Stalker: Call of Pripyat: the end of the line

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Wait, really? Has it happened? Crap, I think it has: I’ve reached the point where I’m thinking more about other games than I am about this one. Damn. It’s not uncommon for me to become more interested in something else before I finish a particular game. My playing time is pretty limited these days, and once I feel like I’ve ‘gotten’ a game, it’s hard for me to keep playing it if there are newer, sexier, more interesting games available.

But I really want to finish this one. I want to put a bow on it and feel closure with my Stalker experience. But…when will closure come? It’s not like a book, where you can see you only have a hundred pages left. Games are pretty damn opaque, cues-wise. I’ve made it to Pripyat, the third (final?) area of the game, but have no way of knowing how much more game there is. My Steam game page says I’ve played for 16 hours (holy cow!), and that’s a bit less than the total time I’ve heard others report, so I should be wrapping it up soon. I think I’ll focus on critical path missions, and ignore side content.

After the jump, my issues are back Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: that’s effing teamwork

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You spend a lot of time alone in Stalker: Call of Pripyat. It’s a lonely world, with wide expanses of abandoned land, ruined buildings slumping slowly into the swamps, and strangely mutated creatures running in packs through the tall and rustling grasses. I’ve been running back and forth for a while now, completing standard tasks for an assortment of indistinguishable hardasses. Go find his missing tool chest. Place these detectors inside of anomalies. Kill all the mutants in this lair. And I’ve been doing it mostly alone.

So when I get to team up with people, it’s pretty exciting. Hanging out with Grouse, as described in a previous entry, wasn’t that great. But a mission to rescue a stalker hostage from some bandits was surprisingly fun. I had the option to convince his buddies to help me attack the bandits, negotiate with the bandits, or deal with it my own way. I chose the latter option.

After the jump, me and my new buddy eff some bandits UP! Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: not gorgeous enough

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I bought the game when a mod called Call of Pripyat Complete had just been released. It’s a huge mod with tons of new high-definition textures, expanded view distance, enchanced vegetation, and a ton of small changes to the AI, NPC behavior, UI, and soundscape. Apparently a similar mod has been released for the previous two games to great acclaim. Lots of people like this mod. And I want to, too!

After the jump, addicted to mods Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: the tension of nothing happening

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Stalker Call of Pripyat is a gorgeous game. All the graphical elements are top-notch, but of particular note is the art direction, which evokes an incredibly bleak environment and still manages to be mysterious and beautiful at the same time. Sure, the grass sort of appears around you as you walk, and some of the objects in the world are a little chunky, but overall the game is totally gorgeous. Most importantly, it does a fantastic job of placing you in the blasted, worn out world of the Zone, making it feel lived in and picked over and rusted and real. It’s a gorgeous game.

After the jump, something may or may not happen Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: game over?

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I’ve been having a fantastic time with this dark and immersive and scary and imaginative and weird game. And then I fall down a funny rabbit hole. After the last play session, I did more writing about the game than playing the game. I enjoy engaging with the game is a creative and reflective way. I was also, I admit, thinking about how much people might like to read what I wrote. My game diary was gonna be good! And sexy! And funny! Fun to do, and it was going to get me accolades and possibly women? Man gaming is wonderful.

After the jump, gaming isn’t wonderful Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: dancing the reload jig

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In Stalker: Call of Pripyat you play a stalker, of course. Stalkers hunt through the Zone for artifacts, revenge, weird critters, and more. But not women. There are no women in the whole game. Maybe that’s why everyone is so grim and angry. You do a fair amount of talking and information gathering, but it’s primarily a first-person-shooter. There are some role-playing elements. You don’t have stats like agility, but you do get tired from running too long. You find better armor and weapons while playing, and need to get them repaired. You talk to lots of masked men with guns and shoot many, many more.

After the jump: reloading. It’s not just for your guns. Continue reading →

Stalker: Call of Pripyat: welcome to the jungle

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Welcome to Stalker: Call of Pripyat. The game opens in a field after a long and badly dubbed intro. There I am, staring out at a wooded plain. There’s nothing around. Just…woods.

Up pop five objectives, but I haven’t been trained to use identify or set them yet. Having played many modern AAA games, I’m used to a short tutorial on the game systems, so I sit there for several seconds, hoping some friendly guy will come over and take pity on this sad, stupid man who’s just appeared and explain what the hell is going on. I’m not sure if it’s an eastern European thing (the developers are Ukranian, I think), but this game just drops you in, and leaves the systems up to you. Welcome to the Zone, stalker!

After the jump, splashing around in the deep end Continue reading →