• Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Mar 20, 2007
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 887 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 887

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  1. Jul 5, 2011
    10
    This is hands down, the best single player game I have played. The atmosphere is fantastic and unlike any other game out there. it was in development for years and even though they didn't manage to include everything they wanted, what they did is still incredible. this is no Console shooter or port, if you want a simple run and gun don't buy it and play for 20 minutes and complain when unlike Crysis you can't kill everything in 10 seconds with your hi tech gun and invincible **** suit.

    First of all, don't play it without downloading the Complete mod for free first. This updates the textures, sounds, AI, fixes a load of bugs and errors and makes the game what it wanted to be. It doesn't change anything, just cleans it all up.

    This game isn't like other FPS because it is actually hard. You don't start off with an amazing gun and squad and intel, you have a coat and a pistol and aside from that you are on your own. The Zone is an easy place to die even without having a host of powerful mutants and heavily armed humans roaming around. This game doesn't hold your hand like Western shooters do, or load you up with amazing gear under the guise of being some Spec Ops soldier. The atmosphere is incredible, part's of it are creepy as hell and scary and not like the Doom3 teen equivalent of having a monster jump out when you press the door button or a loud bang etc. It is hard to get into because it is so unforgiving, and the first few maps and missions you are constantly trying to find a decent weapon that doesnt force you to retreat when outnumbered etc. If you want a linear shooter like HL2 or CoD with no freeplay, dialogue or exploration and lots of cutscenes then look elsewhere. There are plenty of games liek that around. if you want a slow hard atmospheric adventure then give it a try, turn out all the lights and play it till the sun comes up; call in sick and keep on playing.

    Very few games are ever made like this because of the time spent and expertise of a dedicated small team that a large company could never replicate. There is such a talented modding community there are literally thousands of mods you can install; including some Total Conversions that change the story completely - and are good enough to be stolen by the developers for Call of Pripyat.

    10/10
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  2. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    A truly atmospheric game which gives you a very strange feeling while playing it. I remember the first time I played it, I hated it for the dated graphics (even though I never look at the graphics in games), for the bad so called tutorial and the (what I felt then) extremely hard gunfights. As I was going to uninstall it I got the feeling that I should give it a chance. I don't regret that choice today. While you play along you get to learn the art of killing in this game and get a very rewarding feeling when you do it. Combat is complex in this game but that is a positive thing since I'm tired of today's FPS games where you are like a tank and your weapons are so easily used that even your grandma could pull a shot at somebodies head. Other than that I can guarantee that you will fall in love with the Zone as it is truly alive with its mutants, environments and anomalies. This game combines big parts of the FPS genre with its own twists and elements of the RPG genre with its free roaming, scavenging etc. I recommend this game to everyone cause it is a remarkable and special game in it own right. Give it a shot and you won't get disappointed. Good hunting stalker! Expand
  3. Aug 22, 2012
    6
    Not sure why this game has received massive praise from people. The setting and possible story elements are great, but the actual story that is presented is bland, confusing, and uninteresting. It's often hard to understand what the ingame characters are saying and with the absence of subtitles, the story becomes useless. The atmosphere outside of Lad X18 is not engrossing or "atmospheric" at all. The levels are hardly open as you will often see fences and other obstructions which force to to take a pre-defined path. The gun play is okay, if a bit stale. There are an insane amount of bugs and glitches present, including broken animations, application crashing, etc. If you want an engrossing Post-apocalyptic game done by an Eastern European studio, get Metro 2033 instead. It is far, far better than this title. Expand
  4. Oct 9, 2010
    9
    "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl" is one of the best games ever made when it comes to atmosphere, storyline and geography. The personality of the characters in this game is amazing as well. You will never feel alone in this game. Even though the FPS part doesn't really bring something new to this kind of genre, it's amazing how it works in combination with some RPG elements. Yes, there are quite a few bugs and glitches here and there, but with one or two patches, the game is truly stunning. I have to say that when I first played the game, I fell in love with it in a few seconds. Expand
  5. Sep 29, 2010
    9
    Loved this game, played with the "Complete" mod and really enjoyed the experience. I skipped Clear Sky, but have Call of Pripyat and am awaiting the "Complete" mod for it...
  6. Aug 20, 2011
    1
    **** story, **** combat, **** graphics, just horrifically boring. The game doesn't explain much to you, there is barely any story line, your time is spent wandering around from pointless quest to pointless quest untill you end up in an area where you are continually losing health from radiation and no idea of where to find a god damn radiation suit.
  7. Nov 7, 2010
    6
    I tried very hard to like this game, and bought it at a deep (Halloween) discount on Steam (along with Pripyat) because I had always heard good things about it. Today, having just gotten to the Garbage, I was prepared to uninstall this game and write about how crap it is. I was JUST ABOUT TO go through with that... when I noticed that the game has a modding community. Surely, I thought, some astute modder has by now (the game is 3 years old) overhauled this game and made it not suck. YES! In summary, downloading and installing the STALKER Complete 2009 (currently 1.4.4) mod is a REQUIREMENT to enjoy this game. If you don't, you WILL NOT like it unless you're retarded. If you do install the mod, you might still not like it, but at least it will have put its best foot forward. The game is literally incomplete without this mod installed, and experienced gamers will identify the fact that the game, even fully patched, is in a development state that could be called "late beta". This is what the STALKER Complete 2009 mod rectifies. It alters so many aspects of the game, and the filesize is so large (700mb) that it might as well be called the official version of the game. What came out before that was just a buggy release candidate. For graphics cards that can handle it, the mod also makes the game pretty, departing from the game's original "real is brown" philosophy, aka the "we're too cheap to give you decent HDR" philosophy. I'm giving the game only a 6 because it was released in such bad shape, and the developers didn't have a hand in this mod, so why should they get positive recognition for it? Expand
  8. Oct 19, 2013
    1
    I assumed that by the time I got to this game (6 patches deep) it would be playable and enjoyable. Nope. The bugs/glitches are terrible and the game design is flawed to begin with. I tried to like this game but it is a nightmare and not worth your time. The game starts off relatively interesting but then I quickly became bored with the running through zone after zone to reach certain locations. The enemies re spawn over and over in the same spots turning traveling into a chore. Bugs and glitches galore even after 6 patches! It seems like the developers just gave up. There's only so many bugs I can put up with.

    Simply can't believe how many positive reviews this game has gotten. Anyone giving this game a score above mediocre has some incredible patience to put up with this tedious, chore of a game! Avoid at all costs.
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  9. Dec 16, 2010
    6
    Some guns worked with stupid effectiveness each time, sometimes a couple of headshots killed the hostile easily just about 6 to 12m away. But firing an assault rifle with a sniper scope at a zombie's head took over 6 to 8 shots to killed it as it's just about 20 to 30m away is lame. Close up firing a sub-machine gun at a zombie just near your feet sent half of the shots to the limbo (same happened when playing F.E.A.R. online with a 60 ping). No prone, only lean left/right, sprint, jump and ladder climbing. GTA:SA styled gameplay which allow the player to goes around and pick-up jobs. Not easy to learn as how to, as the objective menu interface are confusing so are the anomalies around or collected, it sure takes a lot of time to learn. No quad bikes or bicycle here and there (simply no vehicles in the junkyard), so it takes a long run from one place to another on foot. Due to the weights/loads you carries, it takes too much stopping for breathes to finish a trip. The FPS gets a big stuttering by every 3 or 5 running steps, it's like hiccups, but it doesn't happen in the first few areas/zones of the game. Try the other games like Crysis if your brain is tired after playing other PC games, because this game is the library and the nuns would love it best. Expand
  10. Aug 23, 2010
    0
    OK, I have to correct my previous review because I forgot to set the rating on it. This game is definitely NOT a 10. So here is my previous review with the correct rating: I had very high hopes for this game based on the other reviews but I found it almost unplayable. Unmentioned anywhere else is that, unlike every other FPS game I have ever played, the image you see on your screen bobs from side to side and up and down as you move. This literally gave me a headache after only a few minutes of playing it. Every other game just moves you smoothly, so I don't know why they had to add the unnecessary movement in this one. In addition, the graphics, which other reviews have raved about, were nothing special. to me. It seems to be a very crude imitation of what a FPS should be. I just bought this and, even as part of special bundle deal, this was money wasted for me. Expand
  11. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    “The Zone” is a genuine uninhabitable region in the Ukraine covered in nuclear fallout. STALKER took this idea, made a few fictional tweaks, and established a creepy world with paranormal scenery. The enemies are creatively designed to depict mutated forms of life that’ll frighten and shock you. The atmosphere, setting, and environment are STALKER’s power play. The thunderstorms are awesome, the anomalies are bizarre and the bloodsuckers will have you jump out of your seat. Venturing through The Zone after sunset will make you very uneasy and keep you on your toes. This is a unique game with a lot of potential. Add the STALKER complete mod and prepare yourself for a scary and paranormal experience in The Zone. I highly recommend this game to sandbox, first person shooter, or even RPG fans. Expand
  12. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    Most atmospheric game i have ever played. Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl is amazing combination of Shooter and Roleplaying. Stalker is an experience you never forget.
  13. Nov 6, 2011
    5
    Okay, so I just finished this game and here's what I have to say about it.

    I expected a game where you make your own choices throughout the entire game, a game which really messes with your head because of it's setting, (loads of potential for thrilling concepts involving Chernobyl right?)Both of these things were not really executed well. This is absolutely nothing like, say, Fallout 3.
    Because the choices are very limited.

    When you play the game for the first half hour, you get the impression that you can make your own choices entirely, which is simply not true, keep in mind this is a First Person Shooter, Not a Roleplaying Game. The game gets extremely linear towards half of the game.

    >The first thing that was really negative about it was those small bottle-neck loading-time routes that you have to go through, to get into a new area. Not only that, when you sometimes finished loading from one of these points, a fresh wave of respawned NPC's is there to immediately try to kill you, this is off-putting because you just can't prepare for anything, so not a lot of thought was put into that.

    The game discourages you to do any backtracking to other locations, to trade and stuff, because you'll have to pass about 4 extremely long loading zones.

    They could' ve been way more creative with the Chernobyl Power-Plant area itself. It's basically just one big shoot-out towards the end of the game, which really takes away the experience. The quests are not really note-worthy, and pretty straight forward, with the exception of some parts of the main quest.

    There are some horror-elements in some parts of the game, but only few were actually really scary. Most of the time you're just shooting bad guys with your gun.

    The only thing I found absolutely brilliant was the AI, and the lighting effects of day & night.
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  14. Jul 12, 2011
    10
    "In Soviet Russia (ok... Ukraine), game plays you..." I play this game with the "Complete 2009" mod. They say you have to play with it because it removes bugs and updates the graphics, without removing or adding any gameplay mechanics. So credits to them for making this game a "10" title. This game isn't a console port which gives it 1 bonus point in my opinion. I think even reviewing a game in many cases is a spoiler because the best thing is to just go and play it without knowing before hand what you can except and without having so many opinions about it...

    Awesome rpg meets awesome fps shooter.

    10/10
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  15. Dec 12, 2011
    5
    Some interesting gunplay mechanics, but otherwise a boring, repetitive waste of time. A good story might have saved S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but instead you go through mission after mission without the slightest idea of who you are or why you're doing what you're doing. Do yourself a favor and play Fallout 3 instead.
  16. Apr 5, 2012
    3
    This game made me cry. Slow game play, missions that didn't progress anything, long treks through rainy areas just to get to the next place only to realize I had to go back, and mobs of extremely accurate or extremely strong enemies that can kill you in an instant but you have to hit them with everything you have to kill them. Making enemies incredibly difficult to kill while make you easy to kill doesn't make the game terrifying, just frustrating. I can understand making a game difficult, I would be even more bored with a game I could just walk through, but a game you can't even get through when you try every strategy you can? The graphics are pretty bad for 2007 and the plot is flimsy at best (wet toilet paper holds up better). I only give it a 5 because of a few things. First, if you play this game like the survival type that it should have been (screw the missions and storyline), the game holds the attention for a while. Second, The realism from having to decide what to hold and what to leave behind is a good system (too many games seem to think that ammo weighs nothing). And third, oh wait...there is no third, that's why I'm rating it a 3... Expand
  17. Jan 25, 2014
    0
    Back in 2007 I stopped played when after update my saves stopped working.
    The game was so many years in development that the engine was already outdated by the release time.
    Not even half of promised appeared in the final version. Isolated areas instead of big world, no vehicles, respawning enemies, etc. Not even mentioned massive amount of bugs and gameplay issues.
  18. Jun 23, 2013
    0
    This game is totally underdeveloped broken I never experienced so many game breaking glitches and bugs. AI is brain dead, game play is boring and only dangerous think about enemies is that they re-spawn.
  19. Mar 7, 2013
    5
    Just.... I really wanted to like this game! It has so many good things... and so many bad things. There's enough bugs to make the game an exorcise in worrying about whether or not you should re load the last save because your current objective got somehow glitched. Its a typical Russian story of "ghosts and radiation" like they all seem to be: Nuclear disaster with a paranormal element. The living breathing world is cool... and I really like how fragile you are as a character and how many things you have to be mindful of from food to sleep. It makes one feel like they actually are in Ukraine fighting mutants and bandits. The graphics are not very good although there are mods to alleviate this, and there is next to no voice acting and long text blobs that have to be read to understand the story. I wouldn't so much mind this, but in a game like stalker, it REALLY breaks the immersion and reminds you its a game. All in all, STALKER feels unfinished and sloppily put together. But I've certainly played worse. Expand
  20. Jan 5, 2013
    10
    Really awesome game, one of the best rpg shooters ever. Awesome graphics (demanding a really strong machine tho), great sound, good user interfrace. But most importantly this game is *IDIOT PROOF*. Great world, great story, great atmosphere, great fun. Beats pretty much any modern fps or role playing shooter, hands down. The entire series is a proof, that there's yet hope for modern fps games!
  21. Apr 19, 2013
    4
    This game was, in my opinion, badly made. No autosave feature made the game very irritable. I didn't even know of it until I died after doing 5 missions (and had to redo them.) Also, no headbob setting. The headbob seemed too extreme, as I was getting a headache 10 minutes into the game. I played this game on novice and it seems like I'm playing it on hard. I look in my inventory, hear two shots, and I die instantly (I had full health.) The way that the aiming is very random is quite annoying. The tutorial from Trader randomly skipped through what he was saying without me pressing anything so I barely even knew how to do certain things. I had to get a mod for autosaving and headbobbing. I got very far into the game, when I got a crash report. I kept loading the game and I kept getting the same crash, so now the game is unplayable for me UNLESS I hit the "Load last save" button on the menu which literally takes me back to the start of the game. The game seemed fun, but all of these things are blinding it from the fun I thought it was. Very disappointed in this game and I wish I could get my money back. Expand
  22. Feb 2, 2014
    2
    Under developed. The only thing i can truly say that some of the landscapes looked good. Other than respawning enemys, guns jamming just wasnt enjoyable shooter for my taste. The only reason i bought it was the fact some of my mates overhyped it. So i tried it and was wtf. I gave them some other shooters (few years earlier developed) and they liked them more. People who overrate this seem not to have played much shooters. Expand
  23. Jul 24, 2011
    10
    This is a great game, definitely worth playing. I had a few false starts over the last few years, but i played it and finished it over the last few weeks. according to steam, I clocked in at 27 hours. The game has a few bugs still but none of which are showstopping. This game had a few balance issues (way too much ammo and money in the world, pistols are completely useless beyond the first 2 hours or so). The environments was absolutely stunning and very authentic looking. Before playing the game I suggest you read up on the history of chernobyl on wikipedia... it's fascinating. The enemy AI was very good, but unfortunately there was no stealth aspect to the game, simply because enemies are aware of you almost all of the time, so the only way is to run and gun. The story was just ok and the missions were pretty all right. Overall I loved it... HOWEVER, i unfortunately hadn't heard of "stalker complete 2009" until after I finished the game, which was a real pity... so if you haven't played it yet, be sure to pick up that mod before starting up the game. Expand
  24. Sep 7, 2010
    10
    Synopsis: The greatest single-player FPS experience ever made ... and I've played darn near all of them.

    Okay, first of all, people ... if there's ever been a game in the history of the world where reviewing it after playing it for an hour or two (or less) is totally inappropriate, it is this game. Secondly, reviews from 2007 complaining about bugs should be basically ignored. This game
    didn't really get fully patched until '08, but when you play it now it's a fairly bug-free experience.

    Now, on to the game. I've had it since '07, I've played it through with just about every patch that's come out. I've also played it through with a bunch of different mods. This means I've found it engrossing enough to play through at least 10 separate times. And it is not a short game either.

    In fairness, this is not a perfect game by any stretch. YES, it's relatively difficult in the beginning. Yes, the weapons are terrible, and inaccurate, and under-powered, and you die ... a lot. Yes the PDA is kinda hard to figure out, it's hard to know what to do. Unlike most big-budget titles, the beginnings of your career as a Stalker is perilous and confusing. There is no hand-holding, and you need to make manual saves A LOT, because death will always be at your doorstep.

    But if you stick with it, you figure these things out. You get better weapons and armor, and artifacts to improve your survival rate. You get accurate weapons with scopes, etc. You slowly adapt to life in 'The Zone', and become proficient at all the things you need to be proficient at in order to survive.

    I can practically guarantee that if you play this game through to conclusion (and make sure you do what's necessary to get the one 'Real' ending, otherwise the ending(s) suck), if you're an FPS fan, I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed in the overall experience of this game.

    And in case I didn't mention it, the replay factor of this game is VERY high. And if you finish it, you'll almost certainly want to play it again.
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  25. Nov 24, 2011
    10
    This is a game that you really want to love, but sadly it's put down by all the bugs in the game. There's either bugs that crash the game, that make a quest impossible to finish, to bugs that simply make the gameplay suffer. If it weren't for the bugs, I'd be giving this game a 10, but sadly I must give it a 7 since the game just suffers alot from all the bugs.
  26. Apr 8, 2012
    8
    I initially gave up on this game after several crashes and a growing frustration with the game mechanics. But in spite of the different bugs and steep learning curve I kept coming back for another run because of the absolutely breathtaking atmosphere of the game. Once you start to accept the fact that you can't just rush in and start spreading bullets around the game becomes something entirely in it's own class.

    The decay-and-rust-alike graphics along with the sound design makes the weapons look really great and with a good variety of types and modifications. The reliability and accuracy of the early weapons are affected by this and you find yourself forced to plan your approach and devise a strategy accordingly. Even the enemy AI shows remarkable intelligence as they try to surround you and flank your position. You need to think fast and be adaptable in order to overcome the challenges in this game but once you learn how to survive the reward is fantastic. Unfortunately this also makes the game a bit too easy near the end but you're still looking at many hours of solid entertainment. I admit this game may not please everyone and at this point it is probably very outdated, but if you're a post-nuclear apocalyptic FPS fan you owe yourself to try out this game
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  27. Jun 7, 2011
    10
    Great game. It is priceless to be alone in the night, sat on a broken rooftop under a big thunderstorm, without any ammunitions and hearing a lot of mutant wolfs breathing while waiting for their lunch...
  28. Jan 7, 2014
    9
    Just replayed this after exhausting it for years. Still a great game. The stalker series have an atmosphere I have never found in any other game although there are some similarities with fallout. Preferred call of pripayt as it feels more polished but I love the open feel of Shadows of Cherobyl. CoP lost a little of the open world feel but not enough to kill it. A classic game in a classic series. We need more like this. Expand
  29. Jan 27, 2011
    9
    One of the best and most atmospheric horror/action FPS's in recent time. It's similar to but better than Fallout 3, at least after you've installed STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl Complete 2012 mod + realistic weapons. Those mods fixes a large number of bugs and updates the graphics to be better than the (horrible) sequel Stalker: Clear Sky. Very highly recommended game.
  30. Mar 25, 2011
    10
    Lately, the industry has been flooded with CoD-esque linear shooters. Very few games now-a-days have the pure, innovative gameplay, that S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl provides. STALKER is a lot of things, it's atmospheric, it's frightening, it's unique, and it's quite hard. However, STALKER is not Call of Duty, nor is it Fallout, and especially not Oblivion, it isn't even an entirely perfect game. To the players that man up, and fight there way through the zone, this will be a game that is played over, and over again.

    With 7 different endings, and a amazingly long single player mode, this game will deliver surprises both good and bad for years to come, especially with the huge modding community.

    STALKER tries to be annoyingly realistic. You will die of blood loss, if you don't bandage up wounds. You will not take a shotgun wound standing. You will not walk away from radiation, without some medication.

    Graphically, STALKER has some of the best dynamic lighting engines ever, and it's a game that holds off the bloom, so it has a distinctive "dirty" look. Perfect for the harsh wastelands surrounding Chernobyl.

    Most bugs have been patched, and I highly recommend that everyone plays this spectacular game.
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  31. Apr 22, 2011
    9
    As somebody who likes post-apocalyptic settings, this is one of my favorite games of the last few years. It can be difficult to get into, but once the initial barriers are overcome it offers an incredible atmosphere and a fascinating game world. Especially with the Complete mod it's an experience that everybody who is even remotely interested should check out. It can be had for a very low price these days and offers many hours of playtime. Expand
  32. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    Back in 2007 STALKER brought a breeze of fresh air in the horror genre. It's postapolaiptic Zone countryside was unforgiving, the atmosphere thick and some locations scared you **** Though buggy at release, got a bunch of official patches, and even professional-quality mod packs - look up STALKER Complete series of mods, which fixes most annoying features and bugs left by the developers, and brings the graphics up to 2011 standards. A must-play for those who enjoy being afraid. Expand
  33. Jan 13, 2014
    8
    Good game.

    +Good atmosphere (i mean REALLY good), nice story, fun exploring, semi-open world, creepy
    with nice horror elements **** that lab and those flying boxes, damn poltergeists) , many kinds of dangers mutants,radiation,anomalies other humans...

    -don't like the gun mechanics
  34. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    I just started walking around, and low and behold, 5 dogs pounced on me out of nowhere., and then flashes of radiation randomly killed me. What? Ummm. . . AWESOME! This game doesn't hold my hand, and actually turns the environment against you. I'd probably have understood it more if I wasn't such a bloody moron and didn't run ahead, or ignore the manuel. Damn my complete stupidity and lack of taste. Damn it. Expand
  35. Apr 14, 2013
    9
    With the STALKER Complete Mod, all the bugs and lack of polish are stripped away, and what's left is a horribly beautiful treasure of the PC platform.
  36. Jul 16, 2011
    10
    This game is utterly stunning. A breakthrough as far as gaming is concerned. Being a true hunter, I can honestly declare S.T.A.L.K.E.R as the most realistic account of actually lugging a weapon in an open field. In fact, it is easy to forget yourself and imagine a proper hunting trip through scrub and forest with industrial detritus thrown in as a bonus. Although the foliage is consistent throughout the game, the environments are extensive and the scenery varies - from contaminated creeks and swamps, to hills and elevated terrain. There is a literal plethora of abandoned buildings and hidden areas to explore and almost all of them contain some kind of reward. The loose goals and utter in-game freedom encourage exploration and provide great incentive for the player to realise all of the inherent possibilities. Adding further to this, eery music, strange biological sound effects and unusually gloomy areas all culminate to form a unique sense of mystery. Overall, this game genuinely appeals to the hunter gatherer instinct, which judging by some of these reviews, seems to be on the decline. When it comes to personal items, you start off with the bare minimum (pretty much junk) and have to work your way up to achieve a high tactical prowess. Although this is a common theme in many FPS's, it is starkly emphasised in this particular title. Items known as artifacts can be found scattered around the environs and offer a vast improvement in terms of Strelok's abilities. Some artifacts provide resistance to radiation and chemical burns, whilst others increase stamina and healing. Since they occur in dangerous areas, artifacts commend great value on the market and the rarer ones can be sold or swapped amongst stalkers for virtually anything that is on offer. Ammunition is relatively scarce, and must be conserved in order to ensure success. Players will find themselves searching dead bodies and unloading dropped weapons in order to accumulate their ammo. Similarly, health supplies like medkits can be difficult to find, but if a player is careful, they do eventually accumulate. Bandages, anti-rad medicines and foodstuffs are very common throughout the game, but can be quickly depleted if a player fails to be conservative. The weapons in this game are nothing short of brilliant. High end weapons are customisable and behave in a very realistic manner - there is a whole lot of recoil from auto weapons and this makes aiming virtually impossible when shooting in full automatic. During large bursts, a weapon will sway both traversely and longitudinally making it very difficult to shoot distant targets. This can be counteracted by switching the weapon mode to single/semi or by firing in sporadic bursts. Even with a brand new rifle, accuracy is never 100% and when overused, a weapon's condition will deteriorate further, hence decreasing its effectiveness. Jamming is common in poorly guns, and they must be reloaded to permit firing again. This is especially fun during battles, as it gets the adrenaline pumping. To further increase immersion, some of the most rugged and tactically appropriate weapons are provided, like the AK-47, AKS-74, VSS Vintorez, FN F-2000, MP-5 and LR-300. This choice of weapons is extremely consistent with the survival theme. By offering RIS rails, tactical weapons can be customised with grenade launchers, silencers and improved optics. There are also one off weapons hidden throughout the zone, which offer vast improvements over the base weapons and often commend a high resale price.

    To suggest that gameplay can be difficult is a dramatic understatement. Although Strelok will do everything he is commanded to do with a sturdy, surefooted confidence (unlike the wooden and clumsy JC Denton in Deus EX), the enemies are very competent at engaging and will take cover before unleashing a torrent of bullets. A few well placed shots are enough to kill Strelok, and a serious injury will lead to profuse bleeding. If left untreated, profuse bleeding can kill Strelok very quickly, so it must be stopped by applying bandages or by using a medkit. Whilst spawning does occur in this game, it is by no means obvious. So long as you remain in the area which you have cleared, it generally stays clear. Factions of bandits will usually reclaim the area once you leave for another region, but engaging them on the way back is strictly optional. Overall, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise offers a great gaming experience which has not been replicated since. I have found that the closest title of similar offerings is FEAR, but it is much more streamlined. The zone is such a diverse world that replay value is a virtual guarantee. If you still have hunter-gatherer instincts and enjoy a challenging and complex survival based shooter with realistic physics and a very effective horror element you won't find a better game.
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  37. Dec 3, 2011
    9
    I reviewed this game before and gave it a 5 which was unfair ( I was stuck in an underground and out of medkits ). So now I have beaten this game twice now and on my way to a third, I picked up the game again months later and had an easier time and now it is one of my fav games. It has a great and scary atmosphere and pants wetting undergrounds, good guns but they could use more. So this game was my least favorite to one of my favorite. Expand
  38. Aug 17, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've recently bought the game to try the series after I've heard good words about it from my friend. I went in expecting a Fallout style game(which i wasnt a huge fan of) and came almost as happy as a video game can make a person. This game has the obvious bugs like durability and nowhere to repair(but things take forever to die out), a mission you HAVE to complete to join duty has bugged out so I cant complete it(and freedom already has me on a shoot on sight list), and early game you should feel a bit rushed on the main mission. (AKA you have a shotgun while you are now facing enemies with medium level SMG's, you can still handle them). Artifacts are a little to prevelent and make, making money, very easy. BUT, there is greatness with this game. The story is compelling to continue with. You dont know who you are and your PDA tells you to kill and unknown man. You just want to beat all these "side" quests and find out what is actually at the center of the Zone. And find this Strelok character. Being able to use the artifacts is a great sub system too. Get that greater edge in running, use some Mama beads to prevent some bullet damage. Increase your health majorly but sacrifice some protection bonuses. The side quests do add some extra fun but going after completing a few quests you will probably have more then enough money for a while and you might accept them only for an exploration opprotunity. Expand
  39. Sep 20, 2011
    6
    Yes, amazing game ! Perfect history ! Fails in the aim and shooting system wich could be a lot better and faster, this game brings out a bit of RPG too, but if the shooting aim was a bit more like the regular FPS games it would be a straight "9". I recomend it tough !
  40. Jun 5, 2012
    7
    certainly not a game for everyone. its pacing is meant to be slow, and the game wont take your hand for a pleasant walk in the park. the game throws you into the fray with limited resources to survive which can become very scarce. in harder difficulties the game is only for the most dedicated and hardcore gamers although its nowhere near the realism of ARMA II. the interface is easy to understand and to use. the AI might sort of being on the silly side as you might notice some enemies are doing the same moves again and again while they fight you, still though they are nothing sort of easy and you can die pretty easily in stalker. the graphics are fair. they are particularly good underground as you can see the shadow effects from light sources, although there are several flaws on the graphics that make it seem older than it is, like the surface ground and flora seems old with the textures it uses, still though the graphics make up for the incredible atmosphere, so does the sound with very convincing wild life sound and underground effects that will make your blood chill. the plot is somewhat average and the voice acting is fair although listening someone talk russian in one instance and perfect english the other feels kind of awkward. so this game IS NOT FOR PUSHOVERS. it can be tricky and difficult and it will certainly test your patience both with difficulty and pace. Expand
  41. Oct 14, 2011
    10
    One of my favourite games of all time. Yes it's buggy, and horrendously difficult in some places as you die by tripping over a rock... and the enemies need nothing short of a tactical nuke to kill. But lovably so. Some great hair raising moments, and a good sense of "pphhew" at the end. Great game
  42. Jul 16, 2013
    3
    Without the "complete" mod this game is unplayable. Mostly because of the head bobing. I can play Descent for hours with no problem, yet this game made my eyes hurt. I really don't understand what the developers where thinking when they put that bobing in the game. Anyway, the "complete" mod thankfully removes it.

    But still, after 4 hours of gameplay this game failed to give me any kind
    of purpose. I keep asking myself why is my character persuing all these things. Why does he even care? 4 hours and still no purpose, just a series of boring missions killing bandits in a wasteland.

    They say it's open world but I got tired of being stopped by barbed wire fences.

    The UI feels a bit buggy too and perhaps not fit to modern screen resolutions (even using the "complete" mod).

    The graphics with the "complete" mod are good though and overall the fighting was interesting in some cases. Still I've seen better fights in other games.

    IMO it's not worth the 6 euros I gave. It completely failed to give me any kind of interest after 4 hours of play and the only reason I kept playing was because of all the praise that this game gets from other players. If it was just some unknown game, I would have dropped it in the first hour or so.
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  43. mez
    Dec 18, 2011
    7
    If ever a game needs mods, it's this one. The atmosphere and setting are absolutely incredible, but the whole thing feels like an alpha release. The balancing is all over the place and there many serious bugs and annoyances that really should have been dealt with before the game hit the shelves. And forget all the talk of RPG elements - this is a straight up FPS set in larger than usual environments. Yeah, you have an inventory and there are side missions you can do in any order, but if you're hoping for character development or flexible ways to complete objectives, you'll be disappointed. It's like Far Cry in the sense that you have these big open levels, but you can only ever play one way; in the end you always have to go in guns blazing. It's a waste really, because the Zone is the true star of the game, yet there's rarely a reason to just go and explore it. I do recommend the game for the atmosphere alone, but with serious reservations about the rest of it. Wait until it's on sale before putting your money down... Expand
  44. Dec 23, 2011
    9
    The graphic for this game is not pretty good, but the way to play it is kind of unique: mix up RPG and shooting game at the same time. I keep looking for some new weapon and ammo, just like i want some better equipment in WOW. But the saving for this game (or the restart point) is kind of bad because the auto save wont save unless you are entering new place, which make me need to restart from a very far away place just because i forgot to quick save and the game wont restart as close as possible from where i dead. I guess that is what makes the game hard. Expand
  45. Feb 2, 2012
    9
    I have play this game four times. It was so tempting game to play for hours. Varies large area to hunt, fight, and meet NPC to experience the horror scenes.
  46. Feb 26, 2012
    10
    Simply a great and outstanding game. To this day (2/26/2012) I've not played any video game with such dense, dark, frightening atmosphere. Play it when it's dark, put your headphones on and get ready to **** your pants.
  47. Mar 6, 2012
    8
    As much as I want to give SoC a 10/10, I have to be real about it. The game is definitely a solid 8/10 without mods, WITH mods it is easily a 9/10.

    There could honestly be more mutants in ALL STALKER games, but there is definitely a charm about the mutants that are already in the game. There's nothing like being out at night when it's PITCH black and you hear a bloodsucker breathing and
    you don't know WHAT the f*** is going on

    The games atmosphere is a 10/10, no doubt about it

    The STALKER series is easily my favorite game series, and if you enjoy a challenging FPS with RPG elements, brilliant atmosphere, with plenty of scariness thrown in the mix. You will adore STALKER
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  48. Jul 30, 2013
    7
    People try and compare this game to fallout when discussing its gameplay. That is an AWFUL idea. Fallout 3 is a great game, but its not trying for what Stalker does at all. STALKER is a much much harder game. It goes on the idea of "Armour means a BIG thing, and you die only slightly slower then the enemy". The graphics of the game are terrible, that I won't defend. It was bad for when it came out. The game no longer runs like like it did 5 years ago (they must have done optimisation, since my ****ty laptop with half the system requirements runs at 40-60fps).
    The combat is very very hard, and you will die very quickly. This means in areas that have more cover and pathways are extremely fun, due to the massive amount of cover and constant attempts to outflank the enemy (the AI is retarded a lot, but it will try and surround you, and is very smart in that aspect). Headshots are the only way to kill enemies as pretty much everyone has tough body armour, this would be good if the enemy didn't do so much damage, but alas, it just means you need to play more tactically. This is not a run and gun shooter. This is more like Dark Souls, in that you are significantly more weak then what you are facing, and you must use skill and tactics to outshine the enemy. Fallout 3 was more about scavenging and character building, this game has very little of that.
    The music is sparse, but very atmospheric. As someone who always played Fallout 3 and NV with the music off, so that I'd only hear non environmental music when near radios, I love that this game has no music. And when it does, it fits the scene perfectly.
    The game feels a bit unfinished, almost like I'm playing a really really good mod of a game. Its still pretty buggy, although defintely playable outside of the still fairly long loading screens.
    The tutorial is pretty bare, but I had no problems even when I accidentily skipped it, since after gaming for 14 years, I have learned to figure out any non grand strategy just by how the UI is designed. Its not that hard, but it would be preferable if they had a more detailed menu. Although really all its missing is the controls, which you can find in the options menu anyway.
    There is a lot of head bob, so this may turn some people off, I don't get motion sickness, so its fine for me.
    All in all, a good game, not amazing, with a couple of problems. But it is only going to appeal to certain people.
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  49. Apr 3, 2012
    9
    Gamers from Ukraine should be proud of this one. There is a bit of a learning curve at first, but this game has the perfect blend of realistic combat and survival horror. This is one of the first open-ended FPS games that I know of, so you can explore an open world and take on multiple tasks, preceding award-winning games like Fallout 3. It also features real-world locations, including the city of Pripyat, which was abandoned during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and the Chernobyl NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) itself. One can expect Counter-Strike style combat when fighting enemy factions, though there are mutants and even zombies to keep things interesting as well. You'll quickly learn that dashing into a crowd guns blazing is a death wish, even with the best armor. You can buy and sell weapons and equipment. There are Artifacts that you can collect that will enhance your abilities, such as running speed and how bulletproof you are. I won't give away any more spoilers - first time players will have to find out for themselves. Another cult classic in the gaming industry. If you haven't already played it, play it! Expand
  50. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    In this game, the life going independent from player. And that's right shows the life situation, which was after the Soviet Union. I wasn't there often, but I can compare the game and the real life situation and architectural style. At least I see so.
  51. May 21, 2012
    8
    STALKER's expansive, detailed and living world is enhanced by the eerie atmosphere, bizarre story and downright creepy monsters. The gameplay makes STALKER shine; with challenging, unforgiving, yet supremely satisfying gunplay, the RPG elements littered about include weapon scavenging, quests and random encounters. Ammunition is scarce, so rationing is of utmost importance, and utilizing the day/night cycle to maximize damage with sneak attacks is a common strategy.
    While quests are enjoyable, they ultimately felt pointless since vendors rarely have ammunition you need, so the earned income was largely worthless. Engine issues would cause corrupted saved games on occasion, and some heavy tweaks were needed to get acceptable graphical settings. Lastly, the weight-based inventory system was beyond restrictive in an un-modded game.
    STALKER is an amazing game recommended to FPS fans who crave some non-linearity and some serious challenge in their game.
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  52. Jan 3, 2014
    9
    Fav PC game but far from perfect, its so rough around the edges and it needs some help graphical mods like PRZ to bring it upto date IMO. However despite its flaws its a totally awesome free roam FPS game.
  53. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    The STALKER series is one of my absolute favorite games series ever made. It is gritty, dark, realistic atmosphere, some of the best AI Ive seen, good graphics for its time, very fun guns, a terrific artifact collecting system that really just sets this game apart, and very importantly extremely interesting and fun missions with a great variety of endings. I died a little when they canceled STALKER 2. Anyone who scores this game low probably experiences a lot of bugs or crashing which I honestly did not find MANY of although there were a few and for a game this good they can be overlooked. Expand
  54. Aug 1, 2012
    9
    First off i was impressed with this games atmosphere and realism. Technically the game is sound it has a solid frame rate and not many glitches. The physics are superb, bullets drop while in flight and npc's react realistically when killed by explosives. The sound is really a mixed bag, some weapons sound realistic while others sound like hitting an oil drum, suppressed weapons sound especially good. The mutants are new ideas and they're actually pretty scary. This games atmosphere is second to none, I am genuinely scared about what lurks behind a door in an underground lab i'm in. The plot i found was easy to follow but not to simple. Voice acting is pretty mediocre and most npc's don't even speak but instead have written dialogue. Though you don't have skill points or anything like that artifacts and armored suits improve your resistance to bullets,chemical's etc. Overall I'd say this game is one of my favorites, I'd even go as far as saying this game is the unsung hero of open world FPS's. It is definitely worth your money. Expand
  55. Aug 15, 2012
    8
    I love this, because I love singleplayer experience gameplay, that allows you to roam around with whatever equipment you want. There's a good mix of freedom, side missions, and storyline missions that you have to complete to progress. You can always go backwards, hunt for things, sell your treasures, buy weapons and ammo, until the endgame. The endgame itself is long, and took me totally by surprise at how epic it turned out to be. I was completely satisfied with it, seeing how such a modest game could unmask itself as being so brilliant. I wish I'd played it sooner, and had higher expectations with it, or I might never have tried it out. If you enjoy this and want a multiplayer version, I think DayZ mod is quite similar. Expand
  56. Jun 7, 2014
    9
    Stalker SoC is what happens when you combine Operation Flashpoint and Metro 2033. It's hard to ask for anything more from this game because instead of making you want more, it makes you realize how backwards most of the gaming industry has gone (in 2014). It's a game that doesn't pander to casual types. Totally fierce experience with gunfights killing you in 2-3 hits, nights being crazy dark forcing you to rely on your weak flashlight and no, you don't get nightvision until MUCH later in the game. Monsters are ferocious, sneak on you and human enemies are dangerous and fun to fight. Hell, you can talk and trade with 97% of everybody you meet! The zone is a truly inhospitable place that forces you to think, explore, be careful and fight hard to survive. Play this game damnit! Expand
  57. Sep 11, 2012
    10
    ''ATMOSPHERE'' There İs Nothing Much To Say.
  58. Sep 28, 2012
    9
    S.t.a.l.k.e.r _soc is the fps I love most; it gave hours of fun mixed with fear, tension and adrenaline.There are bugs and some tweak to do before playing, but they are part of the experience hard to forget.Prepare to be hidden in the darkness of a basement with little ammunition, food and med-kits ... recommended!
  59. Jul 24, 2013
    10
    The only game, even after years, that makes me come back for more and more. It's like a road trip to a place where one of the most catastrophic events took place. It's also like playing Counter-Strike in a huge world (With perfect precision as CS doesn't even have iron sights option). Even after finishing the game for 10 times, the next time I play there are times that I don't know what's around the corner. Expand
  60. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    A game that puts you in to an amazing world and attempts to make you feel part of it. Some truly scary and haunting moments as well as a strong story make it highly enjoyable. A few bugs and quirky moments but easily glossed over.
  61. Nov 15, 2013
    7
    It has been a while since I last played this game, but when I did I loved it. The atmosphere was great, the setting cool, the weapons nice and the story good enough to keep me interested throughout the game.

    There are a few things I didn't like though. First of all I pretty much have to empty a clip into the face of an enemy to kill him. That ruins a lot for me. Secondly the re-spawning
    of enemies some places made the game close to unplayable. Thirdly I hated the fact that my weapons became useless very fast, because I wore them out, so to say, and there was no way for me to repair them. So I ended up carrying around the coolest guns, using all sorts of crap I came along, because I didn't want my coolest gun to break...

    The game started out good, but towards the end it was just a fast FPS, and I don't like that. I kept playing to find out how it ended (and I found three different endings), but it really was not very fun at the end.
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  62. Dec 2, 2012
    9
    Probably one of my favourite games, this delivers on so many levels. First you have the intriguing and mysterious story that sits comfortably inside the remains of history so if a bit of research is completed than it can seem frighteningly realistic. The atmosphere of the game is amazing, some of if not the best I've encountered sitting up there with metro 2033 and Dark souls. The environments, chillingly eerie and oppressive cast a constant sense of danger and paranoia. The equipment and weapons have a realistic touch and the animations are consistently acceptable. The gun play itself is very fun with all the weapons feeling useful as ammo will need to be looted or found unless you want to pay for it. The length was impressive as well with my normal level playthrough clocking in at 15 hours, with me glossing over a lot of the extras.My only gripes would be the bugs which are able to be overlooked if weight of the positives, the way everything is explained isnt really there... at all and the need to look at a wiki to get the fullest experience can be required for some. Throw in fantastic mods and patches to eliminate bugs, enhance the graphics and a $20 usd pricetag on steam its worth it. Get out of here stalker! (and buy yourself this today!) Expand
  63. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    First of all, this game needs mods to be playable (I suggest "Stalker Complete" and "Realistic Weapons" for starters, but there are others), but then it's one of the best games I've ever played. It has a relatively open world with characters and graphics/weather effects that perfectly support the incredible atmosphere. STALKER, get out of here and play this game!
  64. Dec 23, 2012
    5
    Perhaps I didn't get far enough into the game, but I was turned off by having to often read through lengthy text boxes (I'm fine with this for games like civ, europa, and hearts of iron, but in a shooter it kind of sucked the life out). Graphics were decent for 2007, but if you're routing here from steam like I did a year ago, it feels dated compared to what's otherwise available. Problem is compounded by the dull voice acting. While the gameplay is decent despite the rough interface, so far the story hasn't drawn me in enough to compel me to choose stalker over other titles in my library. it's not a bad game, it just feels a bit underwhelming when stacked against what I'm used to for a shooter (e.g. borderlands, fallout, halo, cod, dead space). Expand
  65. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is my favourite post Apocalyptic game because this game have really good climate
  66. Aug 1, 2013
    10
    This is the best survival game out there and i wont here anyone else say otherwise. On higher difficulties, ammo, health, and other nessecities are hard to come by. You and your enemies die in one or two shots and when you're hit you'll bleed out and die unless you bandage yourself up. Weapons have realistic recoil (at least more realistic then some modern FPS's) and hitting enemies with older more worn guns can be a challenge. youll constantly be stashing supplies in hiding spots in the world and taking ammo and bandages from dead enemies. You actually feel like your trying to survive, and that's something a lot of games fail to do. The story isn't that exceptional but is interesting and being very interested in what happened at Chernobyl, this game's setting is amazing and original. I heard that this game was the Crysis of its day and it shows as the world is very detailed and graphics intensive for its time. The game does everything right and still holds up to this day. Expand
  67. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    Great great great game! Absolutly loved it! It is different to others games (FPS). Don't start the game like you are gonna play a campaign of call of duty or you are gonna be upset to the most. Scary as hell at some place Lab x-16&x-17 made me change pants.

    The game itself was very poorly optimised. Probably 1 of their 1st game. There is many guides to tweek the game and some
    patchs/mods that help the loading time, graphics, errors.

    A most for everyone calling themselves a gamer.
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  68. Oct 18, 2013
    8
    Awakening in the Zone, you are one such S.T.A.L.K.E.R., fighting for survival in this man-made Hell, while trying to discover the truth behind Chernobyl's sinister past and ominous future. Patient players looking for a unique experience ultimately will be rewarded by this atmospheric and ambitious shooter.
  69. Apr 3, 2013
    7
    I wanted to give this game a "9", however, the ending kind of ruined this otherwise great game for me (although not entirely, obviously). I'll try not to spoil anything, but just prior to the the game's final level your given an optional objective all the way on the far corner of the map. If you ignore this objective, and proceed to the endgame, your given one of five fake endings with virtually no exposition whatsoever. Way to let me down. When I realized this, I went to reload an earlier save, and to my disappointment, realized that my earliest remaining save left me right in front of an broken stairwell. So I'll be waiting until my second play-through to find out HOW THE GAME ACTUALLY ENDS!
    Anyway, this (pretty significant) problem aside, I really enjoyed this game. The game-play was harder than other games I've played, but perfectly manageable on easy. STALKER SOC's strongest suit is most definitely its atmosphere and setting, whether your running from packs of irradiated dogs in the Ukrainian wilderness or dodging mutants in subterranean compounds. The whole post-Chernobyl thing is really cool, and the game makes it easy to pretend that you're there. The weather system, in particular, lends the world a sense of authenticity.
    Ultimately, one of my favorite games, despite some glaring flaws. Would definitely recommend to anyone who appreciates a good atmosphere.
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  70. May 21, 2013
    9
    All most a game related closely to Deus Ex.

    Very nice game and the story is good, too.

    The weapons are awesome and the graphics is decent.
    Overall, it is a game with different endings and realism, and I liked the ADS attachment.
  71. Dec 3, 2013
    10
    This is probably one of the most amazing and extreme first person shooters i have ever played, yes it has its bugs and coding issues but once you patch the game and get everything up to speed, the game had me playing for hours and hours. so many different things and possibilitys you can explore and proceed in many different ways. Just has me playing and playing just because of the several ways you can play through it, and many different and interesting endings and gameplay route within it. Its sort of like Deus ex and BioShock so if your a fan of the Dues ex or BioShock i highly recommend this game. With the types of game play thats implemented in this game you'll just be blown away by the story and and environmental surrounding of this hostile world of Chernobyl! Expand
  72. Apr 4, 2014
    6
    The game would worth 9 or even 10 after patching with community mod. However, a game should be rated on its own only, right?

    I can understand why there is a great deviation of user scores here. On one side, the game claims to be a realistic survival game but fails with unrealistic gun and stealth mechanics as well as the tedious travel and equipment degradation. The game is also
    extremely buggy with potential game crash and save corruption. In fact, the whole STALKER series is plagued with bugs. The original game itself may only worth 3 or 4 only.

    However, thanks to the efforts of community. The game with complete mod fixes the above mentioned issues, making the game become an enjoyable survival game with stealth and tactical shooting elements. If you like the ideas of original Deus Ex, just try this game with complete mod. You will enjoy the game a lot.
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  73. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    This stunning game was worth every penny I payed. I felt totally immersed in combat, scrounging, and just simply getting by. There are so many lifelike aspects of the game, which I rarely found in any other FPSes. Although some might say that the game is "notoriously buggy," I have never encountered a single crash, lag, or anything like that. The graphic styling is charmingly bleak, setting an apocalyptic and dark tone. Gameplay is astonishing, especially in a gunfight. Instead of just running and gunning, you need to actually engage in combat, maintain your health and ammo, and check flanks as diligently as you can. All in all, this game (for me) set a new standard in first-person shooters. It's worth your money and time, and you owe it to yourself to play this game. Expand
  74. Dec 6, 2013
    9
    Very impressive and immersive FPS! Have not good graphics, but gameplay is awesome! I have finish it 10 times and all times was like different game! Buy it!
  75. Jun 10, 2014
    9
    Pese a tener una gran cantidad de bug, problemas y ciertas caídas de calidad, S.T.A.L,K.E.R. es uno de mis juegos favoritos y uno de los pocos que me he pasado la saga entera y lo he rejugado. La historia, los guiños tanto a la película como al libro (picnic extraterrestre, que Metro es muy posterior al juego), el hecho de poder pasear por Chernobyl lo convierte es una experiencia muy especial. Además se trató de implementar programación por agentes para gestionar los animales del juego. Bajo mi punto de vista muy recomendable, pero tal vez soy muy fan. Expand
  76. Jul 13, 2014
    10
    This game is a fps with a rpg element and takes place in the 'Zone' around Chernobyl where you have to do missions to get further in the story.

    The opinion of this game is often black or white: many people love it while others hate it. In the beginning it took me also hours before I could understand the concept. I almost abandoned it before I started to like it. The graphics are ok but
    the atmosphere (e.g. weather, sounds, lighting in caves) is really good.

    With Bioshock this is one of the best games of the past 10 year.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. As a brave experiment in all-action shootery, STALKER has certainly succeeded, though with its dearth of personality and many peculiar foibles, you can't help but wish that the publishers had granted GSC some extra time to polish their creation. Oh, hang on a minute... [Apr 2007, p.56]
  2. It's a warped behemoth from the Ukraine, and one of the scariest games on the PC. Stalker will remind you of all kinds of prior games, and yet it will also defy your expectations. Like the mythological Chernobyl zone it is based upon, this game is a treacherous, darkly beautiful terrain. Not everyone is going to enjoy venturing into the zone, but some of those who do will find what they've been looking for.
  3. Littered with a variety of anomalies which can cause the unwary to explode and other delightful stuff, mutant doggies, deserted buildings, weather effects, real-time day/night cycles etc. etc. - it creates a deliciously unique atmosphere.