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Thread: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky shipping today in North America

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky shipping today in North America

    After some delays, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky should be in North American stores today, and is available on Direct2Drive as per this press release.

    Spotted on Blue's News.

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

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    For anyone floating around the US and has access to a Circuit City, they're going to be selling Clear Sky for $30 on the 21st-28th. I was originally planning on waiting a few months to see how they patched it, but for $30 I'm having second thoughts. Especially since it sounds like the patch or two they've released already fixed things up a good bit.

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    I should set a custom title Still Mildly Glowing

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    Bought last week, patch was already on it (or so it says) Only had one bug, the one where you have to kill the stalkers around the scientist in Yantar to get him to open the f*n door.

    I LOVE the difficulty increase in this game. A real challenge finally. Beat original on hardest with pistols... this one that is near impossible. Bad side... can't kill everything indiscriminately anymore.

    I had to go to two stores to get to copies, first only had one, second store only had two and the guy behind me bought the 2nd one so you might want to run fast

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    I'm gonna wait for the bundled version that comes with the first game, since I've never played it. I assume there will be one anyway.. at some point. They seem to have a poor publisher though, as the game seen only a limited release at my local Wal-Mart. I might have to resort to eBay for the collection, in the months to come.

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    FYI Just Pick it up off Steam if you like

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    I really recommand trying it before buying if you are a fan of Shadow of Chernobyl.

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    I should set a custom title Testament to the ghoul lifespan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytxferryman
    Bought last week, patch was already on it (or so it says) Only had one bug, the one where you have to kill the stalkers around the scientist in Yantar to get him to open the f*n door.

    I LOVE the difficulty increase in this game. A real challenge finally. Beat original on hardest with pistols... this one that is near impossible. Bad side... can't kill everything indiscriminately anymore.

    I had to go to two stores to get to copies, first only had one, second store only had two and the guy behind me bought the 2nd one so you might want to run fast
    Please put spoiler tags around anything that could give any hints to gameplay. Let others enjoy it in it's full glory.



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

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    So far, I like it. It's definitely more action-oriented than SoC, so far, though I've only played for 45 minutes or so.

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    I should set a custom title So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

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    The original looked a tad too scary for me (I'm not a big fan of horror / scary style games) so I'm not sure if I'll try this.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcorporon
    The original looked a tad too scary for me (I'm not a big fan of horror / scary style games) so I'm not sure if I'll try this.
    Well, I don't know if what follows might be considered a spoiler but :

    [spoiler:856bdceb00]They've completely cut the "scary" parts with this one, unfortunately. It's basically as scary as Call of Duty 4, that is to say not at all.[/spoiler:856bdceb00]

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcorporon
    The original looked a tad too scary for me (I'm not a big fan of horror / scary style games) so I'm not sure if I'll try this.
    The danger and scariness of SoC is a big part of what made the atmosphere so thick (and awesome). The Zone is a dangerous, scary place. If it wasn't for that it wouldn't be nearly as engrossing.

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

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    The shootout through Pripyat in the first game was the most memorable for me.
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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Huh? That was the most disappointing part of it, since it was just one linear fragfest. I expected exploration and missions in Pripyat.

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    Still kind of new First time out of the vault

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    i've played clear sky now for about 10 hours and im just loving it. mutants are much more of a threat now, lots of cool tweaks to the factions and weapon/ armor system, new anomalies, still really tense and scary at times... awesome game.

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    I should set a custom title So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polynikes
    The danger and scariness of SoC is a big part of what made the atmosphere so thick (and awesome). The Zone is a dangerous, scary place. If it wasn't for that it wouldn't be nearly as engrossing.
    Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to say that the game was bad, just not my cup of tea, as I'm not a fan of the scary stuff.

    I like my rooms brightly lit, and my enemies easily seen .

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    I ordered the first Stalker and about 7 other games for a bit less than $40. If I really like it a lot then I'll pick up the sequel next time I go out.. or get it on eBay. I dunno. Just seems like everything is cheaper online nowadays. Buy a new movie for $20 and then find out it's not even worth $10 (shipping included) on eBay.

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

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    It appears GSC just didn't get enough time.

    First things first. The bugs. Syaing the game is buggy isn't doing it justice. It's a crawling mess. And not the kind that makes NPCs do weird things. ANything below 1.5.04 means you can, for any reason, and at any time, be graced with your desktop wallpaper. An emission, zoning, whatever. Often you make a save just before zoning. You zone and.. poof, the game dies. You reload, zone again, and the game dies again. Basically you can reload ad infinitum and the game will still crash. Your only option is to reload a save an hour back - if you were smart enough to make one.

    To be precise I restarted the game 8 times due to various bugs. First it was the mentioned zoning. Try to zone out, poof, crash to desktop every single damned time.

    Game restart. I actually managed to zone. But the main quest requires I actually go and search for a corpse. I get close - quicksave, and then search the corpse. The quest gets finished, and a voice starts looping "Well, me- Well, me- Well, me- Well, me- " and to the desktop we go. I reload, try again. To no avail. I zone out, and zone in. Try again. Crash to desktop.

    Alright, I restart the game. I actually managed to search the body without the game crashing. I save.n 3 minutes after the save there's an emission. I hide, and while my stalker survives, the game does not. I reload, try again. The game crashes yet again. I tried that a few more times and decided to run away from the emission. That helped with the crash... but.. all the plot-critical NPCs are gone! All traders, repairmen, gone! Just the generic squads left.

    Crap. I install the patch.

    Everything's going smooth. I'm at the cordon. I finally have some pretty damned good gear. But what's this? "Do you want to leave this area?" and the only answer "Yes". Where did the "No" go? Well, anyway. I click yes, and to my amazement I just get turned back 180 degrees. What the bloody hell? I try again, and again I end up back in the same level, back to the exit.

    Turns out it's a bug that GSC didn't see. There's a fan-made patch though, so I install it. It requires you restart your game however. I do so. Again.

    Saving each 30 minutes I finally finished the game.

    [spoiler:727ce626c4]
    I don't know what to think.

    The game has so many positive and negative aspects. Bugs aside, the game is the most atmospheric game I have played, second only to Fallout. Then again, no, Fallout had a different type of atmosphere. Here you can actually stop for a while just to enjoy the views. Just to see the post-apocalyptic landscape, to hear fellow stalkers playing the guitar, to watch the shadows move over the landscape.

    The game isn't nowhere near as interactive as Crysis for example, but the graphics put crysis to it's knees. Crysis had shiny graphics but nothing to show. Here the environment is astounding. As a lot of you, I'm guessing, I'm a fan of industrial art&decay. Sometimes I wish I could just reach out and touch the 3d environment, or take a stroll through the sunken halls of the mental institution I was waging an all-out battle in, just moments ago.

    The game is short. Most of the time I spent moving from a base, laden with dozens of kilograms of rifles, guns and et cetera just to sell them. I actually ended the game with nearly 100 000 RU. And that's veteran difficulty mind you.

    I didn't expect the game to end so quickly. Certain locations had very little to offer - take for example Yantar. There wasn't much to do there. Or the Red Forest - apart from the few quests and great sights, I wrapped that level all too quick. Then my greatest surprise. Once I entered Limansk, there was no coming back. Sure, I had my trusty upgraded VSS with 300 AP rounds, and my modified obokan with it's insane rate of fire, fitted with a scope, grenade launcher and silencer. Just because it spat out rounds at an incredible rate meant it wore out quickly, and at the chernobyl NPP I had a sad excuse for a weapon that jammed every 10 rounds and spat bullets everywhere, except at the target. Many bullets were shot by the time I got to the NPP, but time-wise it was all too short. Much too short. And the NPP fight itself was both very difficult, even with my uber-artifacts that gave me health regeneration actually faster than the one in crysis, and disappointing. Short, frantic.

    Why can't I put my junk on a jeep, or any other vehicle? Why can't the guys at the Clear Sky camp take an APC and let me stash extra ammo and spare guns in there, so that as I'm progressing through Limansk and then the mental institution I could always pull out a fresh gun, throw away the old one or restock up on ammo and grenades?

    Oh, grenades, there's a thing. The AI is incredibly good at throwing grenades. Most of the time when hiding behind a rock you'll get hit in the head with a grenade. Heck, you'll get bombed all the time and with pinpoint accuracy. You rarely have an idea where the enemy is but when it comes to grenades, you'll get hit with them in the head, even if you're behind cover that obscures your exact position. As I preffer to fight at longer distances by the time I see a grenade indicator there's no point in running, as the grenade will blow up above my head anyway. A valuable lesson is that when you hear the words "grenade", in whatever mutilation of English or Russian, RUN. You, on the other hand, have to holster your weapon, pull out the grenade, throw it, and again press 3 to take out your weapon. Where did the quickthrow go? And why the hell is my under-barrell grenade launcher that weak? I rarely, if ever take out anybody with grenades. However I'm much more accurate than the NPCs, popping headshot after headshot with my VSS. Damn, I love that weapon.

    The storyline? Pretty weak. Sadly. I expected more loose ends tied up, more backstory. The characters? Flat and two-dimentional. The "funnah" discussions over the megaphone in the Freedom base? Come on. For that reason alone I joined Duty.

    I do have to say the artifact system have been massively improved and redesigned. Hunting them is now actually fun. You have to navigate anomalies, fight psy-emissions and radiation and look for an invisible blip on your sensor. Unlike SoC, the artifacts are actually useful though. Apart from the psy, fire and electricity protection artifacts, which raise your resistance by a minimal amount, you can gather a set of artifacts that will make the game play like CoD2, never needing a bandage or medkit again. And the gunfights are more fun indeed, though once you get your hands on the VSS the game becomes trivial. Being able to see the bullet means you learn the trajectory of the projectile and know exactly how much to lead targets. I've sniped faraway teams, one by one, without them even raising any alarm. This makes the game all too easy to play, even on veteran. On the other hand, in the last level, only headshots work. I've pumped clip after clip into guys wearing powered armour, and they just shrug it off. Just like in the original Stalker, the final level loses it's tactical dogfight aspect, and turns into a mad, "let's see if you can fight ten walking tanks that can teleport right behind your back at a time" button-mashing reload-fest.

    This isn't nearly as good as Stalker. If GSC were to combine both games into one, we'd have a winner. Still, Stalker remains one of the very few games that had a profound effect on me. Hey, if a game convinces you to actually visit Chernobyl in real life, that's something, ey?
    [/spoiler:727ce626c4]

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    I should set a custom title Vault Fossil

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    Yeah. I've only played it for, like, 20 minutes without the patch. I had terrible performance issues. Installed the patch : now everything plays smooth and fine. Never had any crash btw. Can't wait for the new patch though, hope it will fix the rain problem ( modifying the user.ltx does not really work for me, probably because I have a SLI rig ).

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

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    The game is EXTREMELY buggy. Many quests are broken and it's not unlikely you'll encounter gamebreaking bugs. Like CTDs if you do anything...

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    Ouch! Well I certainly hope the first game has better support than this by now, since I'll be getting it in a few days. Any particular download recommendations that I should be getting?

    I remember Doom crashing a lot like this. Morrowind and Oblivion used to crash a lot, but I think that was mostly due to their bad management of memory. Still though, Clear Sky sounds 10x more buggy than anything I've played before.

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