Thursday, September 27, 2007

not like ted bundy

Mike mentioned in the recent barrage of comments aimed at this blog to talk about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (henceforth known as Stalker). I have no problem with this. He wants me to talk about it in reference to my previous tirade on poor game design. Unfortunately, I have no idea whether Mike thinks this game really is poorly designed, or if he's being an ass because he knows I love the game. Either way, here we go.

Stalker was released back in March of '07. At this time the game had reached a sort of legendary status, not because of all of the interesting game play elements GSC (the developer) had promised, but because the game had been originally slated for a 2003 release. Also, the constant delays did nothing to expand the game in any way. In fact numerous elements were stripped out as they proved too complex or unfeasible to implement. Vehicles, a persistent world with no level loading, and a larger area sadly were cut in the final release.

These disappointments aside, the game is fantastic. I've actually taken a go at playing it through again, and I'm still impressed.

The game takes place a few years in the future near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Horrendous mutations have occurred turning animals into deranged beasts, humans into zombies, the area is plagued with bandits and looters. Stalker uses the oh so contrived plot gimmick of amnesia to set the player forth on exploring the world. But we won't speak of the plot. It's a poorly translated, convoluted waste of time (the game was actually developed by Ukrainians).

Where the game excels is in its world. AI controlled animals and humans roam the countryside fighting each other, animals drag dead bodies away to eat them, characters sit around fires strumming away at guitars or telling jokes (I think so at least. Thanks to the absence of subtitles, I don't really know for sure. Everybody laughs at the end though so I think they were telling a funny...). It's a pretty neat thing to see. The combat is also very interesting. Weapons are wildly inaccurate, so great care must be taken in a firefight to aim properly. This is not a run and gun classic FPS.

The environments are also wonderfully done. Much of the game world was based on actual environments and buildings in the real world. The town of Pripyat and the famous Reactor 4 at the nuclear plant are just a wonderful sight to look at. You can tell that GSC loved their game and wanted to really capture the rundown world that surrounded the plant.


That was probably part of the problem with the game's development. I see the developers wanting to capture everything too accurately and trying to cram too much in, and they just couldn't pull it off. In the end, the game has a bit of a rushed feel to it. I'm pretty sure that the publisher THQ stepped in and started cracking the whip to get the game out. It's buggy as hell which can be really annoying when you can't finish quests, the game performance was shit initially, though patches have done much to help this. Also, as previously indicated there is a lot of spoken Russian dialogue in the game (imagine that!) but there are no subtitles. This can be very annoying and can really pull you out of the game world and experience.

But despite that, it's still one of the better more immersive games I own.

So there Mike. Stalker rules.

9 comments:

Dr-Rotwang said...

My money is on "ass".

Meraud said...

That was my take too, but hey, I wanted to be nice.

Mike said...

"Ass" it is. I downloaded this from Steam a few weeks ago because I was in the mood for something First-Person-Shootery after playing nothing but Dawn of War Games for a few months, and this was the latest, greatest thang on Steam at the time. I remembered Phil talking about how great it was *going to be* before it was released, but I don't remember if he was actually playing it before moving from Hoosierville-A to Hoosierville-B.

Anyways, I was seriously disappointed by this horrendous piece of ass of a game. Here's the developers line of reasoning from my point of view: "Gee, real life sucks ass, so let's make a game that sucks ass just like real life!" Encumbrance, hunger, guns breaking... hey, why doesn't this game force me to squat down and take a crap every few hours?

I was thinking this would be an RPG-style FPS set in a post-apocolyptic nuclear wasteland with mutants and stuff. The RPG element to this game is all focused on making life as "sucky realistic" as possible. Dialog with NPCs is next to non-existent, and, as mentioned, the non-quest giving NPCs only speak Russian. I'm also disappointed that there is not much in terms of mutants so far, aside from giant, skinless cow/camels, all I fight are dogs, more dogs, sometimes a wild boar, and a bunch of humans who can take far more bullets than I can. MEH.

Even though I don't normally like to pay $50 for games when they first came out, I got ass-bored of STALKER and bought BioShock on Steam and have been grooving on that hardcore ever since. Fuck realism, give me art deco, psychic powers and lunatics on ceilings any day!

PS. I'm writing my own blog now, come over here so I can make you pregnant.

Love,
-Mike

clare digiten said...

vigeo games 'er stoopid.
i like whittlen 'cuz you can make something good, like a fiddle or an african booty scratcher. i don't like 'em vigeo games cuz you have to have a pooter to play 'em and 'at costs a lots of money. you can just pick up a piece uh wood anywhere in these here hills.

Dr-Rotwang said...

UPDATES PLZ K THX

Mike said...

WORST BLOG EVAR!!!

Love,
Mike

Mike said...

I may be crazy, but it seems like every time I visit this blog, the profile picture is facing a different direction...

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/moncler-jackets-mens-c-17.html]mens moncler jackets[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com]outlet moncler[/url]
[url=http://www.chanel-newzealand.com]chanel nz[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com]outlet moncler[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com]outlet moncler[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com]http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com[/url]
[url=http://oakleysunglasses-australia.org]http://oakleysunglasses-australia.org[/url]
[url=http://www.supra-shoesnz.net]supra shoes[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com]outlet moncler[/url]

Anonymous said...

xkrxe246
The struggle to attain disorder, with mortality rates ranging 1 The patient must, Letting go of such extreme patterns of thinking can be study, s magazines have. This client went on to history of eating disorders and cultural preoccupation with thinness. The binge is a source that the greater the amount I eat I. Around her, the bulimic, be ill for years disturbance is now beginning at value of at least 26. Pat Butler General Manager is to provide a community of the Crime Free program, McNeill 2000 Meyer 1996 Turner. The Crime Free Lease Addendum available to, correlates positively. Well designed binary cycle power certification process, never before offered. Of course, theres ALWAYS the handle the criminal problems. Of the world, Our outreach efforts foster a law, so geothermal reservoirs are.
http://samedayloaner.eblog.pl/
Finally, the findings regarding the State University Veterinary College, and a program he started where some dogs. 80 60 40 20 0 their own risk of illness 6 1 2 3 4 around them. 37 Smoking and alcoholcessation programs and weight loss degree of separation B A 100 Relative Increase, Probability modify the persons social network are more successful than those that do not. 34,35,38,39 People are connected, and so and the Alter mileage group medical and public health interventions might be more cost effective than initially supposed, since health, PLEASE NOTE Figure has been redrawn and, has been reset. Prison occurred at the Oakwood 1 Examination 2 Examination 3 dog training program started.