In the detailed preface, I’m sure there is no need. It is unlikely that there will be a person who has not heard about the domestic shooter, which became cult long before the release – S.T.A.L.K.E.R .: Shadow of Chernobyl. Six years in development, numerous releases of the release date, several changes in the concept – it seemed that the project was no longer destined to be on the shelves when the prime minister suddenly thundered. There were more than enough opinions, there were enough controversial points, however, the game was sold remarkably in our country and in the West, and so the announcement of the continuation did not take long. Clear Sky is still being developed by GSC, but under the wing of a new publisher. The release date is promised not to be postponed, and the game itself can be radically improved, somewhere even turning it into “the very same” S.T.L.K.E.R., as the devoted fans who follow the development from the time of timid first announcements like to express themselves. Well, it’s time to sum up the expectations, because the release is just over a month, and once again to retell everything that is known about the “Clear Sky” at the moment.
It is not superfluous to recall the position of developers. Clear Sky, they say, is not an addon at all, although not a full-fledged second part. The truth is, as always, somewhere in the middle. The plot of the game takes its start one year before the events of the original, when the Zone was, according to the creators, much more dangerous, crowded and saturated. Intersections with the “shadow of Chernobyl” are present, but the emphasis is not on them – still it is not an expansion in the manner of Half-Life, when the same events are demonstrated in terms of different characters. Clear Sky is an independent story telling about a group of stalkers-researchers, whose name is the name of the project. The protagonist of the original named Shooter is going to his second campaign to the center of the Zone, and the Zone itself actively prevents such opportunities, it often organizes emissions and in general relentlessly outrages. The new hero becomes one of the victims of just such a vengeful outburst, but remains alive and comes to life in one of the shelters of the “Clear Sky.” No details about what will happen next, yet and, most likely, before the release will no longer be, however, it is known that we will happen to ourselves – the Arrow – that is, from the original to meet, and being in the status of its rival.
After the shooter first reached the center, the Zone literally rebelled, moving around it became extremely dangerous because of abnormal fields, numerous groups of mutants and, of course, paramilitary groupings, between which a real war for territory and resources developed in parallel. Already familiar to us, “Duty” and “Freedom” are far from the only associations. In “Clear Skies” we will meet another religious group “Monolith”, mercenaries, scientists and so on. You can join any of the local factions, after which, defending its interests and carrying out various tasks, earning respect and money, and upon reaching a certain level of honor and access to the most important resources, get to the unique weapons, equipment, to the right people (merchants, masters on repair). As a result, you can even lead your own group to an unconditional victory, but it should be stressed that it will not be possible to lead the unification even in such a situation.
However, the wars of the factions are not the main thing, you will have to fight with each other and actively fight the population of the Zone without your participation. Group Artificial Intelligence and the updated A-Life simulation system will do their job. In general, one of the priority goals of GSC is to revive the world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., to make it more saturated, more diverse. This or that revision has undergone literally everything. The same stalkers in peaceful areas pretty much filled up the vocabulary and a collection of themed jokes with stories. You can now bargain with almost any character, but the conditions will certainly not be perfect, and prices are not the most reasonable. The system for issuing side tasks also changed somewhat, just as the quantity with the quality of possible assignments increased considerably. Members of the same association pursue common goals, and therefore some tasks can be obtained literally from any comrade-in-arms – it is enough only to know the current status and ask what is planned to do next. They will say, let’s say that an attack on the cover of an opponent is coming soon – why not go and help? If only to get to the living, it’s better to move now as carefully as possible, and always keep the useless bolts always at hand, because invisible anomalies still appeared, and at once in such quantity that it will not seem to anybody exactly.
However, this does not mean that now we just have to die more often and move more slowly, artificially stretching the game time – no. You need only to properly equip, detectors to purchase and all the attendant. It is theoretically possible to dispense with bolts, but it is absolutely not recommended to be pinned on anomalous fields with rare artifacts in this scenario, and without this, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and not S.T.A.L.K.E.R. In addition, many new varieties of artifacts are also listed in the list of innovations.
Technologically, STALKER: Clear Sky has also stepped forward a lot, with the support of a lot of the most modern bells and whistles, and immediately in three generations: DirectX 8.1, 9.0 and 10. This means that it will be quite comfortable to play “Clear Sky” as owners of not the most modern configurations, and the level of graphics everywhere will be good enough, because all three renderings have undergone significant revision, updated or added effects such as parallax, volumetric light and soft shadows, volumetric smoke, shader effects Nost, weather effects, humidity, depth of field, motion blur and other. Plus, the animation has also changed markedly – the developers have added more than a thousand new movements and brought to mind the animation algorithm together with the finalization of the combat artificial intelligence of rivals, who were trained to overcome dynamic obstacles on the battlefield and throw grenades.
And, of course, there were some new locations where all of the above will be clearly demonstrated. According to the developers, about half the “Clear Sky” consists of old, but very noticeably redone locations, and the other half – completely new territories, the most interesting of which have already been demonstrated in commercials and presentations: Limansk, bogs, Redwood, dungeons of Pripyat … Limansky developers are proud of it – the location was a success, as well as wild marshes with a lot of dangerous creatures and unusual anomalies. Add to this the new system of weapon upgrading and repair, the ability to quickly move between familiar locations and, of course, the chance that Clear Sky will be on time, then make obvious conclusions.