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Thread: Stalker CS Review Roundup + Patch

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Stalker CS Review Roundup + Patch

    Since it has been tested by several major gaming magazines and online sites, i figured it would be time to give some hints for prospective buyers and all of you, who really liked the first game.

    According to Metacritic, the hardcopies are by far more positive about the game, while the online reviews see this game in the 70% area. Since i have no permission from the magazines, i can only quote the online reviews, which, hopefully, will not skewer your view of the game itself.


    What is Clear Sky? One year previous to the "Shadows of Chernobyl" events, a group of stalkers reaches the center of the zone (the nuclear power plant) and nearly brings a catastrophe to the surroundings. Gigantic blowouts change the zone and devour whole areas and their inhabitants. In this unstable zone, factions battle for supremacy.

    Basic gameplay is that one of a shooter with mild rpg elements, since you do quests, loot enemies, and improve your armor and weapons on the way. You can also equip artifacts sprung from so-called anomalies which boost your stats and resistances.


    The Russian Collectors Edition


    The Reviews:

    Print Reviews are thus far very positive and rate it 88%-90%.

    90% from games(TM):
    "Clear Sky chiefly succeeds because it transforms grim fantasy into a startlingly real-world experience. [Oct 2008, p.108]"

    88% from PC Zone UK:
    "Clear Sky is a unique experience, so far unparalleled save for its predecessor. [Oct 2008, p.52]"

    88% from Games Master UK:
    "Clear Sky delivers a more AI-driven, frightening and altogether more dangerous world than its predecessor ever could. [Oct 2008, p.77]"


    Starting with IGN, which gave it a 7.0/10 rating:
    "Clear Sky doesn't achieve that. Its take on the Zone, though fundamentally very similar, is seriously overpopulated, cursed with awful writing and saddled with design madness that makes progression a cheerless chore rather than a survivalist joy. 'Atmosphere' is a dangerously vague word to apply to a game, but it's the touchstone description of what the original Stalker did best: spookiness, grimness, weird beauty. Atmosphere is what Clear Sky most critically lacks, and why it could be the most disappointing PC game of 2008."
    But:
    "Yet, for all its failings, Clear Sky is still built over S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s mighty framework, and even in its lowest moments it can't topple that proud structure. There is horror, there is beauty (though sadly the newly-enhanced lighting model brings even a top-tier graphics card to its knees, so you'll end up back on the older visual settings) and there is often thrilling gunplay. It's not an RPG but it is playing in Deus Ex and System Shock 2's territory to a certain extent -- an FPS where you call your character's shots, in a world you can carve something like your own path through."
    PC Gamer UK gives it a whopping 68% and tells us why:
    "This review will largely ignore the fact of the game's staggering system specs and occasional instability. These are bugs which can and will be ironed out, or facts of technology that will be moderated by our simply having better PCs in the months to come. What cannot be so easily smoothed away are the bad design decisions."
    Uh oh. On the freshly implemented faction wars, in which you can actively participate and lead your chosen faction to victory:
    "Worse, perhaps, there's no sense that any real kind of struggle for control of the zone is going on, just a series of contrived, disconnected, arbitrary skirmishes - like those of a multiplayer game."
    Eurogamer gives us another 70% review.
    "It's a graphically improved prequel that integrates a mass of things that were promised for Stalker with assorted game tweaks that - on paper - sound as if they'd improve the immersion of the game considerably. In practice, it mainly shows that there are no good or bad ideas: only good and bad executions."

    "It plays much like any realistic-edged FPS does, but with minor RPG elements (you can improve your equipment or equip ability-improving artifacts) and it's in a living open-world. It's basically Oblivion with gu... oh, we've used that one before."
    For reviews from the community, take a look into the gsc forums for stalker-clear sky .

    Edit 09/07/08:
    Day-One-Patch: 1.5.03 here
    Patch 1.01 here


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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    "It plays much like any realistic-edged FPS does, but with minor RPG elements (you can improve your equipment or equip ability-improving artifacts) and it's in a living open-world. It's basically Oblivion with gu... oh, we've used that one before."
    So, they're saying Oblivion has minor RPG elements. Bravo Eurogamer, while you might not have meant it like that, you hit the nail on the head.

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    Alphadrop's Avatar
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    Already a patch out for this game and it hasn't come out yet.
    That's dedication.
    ''You have the right to remain inconspicuous."

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    More like laziness.

    Zero-day patches are a horrible invention of sloppy game design.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil
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    hm, I had hoped that they'd have been more careful with bugs and sloppy design this time around. sounds like the finished game is pretty much like the first one in those areas.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    i omitted the patch since our versions ought to be shipped with it; i f not ill edit it in. the patch is kinda huge and fixes a LOT of ingame and quest issues. our russian friends complained a lot about cs being in a 70% done status when released there, which is probably exaggerated. anyway, dx9-users are a bit fuxxored since it seems to be optimized for dx10 (weird issues like very bad performance on dx9 and 60 fps on dx10 with comparable settings etc).

    what worries me most is that cs is more a rail shooter than shoc ever was. remember npp stancia2? the game seems to be much more like some cod-ripoff since there are MASSES of enemies thrown your way. what annoys me the most is that there is a modification out (oblivion lost) that fixes a lot of issues with the original game AND those fixes were built into CS. in theory, that worked, but as the reviewers stated, lots of mistakes were made in CS while it worked flawlessly in the OL modification.

    finally, 1 good and one bad news.

    good: file structure is the same as it was in shoc. and, shoc is easily moddable, so most issues can be fixed by the community.
    bad: no sdk. so no new content except for omitted original content set free by editing the :spawns and .scripts.

    overall, i ofc will buy that game since i love the original. and i will mod the hell out of it . expect no less than the hardest mod evar, since right now i am building one for shoc that will basically render it unplayable (like operation flashpoint on veteran, only with more enemies and more, deadlier mutants)


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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    Strange to optimimize it for DX 10 when a lot of people are still using XP.

    Does CS actually have any mutants, they've been promoting the faction war thing so much I don't know if it does.
    ''You have the right to remain inconspicuous."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphadrop
    Strange to optimimize it for DX 10 when a lot of people are still using XP.

    Does CS actually have any mutants, they've been promoting the faction war thing so much I don't know if it does.
    'mhmm, I played a little bit of it at PAX, It's so scary trudging through the bogs at night where you can't see five feet in front of you, to hear the breathing of a boar at full charge from behind, and then you get bitten, which afterwords you frantically try to shoot it as it runs into the darkness, rinse and repeat until you die.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    from what i saw in the ingame videos, animal mutants exist. ive read from bloodsuckers, too. nothing from controllers, so far.
    and, to my immense frustration:

    edited out for misinformation: there indeed ARE underground levels. read on for further spoilers =)


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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    A right proper chap. Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
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    Aww, faction were sewer fighting would be awesome. Though a little tricky on the ai coding.
    The poltergeists were awesome, though less scary once you realise you can shoot them or liberally sprinkle grenades where they are.
    Shame they're left out.
    ''You have the right to remain inconspicuous."

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    I've made over 40 posts First time out of the vault

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    @horst

    When will that mod of yours for shoc come out? I'd like to try that out. I'm currently playing kanyhalos' Oblivion Lost
    SAY 'ELLO TO MY LITTLE FREN

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    i have no clue, tbh. testing takes some time since you normally have to begin a new game. its basically a modification of amk's mod and inclueds the improved a-life files. right now, i am fiddling with these since i want to learn more about the ai behaviour.

    lets both wait for cs and how it looks like - perhaps ill help kanyhalos IF he decides to port OL to cs.


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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    I should set a custom title It Wandered In From the Wastes

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    Im buying CS if they keep the atmosphere of the first, i mean i played that game with bugs and all, love every minute of it.

    That freaky thing that attacks your mind made me ran from it the first time around, damn i was sweating like a pig, caught me off guard. Great game.

    Edit: damn just saw that post of kanyhalos talking about the quest system in CS, pop up quests are very annoying.

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    I should set a custom title Look, Ma! Two Heads!

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    Quote Originally Posted by horst
    [..] and, to my immense frustration:

    there is NO underground level in CS.

    yes, you heard me. ALL underground levels are edited out. damn. i loved them; the spooky athmosphere and all that. i even liked the poltergeist in x18.
    What the...?! Noooooo! Why did they do that? Even in the books there are underground areas

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    I should set a custom title It Wandered In From the Wastes

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    Really enjoyed Stalker, although I never got around to modding it, partly just because there were so many mods didn't know which ones to use.

    As for CS, looking forward to it, although now knowing that there are no underground levels, I dunno, those were some of the best parts of the last game IMO.
    Stansfield: I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it?

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    I should set a custom title Look, Ma! Two Heads!

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    Really disappointed by the reviews thus far. I went from planning on buying this immediately to not wanting to pick it up. Hopefully it'll get cleaned up in patches and mods after a while. I guess the original was more rough at launch too, so hopefully Clear Sky'll be fixed up in a few months and then I'll buy it.

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    Panzerkatze Tagaziel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by horst
    yes, you heard me. ALL underground levels are edited out. damn. i loved them; the spooky athmosphere and all that. i even liked the poltergeist in x18.
    Then why do I have "Pripyat Underground" in my level list? Also, Limyansk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by horst
    there is NO underground level in CS.

    yes, you heard me. ALL underground levels are edited out. damn. i loved them; the spooky athmosphere and all that. i even liked the poltergeist in x18.
    damn, that's just craziness. one of my favorite parts of the first game was the underground levels

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael Grizzly
    Quote Originally Posted by horst
    yes, you heard me. ALL underground levels are edited out. damn. i loved them; the spooky athmosphere and all that. i even liked the poltergeist in x18.
    Then why do I have "Pripyat Underground" in my level list? Also, Limyansk.
    holy fork! do you own the game? if so, plox clarify, since i relayed information from kanyhalos.


    [spoiler:3b3780971f]
    Agropom underground:
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwpHzHr3WTA&feature=related[/youtube]
    [/spoiler:3b3780971f]


    i have to correct myself, there is at least ONE underground level. flythrough via demorecord on youtube in the spoiler tags.


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    no doublepost, but you cannot spoilertag more than one media file and cannot put more than one spoilertag in a message.

    so here goes the stalker map:

    [spoiler:e508a0b06f][/spoiler:e508a0b06f]


    drinkers remorse: i'd rather have been drunk last night - than hang-over free right now. (maakies)

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