GiN Review: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

John Breeden writes:

"The original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game, Shadows of Chernobyl was released without too much fanfare, yet quickly managed to become a classic in the minds of many players, myself included. The game was a realistic shooter with a gritty post- apocalyptic type of feel, set in the exclusion and highly radioactive zone around the melted down Chernobyl nuclear plant.

In the original game you played a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. left for dead with a serious case of amnesia. In Clear Sky, you actually play a mercenary working against the main character from the original game, and work to stop or kill him. It's a pretty neat concept to be playing the other side of the situation, though if you never played the first game you won't really be lost or anything as the plot here has its own beginning, middle and end. However, if you did play the first game, then it will be great to chase your old character down, or to revisit a lot of the locations from the original game and see how they were different just one year ago.

The graphics for Clear Sky have been vastly improved, though they do demand some serious horsepower. I don't really think you can achieve the top level graphics with a single core system regardless of your peripheral equipment. Thankfully, it looks great on medium graphics settings as well, and plays pretty good on most systems we tested it out with, though a high-end video card is a necessity in any case. If you happen to have Direct X 10, you will get even more eye candy like god rays of sun streaming down from heaven and water snaking down the sides of buildings in a downpour. But pretty much you can play Clear Sky with the same hardware as the original game and be okay."

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