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STALKER: Clear Sky

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I just spent the last four hours fucking with the Clear Sky E3 demo's settings. For some reason it will ONLY run at 1280x1024 with 4x anti-aliasing- on any different res or any different amount of AA, the main menu is black, and the game is scrambled, just like STALKER behaved for me. With 1280x1024 and 4xAA, it runs at 0.5 FPS. Literally one frame every two seconds. With out either setting, it's smooth as anything, in those rare random moments where I can see the game world through the fuzz (normally looking at the sky- I could tell it was running smoothly because a buzzard was circling overhead).

:/ This is pretty goddamn perplexing.

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I just spent the last four hours fucking with the Clear Sky E3 demo's settings. For some reason it will ONLY run at 1280x1024 with 4x anti-aliasing- on any different res or any different amount of AA, the main menu is black, and the game is scrambled, just like STALKER behaved for me. With 1280x1024 and 4xAA, it runs at 0.5 FPS. Literally one frame every two seconds. With out either setting, it's smooth as anything, in those rare random moments where I can see the game world through the fuzz (normally looking at the sky- I could tell it was running smoothly because a buzzard was circling overhead).

:/ This is pretty goddamn perplexing.

The e3 demo is from early 2007 and its basiclly very same build as stalker did i'm not sure what you did expected :P

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I just spent the last four hours fucking with the Clear Sky E3 demo's settings. For some reason it will ONLY run at 1280x1024 with 4x anti-aliasing- on any different res or any different amount of AA, the main menu is black, and the game is scrambled, just like STALKER behaved for me. With 1280x1024 and 4xAA, it runs at 0.5 FPS. Literally one frame every two seconds. With out either setting, it's smooth as anything, in those rare random moments where I can see the game world through the fuzz (normally looking at the sky- I could tell it was running smoothly because a buzzard was circling overhead).

:/ This is pretty goddamn perplexing.

The e3 demo is from early 2007 and its basiclly very same build as stalker did i'm not sure what you did expected :P

I didn't expect the specific conditions to enable it to run to be 1280x1024 and 4x AA. That's just ODD. BIZARRE, even.

I just found out that they actually made a HD2400 in PCI, and it's only $60. I'm so very tempted to sink money into yet another PCI video card, just for your game... :fist:

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I got STALKER to work through 3dAnalyzer! :-D Runs at about 20-30 FPS.

For some reason I can't turn off shadows or some stuff like heat waver over fires, which is weird. During a thunder storm the lightning flashes illuminated the world and cast shadows on everything and stuff- totally wasn't expecting that in Static lighting. :D

But it and decide for yourself. Don't let some random number make your decision for you.

Or at least read the review, IGN's complaints were basically "Wah this is hard", mixed in with copy-pastes from what the Russian gamers that posted in english to complain about the game said. The Reader Review marks on IGN is an average of 9.3.

Here's someone who posted on SA who knows Russian and ordered a Russian copy-

Hey guys I have the Russian version of Clear Sky. If you have any questions regarding the gameplay, story, etc I'll be happy to answer.

I'm really liking the russian voice-overs, seems like they are much better than the english ones in the original game (I knew I should have imported the russian version). The story is much more interesting this time around too as it does well to explain what the zone actually is and why Blowouts actually happen. I'm not far into the story (I only got the game just yesterday and only got through Swamps) but so far it's been really great.

Overall the game feels much more open-ended than the original. Compared to Clear Sky, the original Stalker felt way more linear, whereas thanks to the massive maps you are actually expected to explore every corner of it. By the way, the swamp really is fuckin massive. I'm pretty sure you can fit the entire NPP area as well as most of Pripyat onto it.

By the way, the faction system is surprisingly pretty deep. I haven't gone past the Swamps so I haven't met anyone apart from (faction spoilers, though you find this out in the first 5 minutes of the game I'd rather not have people complain)

Clear Sky and Renegades

. Basically every faction has a main adversary. On your PDA you can see the strength of both feuding factions, how many squads they have, how many resources, what their objectives are, etc. In order to truly help a faction, you have to make sure they achieve their global objectives. For example, for the Clear Sky faction, their early goal is to (again, something you learn in the first 10 minutes)

control the swamp and drive the bandits out

.

They actually achieve these goals on their own and they are constantly sending out squads to capture/reinforce various points (you can see what each faction stalker's objective is on your PDA's map) and you might not even be present for the "final" battle - still you basically make sure the good guys win by helping them out.

The upgrade system is pretty deep as well. Every weapon and piece of armour can be upgraded - theres a whole upgrade tree even. Basically for the armour you can add night vision, better protection against various things, improve weight distribution, etc. For weapons you can replace barrels, make it easier to handle (theres apparently an "ease of use" stat), and most useful of all - you can rechamber weapons to use different ammunition - but you can only do this once. For example, you can make your MP5 use 9x18mm ammo instead of 9x19mm which allows it to use the more common pistol rounds.

I'll go into more details once I have more time.

EDIT: I have to say though, the game is pretty buggy. Theres minor stuff like the when the stalkers tell jokes they go "Here's a joke!" and then theres a pause and everyone either laughs or tells him to shut the fuck up. As for major, it took the game about 5-6 hours for the first CTD to occur. When it did, it apparently corrupted all my saves and now those crash whenever I try to load.

I basically, have to start a new game. A bunch of people in the russian community made a patch to fix the particular error that causes this crash so hopefully my new game will fare better :unsmith:

EDIT2: If there are any other people with the russian version here, this fix should make sure you don't get CTDs in the Swamp area. Basically it's just a bunch of corrected script files - you put the Gamedata folder into your game directory, just like a mod.

To be honest, no, the weapons are a bit of a dissapointment. Maybe I'm just used to Arsenal and PLR's mod, but the guns in this game sound worse than the original. Also the shotgun that you have to use at the start of the game is so inacurate and feedback-less that you pretty much end up using the pistol all the time. Seriously, it takes 2 shots to kill someone from about 5 metres with the shotgun. If they are beyond that distance, you pretty much will never hit them.

Now, I don't play with the crosshairs on and rely on ironsights. They changed the pistols ironsight view from the usual centre-of-the-screen type thing, to more off-to-the-side which ofcourse defeats the whole purpose. You basically have to rely on your tracers except beyond maybe 20 metres even though the tracers land on the enemy, they just don't do anything at all.

I've got an MP5 now which is a killing machine.

Infact, I was out fucking around in the swamps, fighting the bandits and such. I go too far into the bandit territory and the only safe route back gets overrun by like 10 bandits, so I was essentially surrounded. I decided to press on and try and take on this lightly defended village where I can wait for help to arrive. I hid behind a tractor and lit the bandits up, only for them to completely pin me behind cover - my pistol ammo was gone and I had to rely on a shitty over-under shotgun. The bandits realized I wasn't giving them much of a fight and started getting closer and closer.

Suddenly I look behind me and see a friendly Clear Sky stalker emerge from the swamp water like some kind of a gas-masked mermaid and he proceeds to kill every single bandit using his MP5. Seriously, like 6 bandits mowed down in seconds. I ended up following him around and helping him out cleaning the bandits out. He even gave me a quest, except I failed it when he took a bullet to the face :(

Also, the AI squads actually communicate pretty well and you get quite a lot of chatter from them. It's very atmospheric. By the way, if they are ready to attack a point and you are around them, they'll actually ask you to tell them when to attack - in the meantime they take cover and everything. They also get pissed off if you take your sweet time giving the Attack command.

Yeah, Clear Sky is incredible in that regard - even better than the original Stalker. And hell, if the base game is this good, imagine how much the community will improve the game later on!

I've actually had even better moments. I saw on my PDA that a whole bunch of Stalkers were heading to attack a major camp of the enemy. I ran and caught up with them (one of them even yelled at me to stop running otherwise I'd give their position away) and followed them as they snuck along a path that bypassed the smaller enemy outposts. It was really tense because you could hear movement in the surrounding tall grass and at any moment you could get jumped by pretty much anything - crazy boar or bandits alike. Finally we make it to the big camp - it's situated on an open clearing, surrounded by shallow water. The squad stops just before the clearing and tells me that they are waiting for my signal. I looked at the map and saw another friendly squad approaching the camp from the other side. The sun was setting down and the sound of the swamp was really prominent in the tense silence.

Finally, when the other squad was really close, I told my guys to attack. We charged across the short open clearing, firing at the bandits in the camp as we moved. By the time they returned fire we were really close and had cover. A massive firefight ensued - about 15 stalkers against roguhly 12 or so bandits. The whole fight lasted just 5 minutes and at the end only 6 or so friendly stalkers remained. I went around and shot the injured bandits - no point wasting medkits.

A bunch of bandits that must have been out patrolling the perimeter mounted a rough little counter-attack, but ran away when a couple of them got killed.

Suddenly I get a "Task Completed" for a task to attack a bandit outpost guarding the exit out of the swamp which I was going before I got distracted with my current adventure. Apparently while we were out attacking this base and kept the main force occupied, a small group of our stalkers attacked that very outpost and captured it.

It wasn't a scripted event at all - for example I could have attacked that outpost first as I was going to do (infact it was a major task), but undoubtedly there would be an overwhelming counterattack from the large camp, and I think I couldn't have handled it. Even those two squads attacking the major camp would still attack it anyway without my help - infact I only popped like 2 or 3 bandits so they could have still won without me.

So yeah, its really open-ended like this and feels like the world is still going on around you. At the same time, even though everything is happening everywhere, it still feels like you make a difference and help your faction out.

Well, there are faction armours which you get if they like you enough, I guess thats new. Also the over-under shotgun which was in the original game but wasn't actually used. Apart from this, I'm not actually far enough in the game to see any new weapons.

I haven't tried the artefact detection. Well, I read about it and I have a detector, but it only tells you a rough distance to an artefact. I haven't deliberately went on an artefact hunt at all. You can actually get new artefact detectors which have better functionality and more features. I haven't seen those yet.

As for grenades, I heard grenades going off but I've never actually died to one. Maybe it'll be a problem later on in the game.

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This single line has got me more pysched than anything else the makers have said about the game:

Suddenly I look behind me and see a friendly Clear Sky stalker emerge from the swamp water like some kind of a gas-masked mermaid and he proceeds to kill every single bandit

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