Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Best of 2007 - #8

8 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)

Oh how I wish this game was higher up on my list. I'd followed Stalker (sod using the silly acronym) since February 2003 when I saw one of the first previews in PC Gamer. I took in every single little piece of information I could about the game. I laughed at people that tried to tell me it was vapourware or that it would suck when it came out.

And you know what? Never again. Stalker was a good game. It was hard to get into, but the atmosphere made it worth the effort. But in no way did it live up to my expectations. It stank of needing another year's worth of work and given more time I'm sure it would have been truly amazing.

GSC just had to cut too much. They'd created this whole world to explore, but in the end it was nothing more than a number of maps divided up into linear progression zones. The huge openly explorable world that had been promised really wasn't there, and even if it had been, there wouldn't have been enough to do outside of the main storyline to make it worthwhile.

Stalker, then: a perfect example of a game that bit off more than it could chew.

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