you spew at them.

I do love the relative realism (not when you go hide around a corner, and it seems all your enemies have taken a dare each to go in one by one to see if you're still in the mood to chat while you're more interested in surprising each and one of them with a bullet or two). When you attack a bunch of pathetic dogs- well, they're not so pathetic when they gather around you and make you look like you pathetically fell into a lions den. Full of really hungry lions.

What lacks realism is when you use enough ammunition to take down... lets say an armored truck, it doesn't seem to be enough to take down a relatively squishy yet agitated mutant.

Best one yet!

Always good to have a baboon round..

I must say, great review Yahtzee. The "I'd suck at this in real life" bit was a great intro into what appeared to be a realistically-difficult FPS. And the freeze/crash bit was very well done (screw everyone who says it was obvious; if it's so obvious, why doesn't anybody else use it?).

It's good to see a review which is just about the game itself (with a sidebar reference to real life) and takes time to focus on all of its qualities, not just the good or bad.

One thing you should consider is the time and emphasis you put on individual points. Difficult with a 4 minute clip I'm sure, but the time and emphasis are what give the viewer a sense of how important you thought each point was.

Fucking fantastic ending.

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