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Old 04-25-2007, 11:30 AM   #1
stingerhs
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

so, i was wondering if anyone else is playing this game. it reminds me a *lot* like Oblivion in that it feels like such an open world that encourages exploration and freedom to choose your own actions.

there's also a quest system in place similarly to Oblivion. the biggest difference is that most of the quests don't have much depth to them outside of the quests related to the main quest. even most of the side-quests in Oblivion put you in a cave/dungeon to retrieve an item or whatever. in STALKER, most of the side-quest items/people are just out in the open. sure, you might have to fight a couple of people, but it just doesn't feel like there's as much depth to it. the main quest, however, is quite different. in fact, you often times have to go to various underground or various buildings for those quests.

the biggest difference is combat. if you don't normally play FPS games, then STALKER is going to be difficult to get into. its all about the gunplay; there are no swords in this one. what's different is the realistic ballistics system with the bullets. just like in real life, you'll have to compensate for gravity and, on occasion, the wind as bullets are apart of the in-game physics system (they can also ricochet off of some surfaces, so you do have to be a bit careful when friendlies are in the area). where its different from the "average" FPS is that you're character is not a tank. you have to utilize cover in a firefight (and there's plenty of cover available), and you'll also have to manage your health by bandaging your wounds to stop bleeding and apply healthkits when you're low on health (this is instantaneous, and there's no animations that your character goes through. you just press a button.)

the other major difference is how you "level-up", or lack thereof. essentially, you level up by using more and more powerful equipment. in the beginning, however, you're stuck using such incredibly underpowered weapons and armor that combat is very challenging, even when you effectively make use of cover (this does have to do with you receiving splinter damage from near misses with the poor armor at the beginning). what also complicates matters is that the AI is fairly intelligent in that they will try to outflank you, and they will also fire from behind cover. the AI also does not "stack", or increase in difficulty, as the game progresses. it starts out smart and stays smart. once assault rifles start becoming available, however, gameplay becomes a bit less challenging as you'll be able to take out your enemies from a much greater distance.

the biggest gripe i have with the game is the encumbrance system. its similar to Oblivion in that your limited by the weight of your items, but you're limited to 50kg before your endurance is affected, and you can't move if you exceed 60kg. this means that you're pretty much limited to carrying nothing more than your primary weapon (usually an assault rifle), a sidearm (usually a pretty useless pistol), the armor you're wearing, and the ammo for your two weapons. you have limited space for a bit of food (yes, you have to actually eat every once in a while), healthkits, bandages, and anti-radiation pills. this means that you can't use your fallen enemies' weapons as "loot" like you can with Oblivion (assuming you had a strong character, hehe). those limitations, by the way, will never change. you're stuck with those limitations throughout the entire game.

anyways, with all that said, the game is still a lot of fun. its refreshing to play a different kind of FPS where everything is much less non-linear as opposed to your average FPS. ya, there's a multiplayer element, but its not very different from any other multiplayer FPS that's out there. the real draw is the single player, and that's where you can spend a whole lot of your time.

so, if you haven't played it, then check it out. just make sure you pick up the 1.001 patch first, especially if you'll be running it on Vista.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 04-25-2007, 12:01 PM   #2
stoffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingerhs
anyways, with all that said, the game is still a lot of fun. its refreshing to play a different kind of FPS where everything is much less non-linear as opposed to your average FPS. ya, there's a multiplayer element, but its not very different from any other multiplayer FPS that's out there. the real draw is the single player, and that's where you can spend a whole lot of your time.
I've heard a bit about this game but haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet. How does it compare to Deus Ex? I've heard some people compare the games, though STALKER sounds like it's more a traditional FPS with some RPG-elements to it, than an RPG with some FPS elements like Deus Ex, from how you describe it?

Are all quests/missions of the standard FPS variety where you kill your way someplace to retrieve something, or are there more variety to how things can be solved (all-out assault, stealth/hacking/infiltration, "social engineering" of NPCs etc)?

Does the game have a solid story/plot, or does it kind of take the backseat where exploration is the primary attraction of the game, like in Oblivion?

How is the ending? Multiple endings depending on what you do, or it always ends the same way?
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
I've heard a bit about this game but haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet. How does it compare to Deus Ex? I've heard some people compare the games, though STALKER sounds like it's more a traditional FPS with some RPG-elements to it, than an RPG with some FPS elements like Deus Ex, from how you describe it?
its more of an FPS with RPG elements. i've never played Deus Ex, so i can't compare the two games.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
Are all quests/missions of the standard FPS variety where you kill your way someplace to retrieve something, or are there more variety to how things can be solved (all-out assault, stealth/hacking/infiltration, "social engineering" of NPCs etc)?
there's no persuasion feat or anything like that, so most of your dialog is pretty straight forward. as for how you get an item, the game is a bit more combat oriented, but stealth is definitely an option. silenced pisols and rifles are your best friend if you know that you're outgunned in some situations (this happens moreso in the early parts of the game), and there's nothing quite like the feeling of sneaking up on an NPC and backstabbing them with your combat knife.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
Does the game have a solid story/plot, or does it kind of take the backseat where exploration is the primary attraction of the game, like in Oblivion?
it does have a plot, but it can be a bit difficult to follow as it has two major branches that separate at first and then come back together at the end. your character has amnesia, and discovers that he needs to find a guy that was supposedly responsible for his severe wounds at the beginning. In order to provide your character with information about the whereabouts of that guy, you have to quest in other parts around Chernobyl and find out about a huge experiment that an organization has set up. i can't reveal more than that, but its definitely not a bad story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
How is the ending? Multiple endings depending on what you do, or it always ends the same way?
the game has about 6 or seven endings depending on who you side with throughout the game, if you sided with anyone at all, whether you chose more "good" actions or visa versa, and a couple of other variables. its actually rather dynamic which is rather refreshing for any game out there. i've only played through the game once, so what i've told you is more or less what i've heard, but the ending i got was rather good.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 04-25-2007, 04:04 PM   #4
HerbieZ
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About 3 years ago the game looked amazing. It's substandard now. They removed oh so much content to actually release it. It's also one of those games where the bullet accuracy is down to the millimetre but you wonder why the enemy survived a shotgun blast point blank to the face.


Waking up.
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