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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

The Ukrainian town of Chernobyl was the site of a severe nuclear accident in 1986. In an alternate timeline, following attempts to repopulate the area, another unexpected accident occurred twenty years later. By the year 2012 the area, which was dubbed "Zone", has become hazardous with mutated animals, bandits, and mysterious anomalies. These anomalies differ in their effects, but they all have one thing in common - they are deadly. Despite that, the Zone attracts scientists, explorers and scavengers (known as "stalkers") hunting for valuable artifacts. Military organizations have been formed, fighting for dominance in the Zone.

The player controls a stalker who has lost his memory in an accident. After being rescued by another stalker, he discovers himself in a village located on the outskirts of the Zone, with only a single clue: he has a note in his PDA telling him to kill an unknown person with the nickname "Strelok".

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is inspired by the science fiction novel Picnic on the Roadside (1977) by the Soviet Russian authors, the brothers Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky. The game is an open-ended first-person shooter featuring a thirty square kilometer playing area which the player is free to explore. There are also many characters the protagonist can communicate with; in this sense the game has similarities to RPGs, although there are no attributes or skills to improve. The protagonist may also develop relations with NPCs. Helping a faction will boost his reputation with it, which may result in better items for purchase or information, while attacking a member of said faction will ruin his reputation and prompt other members to attack him. Along with the main quest, the player can also complete side quests, some of which have time limits.

The player has to carefully manage the protagonist's inventory, not only because there is a carrying capacity, but also because weapons and armor degrade as they are used. The player can also use artifacts, which can be usually found near anomalies, to his benefit. Artifacts offer different kinds of bonuses, but often have negative side effects: for instance, an artifact could improve the hero's bullet resistance but also increase his radiation level.

The game features ragdoll physics, destructible surroundings, HDR lightning, dynamic weather, day and night cycles, and multiplayer for up to 32 players.

Screenshots

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Windows Stalker
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Windows Abandoned house
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Windows Impressive and dangerous places await you in the Zone
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Windows Things don't look so good in this one... All hell is about to break loose! You better start runnin' boy!

Alternate Titles

  • "迷失地带" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "S. T. A. L. K. E. R.: Oblivion Lost" -- Working title
  • "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Cień Czarnobyla" -- Polish title
  • "Stalker" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Flawed as a genre hybrid; great as an experience אולג 小奥 (168964) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars
This one creates history! SifouNaS (1317) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a great game, which unfortunately falls short of the mark for attaining “classic” status. Nick Drew (371) 3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars
[v1.0] I don’t speak Russian, but I speak S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Indra is here (19706) 3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars
It has flaws, but the unique gameplay and mesmorizing game world make S:SoC one of the most unique games in years. Kadath Bird (706) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The best game ever made, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sets a new standard in the genre. Spartan_234 (422) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

The Press Says

ActionTrip Apr 03, 2007 90 out of 100 90
PC Games (Germany) Apr 05, 2007 90 out of 100 90
PC Zone Mar 20, 2007 8.5 out of 10 85
GameSpot Mar 19, 2007 8.5 out of 10 85
PC Games (Germany) Apr 27, 2007 83 out of 100 83
PC Powerplay Mar 28, 2007 77 out of 100 77
Game Positive May 07, 2007 7.5 out of 10 75
JeuxVideoPC.com Mar 19, 2007 15 out of 20 75
TotalVideoGames (TVG) Mar 26, 2007 6 out of 10 60
Cheat Code Central Mar, 2007 2.9 out of 5 58

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
RPG? 35 GTramp (34463)
Aug 23, 2013
Patch Guide? 5 Zovni (9360)
Oct 17, 2011
Essential mods? 3 Indra is here (19706)
Jul 29, 2010
RPG? 22 Yashma
Aug 01, 2009
Play the 2004 build 4 Pseudo_Intellectual (44554)
Mar 05, 2009
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. cosplay 8 MichaelPalin (1195)
May 14, 2008
Any plot guide yet? 2 St. Martyne (3562)
Sep 20, 2007
Patch it before you play it 2 Virgil (1685)
Sep 02, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

PDA

At some point of the game, you find one PDA called "Gordon's PDA". Some people say you find it in some scientist's corpse, but it seems to be more random than that. Reading it, the owner tells how he was first in Black Mesa, then in some Russian town and then here in Ukraine. This is clearly a reference to the Half-Life series and the possibility of that series' protagonist Gordon Freeman visiting the zone as an stalker.

The funny thing is how Freeman looks like a total rookie trying to survive in the Zone, to the point that he even has to trade his crowbar for a can of food. The bottom line comes when you realizes that you have just killed Gordon Freeman (which is why you have his PDA), who hasn't been able to survive to the Zone after all.

Related Web Sites

  • The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wiki (The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wiki (Game page on the .S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wiki, a Wikipedia style database about the .S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series (English)))
  • Wikipedia (Detailed information about the game on Wikipedia)
Mortimer (76) added S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (Windows) on Mar 20, 2007