The RPG comparison is understandable. The game begins with a dialog with an NPC, who gives you some inventory items. These are things that normally only happen inside of a roleplaying game. The gritty world of decay and radioactive ruins looks and feels like the classic Fallout, which I still cherish as a brilliant example of what a good RPG should be. It looks like an RPG, it feels a bit like an RPG, and for the first few hours of the game I kept wondering why it didn’t play like an RPG.
Here is how it happened with me: STALKER put on a sexy little outfit and suggested we should go out and have some fun. I doused myself in cologne and made sure I was wearing my “I roll twenties” boxer shorts. Then halfway through dinner STALKER starts talking about how we’re just friends and that I shouldn’t be getting any funny ideas. Excuse me? Okay, I admit that STALKER never explicitly promised roleplaying, and maybe I was just a little overeager. But still, I think STALKER owes me an apology for sending out some seriously mixed signals here.