S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Release Date PC
Clear Sky is the second installment in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. The game is a prequel to the first installment, which means the plot here is set before the events of the original game. Again, the player traverses the dangerous Zone, which comprises areas of the infamous nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. The player completes assignments given by NPCs, fights enemies and searches for valuable artifacts, which can be either sold or used for certain purposes.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky for PC is set in 2011. The protagonist is a mercenary called Scar. When escorting a group of scientists, he witnesses a powerful energy emission, which kills his companions and makes Scar faint. The playthrough as such begins at a camp belonging to the Clear Sky - an organization willing to learn about the Zone. Scar finds out that emissions occurring more and more frequently are a kind of a protective device; he has to find those responsible for what has happened. Above all, Strelok is the key figure the player has to capture, but interestingly, he is also the protagonist of the first installment.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky for PC introduces significant modifications to the world of the Zone. About 50 per cent of this territory consists of areas from the first installment, however, these were upgraded. This applies mainly to the Kordon, Dark Valley, Agroprom Research Institute and Jantar maps. The other half of the game world consists of new regions, created specifically for the prequel. Above all, Scar is capable of exploring an extensive marshland and an abandoned town of Limansk.
Numerous improvements were made in terms of the rules governing the virtual environment - side quests were given a clearer picture. Officially, six factions make their presence in the game world and the player can try joining most of them. However, achieving this goal is possible only once the leaders of a given faction trust the protagonist. The player can participate in faction wars, helping their allies to eliminate enemy forces and take over subsequent bases, as well as providing the allies with protection. Completing subsequent assignments, the player progresses, earning valuable prizes and making local merchants willing to sell their goods for lower prices. It is worth noticing that selecting an joining a faction is not obligatory - it is possible to play as a freelance mercenary.
What has also gone through changes since the first installment is mainly the interface and the protagonist's PDA – a very characteristic element of the original game. Both allies and enemies behave more reasonably now – they are capable of throwing grenades for instance. The player collects new artifacts and is allowed to use a fast-travel option (offered by guides). Both the systems of upgrading the equipment (weapons, armor, etc.) and making repairs were improved. All of these actions are carried out with help of local mechanics, obviously once the player has paid an adequate amount of money.
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky for PC, the multiplayer was slightly improved as well. The game offers about 20 multiplayer maps and up to 32 players can join a single session. The game also introduces a new mode, which requires the players to obtain artifacts – the rules are more or less a CTF.
Clear Sky utilizes the same engine that was used in production of the original game. In case of DirectX 9, the game offers mainly a new lighting system and upgraded character models. However, Clear Sky supports DirectX 10 as well. In the latter case, the players can count on advanced, volumetric lighting or interesting effects associated with the build-up of water droplets on the surfaces of different objects.
Game mode: single / multiplayer Multiplayer mode: Internet Player counter: 1-32
Media type: 1 DVD
User score: 8,5 / 10 based on 4145 votes.
Pre-release expectations: 8.3 / 10 based on 754 votes.
PEGI rating S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky System requirements
PC / Windows
- Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz
- 1.5 GB RAM
- graphic card 256 MB (GeForce 7600 or better)
- 10 GB HDD
- Windows XP/Vista