Okay first lets get some things out of the way: This is not my opinion the following text is taken from facts of the game when it runs well. As in when it runs in it's best so I want to give people a general idea of what the game is when they're not CTDing every 5 seconds.
Okay everyone. After reading all of these critisism of clear sky I wanted to list some good things about clear sky.
First the graphics are improved from SoC 50 fold. The wet surfaces, volumetric lighting, and god rays really add to the atmosphere. However with all of these settings the game is very unoptimized and it takes a power house of a computer to run EVERYTHING (as in everything is set to max) without problems. Tweaks and such can help you keep framerates without taking huge hits but still the graphics are a huge leap.
The AI isn't as bad as people claim. Now I only play on STALKER difficulty but the AI is pretty damn good. The only idiotcicy I saw in the AI is when the jump out of cover when there are bullets EVERYWHERE. But the human AI is very good. I was doing a mission in cordon to kill the two groups of army rescuers and the army acted like actual army units. As in they used tactics and cover very effectivly. And one problem that was PREVELANT in SoC was that neutral and friendly AI would die within minutesi in a firefight but in Clear sky they are infinetly reliable. The first group of STALKERS were able to advance on the group of soilders cover to cover and they did not die within seconds. In SoC a MASTER STALKER IN EXOSUIT AND CARRYING AN AS VAL gets killed by a bandit weilding a MP5. That is exactly how improved neutral and friendlies are. On my second group however it was much more complicated.
Another thing in clear sky is how the world does not revolve around the player MOST OF THE TIME during my exploits on the first camp the second camp was already being attacked. By the time I got to the second camp the friendly stalkers were already dead. Although they did take a soilder with them. So I grabbed ammo and such and I started sneaking towards the car park. I saw 2 soilders around a campfire and I shot one of them and the remaining soilders went to the second floor.
So I went around the carpark and I was immdiately ambushed by a couple guys and I hid behind a car. Guess what happend. 2 grenades camp right under my feet and I had to run but guess what. A soilder was right around the corner coming towards me trying to flank me but I met him first. But I was surprised because after reading the reviews of "professional" reviewers saying the AI was utterly stupid I did not think the AI would try to flank me. And I took a chunk of damage from running into that soilder. I ofcourse went back and tried to get the soilders but they were gone from their current position and when I turned around they were right behind me and capped my ass.
So simply put the AI is not as dumb as people claim. They use cover, blindfire, and they especially use tactics. And another example of the neutral and friendly AI not being slaughtered was when I was fighting mercenaries in darkvally and the freedom soilders that were already in the factory lobby and the freedomers took out the mercs on the roof easily.
The location and mutants
Okay first off: Mutants are rare to find in the zone. So far the only mutants I encountered was only 3 groups of dogs, a group of boar, and 2 fleshes. And also a scripted snork in garbage. And they were pretty secluded too. The mutants are definatly harder then SoC but sadly GSC reused textures and models of the previous game so that's just a sign of laziness. Although they changed the sounds of the mutants I met so far. I did not meet a bloodsucker yet, a controller, a poltergiest, or even a rodent. I have no clue if there are any new mutants that wasn't in modded SoC.
The one thing that pissed me off the most is the locations. Why the HELL DID THEY FUCKING TAKE OUT ROSTOK AND PRIPYAT?!?! WHY?!?! GSC IT'S REALLY STUPID TAKING OUT 2 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACES IN CHERYNOBL!!!!!!!!
They changed the locations the reused like agroprom, garbage, and red forest. They basically did not change cordon at all and changed garbage only. Dark vally was also more or less the same as SoC but the bandit base was a little bit changed.
Now answer this question:
WHY THE FUCK DID THEY TAKE OUT 3 PLACES THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT SUCH AS ROSTOK, PRIPYAT, AND WILD TERRITORY AND ADD IN 2 PLACES AND CONSIDERING ONE OF THOSE AREA'S ARE NEXT TO WORTHLESS IN TERMS OF EXPLORING. Swamp is not very exciting and I have no clue what limisk is because I've yet to gone there.
The interface is nicer looking BUT it gives you less information then SoC. For example you have no fucking idea how tired you are, if you are being seen, or how much noise you are making. And I REALLY don't like the fact that they added the fact that you can see enemies and MUTANTS on your PDA before you even see them. Goodbye surprise and jumpiness. Now we know exactly what to expect before we go somewhere. Very lousy decision if you ask me. Although I'm not a hypocrit. I do use that feature and I find it useful but still I would've been perfectly happy if they didn't add it.
Okay I'm going to say this now. The weapons fucking suck. Not because they are crazy inaccurate, or because they jam after only 1 hit consistantly, or maybe the sounds (admittidly the sound isn't THAT bad) But the fact is that they are not realistic in the slightist. And the fact that weapons are not good until you upgrade them. But they are tolerable.
Okay here are some small issues that I don't like but they don't nesscarilly detract from the enjoyment of the game. And these are MY opinions so please don't take it as fact and feel free to disregard.
The dynamic battle music: I know I can turn it off but I use it anyway because the "calm" music is pretty nice. But the battle music. I mean wtf techno music?!? Is this a scifi shooter or are we in the zone??
The flashlight is basically worthless because of that tiny ass range it has.
No third person view.
I'm not going to bother posting the bug because by now I think anyone who doesn't have clear sky pretty much knows how buggy it is and this review is based off a stable clear sky. And I am as unbiased as possible so if I came off as biased in some points tell me so I can change it but this is what I see of clear sky.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 19TH: I forgot add one note here but here's a real winner.
YOU NEVER FUCKING GET HUNGRY. Way to go GSC you removed one very fucking important feature of SoC. Carrying food is useless as it takes up space and weight because YOU WILL NEVER GET HUNGRY. And another thing while we're on survival. Why the FUCK did they not add in sleeping and tiredness? I thought GSC would listen to the 5000+ people who said they wanted sleeping in the game.
Ahhh GSC you dumbasses.
i hope you update this after you go to limisk..
Okay After playing more I have a couple more things to say:
The nightvision is fucking improved. The green NV still sucks but it's not that migraine inducing chunk with the fucking double vision, bright ass color and shit green texture like SoC. It still barely shows anything but atleast I don't get a fucking migraine from CS NV because of the nice soft green color.
And I just got robbed. When I was trying to get inside of a house in grabage (keeping this vauge so I don't spoil anything. But I reloaded and dumped all my stuff before I got robbed because I REALLY didn't feel like going against 17 bandits with a markorv, only 4 clips of ammo, no body armor or med kits. But if you want a challenge go ahead. Get robbed and try to get your stuff back with a makorav and no bodyarmor and no medkits.
Another thing is that the voice acting is better but the lips are still the same cow chewing animation. Speaking of the animation the gun animation is infinitely improved from SoC. I really would like to make a video review because it's harder to put points of certain things onto text but fraps HAMMERS my FPS. But trust me you'll like the animations much more better. There aren't anymore "broken wrists" that SoC had and the animations are quite good.
Speaking of wrists THE ARMOR CHANGES YOUR GLOVES. That's right. Your gloves actually change. This was not possible in SoC and this detail makes the game so much more better. So if you hated seeing leather jacket hands in SoC even if you had an exosuit you'll be happy with CS. You get different sleeves and gloves depending on your armor and tbh this made the game alot more enjoyable.
Dude you should finish the game before doing a review. There are tons of the mutants you said you haven't seen.
Also they changed the food so now it restores health instead (hunger in SoC was better tbh), but when you eat, you gain some weight and can't carry as much for a little while. Energy Drinks decrease your weight but dont seem to increase recovery after sprints.
Maybe it's different for you, but from what I've seen the AI is dumb as a brick. But in SoC they were as dumb as rocks, so it's a little bit of an improvement. They do take cover more often, but they still do stupid things like advance at me over open ground or walk straight into my lines of fire.
NPCs might seem smarter because they all throw grenades now...and throw them alot...and with perfect accuracy every time. So there goes the enjoyment factor. It might seem realistic when you're fighting 2-3 guys, but when you're against 7-12 and grenades are dropping like carpet bombs, you might think about downloading some mods to fix that.
I already mentioned the laser guided carpet bombs and I set the AI grenade throwing value lower.
The only time the AI ran into my line of fire was in garbage when I was attacking some bandits but so far military, mercs, and freedomers are not really that dumb.
And no NPC's are not smarter just because of grenades they are smarter because they use cover and tactics.
Are you saying that the AI never flanked you or ambushed you around a corner?
Soul_purifier;4587151And I am as unbiased as possible so if I came off as biased in some points tell me so I can change it but this is what I see of clear sky.
Mutants: There are enough. In some areas they respawn and attack in a seemingly endless wave.
UI: The stamina bar was put in with the .0004 patch - it is the blue bar superimposed above the Geiger counter.
Food: That's one thing I never understood - food everywhere, yet no hunger - just eat for a small health boost. Hit by a shotgun? Cool. All you need is a bandage and a tin of SPAM. I inferred a reason for no hunger by the 'curiosities' that occurred when you survived the first blowouts. Later in the game any thoughts of a symbiosis with the emissions is cruelly cut short.
Guides: You don't seem to have mentioned them - unless I missed it. I think they are a welcome addition to the game. Do you want to walk all they way to [mechanic x] to get that extra upgrade now you have more cash? Thought not. Just give that guy over there 2k RU and you are there in the time it takes the level to load.
Yeah the AI haven't shown any real intelligence, except from what I 'm used to from SoC. Sure they use cover, but all their actions feel scripted. When I'm just with a bunch of stalkers and bandits attack, the bandits just walk at us firing, and the stalkers just crouch behind walls or trees and shoot...into the walls and trees.
The AI looks intelligent in specific missions like when you clear out the swamps with Clear Sky and missions with Duty in the Red Forest, etc. But it's not intelligence, they just run on a preset path and stop and take cover at a preset point and they don't move on until the enemies are dead.
I have noticed flanking tactics to a degree, but I wouldn't call it that. When you fight a group, they just return fire and walk in an arc around you but never to a point where you don't have cover against them. The closest I've come to seeing it is when fighting military at the Cordon, killing them all and then noticing a single soldier shooting through a rock at me to my right.
The AI combat routines might work if you stay stationary all the time, but when you're running from cover to cover to avoid grenades, it all falls pretty flat.
UPDATE: I didn't mention guides and such because I was running out of time mid-review so I tried to wrap it up fast.
I'll try to get STALKER to give me permission to edit my first post again so I can merge this and the first post.
Guides: HOLY JESUS OF GOD THIS IS A GOOD THING. Guides are people who are around the zone in camps and sometimes wandering around who will take you to places you've already been for a price depending on distance. So the fast travel isn't completely an exploit because you have to actually pay money. So this is a great balance and kudos to GSC. For example if you are in Dark valley inside the freedom base you can't just go back to swamp easily. You have to pay 3000 rubles because it's so far but meanwhile you pay only 80 rubles if you want to go to the factory in dark valley. This is a great addition and also it helps infinatly when you are hauling a ton of junk and can't run to the nearest trader.
The AI I mentioned wasn't only in scripted events. There was also a random fighting going on between freedom and bandits at the dark vally and I saw bandits going around the giant pile of garbage to flank the freedomers. The freedomers all got killed and then they saw me and went after me. Then I ran towards the flea market where the STALKERS over there hid behind the barell's and picked off the bandits.
Mutants: In some area's they respawn but they never travel farther then a few hundred meters from their orginal spawn point and there is never any variety.
How many nonscripted bloodsuckers and controllers did you see lately?
Another thing I have to mention which IMO was very important. The PDA. Why in the HELL did they take out the diaries, encyclopidia and top 20 stalker rating?? The diary was very important for recapping events while you were resting in a camp and the PDA provided some very interesting read about the zone. Why the hell did they take it out?? I don't understand the mentality of GSC when they thought
"hey guys lets take out the useless diary and encyclodia of the zone and also let's throw away the top 20 stalkers and just add a crappy quest log system and a faction standing chart!! Screw the people who likes to pretend to be in the zone!!"
-_- It just boggles my mind.
Where are your positive points about the game?
I think it's heads and tails above SOC. It's like Deep Silver finally got their shit together and made a real game, not something terribly buggy like STALKER.
:deal: oh yeah?? :mad: well the story line is good, as for AI's being good? I had them last longer in SOC and die FASTER in CS, seems like I had to save them all the time, I run there and by the time I got there everyone would be dead. I got tired of wasting my time so I let them die, I even can get Krugolov back out of the train yard area to yantar alive in SOC and here I can't save abunch of experts at the camp fire by weak bandits..they were more relistic in SOC, they made mistakes like real people do. Now I played this game start off in Novice like I did SOC and this is what happend.. AI's are more invincable in CS, I mean If I am sneaking to a location, while out side the wall I pull a granade, I am to believe that every AI thats talking inside and playing music ( not to mention in upper farther levels of the building away from me ) that everyone can hear it, know were I am at, and can rain down granades and bulites and kill me instantly before I can run? - I have thrown 32 granades at the enemy so I can watch them out run the explosion and out run the throw ( this includes the bulldog6 granade launcher), how ever they can throw right on me perfact and kill me instantly, even from 200 meters? In who's military do we have a soilder who throws a 200 meter distance granade accuetly?..1 meter is a eqivelent of 6 feet right? I am to believe it is possable for a man to throw a granade at 200 meters( 1200 feet ) I mean it must be 200 meters, I can barly see this soilder through my binoculars..( 200 metes would be critacal depth to a WW 2 U-boat )... - I have seen no one die including mutans from any granade I thrown, how ever I have seen them die from a some AI's 1 throw 1 granade.. -to sume up the granade thing, if I threw them at myself then it worked like it was sopose to, so I sold all granades, unless your a AI charter, it won't work for the actor charter.... -I have a super soilder that can shoot through the trees and rocks, at the coradon, he was so acurate that not only was my suit trashed I died, or if a make it, I am going to die in the next hit and was bleeding to death and the entire new suit needed to be replaced. That made me so mad I put the mission on hold with a ' you can F------ wait attatuide and launched my own mission campaigain. Assult on out post 18! Yeah I took it out and that gunner, 1 restart only too.. I never felt to conduct revenge like that in a game I just started..not even in SOC.. and it felt good to kill every last soilder and mainly that super gunner too... -even a bandit with a viper5's and or hand guns can shoot through a cement walls, trees and kill me fast while I am wereing a exo suit, how ever it takes 30 rounds of ap from my GP37 to kill him and he is in a basic leather jacket. like what is that BS about? I never ran into that problem in SOC eather... -The mutants that are sopose to scair you in the game?, well I was more pissed and going after them right off the back head to head with the same rage I had with the super soilder, I again put it on hold with that attatuide so I can hunt down every mutant on the map and kill them all, which I did, why? They all kept comming out and singled me out to kill me when I started the map, I am in a group of 8 and they go around everyone and get me, all at once, and what dose my team do? run for cover...what the hell is that? run for cover? they don't even shoot, I can't run for cover cause I am singled out, so were ever I go they will get me, there is no place to hide, I have been on top of a house to shoot down at the dogs so one of them can CLIMB THE HOUSE AND GET ME ANYWAY? Knock me into the pack and some how I can't get back up were I was? -whats up with the stupid super blood sucker? He phases out of dimentions, lets exzamine this? how is it in a presequal, the first story of the beggining the advance bloodsucker can phase out of dimentions were in SOC ( part 2 now ) he is not so advance and can cloak, ( just so you know we have animals that can cloak in real life, so animal cloaking is un-advance ). when he has singled you out cause he will out of the group, he won't phase back in till he attacks, that is the only time you can kill him, he is still just as hard as the original. and if your team dose fire on it and they will, know why? cause they tend to kill you with it through freindly fire. which it figures by this time in the game. Your team dosen't help you while being attack by dogs or snorks but they will shoot at the bloodsucker while hes attacking you getting you too, -Now The monolith, the story line tells you that the monolith is waiting for you cause you almost made it through the first time ( via Strelok ) I expected the worst from them, they are the leathal security force of furnace 4 facilaty. they are part of whats going on there, Thats why the enviroment has zero effect on them.. I understand that..I expect that, But in CS every enemy but the monolith goes right after me, the monolith at this time period is sopse to go after anyone in genrale, now look at the coradon, I got jumped by all the mutans in the area, as well as 1 soilder and 3 bandits, all at once. first tings first, soilders don't want to be there, and will shoot ANYONE on sight, in SOC that is what they do. here they work side by side, and when your dead, they walk away altogeather side by side. the stomping monster will not die with a few rounds like he did in SOC in labx16 ( think, lab in the dark vally ) if you loose your team due to the swarm of snorks or blood suckers ( eather or both ) expect to carry 1000+ ammo or restart the level, after 150 rounds and running and jumping I restarted the level till I GOT THEM THROUGH CAUSE THEY ARE SO WEAK THEY DIE ALL THE TIME..so it still can take forever to kill the beast with all our guns, I got bored and abandon them there and left them to die so I could go to were I had to go on my own. Why, Cause it took 15mins and still going no weres and I wasted 200 rounds, so forget what the programmer set it up for how he felt, I did what I had to, beside it was getting BORING, jumping and shooting 15 mins and 200 rounds latter with 4 team mates at the same creature and it isn't dead yet? sorry GSC, didn't want to do it, game reminds me of something you find in call of duty or medal of honor, I was waiting for check points next ( the things that SOC didn't have that made it famous, free play and story line real life set up..) -Theres a sniper in a tower, I am a dead hit, I could not kill this guy, I had to go shut off the genarater, but the sniper was shooting at me direct and my team that was to give me cover fire? didn't cause they just sat there and didn't or were getting killed ( like always ). So I decided to fank the sniper since my team was usless and 40 rounds latter at a clear shot I reallised this sniper was never put here to get killed, he is a back ground effect to make the level exciting, I don't see the excitment of haveing a clear shot unable to nutralize the target cause out of everyone there, you will only be the one who can. But the targets programing has made him invincable, what a waste of rounds. there is another super soilder and superguner In the hostpital. i am standing right next to him and guess were he is shooting, AT ME! RIGHT THROUGH THE FLOOR!! Its so stupid to hear your team saying " give us cover fire " when your the guy he has been and is still shooting at, I am like right there out of the 120 degree angle swing of the super gun cause it is mounted on a tri-pod, never the less it is shooting at 190 angle while the berrall is facing its 120 degree full swing, who came up with that? -Some of thease guys that I was sopose to be with, I just killed them myself cause they were all going to die anyway and get me killed too. In SOC my only enemy was the soilders and the bandits, in this CS, hard to keep peace when the nutral guy your with is a danger to yourself as well as himself and you know this cause he had caused you to die 15 times trying to help you and if you kill him you make his group your enemy when you don't want to... -faction choices according to this game you can choose a faction to enlist in, well so far only two had been sucessfull, Loner faction, ( like this is a redundent faction, if your on your own, your a loner anyway, you don't need a faction to tell you are...). Clear Sky faction was another one that was easy to get into ( like no duh..) -I tried to sighn up with the bandits, never got in, they kept jumping me turning me into there enemy by force, maybe I am sopose to return with the gun from the stash haven't tried it yet, or you were never ment to get in which makes it a wasted ideal to have in it and hard drive space to place a file that says you can but you never will.. -when I sighned up for the Loner faction, all the importaint people I needed to see disapeared, A blow out came and everyone was gone, I mean no matter were you went, they were gone, reminded me of the movie ' night of the comet '.. ( theres another re-start of the game...) -I stopped there cause I discovered more mods for SOC like ABC's infernal and OL 2.2, I am now testing them both out to see what is good and what is not -so as for great AI interaction I strongly disagree. I'm not into playing this game again for awhile untill some good mods come out. I beat the game with all manners of frustration even with the two basic mods, trader mod and weight mods. had to re-start the game 3 times vs SOC 1 time. Unless CS is desighn to look for SOC files and force to work off the player diffaculty from SOC, well, in that case I understand the issues now. Since I play SOC on Pro / Master, in that case That could explain the troubles I was having. Don't get me wrong, some things I could see, Like fallowing fangs beacon to a ambush by bandits, I could see that as well as getting rob, ( tip: before going to the underground bunker looking for fang, drop everything that is importaint to you including your suit, so when they rob you for your money, thats all they get, go back to the location were you dumped it at (like beside the building on the ground ) and pick it up...) But the AI engagments, nope! I had the mutants single me out as well as the enemy single me out. Out of a whole group. I expect that in a typical spawining game first person shooter game, not a unique game of stalker.. -SOC was the start of a new kind of game, it was not some first person shooter spawning game, like each AI worked independently, as if it had its own intelligence, thats because it did, that is were some of the computer mem becomes a issue. -they had everything in that game work under its own engine, the engine that ran one mutant ran that only one mutant, just like the engine that ran the weather was not the same one that caused the wind to blow. As well as the human AI's, standard gammers would get lost, they killed one bandet, but the others are looking for them in the wrong place, of course they are if there are 5 bandets and one is dead leaves you 4, but even at five it was still 5 seprate engines working independently. the one you killed, that engine knows were your at, the other four don't, you know like you go play paint ball guns and get one buddie but the other 6 don't know were your at.. same thing.. -typical spawing game meanse one engine controlls everything, you know like in a standard war game, you kill one enemy and then suddenly you get this spawing action of 300 soilders and they ALL KNOW WERE your AT. This game reminds me of that cause so far that is what it seems like -I was just happy to finish this game finally so I have not have the chance to fully re-play it to see how much of the game is exploreable, like I said I am testing out a infernal mod by ABC and one called OL2.2 for SOC and I'm quiet happy doing it, how ever I did try to explore a little but as soon as I begain I was jumped by all thease mutans and after I beat them all my charter just dropped dead. When this happend I was going to smash the disk! But I held out.... - now just so you know I am not bad mouthing stalker cause I hate it, I am only matching and responding to the statment about AI in CS vs SOC and the problems I had. I am a hard core stalker fan, maybe more than most here, after all look at the photo gallery for my picks, I not only created a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. stencle but it was for a tatto and it is now on my arm, I created the stedit00 to be printed so my tatto artis can ink it on me. Thats how much of a hard core fan I am. I have two houses I call my residents in SOC, one in the wildterritory by the armywere house, its the farmstead that duty uses, the other is in the coradon south side of the drive second house from the last at the little village in coradon ( I like that one better cause I sleep in the bomb shelter of my own home -as in the game that is-). I can praticly give you directions as well info on were I have been and were you want to go, so yeah, I am a hard core stalker fan... -with that last coment I gave my opinion, if you notice its all about AI preformance mostly, The ideals and what they were going in the game exalent, how ever enemy engagment? needs some serious work. like something done with this 200 meter toss, singaled out attacks, can't save no one and no one can help you, the super soild with the super gun that never runs out of ammo and penatrates everything you hide behind, except 1 hospital wall, then again the lead AI's are there so the gun can't shoot through it, The helicopter has orders to kill everyone, so your attacked by the monolith while the choppers is keeping you pinned, whats that? chopper has to to shoot them all, it should be shootining the monolith as well, that would make it exciting, I be thinking " Damn! thease guys will kill us all! " not " OMG! the army and the monolith had teamed up to get me, like thats a F------ schock, oh oh what do I do? its so tough oh, oh my...." ( and waste everyone anyway caused I mad again ), Thease are the things I have came across, I am sure someone here will get a mode to redjust some of this, If I knew how to I WOULD HAVE DONE IT BY NOW. I would love to explore some of the new maps without being struck dead cause the programmer is determined to make sure I can't or some timmer runs out and everyone is gone so there is no going further... -like I said story line is awsome, new maps cool, this AI BS needs to stop. If the user can see that if they take it apound themselves to sniper a siper out, then so be it. after all, in call of duty I kept getting lit up by a flak gun, if I dont go and take cover my team, they wont call the air strike ( its a " if and then statment area trigger thing " ) everytime I go I get killed, I think your sopose to crawl to their spot, well explosions all around, advancing enemy soilders aprouching, i said " this is madness! " to besure I can locate my team , thought in my best living intress ( and save myself from another restart from dying ) I sniped off every operator on the flack gun, they all died and the shooting stopped, and I wasn't punished for not doing the way the programer wanted -In SOC I did lot of things not the programmers way and had never been punished... -CS will no doubt get better with modes, the corrections are very little...