Stalker: Call of Pripyat is a third installment in the popular Stalker pc game series. The two previous games, in the series, enthralled untold numbers of players with its open ended, horror filled atmosphere. The new installment offers not only more of the same formula, but has a revamped graphical system and is even relatively bug free. After completing the game, I can resoundingly say that this edition is the perhaps the best yet in the series.
The Background of the Stalker Series
For those that have not heard of the Stalker series, the storyline revolves around a second nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine. The disaster further damages the area known as the zone of alienation. In real life, there is a real life zone around the Chernobyl plant which is essentially a no man’s land. In the game, radiation and emissions continually wreak havoc on the area which causes mutations of wildlife and rogue humans. It is in this zone where the storyline takes off with scavengers, military units, and mutants seeking out treasures and new discoveries. A more in-depth reading about the storyline and the characters from the first two games in the series can be found on the Stalker Wiki website.
What Makes Stalker: Call of Pripyat a Great Game?
For one thing the game runs very smoothly without many of the famous bugs that plagued the earlier games. In both of the Stalker predecessors, players had to grapple with numerous bugs that often crashed the game or made the game almost unplayable without numerous fixes. Fortunately Call of Pripyat runs like a cat on the hunt.
Another great feature found in Call of Pripyat is a revamped Xray graphics engine. The game offers new textures, higher resolutions, and better overall action sequences. Atmospheric effects are brilliantly displayed along with amazing scenery. The game not only looks better but has a great gameplay that runs fairly well out of the box. The gameplay is also helped with support for quad core processors and new graphic systems.
Gameplay has been changed but not overly so. There are more side quests along with the main quests to help spice up the game. A player can complete the game faster by skipping the side quests or get maximum gameplay by completing all the side quests. Like the previous titles in the Stalker series, gameplay is also affected by constant emissions and radiation.
In Call of Pripyat, as well as its predecessors, the game evolves around a central character which is assigned quests based on interactions from other NPC characters. The game has a light role playing aspect to it. However, it is still a predominately FPS shooting game. The main character can advance with upgrades, new weapons, and other devices found throughout the game. Throughout the game, the main character must constantly watch out for radiation poisoning, emissions which will cause death, illness, and even starvation. Another feature passed down from its predecessors is the sandbox like feel to the game. Players can spend large amounts of time simply wandering the countryside without completing quests.
Monsters and Characters
Call of Pripyat offers a slew of new monsters, stalkers, soldiers, and mutants to deal with. Perhaps the best are the new zombie soldiers which can shoot almost too well. There is also a heavier presence of military units than in earlier games. Players will need to obtain lots of ammunition and good firepower to make it through the game. The soldiers can be especially tough and have the best weapons in the game. There are also many interactive characters that may or may not be friendly. The player’s interactions with these characters can actually change the outcome of the game.
The game will simply immerse many players, even if they do not follow the storyline or side quests. Not only is the game’s world independently functional, it also has the feel of a living world. Other characters interact constantly and one can sit by while groups fight it out with other groups. Sometimes players can lead one group of monsters or enemies into another group of enemies and watch as they destroy each other. The game world moves like the real world with night and daytime hours. The immensity and compelling atmosphere make Call of Pripyat a very haunting experience.
In The End
Ultimately Stalker: Call of Pripyat carries on many of the strengths that made the earlier Stalker games a success. It has the same haunting atmosphere, an open ended gameplay model, intriguing storylines, and a ton of enemies to deal with. Unlike its predecessors, Call of Pripyat does not suffer from many of the bugs and errors that often sabotaged gameplay. While the game is not completely bug free, it should be a welcome experience for many veterans of previous Stalker games. The updated graphics engine, gameplay, and new storylines will enthrall both veterans and newcomers alike. Stalker: Call of Pripyat is highly recommended for anyone that relish a great first person shooter with horror elements thrown in for good matter.
Stalker: Call of Pipyat can be purchased on Amazon.com and other retailers.