Stalker: Clear Sky - Is Your System Ready?

Light Test

The following pictures compare the illumination quality at the maximum setting; the order is: static illumination, dynamic illumination of objects, dynamic illumination, extended dynamic illumination, and extended dynamic illumination of objects.

In the test scene, Stalker stands in a small room. The visual difference between static illumination (image 1) and dynamic illumination (image 2 and 3) is pretty easy to see — the light source is weak, shadows are missing, and wall and ceiling textures have no depth.

The difference between dynamic illumination of objects (image 2) and dynamic illumination (image 3) is the computation of light and shadow. There isn’t much to see, but with dynamic illumination the scene is a little darker and the shadows are a little stronger. The cost, however, is a cool 20 fps.

In DirectX10 mode, extended dynamic illumination (image 4), the shadow of the bed gets stronger. In addition, the surface textures of the walls and ceiling are finer and have more detail. The change costs 31 fps. If you switch to the maximum setting — extended dynamic illumination of objects — the overall light becomes weaker (image 5). But at this level, independent light sources like lamps on the wall glow brighter, which can be seen in a more well-defined light radius and slightly changed shadow positions in the background.

Light Test with 1920x1200 pixels

Even indoors, the DirectX 10 illumination pushes the frame rate down to unplayable levels — the difference between dynamic illumination and extended dynamic illumination is just too large. You should at least take the step from static illumination to dynamic illumination, otherwise you will have to have to run around in illuminated rooms with your flashlight in order to see everything.

Light Test, 1920x1200, 0AF, 0AA fps Percent
Static Illumination 90 100
Dynamic illumination of Objects 67 74
Dynamic illumination 47 52
Extended Dynamic illumination 16 18
Extended Dynamic illumination of Objects 10 11

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62 comments
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  • Page 7 is not available... It gives an error, as if the page doesn't exist.
    2
  • Aside from the numerous pages that don't work, was a 24-page analysis of STALKER, a fairly mediocre shooter, really necessary? Is a 24-page analysis of any game necessary? Sigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-
    -6
  • Now crysis is obsolete =p
    0
  • hmm ... I loled when I saw the graphics error in the water tests. the camo-net disappeared everywhere it obscured water in all modes other than static. but you get a nice looking water effect :-)

    I was wondering if I can get this game to run on reasonable terms on a HD4670 or HD3850. Based on the HD3870 results, it looks like it would be playable ...
    0
  • V3ctorPage 7 is not available... It gives an error, as if the page doesn't exist.


    Not sure what you're seeing (or not, in this case), but everything is working over here. Any more detail?
    0
  • magicandySigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-
    Dude, the GSC can't even afford to hire a dozen half-decent developers, let alone pay for ads.
    1
  • I had 'page not found' errors too, but they seem fixed now
    0
  • No page errors here.
    -1
  • Nice article, I liked the quality comparisons a lot
    3
  • I like the article ive been playing this on a 4870 for about a week now and absolutly love it!
    1
  • magicandyAside from the numerous pages that don't work, was a 24-page analysis of STALKER, a fairly mediocre shooter, really necessary? Is a 24-page analysis of any game necessary? Sigh anything to please devs and grab ad dollars -_-


    A fairly mediocre shooter? Youre obviously an idiot.

    The real question here is what was the point of the first 9 pages? Is this a review on a graphics analysis article? C'mon on, Tom's, get it together.

    Other than the first 9 pages, nice article. Very in-depth.
    5
  • No 4870x2 in that roundup? What about some CF/SLI numbers?
    0
  • Well, i found it a decent review. I liked how they categorized the cards and presented the game. This review might not ring you bells but it is not too bad.

    Not that I'm going to buy this game atm. Its too hilarious to see the stock market now. Oh, well :)
    0
  • cangelini

    It posted as a bad link... as if i got a link (for example 1 year ago, and now doesn't work)... But it's fine now... never mind :)

    Good review... 24 pages is a lot, u covered a lot of angles... including the graphics cards.
    0
  • The game is definitely an improvement on the first one - on paper at least.
    The problem is the huge amount of game crashes. I played the game for about 8 hours, progressing all the way to The Garbage level when my crashes started. I was forced to install the latest patch, but that meant I had to start all over again. Although I this time got twice as far, the game still crashes - although now instead of rebooting the PC, it is caught by a built-in bug tracker.
    I am really dissapointed now, cause after one of these crashes, my game is now stuck at the Yantar level - where I'm supposed to meet up with a character, but when you get to the character, he is completely inactive. I've moved backwards and forwards in levels, but I cannot get this dude to react to my presence.

    I suspect I will probably have to restart the game, but I think I am going to abandon - at least untill a newer patch, and then hope the new patch will recognize my current saves.

    Advice: Make regular custom saves - not just quicksaves...
    1
  • More like is STALKER ready? From what I've heard it's not. Numerous bugs and crashes, but then again the first game was like that so would you expect anything less?
    0
  • Patch 1.5.05 is out. The game never crashed or glitched for me and I've gone from start to finish, joined in on 3 different faction wars and explored the crap out of every area. I also finished crysis warhead and that CTDed twice from the start to the end.
    0
  • I dont know if Im convinced on getting this STALKER...I was hugely disappointed with the first one (especially since sooo many people said it was a great game)...
    For me, its the exact opposite of crysis...I didnt get crysis for the longest time because soo many people said it wasnt worth it, but once I took a chance on it, I loved it...now I got warhead which so far has be amazing...
    1
  • Warhead is short and shallow. Not a bad game but anyway. If you're talking about Stalker:SOC then you would do well to look at the modding community which really made the game the memorable experience it is to many. (Notably the oblivion lost mod)

    I've played and finished both crysis games. They are in no way comparable to the atmospheric freedom that the stalker games have. You just can't compare them. Change the point of view to multiplayer and things might be different. Otherwise I you comment comes across as poorly thought out and shallow.
    1
  • Very nice review indeed. I missed the 4870X2 and 9800GX2 though, but it was a nice review indeed.

    I liked the "Performance Comparison" at the end the most. That's the most usefull piece of info you guys can give the reader: easy to digest pointers and info for overall game experience. Two thumbs up for that =)

    Esop!
    1