Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
Buy On
  1. games(TM)
    Clear Sky chiefly succeeds because it transforms grim fantasy into a startlingly real-world experience. [Oct 2008, p.108]
  2. PC PowerPlay
    The way the game is a whole response to the shortcomings of the original just goes to demonstrate how GSC believes in this title and IP. [Nov 2008, p.51]
  3. Total PC Gaming
    This is a real PC game, for real PC gamers. We haven't enjoyed a FPS RPG this much since "Deus Ex." [Issue#12, p.54]
  4. PC Zone UK
    Clear Sky is a unique experience, so far unparalleled save for its predecessor. [Oct 2008, p.52]
  5. Games Master UK
    Clear Sky delivers a more AI-driven, frightening and altogether more dangerous world than its predecessor ever could. [Oct 2008, p.77]
  6. Clear Sky may not be as action-orientated, polished and visually stunning as Crysis or other “Hollywood-Shooters”, but it definitely has got its very own charm, that it’s easy to fall for. In short: Who liked the original Chernobyl Lost, will love Clear Sky!
  7. Intense atmosphere, interesting story, but some deficits in the graphics and interaction with the environment! In general, Deep Silver presents an exciting title not only for shooter fans.
  8. As a title, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky presents an interesting challenge for the reviewer. The game tries to be many things, succeeding at some while falling well short of the mark in other areas. Are glaring flaws to be overlooked in recognition of genuine ambition, even occasional moments of brilliance?
  9. The faction wars are an interesting concept, but the game is mostly about the player making his way through the zone and uncovering some of its secrets. It's a bit more about gunfights and a lot less scary than its predecessor, but overall, Clear Sky improves upon the original in many ways while using the same strengths that made it so compelling in the first place.
  10. Pelit (Finland)
    More or less the same game as its predecessor. Atmosphere is still amazing and zone is a fascinating place to adventure in, but there is far too much travelling back and forth and there still isn't any real story to talk of. Great game for people who want to immerse themselves in the surrounding world, less so for competitive pc shooter fans. [Sept 2008]
  11. This is a truly dark game that has a compelling and mysterious story. You will be on the edge of your seat as the mystery gradually unfolds. The game breaking bugs of the initial release, and the need to mod the game, severely affect the rating of what would otherwise be a very good game.
  12. Amidst its several flaws, both design and bugs, Clear Sky holds a series of virtues able to grab those who expect the action part, but value atmosphere, immersion and survival instinct.
  13. Play (Poland)
    Everything that annoyed the hell out of me in the first edition has been fixed. The new story predating the original is much better presented and more coherent. Spectacular lightning effects are just the icing on a cake, which is a boon, because turning them off boosts the framerate considerably. [Oct 2008]
  14. As sequels/prequels go, S:CS is a good one. It introduces a new engaging storyline, adding some features but by and large leaving the good things about the first game alone.
  15. If you're interested in exploring odd corners and beautiful landscapes on your own initiative, it's a safe bet that you're going to enjoy the S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky experience.
  16. The second episode of Shadow of Chernobyl is a mere update of contents, a version 1.5 of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The overcrowding of the maps, the control system of territories and the more focused rate towards the action might irritate some and please others; but somehow they are incorporations that take away from the horror atmosphere of the series and turn it into a more conventional and repetitive action game. Nevertheless Clear Sky continues being a really interesting FPS and we enjoy its difficult and unpredictable proposal and, especially, if we play it on a high end PC.
  17. It’s not that Clear Sky is a bad game. It just doesn’t strike the same resonant chord that made the original’s many flaws forgivable.
  18. PC Gamer
    The game stability improvements and faction system certainly make this a technological step up from the original, but they don't add up to a compelling reason to replay the same game. [Dec 2008, p.62]
  19. Overall, however, it comes together as a good post-apocalyptic first-person shooter.
  20. 77
    Much like the original, it has a charm about it that makes you want to like it yet it is hugely flawed, with its many reported bugs and performance problems. It doesn't quite deserve the term 'flawed gem' but nor does it deserve to be discarded either.
  21. This game tries to tell what happened before Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl, but may require a few more patches to be able to do so. At least version 1.5.03 is full of bugs, crashes, long loading times, broken save games and design errors, which is a shame because that's what stops the game from being great. Theoretically this could all be fixed by patches and just like with Stalker, this may take a while.
  22. 75
    What Clear Sky doesn't deliver is the abject, adjust-your-gamma terror of its predecessor.
  23. Fans of the original Stalker will love Clear Sky – without a doubt, it’s everything the original was, but with a fresh take on the world of the Zone and an engine that impresses rather than just scrapes by.
  24. Though its release is marred by a number of bugs, Clear Skies is ultimately a worthy addition to your library. Casual gamers will find it harder to enjoy than those who are more hardcore, but there is still fun to be had in the hollowed-out, desolate locales of the Zone for those with the patience and a penchant for challenging gameplay.
  25. One can only wonder just what GSC Gameworld was thinking: Clear Sky brings nothing revolutionarily new to the original play, but adds a fair portion of game disrupting bugs and lifts the difficulty to a new level of hardness, brutally so. To sum it all up, the developers maim the few novel features with dubious design decisions, such as the annoying search for artefacts.
  26. 73
    So if you liked the first game because it was big and dense and scary, then you'll like Clear Sky for the same reasons. And if you like the original but wish that it offered more GRAW-style action, then Clear Sky is even better.
  27. For some S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky will reek of a badly designed game, while for others it will resemble a well designed reality, but for us it’s somewhere in between the two and none the better for it.
  28. I think the developers would've had a winner on their hands if they invested more time into fine-tuning the AI and ironing out serious bugs, as opposed to merely beefing up the visuals and adding more random side-quests -most of which take you through the same areas we've witnessed the first time around. As a result, Clear Sky is, in fact, an underdeveloped shooter with wasted potential.
  29. Edge Magazine
    As easy to misunderstand as it is to break, it again turns the best and worse of PC gaming into something extraordinary. [Oct 2008, p.94]
  30. Between the improved weapon modification and the more living Zone, a certain strand of Stalker fan will find much here to applaud, and those who've never actually played the earlier game at all will still be enchanted by the unique atmosphere of the place... but would be recommended going there first, perhaps with the Oblivion Lost mod attached.
  31. 70
    Stalker was made so much more of by patches and mods because it was such an impressive skeleton of a game. Clear Sky, though, has so much decaying flesh attached to it that cutting through to the admittedly very healthy bone below may prove too tall an order.
  32. PC Format
    Not strictly a failure, but it is potentially 2008's most disappointing PC game, and will certainly need a hefty post-release patch. [Oct 2008, p.100]
  33. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Stalker is back with a tempting story, handful of improvements and new places to explore. Players of Shadow of Chernobyl will feel right at home (many areas “recycled” from first game), newcomers can learn the story who lead to Zone cataclysm. Unfortunately, some faults remained from the previous installment like handling inventory and AI scripting. [Sept 2008]
  34. Clear Sky has a lot of potential - as does the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise - and is a worthwhile game to add to your collection because of its fair price but until the insane amount of gremlins is addressed in a patch it will always be a failure in the eyes of the fans.
  35. While Clear Sky's myriad of minor bugs and flaws may irk, they do not render the game unplayable, so while things could have ultimately been a lot more polished and well considered in execution, there's still a lot to like.
  36. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky has got a lot of potential but stumbles in its efforts to bring you a great game. It offers you a fantastic and dynamic world in which you can freely roam. It even looks good. Unfortunatly the game also offers a lot of bugs and is the difficulty level is sometimes unfeasibly high. Nevertheless, if you fight your way past the flaws you will find something beautiful.
  37. Glitches drag it down, but Clear Sky provides plenty of haunting ambience and challenging gameplay.
  38. A game with its fair share of problems. Bugs and technical issues are all too common and shouldn't be present in this capacity. The multiplayer, while fun at times, is difficult to get into and seems a little tacked on for a game in the FPS genre, where multiplayer is generally a primary focus. On the other hand, it is nearly unrivaled in creating a truly immersive and creepy setting.
  39. AceGamez
    It's when the day/night cycle kicks in while you're amid a minefield of anomalies in the Red Forest and you realise that that the next hour of playtime will be by an impotent beam of torchlight; the monsters are still waiting for you and now they can see you coming.
  40. This prequel to the original Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl adds great graphics, great sense of exploration and lots of content. It's definitely a better game than it's predecessor, trouble is though that it lacks polish. There are tons of bugs to be found here and mission objectives are often unclear and repetitive. It's a great game though and could be improved with future patches.
  41. If you enjoyed the first and are willing to work around some bugs and issues, the game is very fun and a worthwhile experience. A must buy for first person fans who like a touch of role playing in their games but this is no "Fallout 3."
  42. It’s a shame the issues that plagued Shadow of Chernobyl are still largely present in Clear Sky because the premise is great and the design is far more interesting and ambitious than your average shooter. But ultimately, the bugs, technical issues, and brutal difficulty are tough to stomach. If you’re looking for a challenge, then this is your game, but the average player will tire of its shortcomings long before things even get started.
  43. Stalker: Clear Sky remains a remarkable misstep by the Ukrainian developers, and one that does not reflect well on their original game, or their independence from original publishers, THQ. We can only hope that their next effort will be more controlled.
  44. 60
    Balancing loyalties and uncovering a large-scale mystery (even though it’s poorly handled) go a long way towards creating a great sense of scope and immersion. Unfortunately, numerous technical issues, narrative missteps and unbalanced gameplay elements keep the game from being something truly special.
  45. 55
    Unfortunately Clear Sky's myriad technical issues obscure a reasonably good game. Hopefully a series of patches will allow it to become fully realised, but as it currently stands, the game is far too filled with bugs to recommend.
  46. Combat feels like a badly AI’ed multiplayer game, the type of game that is meant for human players, and an AI system has been pasted on later for people with no friends (see Battlefield 1941).
  47. But Clear Sky takes everything that I loved about Chernobyl—the mature storyline, the nerve-wracking underground laboratories and the rewarding combat—and muddies them with a litany of bugs and bad design to the point that it overwhelms its more redeeming qualities.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 540 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 65 out of 540
  1. chris
    Dec 31, 2009
    Delivering really neat visuals in the way of changing weather and alternating between day and night seamlessly is not enough to make this Delivering really neat visuals in the way of changing weather and alternating between day and night seamlessly is not enough to make this game good. So let me explain a scenario that enlightens you about the nature of the firefights in this game (half of the game, with the other half being walking). You quick save right before you make your attack on two enemies sitting down beside a campfire back facing you. You shoot one in the head, this makes him decide to stand up. As you shoot him in the head point blank a few more times his friend has started filling you with lead at a rapid rate. After emptying the whole clip into this one guys forehead he may or may not die, but I guarantee you will die from this experience, many times. And you know the great thing about this is? (notice the sarcasm plz) Even though you quick saved with your enemies completely unaware of your presence when you quick load they are alerted, and sometimes not even in the same position! Its ridiculous. You can empty a whole clip from about 100 yrds into a bad guy with single shot firing and not even kill him. Yet somehow they can shoot you from 400 yrds and take half your health each shot. If you want to be frustrated I suggest many other things instead of spending $5 on this game. Here are some suggestions. Buy 2 decks of cards and try to stack them all into a pyramid. Get five ones turned into change and throw it all into a pond that freezes over in the winter, then when it freezes cut a hole in the ice and try to swim to the bottom and collect it all. Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2012
    Dont waste your time with clear sky version 1.5.10, it is close to unplayable:

    Installed Game, patched it to 1.5.10, installed clear sky
    Dont waste your time with clear sky version 1.5.10, it is close to unplayable:

    Installed Game, patched it to 1.5.10, installed clear sky complete 2009 mod. Game refused to start. Googled for that problem. Known bug. Googled for hotfix. Downloaded and installed it. Game started finally. Played 3 hours. Game crashed. Savegames corrupted and completely destroyed by the crash. Started game once again from the start. Experienced frequent game crashes at least once per hour. Played like 20 hours. Reached yantar region. Main storyline quest bugged. Googled for that problem. Known bug, can not be fixxed. 2 current savegames again useless. Noticed that older backup savegame is 2 days old. Stopped playing game. Go to metacritic and write 03/10 review.

    Seriously just wait for some more patches or modifications that take care of above mentioned problems. Current clear sky version is not enjoyable.
    Full Review »
  3. JoshQ
    Nov 7, 2008
    Baffling why they drastically changed atmosphere.... What used to be an irradiated, gloomy world with a few makeshift safe havens has become Baffling why they drastically changed atmosphere.... What used to be an irradiated, gloomy world with a few makeshift safe havens has become a happy partyland with some turf wars. It's as if the producers said let's trash our award winning atmosphere and slap a shitty story onto it and we'll call it a prequel, apparently their old company was right in restricting these guys. Full Review »