Review by Richard Swinburne and Joe Martin:
"It's been 18 months since we last STALKED through the shadows of Chernobyl and now we're back to do it again with Clear Sky in the prequel to the first game in this survival FPS franchise.
We loved the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for its gritty edge, cool weapons, creepy enemies and inventory system that harked back to classics adventure games like Resident Evil or Fallout. It wasn't perfect though and despite the multiple endings and paths through the game, the story itself was still pretty linear. Worse, it was buggy even after multiple patches and a prolific mod making communitiy there was only limited replay appeal for many gamers.
In other words, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was very much a love-it-or-hate-it type of game and that issue was compounded somewhat by the fact that it launched early in the year with little in the way of competition - if you did hate it then there wasn't exactly much else to play.
This year though things are a little different. Clear Sky is launching against some fierce competition and there are a lot of other games on the horizon which could steal the thunder of this Russian shooter - especially now that it has lost the backing of publisher THQ. With so much going against it, can Stalker: Clear Sky manage to come through as an unlikely hit in the gaming charts, or will the game prove to have stalked too far and end up lost in the wilderness? We find out."