Adequate assessment of STALKER: Clear Sky is difficult to provide. Looking at the beautiful graphics, great new location, a developed system upgrades and good Call of Duty-like stages in the narrative part, want to put a "nine", because in these aspects of the game does not lag behind the original Shadow of Chernobyl, and occasionally surpasses it. The problem, however, is that Clear Sky (in the form in which it was in stores) - it's not ready to play, not a finished product. Impression that the authors have literally ripped from the hands of semi-assembled nedotestirovannuyu working version and sent it for sale.
Leave aside the very very critical bugs that lead to crashes, damage and saves a complete inability to continue to pass from a certain point - these problems, the developers promise is about to solve the new patch. But then the system simulation of life, too, is infested by deficiencies, and the improvements in the balance sheet crossed by several frankly bizarre decisions.
What's newDue to numerous requests of workers, area was somewhat more severe than the original. Monsters bite harder and die reluctantly, and some do not seem to die at all (for example, a bloodsucker in the Red Forest to kill the author did not succeed). Often found a new, rather unpleasant form - Psi-dog: does no more damage than usual pseudodog, but nerves port on the order of magnitude stronger. Anomaly has become a little harder to see, and artifacts are no longer lie under the feet: to find the hidden "gift zone" must be chosen close to him, using a special detector. At first glance, "deposit" has become quite a bit, but if you look carefully, you can assemble a good collection of artifacts on all occasions, and even to sell something that will remain.
Area now regularly cover the emissions from which you want to hide in the nearest shelter. True, it is realized it is worse than in the popular fashion AMK for "Shadow of Chernobyl" - in particular, the computer-stalkers are transferred to a shelter, and back progressive method of teleportation.
Significantly increased the number of small quests one of those "look out, bring it" - if you want them you can spend tens of hours. The benefit of such tasks, however, is just as insignificant as they are. The same can be said about the recesses of the information on which you can now buy a set of characters.But sometimes in wandering around the Zone you can get something really valuable - for example, flash memory cards with information about improvements to weapons and equipment.
By the way, the developed system upgrades - this is perhaps the most interesting and useful new feature in Clear Sky, which makes the game truly addictive. On the bases of groups in addition to traditional marketers / bartenders are now easy to find and master gunsmiths who for a fee will improve or repair armor and weapons. The "guns" allows you to increase capacity, reduce weight, reduce returns, increase flatness, precision shooting, etc. In protective suits up strength, carried weight, immunity to various damaging factors.
In their capacity upgraded weapons are sometimes radically different from the "basic" version. The flip side of this is that the basic characteristics of the trunk (especially the "Kalashnikov", "Abakan», L-85 and to a lesser extent, LR-300) in the first half of the game are terrible. Sometimes there is a feeling that not shoot a machine gun and a slingshot, or even just toss pebbles: the ridiculous distances of 50-100 meters bullets flying everywhere, just not where tselishsya. All this outrage is compounded affecting the ability of small arms (or, equivalently, a stunning oak opponents). Even simple bandyugany in cloaks stand for three or four hit armor-piercing bullets, and only conventional munitions for them at all like peas. More serious opponents is desirable to bring down anti-armor in the head, but as it hit, if such a spread is difficult to put a bullet even in the torso?
But the greater pleasure, when the hand gets a really good weapon, such as the Swiss SIG SG-550 (in the game it's called SGI-5k) or Hurricane OC-14 (in the game "Thunder"). Here it is already possible and hit in the head at long distances, and an effective fugitive shooting at short.
But the real "Queen of Headshots" - of course, SVD. This rifle makes it the first time to hit the target at a distance of 200 meters, when the enemy has not seen a hero. Here are just a barrel, this is inconvenient in fleeting encounters at close range, since recharges slowly and does not promptly correct the mistakes of sight.
The popular "Vintorez" too bad, but it has a fun feature: at large subsonic bullet "sags" a meter or more with respect to the line of sight. At a certain knack it will get targets for low obstacles (hello Bekmambetov!), But usually just annoying.
Hunting "vertikalka and multiply shotguns shoot not only shot, but with bullets, including armor-piercing, which greatly expands their capabilities and makes an excellent replacement for unavailable initially automata. However, the shotgun can be extremely useful "for its intended purpose." If the best machine to shoot some lousy dog would be long and tedious, pointless wasting dozens of bullets, then one shot with a shotgun in his mutantsky paradise fly just about anything: dogs, hogs, Snork, and even the controllers and bloodsuckers are not many necessary. Therefore, the charged shot usual modified "Remington" (or "Cheyzer" as it is called in the game) will be an excellent addition to the primary weapon until the end of the Red Forest.
Of course, the arms component of Clear Sky is far from reality. Thus, LR-300 in reality is different as every high accuracy at ranges up to 300 meters, which by the standards of the project is a transcendent figure. But gaming purposes such heresy is good, allowing gamers to increase steadily through the search for the best "trunk" and improve them.
What is left is stillIn the prequel much remains as it was. In principle, Therein lies one of the reasons that Clear Sky produces a somewhat more modest impact than Shadow of Chernobyl: if the original was all new and exciting, in addition, these feelings have disappeared. The developers are not trying to surprise us anything special: no chilling dungeons (dungeon is one thing, and it is not impressive), nor capture the imagination of the anomalous zones - all familiar and commonplace, though beautiful.
Intelligence of enemies has changed little. True, they have learned to just throw a grenade, but the strangeness in the behavior remains, which looks especially funny in combination with high bullet resistance. For example, sometimes enemies run into a stupor and stop noticing around: fountains of the earth from bullets or even the bullets entering them in different parts of the body. Dernetsya a "hero" from the hit - and goes on patrol (this is possible, even if you sneak up and shoot in the back literally in the blank!)
Neutrals and allies, too, sometimes "please", tightly blocking the aisles or vypihivaya player for shelter during the battle. But repel nuisance NPC will not work - he stands firmly as a post.
But if not much to find fault, it is necessary to state that the inhabitants of the Zone behave, though not perfect, but it is normal and adequate emerging situations: when necessary - fight when necessary - chewed sausage, when you need to - complain to life. Of course, with a variety of behavioral strategies of the AMK mod AI «Clean Sky" will not be compared, but at least there is no desire to constantly ask others: "What are you doing, sheep!"
The war with the big-endian ochentupokonechnikamiUnfortunately, with the "group intelligence" stalkerskih clans, which manifest themselves during the war between them, the situation is somewhat worse. Having reached a certain point in the story, players can join one of the factions and take part in the war for control of the Zone. The opponents are divided into pairs: "Freedom" - "Duty", "Stalker" - "Bandits" and "Clear Skies" - "renegades" (also bandits, the only other). The purpose of war is the capture database warring factions. Simple destruction of living force has no special meaning, as soon as possible enemies will revive and will go back into battle. Instead, seize and hold key points, all closer and closer to the enemy base.
But we do not do it at their own discretion - as long as the system will not give the job, cleaned and hold the point it makes no sense. A task will not be issued until the captured all the locations of the previous stage. In this case, if the mission has been issued, the point was repelled, but lost one of the previously employed (which happens quite often, sometimes for no apparent reason), the quest for the newly occupied space is canceled. Often, issuance and cancellation of missions are to each other every few seconds, and you have to run across the area, "plugging holes". And since the war "debt", "Liberty", "Stalker" and "bandits" affects several areas need to regularly move from one zone to another with the supplied non-downloads.
As a result, the process seems pretty random and pointless, but the radio on the air often does not correspond to what is happening. Sometimes catch myself thinking that if a player simply "ordered" the warring factions, giving knock it alone, we would have a much easier and simpler. In the meantime, scripts, administering clan war, obviously very, very raw.
A control shot in the head "main fiche» Clear Sky does show up in A-life system, a critical error. The fact is that at some point (sometimes at the beginning of the "war") "own" group may no longer respond to the capture of a player new beachheads in refusing to send reinforcements. Sit, guard key point, and "their" all are not suitable and not suitable (may not fit and never did). How was it possible to release the game with this bug, it is not clear.
And yet, even if you do not fight to the bitter end, to join the grouping profitable. First, the trader will buy its goods more expensive, and sell cheaper. Secondly, if "appearance to the recruiting station, you can get weapons and equipment - particularly useful in this regard," Freedom ", where issue costume" Guardian of Freedom "and a rifle SIG SG-550, from which comes with a corresponding improvement in the present instrument of genocide, allows for a few seconds mow average enemy unit with polrozhka. Having accumulated a decent amount of money to surrender arms dealer, shot dead with "dolgovtsev, you can flop to the" Stalker "and buy them a good suit of" Sevan "(and if you win for them the war with the bandits, then the exoskeleton), which are useful in highly future. But, of course, is just one of many possible variants of behavior. By the way, running from the "Freedom" to "Stalker" and back, free of charge for it, new weapons, equipment and ammunition that can be many times.
We wanted the best, but it turned out as alwaysAfter a bizarre economic system of the first "Stalker", with its abundance of useless money in your pocket developers have embarked on a balance model. They do it: Make "grandmother" was not easy (especially if you are not in a gang), but also all sorts of reptiles continually strive to select and cook merchants such profits that the capitalists Marx, with their pitiful 300% hanged himself would envy.
If the creators of this stopped, turned to excellent. But they made an inexplicable thing: Most of key points for which the unfolding battle groups are bulky boxes, brim-filled ammunition, first aid kits, anti-radiation and other goodness. Okay to "gifts" were in remote places (for example, in the military camp at the Cordon of this box is quite acceptable), but usually they are not protected by anyone: take it - I will not!
Naturally, this brings down the economy and makes a pointless hunt for caches: why go somewhere and show the wonders of Agility in search caches with a pair of first-aid kits, if the box is of about fifteen and a ton of bandages into the bargain? Why save ammo, if, after passing on several roadblocks zapaseshsya them the whole game for free?
Such exaggerated "trusteeship" over the player to the middle passage is in stark contrast with the care attitude towards him is in the final. Its structure is similar to the Clear Sky Shadow of Chernobyl: at some point, the project loses its RPG-elements and transformed into a linear shooter, which is no longer possible to step aside to podnabrat ammunition or repair weapons and armor. Here are just a linear section in the appendix is longer, and "meat", which is on a green whistle trigger attacks the gamer, much more. Accordingly, for the finale at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (very sluggish, I should say - in the original ending left more interesting), our mercenary comes already with the dead "to zero" protective suit. And that no one cares to say: he was supposed to foresee everything. Not stocked reserve - run by the bullets "naked".So in STALKER: Clear Sky agreed two incompatible approaches: "Let's drive the player by the hand and wipe his snot" and "let's give a gamer myself ...
From the Editor: As long as our guinea author wept, chopped, but continued to heroically held swarming deficiencies STALKER: Clear Sky with patch 1.5.03, developers, tirelessly worked to patch 05/01/2004. And I must say that they were very successful in this lesson, making irrelevant some important claims made in the review. Departures ground to a halt in some places, but it started in others. The war faction is now developing quite normally, more or less consciously (although vpadaniya factions into a stupor still happen), and free ammo in crates has become much smaller, and they no longer threaten the balance. Unfortunately, some of the mistakes inherent in patch 1.5.03, did not disappear: in the beginning of the game did not go to the Marshes to the cordon as soon as there is a job, and stay, doing minor quests, the conductor in the future will simply cease to respond to a request to you there. In principle, the vast expanses of the Internet you can find fan-fix that will solve the problem, but it would nevertheless, that the game did not have to tinker with the tape and chewing gum. Another major drawback of the new patch (however, this is a common problem with patches to STALKER) is the need to start playing again, since saves different versions are incompatible.
C can confidently say that after one or two patches STALKER: Clear Sky has become an excellent product, which will be with peace of mind to put 8.5 points. Not 9, as Shadow of Chernobyl, because the Zone we are accustomed, but developers are not able at this time to impress us anything special, but, nevertheless, the estimate after all the "patches" will be quite high.
In the meantime, we put 7 points simply because they can not release the game in a half-baked and spoil the fun to fans who buy the first draft and have to make the race for the retracted rake.