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Default S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Review @ Twenty Sided

December 27th, 2007, 06:50
We don't do full S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage but this review at blog Twenty Sided takes a bit of an RPG-related view, so I thought we'd take a look:
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.
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December 27th, 2007, 06:50
Translation: "I don't like FPS's. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is an FPS. I wanted S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to be a RPG. Therefore, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is teh hard and suxx0rz."

In what way is this review any better than the "I never got past Act 1 so The Witcher suxx0rz" reviews we're all so happy to bash here?
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December 27th, 2007, 07:57
The difference is that the developers made the game seem like it was going to be an rpg from the start and at first it seems like it is but soon you find out it is an fps. With the Witcher it is just laziness that makes reviews where they have only done the first chapter and not about thinking it is a game of another genre entirely and being disappointed it isn't.

This happened to me when I tried Stalker and I gave up on it in the middle of the first mission and haven't played very much since. I get board of fps games very quickly and think they are very dull.
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December 27th, 2007, 09:29
STALKER isn't just an FPS though, and anyone who thinks it is obviously didn't put much effort into playing it.

I agree with Prima Junta, that particular reviewer sounds like a whiny little b!tch who just couldn't handle a challenge that requires a little patience. Towards the end of the review he writes-
"STALKER has not one single cheat code to help you through a tough fight",

Maybe someone should hand him a tissue to cry into.
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December 27th, 2007, 15:04
Yeah, way to take that out of context, though. He wanted access to cheat codes, because he got fed up with the trial-and-error approach he felt was necessary to get through the game. Trial-and-error coupled with long load screens equals not fun.

I'm not saying S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wasn't a fun game. I never played it.
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December 27th, 2007, 16:47
Then it's no wonder you don't know that it's not "trial-and-error" type hard, nor are the load screens particularly long.
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December 31st, 2007, 15:47
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
The difference is that the developers made the game seem like it was going to be an rpg from the start and at first it seems like it is but soon you find out it is an fps.
Do you mean S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? If so, the developers have never tried to sell it as anything but an FPS. Most of the PR for the game has focused on the graphics, the huge expansive areas, the mutants, the story, the ballistics, and the AI. It was a superb FPS, at that. Considerably better than Bioshock or any other FPS that came out this year.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Then it's no wonder you don't know that it's not "trial-and-error" type hard, nor are the load screens particularly long.
I can't blame the guy at least for thinking that it's hard. The first mission of the game is really hard until you get used to it, since the first weapons that you get are really weak and underwpowered. If you're used to the approach offered in 90% of the FPS's out there (i.e. the first two hours are a cakewalk) then S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a shock to the system. Once you get an automatic weapon and enough ammo, it gets better and easier.
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December 31st, 2007, 16:59
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
Do you mean S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? If so, the developers have never tried to sell it as anything but an FPS. Most of the PR for the game has focused on the graphics, the huge expansive areas, the mutants, the story, the ballistics, and the AI. It was a superb FPS, at that. Considerably better than Bioshock or any other FPS that came out this year.
I agree… although it did take a number of patches to get there. My three top games this year were The Witcher, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and MotB, in this order.

I can't blame the guy at least for thinking that it's hard. The first mission of the game is really hard until you get used to it, since the first weapons that you get are really weak and underwpowered. If you're used to the approach offered in 90% of the FPS's out there (i.e. the first two hours are a cakewalk) then S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a shock to the system. Once you get an automatic weapon and enough ammo, it gets better and easier.
IMO Crysis is just as hard to start with. At least I got pasted all over the landscape a quite a lot until I figured out the lurk-pounce-scoot-lurk gameplay rhythm that works there. It took me roughly as many tries to get the feel of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as Crysis. I ended up playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. at "realistic" once I had the rhythm down, and I did not find it excessively difficult. (OK, there were a few bits near the endgame where I had to reload a bit frequently, but no more than in the hardest bits in Half-Life 2, for example.)
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December 31st, 2007, 17:02
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
The difference is that the developers made the game seem like it was going to be an rpg from the start and at first it seems like it is but soon you find out it is an fps. With the Witcher it is just laziness that makes reviews where they have only done the first chapter and not about thinking it is a game of another genre entirely and being disappointed it isn't.
Huh? Which developers would these be? AFAIK it was billed as a "sandbox shooter" from the start; they hyped the A-Life, the AI, and the wide-open landscapes, but explicitly stated that there was no skill tree, character progression (other than through equipment), or such. There *was* a lot of wishful thinking on NMA and the Codex about its RPG-ness, but you can hardly blame the devs for that.

This happened to me when I tried Stalker and I gave up on it in the middle of the first mission and haven't played very much since. I get board of fps games very quickly and think they are very dull.
Too bad you didn't do your homework then; would've saved you a few tenners.
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January 1st, 2008, 02:35
The only really bad thing about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in my opinion is the crappy support it's been given. 9 months after release there are still a substantial amount of bugs. I'm patiently awaiting version 1.1 before trying to play it again.
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January 1st, 2008, 03:04
Don't hold your breath, I have heard no more patches till the release of the expansion/sequel.

It might just be me, while I was disappointed the RPG elements were dropped (sorry I don't feel like looking up references to Stalker including RPG elements atm) and COOP, but the real killer to me (in any game) is constantly respawning enemies, with no foundational basis in the story.

The best comprehensive mod I found was the *Faiakes Mod* seems to even add previously deleted content, including monsters and cars.
http://stalker.filefront.com/file/Faiakes_Mod;83643

I was able to eliminate most of the respawning by editing my se_respawn.script in my gamedata folder, the only respawning that seemed to take place I didn't get was on level change and mostly those horribly annoying repeating attacks in Garbage. Where you get so frustrated you want to just let the enemies kill all the good guys so you don't have to keep saving them.

Overall a very innovative creation of a PA World and attempt on paper but clearly beyond the developers capability, this includes engine, scope and gameplay encounters, i.e. we suck at it so bad, we have to have constant respawing.

Yet another developer with tons of free help and labor from fans completely ignored.

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January 1st, 2008, 05:00
Loved Stalker. Finished it. Didn't understand the different endings. I couldn't get the one real good ending because of a bug.

All in all, it was great. When was the last time anyone play a FPS where the guys actually were flanking you. I remember the fight under the bridge and this guy snuck around the side and killed me before I knew what was going on.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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January 1st, 2008, 08:10
You may know this info skavenhorde, but just in case I didn't have a bug with 1.5, here are the spoilers, it's sort of messy I just cut and pasted to save some time.
Spoiler


Here is a detailed guide, if your interested.
http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/dos…e/540331/49240

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