STACKER: Nuclear Scavenger

By Kieron Gillen on September 12th, 2008 at 12:27 pm.

I think I'm all out of Chernobyl gags. What a human tragedy. Chernobyl, not my failure to make any more gags.
Tom Armitage of Infovore has been blogging about the TIGSource Forums Bootleg Demake compo. I’ve been keeping one eye on them, but only with his urging have I taken any out for a spin. I suspect they’ll be further posts on this, but let’s start with S.T.A.C.K.E.R.: NUCLEAR SCAVENGER. And after the disappointment of Clear Sky, it’s put a big ol’ smile on my face. Though it’s even more punishing.

You can download it from here, but there’s a little more explanation beneath the cut.

Okay – quoting the feature list, as it amuses me:

* Loot, drink, smoke and fight your way through three levels of irradiated hell
* Overcome dogs, soldiers, swamps, and fanatics with rocket launchers
* Discover the perverted secrets of Soviet science
* Struggle with outdated 80s equipment
* Have your wishes granted in the mysterious heart of the Zone

How does it work? It basically looks at the two icons of Soviet-bloc game design – Stalker and Tetris – and looks for the common terrain. And that, in what’s a genuinely inspired insight, the inventory management – so what we have is a tetris game where you have to organise various inventory items as they come at you, while keeping your radition exposure as low and your health as high as possible. It’s kind of a lo-fi brother of Puzzle Quest in that it’s a quiet joy to see how all these mechanics of a more traditional shooter are worked into Tetris. Like the expected queue of items arriving being rudely interrupted by random dog attacks, which hurt your health bar as well as throwing an unexpected item your way.

I’ve only played it a few times, and I suspect it’s a little over-random of whether you make it or not, which i) is kinda forgivable, as it’s pretty funny and terribly well executed and ii) makes it a lot like Clear Sky.

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25 Comments »

  1. Arsewisely says:

    Poor old Clear Sky. New patch is out, incidentally. I don’t know whether to bother playing again from the start or wait for the inevitable third patch that I’m guessing will appear with the US release.

  2. araczynski says:

    “A” for quite the unique mash up. Not a genre i ever touch, but i’m sure there are tons of others that love it.

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  4. Jesucristo says:

    Clear Sky es better that 95% modern FPS, I don’t understand the negative critics. It’s difficult, but… why the hell that is a problem?. May be is a problem for brainless people, but there is games also for brainless people. Don’t fuck the players who want to play a clever and inmersive game like Stalker and Stalker CS.

    The bugs are corrected with the last patch, like every PC game since last 10 years.

  5. Vivian says:

    I thought the major problem was it wasn’t that clever, incongruous ukranian rastas and all

  6. JonFitt says:

    I just realised that the two games are:
    Stalker: SC
    Stalker: CS
    :)

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  8. The Archetype says:

    @Jesucristo:May be is a problem for brainless people, but there is games also for brainless people.

    My day has been dramatically improved just by reading this. Bless you.

  9. Zuhtu says:

    So, this is literally a inventory tetris game?

  10. Kieron Gillen says:

    Zuhtu: Yes. :)

    KG

  11. Zuhtu says:

    And a good one, I believe. Kinda hurts my eyes though.

  12. Xagarath says:

    I just want a Stalker game that’s more like the original film.
    Of course, you’d have to argue philosophy with people instead of shooting them.

  13. dhex says:

    russian cinema: the game?

    though that is definitely a category of film that could use a save point or three.

  14. kadayi says:

    *Imagines ‘Come and see’ the game

    Dev walkthrough talk:- ‘Now this is the bit where you come back from the marshes to discover your entire Village including your Mum, Dad and baby sisters have all be executed behind your house..”

    ………… :|

  15. Mickiscoole says:

    The new patch of Clear Sky makes it so much better.

  16. Mori says:

    Clear sky works really well with the latest patch. The faction wars actually work properly now, amazingly. Also, the game isn’t that hard, even on master. On novice I’d imagine it’s pathetically easy.

  17. Deuteronomy says:

    God I hope Clear Sky turns out to be awesome.

  18. sbs says:

    After a few tries I managed to get to line 35/40 in the first area, the game just went too fast for keyboard control then.

  19. Pew says:

    If STALKER was like the movie, we’d keep spending 5 minutes looking at items in a flooded room that represent…. stuff.

    Maybe they will make a Solyaris game next with living planet terraforming/Sim City gameplay?

  20. spd from Russia says:

    I believe the 1st stalker game has some moments that feel similar to the movie atmosphere-wise. and thats one of the thing that made the game so immersive.
    also they tried to do the endings somewhat based on the movie/book – but that didnt work that well

    As for being harsh on the clear sky, well it deservses it. There are/were a bunch of problems. The game felt untested and buggy. The Russian version was barely playable out of the box. It felt like they`v used the russian release as a substitute for a betatesting, which is an ugly practice. They are fixing it with patches, fortunately, but Im advising everyone to wait for a month or so, till they sort out all the bugs

  21. Arathain says:

    Hmm. Fun, but I get to the checkpoint and get attacked almost every time I drop something, and die quickly. Am I missing something?

  22. Pishtaco says:

    It’s important to keep hold of a good weapon and armour, to reduce the frequency of attacks and the damage they do. So play it like normal Tetris, but if a weapon or something else you need turns up press space to flip your inventory so you can store it at the bottom.

  23. sJa says:

    @ Pew: Oh god that rainstorm shot – amazing (and accidental, apparently). Anyway, yes, the oblique approach to storytelling doesn’t tend to work too well in viodeogames.

  24. LoveIsGood says:

    File is now dead :(

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