IGN UK writes: "The Zone was the best game place of last year. Sure, Bioshock's Rapture had incredible architecture and a killer soundtrack, but it was more a system of artfully-decorated tubes than a world. The Zone, the Chernobyl-devastated wasteland in which the first STALKER was set, was huge and convincing. It had its restrictions (you can defeat entire armies, but you can't climb over a barbed wire fence?) and its linearity, but it also had the sense it was a fully-functioning environment. While primarily a first-person shooter, featuring the usual gunning down of mutants and militants, it was also a survival role-playing game of sorts. The Zone was dark and weird, inhabited by surly men, horrifying beasts and random occurrence – a brilliantly harrowing holiday to somewhere only a videogame could realise".