Reader Review: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Wyatt does. He also has a really awesome cowboy name that I'm personally jealous of.

Yes, that’s right, we’re publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku, in addition to reader retrospectives and features. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Wyatt Oliver. If you’ve played S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, or just want to ask Mathew more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (PC) An interesting blend of FPS and RPG, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is PC gamers’ third foray into the Zone - the no-go area around the ‘sploded Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. You play as Major Degtyarev (no, the names don’t get any easier from here), a Ukrainian military agent tasked with discovering what happened to five helicopters that have crash-landed in the Zone around the city of Pripyat.

Loved Stayin’ alive: As with the first two S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, Call of Pripyat abandons the player, leaving you to fend for yourself in the strange and morose wilderness. Whether it be stumbling through the dark, listening to the savage barking of a pack of mutant hostiles not quite far enough away, or deciding between helping a beleaguered Stalker and saving your precious ammo, you will constantly consider your own survival. Despite your military background, and the rifle you begin the game armed with, the distinct impression is that you are very alone and very vulnerable. Oh, this is a good thing.

Pimping out your gear: Several NPCs throughout the game will offer to repair and even upgrade your armour and weapons - for a fee. At the beginning of the game cash-flow is low, so it’s up to the player to decide whether that med-kit is worth pawning for a shiny new scope for your rifle.

Great performance: The game runs well on my fairly modest rig. Bugs? Just a few cockroaches, apparently. Crashes? The only things crashing here are helicopters!

Hated: Being stuck in 2007: CoP uses the same X-Ray engine from the previous two games, albeit an updated version. Shadow of Chernobyl looked great in 2007, but having run CoP on maximum DX10 settings (the game does support DX11) I am not sure the game is on par with similar titles it may be competing with in today’s market.

Voice acting: Actually, a lot of the voice acting for background chatter is not too shabby - as far as I can tell, because it’s still mostly in Russian. Unfortunately, the English dubs for quest givers and notable NPCs are not so great. You can hear the miss-read scripts; the awkward pauses… the Italian-American accent of one character.

Inventory management: Later in the game loot becomes more plentiful, but your inventory weight restriction stays roughly the same. If you’ve got itchy looting fingers and find it hard to tear yourself away from even the most trivial of plundered items, you may find yourself agonising over all the goodies you have to leave behind.

CoP is the sequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, and expands excellently on the STALKER universe, pushing the story of the Zone further. Despite a host of new features that improve the STALKER experience, very little has changed in the formula since 2007. For those who have played and liked previous STALKER games, this is a great continuation of the series. Others unfamiliar with the STALKER franchise might be better off checking out Metro 2033.

Reviewed by: Wyatt Oliver


    good review... the STALKER universe is pretty fun - a good horror/survival fps with emphasis on stealth/sniping often.

    There are definite quibbles with the engine, but the games win out for sheer atmosphere and immersion.

    all three are good fun - the earlier two are quite cheap nowdays too.

    Metro 2033 (read the book first! awesome fun!) is good, but linear, instead of the sandbox universe of Stalker.

    Both metro 2033 and stalker originated in the same company, i believe, and hopefully are the beginning of greater things from russian game companies.

    i've heard CoP is much more open world than SoC, can anyone elaborate on this, because i loved SoC but was a bit disappointed with the relatively linear map

      On one hand there are now only three main areas to explore/adventure in. On the other, however, these areas are huge and open.

    Played through this one and have to say I have mixed feelings. The game creates an awesome atmosphere on par with fallout 3, but doesn't do enough with it. Get used to shooting the same enemies and walking down too many empty corridors.

    My biggest gripe I guess is that the world feels too static (aside from the occasional cool encounter with crazy stalkers)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now