A bit before Christmas, I purchased (used) a copy of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat from a seller on eBay for $9.00.
I played the game on the #2 difficulty level (one up from easiest) for the first run; what I like to call “recon” mode. It was interesting and relatively difficult at that level. I finished it in a week or so of playing 1-2 hours a night. That’s typical for a 1st person shooter game of this type.
Being a veteran of all the previous S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, I played the second run through in the most difficult mode; or as I like to call it, the “bust your balls” mode. It was quite a bit more difficult in this mode. However, having run through once already, I knew what to expect and was able to dodge some of the really hairy situations with alternate play.
One thing I did notice about playing in the more difficult mode was that you have more access to the techie goodies than you do in the lower difficulty levels; better assault rifles, sniper rifles, armor, etc. I believe that stuff was also available in the lower difficulty levels; it’s just that you don’t really need the hard core stuff to finish the game in the easier modes.
Those of you familiar with this series of games will recognize some of the gaming options and such that were in the previous two games. For example, in Call you have the deteriorating weapons that you had in the first two games. However, you also have the ability to repair the weapons like you did in Clear Skies. Upgrading hardware is improved a bit, too.
In the previous games, the limiters were health, food, tech upgrade info, etc. In this game, it’s also health and food, of course, but instead of tech upgrade info, the limiter for upgrades in this game is the need for different tools for the technician to work with. That was a pretty cool improvement/change. The tools the techs need are stashed here and there in different areas. You find them and bring them back to the techs.
I’d have to admit that I didn’t enjoy this game quite as much as I did the original, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Shadow of Chernobyl (SOC). It came out a bit ahead of the SOC prequel, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Clear Skies, though. So, of the three, Call comes in at number two with a rating of…
3 fingers up out of a possible 5. I recommend this game… and the previous two, also. They are all very well written/coded and fun to play.
I also highly recommend that you do a bit of research on the real Chernobyl disaster. I found the event to be absolutely amazing. I researched it in depth after playing the first game in this series a few years ago. There is a lot of information about the Chernobyl disaster all over the Internet. Remember, GOOGLE is your friend (or at least your ally) in your search for knowledge. Learn something. It won’t hurt you none. I promise.
Image credits: game image owned by GSC Game World, © Transavision Ltd