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    dkirschner's S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (PC)

    [February 25, 2011 09:25:50 AM]
    Okok. I decided to fire up Call of Pripyat, which is the sequel (2nd expansion, after the prequel) to Shadow of Chernobyl, since only hours ago I was so let down by what was shaping up to be pretty awesome.

    Call of Pripyat suuuuuucks. Minus 1 million points. Let me rattle off some of my experiences in the 2 hours I played.

    Intro: Nice intro that gives a summary of Chernobyl and the events of the first game. Intro is plagued by the narrator saying one thing and the subtitles saying a different thing. Also, the narrator and the subtitle disagree on dates, as the narrator said, on different slides, June 11th, 2009, 2011, and 2012, where the subtitles said, respectively, June 10th, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Not a good sign at the beginning of a game. Oh right, and the story summary? In the first game, I'm from the beginning supposed to find and kill a man named Strelok. That's who I saw get rained on by gold coins and then a deadly pile of debris at the end. Apparently that Yeah, I know. I don't follow either. Anyway, this one clearly states who I am, and that would be someone sent on a mission to find 5 downed helicopters.

    I started outside an old barge, which stalkers here inside the zone use as bases. I picked up some quests. I went after the first quest, which was to go with a group and clear out some mercenaries from another barge. I went. We cleared. I failed the mission before it was over. How? I dunno. No one important was dead or anything. It said I canceled the mission. I didn't. I reloaded. It did the same thing. Okay.

    Right after that, the game's graphics engine crashed. The game had been stuttering, especially while running through the outdoor environment. I restarted the game and turned all the graphics down from ultra to high, even though I know this computer runs everything on ultra. It still stuttered. Annoying. I turned some stuff down to medium. It still stuttered.

    A couple quests later. I followed another NPC to search this warehouse for bloodsuckers because some of the stalkers think the bloodsuckers got some of their men, but this one guy doesn't think so. He knows there's something else going on. We kill a bloodsucker and go downstairs. I see another one standing still just looking at us. He doesn't activate until I shoot him. We kill him. My NPC companion opens an elevator shaft and tells me to follow him down. He jumps on top of the elevator. I jump down on top of the elevator. And die. From a 5-foot jump that my NPC friend just made. At least it didn't kill me into the next level like Shadow of Chernobyl was doing. I didn't write about that I don't think, but if I died near a zone change, it would prompt me (when dead) "Would you like to move to the next zone?" If I click yes, I die and fall into the geometry behind the level and just fly through space. Quite strange, it was.

    I discovered I can't loot animals and normal mutants like the last game. No biggie. There are some new and improved things. Well, new at least. Instead of artifacts just lying around to be picked up, I've got this scanner that I have to have out to find them, and then they're in the ground so then I've got to search the ground for them. The scanner beeped once, but it was for a quest item, a piece of rope, that certainly wasn't an artifact. All equipment now has durability, and it apparently affects everything instead of just armor, including sell prices. You can repair and upgrade at certain NPCs now though, which is neat, instead of just finding random upgraded weapons. There are now helmets to equip. I found many more guns and ammo than in the previous game, and I could be wrong, but the weights of things seem to have been decreased, because I had like 4 guns and a ton of ammo at one point and was still sprinting.

    The map was much improved over last time. No longer would it jump to seemingly random locations when opened, and it properly tracked objectives. However, the stash icons still suck! I got a quest with a reward to go get a stash. I went to get the stash, followed the map marker. There was no stash. Awesome.

    My first impression of the environment that was so damn incredible in Shadow of Chernobyl is that it's just lame here. There's less going on. I didn't see any bandit/stalker shootouts going on. I did find a couple packs of wild mutant animals, but I just ran by them instead of wasting ammo and time since they can't be looted anymore anyway. I found enemy PDAs, but now they are lootable, although I don't know what to do with them. They don't locate stashes like they did in the first game. I didn't see a single random anomaly or radiation spot. They were more scattered in SoC, but in this game they have only so far been clustered around predictable locations (cough cough) like main quest objectives. Going to do a main quest? Cool. Be ready for a bajillion anomalies and high radiation. But you know what I did? Just sprint in, inspect the choppers, sprint out. Anomalies and radiation don't matter. Run in, click F, run out.

    This game *appears* to be very short. I found three choppers (went through the story in one of three regions). Looking at this walkthrough, the entry point to the second region is quest 13/24. Did I really do 1/3 - 1/2 of this game in under 2 hours? I died a lot too, and did some side quests. I bet if you go straight though this is like a 5 hour game, tops. At least the optional side missions are more interesting than in SoC. Several of them involved pairing up with some NPCs and going on little missions together. I also enjoyed the insta-travel options that these missions come with, as well as the NPC who will insta-travel with you from region to region for 1000...monies. And although the quests don't tell you all the time, apparently they can have secret time limits, like secret 5-minute time limits where you fail them before you leave the place you got it from. Awesome. That happened once.

    Here was an annoying thing. Remember the last game where some of the translations or just English language usage was funny? Like when the NPCs talked about their 'homies.' In this game, everyone calls me 'bro.' "Hey bro." It's really stupid. I hate people calling me bro in real life. I don't want to be called bro by a bunch of Russian NPCs. Constantly. It's like their default greeting, voiced over and everything. If they called me like...Broshelovski, I might be okay with that. But at least I haven't had to read their emails with emoticons yet like in the first game! It was really funny, but obviously ridiculous, to read these emails between the evil geneticist scientists. Slightly exaggerated, but approximate example: "Krishnov! The evil scientist team today has perfected the radiation-o-tron :)) can't wait to see you at our next meeting. i heard boss Dragnivich got a bad haircut :-0" Totally believable.

    Another stupid thing: In SoC, enemies could shoot through grates and fences, while I couldn't. I hate when games do that. This one continues the tradition, as well as somehow allowing enemy fire through walls and pillars to hit me. Further, when I load a game, it's like the enemy positions reset or randomize or something. They did this in SoC too. One time I loaded a save game and it loaded with two enemies literally right next to me. They blew my head off about 20 times before I was finally able to get away from them without dying. The same crap was happening in this game. I would load a save from the middle of a firefight, and voila, enemies magically have me in their sights, are right in front of me, have moved from upstairs to downstairs, etc. Totally unfair.

    And sadly, I cannot take this game anymore. I'd been contemplating to keep playing or quit, and I finally quit when I got to a research facility that's the exact same model building -- exact same -- as in the previous game. And all the NPCs look the same. The trader scientist looks like the twin of the barkeep. And then, the final straw, as I was leaving the research center, I heard mutant dogs barking, so I know they're running around viciously outside. Door opens. All the friendly mercenaries are just sitting and standing around a camp fire paying no attention to the 5 dogs running around, and the dogs promptly come attack me, and the mercenaries don't seem to know they exist. Stupid as hell.

    It's too bad Call of Pripyat has so many things wrong that I don't want to play it. It's also too bad Shadow of Chernobyl got so damn good after the beginning and a little warm-up period, and then inexplicably botched the end, because there is serious potential for this series to be awesome. It certainly had its moments in SoC, but there are no such moments so far in CoP, and I won't find out if there are because I've got other stuff to play to waste more time on this.

    I hesitantly recommend SoC if the good parts sound good, but do not touch Call of Pripyat. I heard the first expansion, the prequel, Clear Skies, is no good at all too.
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    dkirschner's S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Friday 25 February, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Friday 25 February, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    First game ended badly. I expect it to be much improved. At least, I hope! ---------------------- What a letdown.

    Rating (out of 5):star

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