Introduction: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-Shadow Of Chernobyl is an FPS game with elements of RPG. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was made by GCS Company on the X-Ray engine. The game was released on 03/20/2007. In this game, you need to survive in Chernobyl with hundreds of mutants and tons of anomalies and explore the world.
The gameplay is a mixture of RPG and FPS, as I said. You have many types of weapons, such as Ak, MP5, M1911 and so on. You can also improve your characteristics using artifacts that you can find in the anomalies, buying new equipment (suits) will also help. You can also buy new costumes and artifacts from merchants, which you will find in neutral territory.
In this game are a lot of types of enemies, they are divided into two large groups: Mutants and Humans. If the player wants, he can make every NPC an enemy, or friend. It depends on the choices that the player did as the story progresses. The only two groups with which the player cannot be friends is "Bandits" and "Military", they always will be enemies, regardless of choices.
Fractions are one of the most important parts of this game and this topic is very big to put in gameplay. There is a lot of fractions, that player will meet while the passing plot and a lot of them, the player can join (with one exception). Here are some main fractions:
Note: This is a screenshot from another part called "Clear Sky" where you can join bandits.
Bandits are the most common fraction in this game and also the most numerically largest group in the zone. You can meet them everywhere in the zone. Most of them have weak equipment, but some of them have pretty decent weapons (MP5, AK-74 for example). Near to the end of the game they will present almost no danger.
Duty in the zone is some kind of police. In this fraction all soldiers have strict discipline, because a lot of them worked in police while they were citizens. Their base located in the bar "100 Rag". They always fight with fraction "Freedom" and think that them is their main enemies. They keep order and watch stalkers in neutral territory. In Duty, all soldiers have really nice equipment: good costumes, and strongest weapons in the zone, so if you want good equipment from the start, you better join the "Duty".Their main goal, as themselves say, is to protect civilians from the outside world from the creatures of the zone.
Freedom was founded by a group of some stalkers. Their base is located in an army warehouse. Unlike fraction "Duty" they don't have a strict discipline and a lot of them do drugs. They think that Duty is wrong and that people need to explore a zone, not to destroy it. Because of that, they fight with Duty soldiers very often. Freedom equipment is worse than Duty have, but still pretty decent.
The military is one and only legal fraction in the zone. They prevent people from entering the territory, but many of them are corrupt, so many people who want to get into the zone simply pay them for the passage. Their base is located nearby a newbie village. They have pretty strong equipment, but a lot worse than Freedom or Duty have.
The story begins with a cut-scene in which we are shown a truck with corpses. They are called "Trucks of Death." Lightning hits this truck and it explodes, scattering corpses next to it. During a detour of such trucks, an unknown stalker finds a living person and drags him to Sidorovich, who is a local dealer. Sidorovich quickly inspects him and finds his PDA on which he sees a note: Kill Strelok. After which the person tears the PDA out of his hands and faints. After this cutscene, the game begins. Sidorovich call that person "Marked" because of tattoo on his hand. This game has seven endings, and only one of them is a true ending. Endings depend on player choices and actions.
Sidorovich in cutscene.
- Great atmosphere. You can almost feel this atmosphere of loneliness, but also great bonfire gatherings, which will make you happy.
- Interesting gameplay. You can choose every way to pass this game. You can kill almost every person that you will meet, but still pass the game and these variations make this game so cool.
- The RPG part was done really well. For FPS with elements of RPG game is a common thing to have bad RPG elements, which will slightly affect the gameplay, but in this game, without great equipment, you will die very quickly. Even if your costume will be badly worn, you will notice that your health is going away a lot faster, than with full armor.
- Very bad optimization. Even if you have a nice PC, your FPS on maximum graphics will be pretty low, even a lot of modern game will have a lot more FPS on maximum graphics.
- A lot of bugs. X-Ray engine filled with bugs that you will see regularly, due to some bugs you may not even be able to complete some quests and this is ain't good.