8.5/10
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)

You play as a scavenger suffering from amnesia inside the exclusion zone of a nuclear power plant in the Ukraine which exploded, creating mutants, and weird paranormal activity.

Director:

Zach Hanks
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Cast

Credited cast:
Anthony Green ... The Stalker (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Agranov ... (voice)
S. Scott Bullock S. Scott Bullock ... (voice)
Robin Atkin Downes ... Duty #1 (voice)
Neil Kaplan ... Merc / Duty #2 / Freedom (voice)
Yuri Lowenthal ... Additional Voices (voice)
Aidan Marus ... Additional Voices (voice)
Anthony Pulcini Anthony Pulcini ... (voice)
Stephen Stanton ... (voice)
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Storyline

It is the year 2012, 6 years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffers a second meltdown. It caused an environmental disaster that created bizarre anomalies, mutants and created valuable artifacts. You are a 'stalker' a man who comes to 'The Zone' to make money from the artifact trade, but you lose your memory in a crash on the way to the Zone, and when you wake up you find one message on your PDA - 'Kill Strelok'. Written by Dave Hurst

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Ukraine

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

20 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Cien Czarnobyla See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

GSC Game World See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the game's alternate history, a second meltdown occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine in 1989. See more »

Quotes

Duty #1: Get out of here Stalker.
See more »

Connections

References Half-Life (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best game ever made, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sets a new standard for future games.
30 April 2007 | by Spartan_234See all my reviews

Announced way back in 2002, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. faced numerous delays on its road to finally being released. When you pop the DVD into your computer and start the game up, it isn't hard at all to see why it took so long. It's almost as if Ukrainian developer GSC Game World literally put their blood and sweat into making the game as detailed and realistic as in the real world, while making sure that the game is still fun.

You play as a "stalker", a mercenary that trades for valuable artifacts in the area affected by the radiation of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 (referred to as "the Zone"). Your goal is to work your way to the Chernobyl power plant and find the secrets that are stored there, and to kill Strelok, your #1 rival in the Zone. "Stalker" stands for "scavengers, tourists, adventurers, loners, killers, explorers, and robbers", the seven rivaling factions of stalkers, and you're one of the "loners". Rival stalkers, as well as mutants and the Ukrainian military, stand in your way of being able to achieve your goal.

Many first-person shooters today, while very fun to play, don't truly give you the sense that you're actually in the game's alternate reality. This is mainly due to things like being able to snipe with chainguns and machineguns, a lack of food and sleep, lackluster character interaction, and following the same linear path every time you play. This is not an issue in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. This is an open-ended game, meaning that it takes place in a large gameworld with lots of things to do and lots of ways to get past situations, rather than a series of linear levels where you do the same things every single time. There are lots of optional missions that you can take from other fellow stalkers, which gives the game a lot of replay value. As mentioned before, there's also many ways to get past situations. Should you engage into combat with your enemies, kill them stealthily, sneak past them, or just take another route? It's all up to you. But since some enemies take a lot of damage, the latter two may be your only options. Since you only take a few shots before dying, and your weapons are inaccurate to start out with, you actually get the feeling that you're in a real firefight. The AI is also superb -- they know just as well as you how to use cover efficiently, which makes battles even more challenging.

Attention to detail is very characteristic of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. You now have to eat food to stay alive and sleep in safe resting spots, which is realistic -- after all, I have to eat and sleep to stay alive in real life. The game alternates between day and night settings, and characters use flashlights when it gets dark. The AI reacts differently to situations depending on different factors like their hunger and whether it's day or night. You can get too exhausted to move if you run for too long, and having too much in your inventory makes you get exhausted quicker. Finally, everything in the game happens in real-time, which makes for a different experience each time you play through the game.

While the game's "X-Ray" graphics engine doesn't really have any new graphical features, it more than makes up for this by having the best detail and lighting that you'll ever see in any game. However, if you want to be able to play with the settings toned all the way up, you'll probably need to have the best PC out there. On my top-of-the-line HP Pavilion, the game ran very slowly unless I toned the graphics down to minimum settings. If you have a fast-enough PC, though, you might have a difficult time distinguishing between the game and reality...

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will become the new obsession of gamers everywhere, and it sets a new standard for future games to follow. My suggestion is to beat every game you haven't finished yet, because S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will make all your other games lose their luster. Really, it's THAT revolutionary! A definite 10 / 10 to this one -- and if IMDb could let me vote for 11 / 10, I'd definitely do so.


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