The original STALKER was great, with the right mods. Hopefully this one will be the same. Right out of the box the original game had lots of problems, weapons balance the main one, but I will still give Clear Sky a chance. Thank God I don't have a console, or I would be out of luck as far as mods!
I've downloaded a Russian version to preview it because the anticipation was killing me; I loved the original stalker and I can't wait to get Stalker: CS
FYI: I do not encourage video game piracy in any way, and I don't care if you pirate or not - and I also guarantee that in 3 days i'll be getting Stalker: CS on Steam :-o ps: any attempts to poke at me for piracy will simply be met with SS's of my Steam library or photos of my game library, lol - anyways.
My thoughts from trying this demo:
Graphics are incredible, extreme settings at 1680*1050 is at least as taxing as Crysis for my system but its quite playable.
Sound quality is excellent even with my onboard motherboard sound, its a good bump up from Stalker: SoC in that they use more audio channels by default and the SFX in general are crisper highs and deeper lows - overall nice improvement to to Stalker: SoC's sound library.
Story: No idea, its all in Russian so i'll just have to wait until the English version is released.
Stability wise, i've had no crashes yet; so i'd say it seems good to go.
Gameplay in general is great - if you liked Stalker: Oblivion Lost's general gameplay then you'll like Stalker: CS's. Where Stalker: CS and OL differ though, is that Stalker: CS uses the Stalker: SoC armor/damage model, anyone who has played Stalker: OL knows how powerful the guns are in that mod. Stalker:CS has a great new weapon mod system and includes a repair/damage system for gear.
Faction wars so far seem very well developed - npcs act on their own independantly and can even take some objectives without player assistance. Likewise, counter-attacks from friendly/opposing forces seem to be quite furious - the enemy definitely knows when you're attacking their territory, and likewise your allies will send units to the front as soon as they can. All in all, it seems quite functional; combat AI seems to have been improved decently too.
In general if you liked the original Stalker, then its pretty much guaranteed that you'll like Stalker: CS - ignore the IGN review, its terrible and not worth your time; i'll say this much though, if you DIDN'T like Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl, then you won't like Stalker: Clear Sky - this game isn't for everyone, and the demographic they target is a lot different from the popular North American demographic for gaming.
Re-bought SoC yesterday. Had played it before, but my save file corrupted so only got so far though.
Plus I decided to get OL this time round; a good choice it seems. The seeming lack of info on the HUD is a interesting touch; has to be said the sky box changes are the best aesthetic change though. THats what Oblivion's Natural Environments mod should've been.
Its basically everything i wanted the original stalker game to be.
Graphics are on par with crysis on max but more dark, realistic and gloomy.
Gameplay is great and the storyline, in my opinion, is quite thorough and fills loads of gaps and questions i had.
AI is pretty decent and only gets better with each patch.
One of the most modable games ever with a massive fan community.
Wicked weapons/armour upgrade system; a plethora of great, varied weapons; faction wars; and a HUGE open ended ( to a certain extent in keeping with the central plot line ) world to explore; dark, sinister post apocalyptic atmosphere.
My fav FPS game of 2008 so far. Played 10 hrs and have only had 1 crash to desktop and 1 black screen ( cause i was messing with the graphics - put it on slideshow mode lol ).
I am currently playing the first STALKER all patched up and modded (Oblivion Lost 2.2 + Float32), and it is one of the best shootes I've played in recent years. Engaging, atmospheric, challenging, and thrilling.
Admittedly, I could NOT play the game when it first came out; it was just too broken for me. However, after the patches and especially the OL mod, it was EXACTLY what I always expected it to be and more.
With the above in mind, I'm holding off on CS for now. The game is still not complete from what I hear (and after all it IS GSC ), so I'll wait for a while until they fix the major problems and mods start appearing.
Unfortunately, there won't be another Oblivion Lost for this one, but hopefully something just as good will appear in the near future.
One question... is there an option to remove the head-bob? It made me feel ill after playing the game too long, guess it was motion sickness. I ended up finding a mod to disable it in the original.
Yeah, the Oblivion mod added a lot to the game imo. Mostly, I was happy with the firepower of the weapons. The only complaint I have about it is the blowouts. Sometimes they can occur during the escort missions and screw them all up.
Hehe, yeah, tell me about it.
It ruined my first couple of attempts to escort Mole at the beginning of the game, but I managed eventually. So far they haven't caused me much annoyances besides that incident.
Ye - Oblivion Lost, Float32 and SHARPER texture mods changed STALKER SOC totally. Was like a new game. You get to enjoy the Blowouts
Did have to redo some missions though =)
Absolutely loved it. Played the whole game again - best experience to date.