Murky, Moody Footage Of Call Of Pripyat

By Jim Rossignol on August 21st, 2009 at 2:31 pm.


Many things worry the tiny minds of the RPS team, but one of the most oft-concerning thoughts is whether Stalker: Call Of Pripyat, the third (possibly final?) instance of the games of the zone, will ultimately be the best . Can GSC make up for the misstep of Clear Sky and land a game that has the atmosphere and precision of the original, while still being different enough to be worth playing?

If nothing else, the new areas that will feature in Call Of Pripyat should give us plenty of scope for exploration: the clogged, radiation-pooled river valley, a buried and abandoned village, and finally a district of the city of Pripyat itself. All these can be glimpsed in the new trailer (I particularly like the anomaly coming out of the side of a building) which largely consists of fly-through sequences of the new environments. Go check out the spooky new bloodsucker effects.

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76 Comments »

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  1. JimBob says:

    Cannot wait for this, bring it on.

  2. Heliosicle says:

    Woohoo, Clear Sky was too broken (even now) for me to properly enjoy, and it didn’t have much atmosphere, whereas SotC is really good now but lacks the variety of Clear Sky.

    As JimBob said, bring it on!

  3. Pavel says:

    I loved Stalker (second favourite game of 07 after Witcher), but I still did not play Clear Sky, despite having it bought for a few months.I guess I should get to it to be prepared for the next chapter : ).

  4. Da'Jobat says:

    I love the first game, still re-play it regularly with Oblivion Lost, and I hope this will be good as long as they have, as they say, learnt their lesson from the community.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    Well Clear Sky was a prequel, and this is a sequel, so Clear Sky could be skipped.

  6. vasagi says:

    someone should have a word in their ear about co-op mode

  7. Heliosicle says:

    I haven’t completed Clear Sky though, as it manages to crash with no solution in Red Forest

  8. Cooper says:

    I’ll probably buy Clear Sky, now I’ll be able to get a cheap copy. Thing is, I still play SoC with the Oblivion Lost and massive-super-duper-high-res-fancy-pants texture mod (or whatevr it’s called) and still love that… Don’t want CS to leave a bad taste…

  9. Howard says:

    Well as long as the maps are bigger this time around, and it looks as if they are, then I will be a happy camper. The biggest disapointment to me about Stalker was that they turned what should have been a marvellous, open-world romp into one of the most cramped feeling shooters ever. Tiny levels, knee-high and inexplicably impassable fences everywhere and an idiotic amount of anomalies meant you were just shepherded through the game in a tight line. More freeform gameplay please!

    Still, more Stalker is always good =)

  10. tom@nullpointer.co.uk says:

    Hmm to be honest it doesnt look as interesting as i was hoping. Looks very similar graphic wise and the art direction of that trailer is pretty bad. However Stalker worked best for me in its sense of dread and constant chaotic threat, which you only really got through playing it and realising how fragile your character could be and how volatile the world was. In the flythroughs here it just looks like any other decayed FPS world with some zombies. Bring back the mental reversed gravity bunkers and postprocessing brain scorcher!

  11. fulis says:

    Don’t feel like more of the same is needed when it comes to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    I played both, I liked them but I don’t really want them to just make more and more of them, especially considering they’ll probably be extremely similar with just more stuff in them. For me to be interested they’d have to do a bit of a reboot in terms of UI, art assets etc. Otherwise they’ll never address the core problems with the game, I’m sure of it

  12. Thecolours says:

    I hope C.O.P. isn’t as buggy as Clear Sky. I’ll gladly wait an extra month, or two for it to be as bug free as possible. There’s nothing worse than having to delete your saves to install a new patch.

  13. The LxR says:

    Deferred shading really does it’s job well on the lighting and shadowing — not many games take advantage of this technique. Damn, for this level of lighting detail, I wouldn’t care about not being able to use anti aliasing.
    Awesome music, great atmosphere, definitely looking forward to this.

  14. ars says:

    Looks dissapointing.

    I’ve seen nothing that shows any improvement has been made to the so called “A-life” system, and by the looks of this trailer it seems that the focus is on having “cool” staged battles with other stalkers, rather than what the focus should be on which is exploration in a living world.

    What the stalker guys don’t seem to get is if you strip away all the non shooter parts from stalker, you have a really sub standard shooter.

    And can we PLEASE have some anomalies that are more than just firey/electrical/airy traps? And how about artifacts that have more interesting effects than stat boosts? How about having smarter ways to deal with anomalies (tools/puzzles/artifacts) than just running around them.

  15. vasagi says:

    @ars

    [jk]so does your mum, also there seems to be an E missing from your name[/jk]

    also before the “ZOMG brown Krewe” arive i thing the colors/moody pallet suit it i also really liked the weather effects which will make night time stalking even better

  16. Xercies says:

    Wow like the atmosphere of that, the only thing I would complain is that I hate action sequences when the light is flashing, really makes it hard to see whats going on and hurts your eyes.

    Man I have to play stalker at some point.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    I don’t like in stalker when i snipe a man in the face with a sniper rifle and he proceeds to run for cover. Everything else is wonderful. Coop would be a dream though, a hybrid version of the way groups were managed would be good. Let them skirmish, but genuinely get pushed back, let you have guys follow you things like that.

    I will be getting this, but only off gamers gate if they are sticking to limited activations.

  18. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Clear Sky is too linear to appeal to me after SoC (or Oblivion Lost which is the version of it I play). Hopefully they wont make that same mistake with this version. And hopefully it won’t take six months of patches before it works this time!

  19. egg says:

    @Howard

    I feel the exact same way. If only the first STALKER had one major level instead of a dozen of segmented areas, the game would be so much more interesting.

    It would be like a non-boring Oblivion or something like that.

  20. Chemix says:

    I loved the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. even though the acronym is actually pointless and stands for nothing in particular about the game and they continue to dot the letters. However, like many have said, this installment doesn’t look to change too much, and I always found the bloodsucker howl to be too loud and the anomalies were too… static. I watched the movie, and though it was boring, it did provoke some thought about life and such, what has meaning, and a fair bit of sadness that almost everyone that worked on the film is dead, largely due to the filming, which had to be done twice after the first reels got melted by the USSR developers (Kodak, what is Kodak?) and they had to re-enter the polluted wastes to film it all over again. I’d like so see more interesting anomalies though, not just barriers or timed gates like the shockers, but roundabouts where you come out where you come in (a series of confusing portals, with potential loot hidden inside) and a sense of strange liveliness that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. lacked, a sense that this dangerous place is in a way beautiful, peaceful, and had color; it was like a reversal on the film’s concepts where the life of factory work in the Soviet Bloc was brown and white colorized, cold and sickly, and ultimately boring, but the zone, the zone was full of nature and beauty and danger.

  21. sockpuppetclock says:

    Is the video not working for anyone else?

  22. DigitalSignalX says:

    @sock, disable your adblock if you use FF.

    This looks good – but we have been burned twice times now with horrible, nay… catastrophically bugged releases and I can only tell my self “wait and see” to temper a rising excitement about a new STALKER.

  23. ilves says:

    the video for me is in perpetual load status, but then again i’m at work and half the videos on the internet don’t work for me due to their stupid filtering

  24. Gabanski83 says:

    Video’s on here using this particular player never work for me, unfortunately. It’s quite irritating. I’ve no idea why they won’t run, and I’d like to know why.

  25. JonFitt says:

    @Heliocentric:
    Yeah, I don’t mind it when games don’t have entirely realistic damage, but when I hit a person in the head with a projectile weapon, I expect them to be dead or mortally wounded.
    Monsters could be an exception, but by and large I still expect them to go “ow, I have been shot in the head, I am somewhat inconvenienced by this”.

  26. Petethegoat says:

    This trailer makes me very happy. I anticipate another great game. :) Video works fine for me.

  27. Hybrid says:

    Havent played Clear Sky, but this certainly looks like they expanded the maps. I hope its more open world then SoC.

  28. Howard says:

    @JonFitt
    Yes! I demand that all monsters and enemies must respond thusly from this point on. Preferably in writing, dang it! =)

    Yeah, the damage and bullet physics of Stalker has never been great. Hopefully they have spent some time on this along with the billion other bugs.

  29. Zerotime says:

    I’d love to see a proper Roadside Picnic game, where it’s just you and a handful of washers against the zone, and there’s only like six other guys in there with you at any one time. That would be awesome.

  30. Nutterguy says:

    Personally I think that video is a bit crap apart from the awesome atmosphere with the lightening. But it’s just the direction that makes it so.

    But I have very high hopes for this game, original stalker is still one of my favourite games and imo one of the scariest games I have ever played. I wasn’t expecting it to be scary, so I played it at 5 in the morning with the lights off and when it finally did decide to scare me I really really jumped… didn’t play it again for a few days. Not proud of it but it was a real credit to the game.

  31. Nighthood says:

    @Heliocentric: If you were using the sniper rifle from far away, the bullet may not have hit. It does have bullet physics, so that has been known to happen.

  32. Howard says:

    @Nighthood
    No, it is not a case of that. Humans in Stalker can survive a shot to the face on far too many occasions.

    Oh and FYI “making guns wildly inaccurate in all situations” does nto constitute as bullet physics. While I love Stalker to bits it is DESPERATELY clear that its devs have never fired a gunin real life.

  33. tugboats says:

    I think I’m in the minority here but I only had one problem with clear sky – the maps.

    (Okay and grenades. and maybe faction war. MAYBE. )

    The areas in both games are small – too small, with some exceptions, to really keep up the exploration/survival illusion once you have played through them so many times. Now this is fine for the most part – my suspension of disbelief started to wear thin after oh, the FIFTH playthrough (most with mods) of SoC. So I was hyped for Clear Sky. And it didn’t disappoint…..for about an hour. I was absolutely delighted by the swamps, but then finding myself in the familiar areas of the zone……not so much.
    Reusing the areas from the original stalker had an extreme negative impact for me – it felt like a mod. I think if it had had all new areas it would have been received much better.

    Other than that most of it’s (non bug) issues existed in the original stalker – wonky AI, the fences, How Many Bullets Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Zombie Cranium (five btw), ridiculous and linear last act (SoC’s final act is overall better I think as CS gets a little crazy at points but there were points I enjoyed a lot, like fighting through the first little village) etc, etc.

    In fact, dare I say that in many ways it’s a lot better than SoC.

    Surely there will be some more improvements in this vein, but even if there aren’t – if this is exactly like Clear Sky as far as game mechanics go but in a whole new area – then I’m STILL excited.

    disclaimer: okay so I ‘forgot’ about the wacky voices, artifact retrieval and a lot of other things that made CS inferior to SoC but still this looks pretty awesome.

  34. toni says:

    this preview is fantastic, it plays directly to all the fans of the original game. atmosphere, great locations, moody weather and lightning. wow, geek orgasmn for me.

  35. Cutman says:

    Hey videos work for me now. Hooray.

  36. tugboats says:

    An aside about bullets:

    I love the guns in STALKER – I think their accuracy is actually a gameplay conceit*, like the short days and instant travel between areas. Someone said it here once I think: accurate guns and dramatic firefights are mututally exclusive. Now, occasionally the devs forget why they did this and have you fight fifteen guys at once, by yourself, in an open field. That’s dumb and I agree with you then.

    Honestly I think stalker has some of the best combat around – yeah there are some strange things with the physics, bullets sometimes act weird, the occasional barrel/mutant will clip into a guy and get stuck on his head (:D). But in this game, fighting ONE GUY is often dangerous, fun and exciting. (and sometimes it’s not – both games are a lot more fun before everything has a scope on it)

    One thing I have never suffered from in stalker is “clicking on people’s heads syndrome” which I sort of get in other shooters, which, due to the accuracy of the guns and the requirement that the player be actually able to win, resulting in you, the god of marksmanship and firepower, playing whack a mole against 100 blind guys with BB guns.

    I like that each fight is at least a LITTLE bit of a challenge, and wish they’d make it more so. I feel the more equal footing you’re on with your opponent the more fun it is. (and of course to do this the player has to fight less guys which as I said sometimes they forget)

    *I should point out that I’ve always felt the guns in STALKER felt reasonably accurate to me, but: The damage model (as in weapon deterioration) does some ridiculous things to the assault rifles, yes. That is just wrong. But remember they’re not accounting for just the inaccuracy of the weapon but of the shooter – unfortunately they chose a method to model this wherein the bullets just spray randomly in a cone that gets ever wider. :(

  37. l1ddl3monkey says:

    @ Tugboats: I agree. It’s either places you’ve already been with a bit tacked on or new places where you have to rush through them to complete objectives. There’s no sense of exploration (which is what made SoC interesting).

    And the dialogue displayed in the Freedom base made me wonder whether it was written by 12 year olds. Sadly it’s probably safer to say that it was written by Russians who take all their cues on what the English speaking western world is like the from the guests on MTV Cribs.

  38. Premium User Badge

    Anaphiel says:

    tugboats, you make a good point there. Install any one of a million accuracy mods available for Stalker, especially the ones that purport to duplicate real-world weapon performance, and you’ll quickly notice two things:

    First, every weapon feels exactly the same. In the context of the kind of fights that you get into in Stalker, every AR is frighteningly accurate and every round of the same caliber does effectively about the same amount of damage.

    Secondly, fights devolve into “who shoots first wins,” since the lethality is jacked way up.

    Personally I play with slightly tweaked NPC and actor accuracy but with weapons otherwise unchanged. It might not be “realistic”, but it does work, and as tugboats points out it makes it so that every fight can still pose a challenge if you’re careless or unlucky.

  39. jackflash says:

    accurate guns and dramatic firefights are mututally exclusive

    Not a big player of Arma II, I take it. :)

  40. Isometric says:

    This makes my post apocalyptic loins tingle.

  41. Dominic White says:

    I’d hardly describe ArmA 2’s firefights as dramatic. They’re often over within 2-3 seconds.

    Really, the first hour or so of Stalker was a pain, as you only had a vastly inadequate pistol, but after a while it settles into a sweet spot where you’re using basic SMGs and rifles, and combat is pretty tense and requires you to suppress, maneuver, and close in for that clear shot, as you wont’ be able to just point at someones head and click to win straight away. You can almost never win quickly – each fight is a back-and-forth slugfest, which is fun to look at and play.

    The final couple of hours of the game were a mess, though, especially once you get the gauss rifle. It turns into a head-clicker like every other pseudo-realistic FPS. Too accurate, too powerful, and with plenty of ammo and a solid refire rate on top of that.

  42. Heliocentric says:

    One time i got into a gunfight near a barn (i paid them, they ripped me off, i found a use for my grenades.) Emptied my main gun, but didn’t want to mess about looting with so many unchecked corners. Switched to the pistol and sneaked around, caught a guy looking the wrong way, basically pressed the gun against his head and shoot him, it took 4 bullets. He span around and shot at me but only caught my armour. 4 pistol rounds to the head. Wtf? I only complain because the game is so majestic. I really need to finish the story so i can get some mods.

  43. Howard says:

    @tugboats
    I know what you mean but the accuracy issues can be solved. The problem with Stalker is that even if you are crouched low, fully rested and using what in real life is a painfully accurate (ugh) gun you still have a bloody good chance at missing at short distance and that is just horse-shit. While moving about, ducking and covering I expect my shots to run wide, when I know what is coming, have scouted the area and am fully prepared to take the shot from a stationary position, I should damn well KILL SOMETHING! lol
    Whenever I play stalker I always have to mod the living crap out of it firstly with Oblivion Lost simply to make it the game it should be and to make the missions actually work, and secondly with a bunch of mods to do with accuracy and weapon damage. Sure it makes fire fights a bit more intense and a lot more lethal but that’s what most games don’t get: guns are VERY lethal even in inexperienced hands.

  44. Snakebite says:

    The corrupted save files were the most annoying bug of all in Clear Sky. Painful solution : never, ever quicksave. Only regular saves.

  45. dodo head says:

    I love me some STALKER, but Call of Pripyat? Why Pripyat? I’ve already been there 2 times and I didn’t enjoy any of the visits, especially not the one in Clear Sky since it really felt like playing Call of Duty with no choices. Pripyat is the worst place in both STALKER games if you ask me, I like the earlier parts of the game best. Come to think of it, that is the only thing about STALKER I like.

  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    dodo: that’s precisely the point. Pripyat is explorable this time, rather than being a shooting gallery.

  47. deadcabbit says:

    Oh please, just hire a QA team, I wouldn’t dare asking a bug free game…

  48. Fenchurch says:

    GAMES NEED MORE LIGHTNING STORMS

    That is my only strong opinion. =-3

  49. Eli Just says:

    I like it. I liked STALKER but it got so hard by the time I was in the NPP and I didn’t have enough radiation protection, so I can’t finish it. I’ve played some of Clear Sky and it seemed alright, but hopefully this is a STALKER game that will finally be the parts of STALKER I like, namely the super open part in the middle.

  50. Forscythe says:

    I hope the performance is optimized a bit more in COP than Clear Sky. In CS, max lighting settings kill the framerate even on high end PCs. I want decent god rays combined with good fps!