Not only is the release of Call of Pripyat the most refined and balanced version yet, but also one of the most moddable games on the market. Even though it... Read All I've been thinking about playing STALKER: Call of Pripyat as my chosen game after Ultima 4 for my blog. The original game, Shadows of Chernobyl, was one of the most atmospheric and enjoyable open world games I've played. I normally hate 'open world' setups, but taking place in a fictional Ukranian countryside surrounding the Chernobyl power plant is one of the most compelling setting I've ever tooled around in. The game has a gritty, almost roguelike feel, with instant death coming the second you lower your defenses.
Not only is the release of Call of Pripyat the most refined and balanced version yet, but also one of the most moddable games on the market. Even though it is not as open as other games like Skyrim, the fan base of the STALKER series is so dedicated they have introduced everything from small weight tweaks to complete environmental overhauls. Some players are STILL playing the game since its release and discovering new things.
The emphasis on loneliness and quick and dirty urban combat appeals to me the most. Instead of carefully scripted events, packs of mercenaries, monsters, and bandits wander the entire area looking for the same things you are: supplies, valuable artifacts, and shelter from constant radiation storms. One of the coolest things to ever happen was a result of these systems.
After fighting a mid-range engagement with a small group of bandits, a public radio transmission announced an imminent radiation storm. Both myself and the bandits immediately stopped shooting and high-tailed it toward the closest shelter: an empty factory complex. After running in the door, the entire battlefield had changed. We were no longer hiding behind trees fighting half a kilometer away, we were now packed into a factory floor with abandoned equipment. While the storm raged outside, I tried to stalk and corner the bandits to take them out individually before they could get the drop on me. The entire event felt like a scripted event that would be a major action piece of a level in another game, but this sort of thing happens all the time.
I highly suggest anyone play this game or the original. It is one of the most interesting and compelling shooters I have played in the last decade of gaming.