S.T.A.L.K.E.R. a Review

If you are looking to excite your senses with a thrilling and riveting game series this summer you need not look further than the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series. With the attention surrounding the TV series Chernobyl going rife, playing this game is the best way to brush up on your history. S.T.A.L.K.E.R, which stands for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, and Robbers, is a game series which was created in 2007 by the Ukraine based game developer GSC Game World. The game is set in the area which surrounds the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The developers took inspiration from a novel which goes by the name Roadside Picnic written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky and also from the film (Stalker) based on the same book.   

Story

As we already know that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R game series is set in the Chernobyl area but in the game, an alternate history comes into play. According to that history the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a safety zone some 30 kilometers from the original site, became home to some unusual test labs. Inside these labs, scientists experimented with psychic abilities that aroused in people after the unfortunate incident occurred. As is true with any experiment, something must go wrong and it did. The experimentation caused a second calamity which initiated mutations in the vegetation and humans in the area. As a result, many strange things started happening in the Zone. Mutant entities that defied the laws of physics and logic itself started roaming throughout the Zone making it an entirely dangerous area.

Roaming the Zone

Your character experiences many effects when he/she enters a certain area or comes in contact with a certain entity. The abnormalities caused by the experiment have created special items that your character can collect through the game. The items can have anti-gravity and radiation absorbing properties which make them valuable. And wherever there is value humans are bound to be there. A few daring people that call themselves Stalkers scavenge the Zone in search of these special items to sell later for huge sums of money. The Zone is a perilous place yet many Stalkers roam around inside to earn themselves a fortune. Some Stalkers work alone but others are part of special contingents. Each group has its own philosophy surrounding the Zone

As we already know that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R game series is set in the Chernobyl area but in the game, an alternate history comes into play. According to that history the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a safety zone some 30 kilometers from the original site, became home to some unusual test labs. Inside these labs, scientists experimented with psychic abilities that aroused in people after the unfortunate incident occurred. As is true with any experiment, something must go wrong and it did. The experimentation caused a second calamity which initiated mutations in the vegetation and humans in the area. As a result, many strange things started happening in the Zone. Mutant entities that defied the laws of physics and logic itself started roaming throughout the Zone making it an entirely dangerous area.

Your character experiences many effects when he/she enters a certain area or comes in contact with a certain entity. The abnormalities caused by the experiment have created special items that your character can collect through the game. The items can have anti-gravity and radiation absorbing properties which make them valuable. And wherever there is value humans are bound to be there. A few daring people that call themselves Stalkers scavenge the Zone in search of these special items to sell later for huge sums of money.

The Zone is a perilous place yet many Stalkers roam around inside to earn themselves a fortune. Some Stalkers work alone but others are part of special contingents. Each group has its own philosophy surrounding the Zone. The Freedom faction believes that the Zone is the greatest asset to humanity and should be open to all who dare enter it. The Duty faction, on the other hand, holds the belief that the Zone poses the greatest threat to humanity and is intent on destroying it completely. The Stalker groups work illegally inside the Zone since it is a cordoned off-site. The Ukrainian Army surrounds the entire area and does not allow anyone to enter, however financial gain makes it worth the while for the Stalkers and they enter anyway. Therefore, the Ukrainian Spetsnaz Special Forces conduct operations inside the Exclusion Zone to catch Stalkers or to capture specific objects. The risk for the Stalkers and the Special Forces is equal since the entire Zone is full of mutated creatures including humans that have special psychic abilities. It is not only risky but hazardous to encounter any such entity while inside the Zone. 

You start as a part of a faction and you have a separate goal depending on the group you start up with. The goals of each faction intertwine many times during the game and you have to work accordingly. What you choose to do opens up the game differently. However, the final goal for each faction or group is the same and that is to reach the center of the Zone. The pursuit for the center is not actually easy as many threats lie between your character and their final goal, these range from skirmishes with other factions, encounter with Spetsnaz soldiers and with mutated creatures. The gameplay is horrifying yet thrilling. It is sure to fill your blood with adrenaline.

Shadow of Chernobyl

The first game in the series opens up with you being a Stalker hit by amnesia. You are the Marked One and your goal is to kill another stalker Strelok. Throughout the game, you recover fragments of your memory while helping other stalkers and collecting special items. There can be a different ending each time as it depends on how much memory you are able to recover.

Clear Sky

The second installment in the series sees you as a member of the Clear Sky faction. You can decide how you react to the different scenarios that come your way while reaching the goal for your faction.

Call of Pripyat

In the third installment if the game you assume the mantle of former stalker Major Degtyarev who has to investigate a disaster caused during Operation Fairway.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2

The latest installment in the game is set to release in 2021 with much enthusiasm surrounding the release.