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S.T.A.L.K.E.R: The next gaming milestone?

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Centauro

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Post Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:46 pm

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: The next gaming milestone?

If they deliver what they are promising, this is going to be a helluva good game. Par to HL2, or even better. (Not like that DeusExInvisibleWar... which I haven't played yet, but from what I've read, sucks real bad).

The following is an excerpt from the website http://www.stalker-game.com, describes the Zone (the place in which the game takes place -- ?anyone saw Andrei Tarkovsky's film that partially inspired this game? I did. Though I wouldn't say I "recommend" it, I found it interesting and I think it is worth watching at least once, if you like science fiction).


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Zone Overview

Posted: 20/10/2003
The Zone lives every moment, and every moment it changes. Within its bowels unknown stalkers fight with uncanny mutants, find artifacts, avoid facing unidentified dangers, in temporary camps scientists keep studying anomalies, military stalkers accomplish their missions, army units patrol their post-adjacent territory, petrified by the possibility of being abruptly attacked by countless mutant creatures. And in the unexplored heart of the Zone mutants prowl the dead lands: Somewhere deep in catacombs new breed of the Zone is born. And it is only at the time of Blowout that the Zone life stops and its residents hush in terror. In this section we will take a look at one of the basics of Stalker gameplay - the system of Zone life simulation. One of the main tasks of the system is to control all the game characters and creatures, plausible generation of events and confrontations between them.

Life simulation system

The system provides realistic processing of events in the Zone. Stalkers traverse the Zone, face anomalies, look for artifacts, accomplish tasks of dealers. Now and then they return to the dealers to deliver the items found, buy foodstuffs and equipment. When encountering superior enemy forces, the characters avoid clashes, run away during the fight, should their victory chances get slim, can go into hiding, lay ambushes.

Under heavy injuries a character cannot move on his own and asks for help. If no help arrives, he dies. When starving, stalkers lose their strength.

Characters can easily find their way in the Zone, they know their location - on marshlands or near semi-rotten hut, in factory basement or close to army post - and this allows them to behave adequately to the location.

They trade and communicate with each other, exchanging valuable items and vitally important information. When coming across, a friendly character will be able to tell what happened to him lately. He will tell how he had to sit still in the basement hiding from controller and how he found a fresh corpse of a stalker close to rusty bridge, how he nearly died in bogs and got trapped by inconspicuous anomaly. He can advise not to poke into the territory of neglected research institute, for he spotted a pack of blind dogs there.

While communicating, characters share news, observations and rumours about Zone events. The events virtually always have traces, which can be spotted by character - bodies of humans and monsters, neglected equipment, vehicles, evidence of clashes. Later, all the information about happenings in the Zone is acquired by the dealer, who, basing on it, gives stalkers pieces of advice and new tasks. The dealer keeps a sort of Zone diary, where all the events, occurrences, adventures and deaths of stalkers are recorded. Basing on that diary, a sally to the Zone can be planned by choosing the safest route, or a way to presumed artifact location can be picked.

Zone life

The Zone changes. Each next Blowout generates anomalies in new spots, which makes it difficult to study the Zone. And the interval between Blowouts is short, approximately 7 days. During a Blowout there appear new anomalous zones, instead of old deconcentrated ones. Normal objects acquire anomalous energy, turning into artifacts. Blowout-entrapped creatures die and new unknown creatures appear. The most dangerous is to stay in the Zone straight after the Blowout, as the peak of anomaly concentration is maximal at that moment.

Later on, the interval between Blowouts shortens to raise anxiety of Zone explorers. What will happen when the Zone exceeds some unknown critical barrier? What will happen when there are no intervals between the Blowouts?

Storyline-driven events

NPC stalkers can perform storyline-imposed tasks and participate in important events. Later some stalker veteran may be able to solve the mystery of the Zone and accomplish the final task instead of the player.

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(This is under the Game section of the website >> game overview. Don't forget to check out the Game FAQ also).

Sounds good, doesn't it? Maybe too good to be true. But if this title lives up to the hype... well... I'd say that the right game-engine to properly recreate Los Angeles 2019 has arrived at last. Too late, perhaps, now that EA destroyed Westwood... but I think this sparks a little chance to get another BR game, ...maybe a remake of the 1997 game? One can dream.
-------------------------------------------------------------- Revel In Your Time --------------------------------------------------------------

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THX1138

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Post Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:35 pm

deus ex 2 didnt suck (or it doesnt). im playing it now, and its worth the money. ill say that its not as good as the first, but then again, most sequels are. its a good game, nice gameplay, stays true to the Deus Ex world and name. its not as "dark" as the first, but its still good. by dark i mean torn down cities, plagued populations and such, and tons of homeless.
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Centauro

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Post Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:33 am

Well, I suppose that one can never tell for sure until playing it. The thing is that, even when I knew that I wouldn't be playing this anytime soon, I followed very closely the forums at eidos.com and ionstorm.com like since three months before the game release and until two months after... I tried to be careful no to spoil myself the game from the reading (impossible to acomplish perfectly) because I hope to play it someday, but in general I found numerous members of the forums that made some points about the final outcome of DXIW in relation to what they loved about DX, and given that they all said pretty much the same things, for the moment I have the opinion that IW sucks real bad indeed. I'll have to wait however, (not forever, I hope :) ) to form a firsthand opinion.

But, then, what do you think about STALKER? Did you check the site out?
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BR796164

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Post Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:52 am

DXIW... the ingame RPG system has been radically "primitivized" for the sake of console gamers. Also, there are many radical compromises in graphics and level design connected with it. Low res textures and small sized levels. The release ot the gam,e was so rushed that the devs didn't have enough time to tweak the gameplay and finish some features. It runned slow on even fast systems.
Story is so-so-good.
And the game is damn short, like 18 hours of gameplay.

Anyways, we have just one year since its release now and almost nobody is talking about it in the gaming communities. It reflects qualities and general status of this game pretty good.

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