First of all, let me say, amazing. I love it. There are a couple cons, but its mostly pros.
So, i’ll begin with the cons, cos there aren't many of them.
First: The main quest is a little short. I did it in 14 game days. (… just over a 24h of play time) so compared to Modern Warfare 2, which I did in 5h, its a damn sight better! Moneys worth! £1.60 per hour, value for money! Plus I’m very likely to play it again, simply to finish the quests.
Second : Not very scary, there is the occasional bit that was a little “Agh!” but not many. For being on edge factor, the original STALKER, with all its flaws, was definitely better.
Third: There are 3 “worlds”?! Come on! Thats poor! The original had 9! I think… Cordon, Garbage, Agroprom Research Institute, Dark Valley, 100 Rads bar area, Yantar, That bit between Yantar and 100 Rads, Army Warehouses, Red Forest, Pripyat and the NPP… Thats 11 not 9… Plus thats not counting the 3 X-labs, and the few levels in the NPP. So yea, poor effort on the worlds. But, thats it!
And thats all the negatives in my view. Maybe the bloodsuckers were a little too powerful… but not overly so, was good to have a decent enemy.
Right, i’m going to do more of a Review for this bit:
A stalker checks his detector while searching for Artefacts
Okay, lets first start by saying: This does seem to be a much better developed game. Out of the 3 STALKER series, this is definitely the most polished. But for that reason it fails on the atmosphere that was present in the original. Saying that, in the original Shadow of Chernobyl, the Artefact system sucked, the artefacts were everywhere, STALKER Clear Sky, the Artefacts were just ridiculously hard to find, and basically not worth the effort… Call of Pripyat has got a really nice balance between the 2, and with confidence I think I will definately spend a good deal of time walking between anomalous areas with the detector and a bag of bolts searching for artefacts.
Found one! Artefact hunting
I also liked the Blow Outs/Emissions. Shadow of Chernobyl (SOC) only had the final blowout in the NPP. Clear Sky (CS) also had them, but CS was, to be honest, rubbish. COP (Call of Pripyat) does them in a big way. After every emission anomalies move, artefacts appear in places that didn't have them before, its basically an ever changing zone. Very cool.
An emission hits the zone
The “Faction Wars” feature from Clear Sky, that was particularly rubbish, was thankfully removed, and doesn't really have a replacement. Another feature that was thankfully removed was in the demo_record command. Before it showed a help screen all the time, which was very annoying, especially if you wanted to take screenshots or video using it.
I’ll try and sum up… I loved the original STALKER, Shadow Of Chernobyl, it had that dark, gritty feel to it that scared the crap out of me on occasion, but it also had its more lovable parts, like the glitch in the bar where the guy would say “Dont Stand there! come in! I said dont stand there! come in! ” and would repeat indefinitely. Or the guard who would repeatedly say “You cant go there.” Call of Pripyat seems to be missing these little flaws that we love. Its a well polished game, and feels like a smooth, US style consumer game rather than a loving GSC creation, with all its bumps and rough edges, its just… too perfect. Dont get me wrong, it does have its flaws, but they’re not quite as…. comforting, as those from SOC. Clear Sky was a mistake, no doubt about it, there was one good moment, the battle for the bridge, and the fight though Limansk, that I have good memories from. Shadow of Chernobyl had many, the Agroprom underground was epic, some brilliant battles there, with the bloodsuckers and the military, the teleportation to see Sidorovitch at the end “MARKED ONE?! WHAT THE HELL!?” made me laugh for hours, and its great moments like these that you remember a game for. Call of Pripyat doesn't disappoint with the epic moments.
Top Epic moments: WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD.
My first top epic moment is the decent into the Pripyat underground. When your entire team is stood at the top of the lift, and Maj.Degtyarev says “Lets Rock.” was quite an epic moment, there had been so much build up to that moment, finding your team, equipping them, and the knowledge that something intense is about to begin, was actually a really good feeling, and a feeling of anticipation. Pripyat underground didn't fail to disappoint either! Though my memory of it is a little of a blur “Running though tunnels with Snorks.
Meeting Strelok again was pretty epic, and damned good to see him! Last time I saw him was down my scope of the Gauss Rifle…And it was good to see he finally got a decent legit job working for the Ukraine Secret Service in the Zone.
My next epic moment is the final running battle. I really do like manoeuvre warfare, running from box to car to wall getting cover and returning fire. That block by block battle to the helos was, rather fun! Though I did loose a great medic on the way….. Rest in peace Lieutenant.
The final cut scene/ end credits section was also pretty epic. The result of all the quests, played out, was really quite something,
I also liked the effect of rain on the walls and things:
Was done much better than Clear Sky.
Basically, great game, beats Clear Sky hands down. Its better than Shadow of Chernobyl is every way apart from Atmosphere and memorablility. And those 2 categories are enough to place it just behind Shadow of Chernobyl in the grand scheme of STALKER series so far.
STALKER Shadow Of Chernobyl = 9.8/10
STALKER Clear Sky = 6/10 (Yes, it sucked that badly)
STALKER Call of Pripyat = 9/10
COP looses that 1/10 for the lack of atmosphere and being too short! SOC looses 0.2 for the stupid artefacts! But is still definitely the best game ever, in my strictly non official judgement.
Sums it up! Love it. If you’ve not played any of the other STALKER series, play Shadow of Chernobyl! definitely! There are parts of Call of Pripyat that wont make sense otherwise. Then play Call of Pripyat! If you feel like it, then play Clear Sky, its a prelude to Shadow of Chernobyl, and explains Streloks past.