developer: GSC Game World
publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1-32
game language: English
game release date for PC:
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat for PC is the third (after Clear Sky and Shadow of Chernobyl) installment in the series of action games featuring RPG elements. It was developed by GSC Game World – a Ukrainian company. Apart from the series of post-apocalyptic games, the creators are also known for a couple of historical strategy games, mainly the Cossacks series.
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat for PC, the story is set again in the contaminated lands of the Zone - the area around the well-known nuclear power plant. It turns out that soon after the events depicted in the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the Ukrainian government found a way to reach the centre of the dangerous area. The secret ‘Fairway’ military operation was started, aiming to regain control over the power plant. The first group set out in accordance with the plan, and their task was to create detailed maps of the Zone. The mission soon failed, because most of the helicopters sent over the area had crashed without any apparent reason. This is the point when the player enters the entire story as Alexander, an agent of the State Security Service, whose goal is to find out about the causes of the Fairway operation's failure.
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat for PC, the player explores three extensive areas during their investigation. The game takes the player mainly to the eastern part of Pripyat, the Jupiter factory, Yanov train station or Kopachi village. All the in-game locations are the representations of real-existing places, faithfully recreated in accordance with the actual land positioning.
Exploration has become even more dangerous, because enemies have more unique abilities and their behavior was slightly altered. The game features two new monsters – the jumpy and durable Chimera, and the photophobic, common-looking Burer. Of course, the game features new interesting NPCs as well, encountered both in the main Stalker bases and during exploration.
The largest change brought by this installment is the improved system of side quests. These are no longer randomly generated. The quests are longer and more interesting. What is more, the player can choose the way of solving the problem sometimes. Apart from that, the interface was overhauled. The game features a new inventory menu and bigger icons indicating armor status, radiation or hunger levels. The protagonist can also sleep, which helps in healing the wounds or simply going through the night.
The game utilizes the same engine which was used in creation of the previous installments. Nonetheless, X-Ray Engine was extended to 1.6 version. In terms of the visuals, volumetric lighting in the DirectX 10 mode was improved and support for DirectX 11 was added. Curiously enough, the game was developed in such a way that even the low-specification PC owners can launch it.
Game score 8.305 / 10 calculated out of 3288 players' votes.
Expectations before the premiere: 7.7 / 10 calculated out of 458 players' votes.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Duo 2.83 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce GTX 260 or better), 6 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7