Pripyat Precipitates Feb 5th

Koch Media have confirmed February 5 as the release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Call of Pripyat in the UK, Italy, and “Nordic”, although which countries that stands for isn’t quite clear. Russia, Germany and the rest of Europe have had their versions of the game for a while now, and all feedback points to good. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with the early English-language version myself, and wrote up impressions here. In short: strong stuff, especially in the direction of open-endedness, but I have a few reservations. I’ll be playing the hell out of it when the full version arrives too, obviously. There’s no news about what’s happening with a US version, but presumably it’ll find its way to digital download before long.


  1. MrMud says:

    Nordic usually means Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland. At least that is what it means in Sweden.

    • dodo head says:

      Finland is not always included though, that depends on who you ask. If they make localized translations that might weight in since Danish and Norwegian is just variations of Swedish but Finish is a completely different language.

    • dancingcrab says:

      Usually Finland is included in Nordic. Finland is *not* included in the term Scandinavian by Nordics (especially the Finnish).

    • Mythrilfan says:

      Game releases for “Nordic” territories usually include Finland though – and Estonia. The rest of the Baltic countries less seldom.

    • dodo head says:

      dancingcrab: Right, I got it backwards.

    • mootpoint says:

      @dancingcrab: Weird, I was taught that “Scandinavian” was the term for countries and people living around the scandinavian mountain-range, which would include the Finns (and not the Danes). But, at least according to the swedish wikipedia, we both are correct: Regarding language and culture Scandinavian means Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, but the geographic term denotes Finland, Norway and Sweden.

      Guess you learn something new every day…

      Oh, and Call of Pripyat. Yay!

  2. Heliosicle says:

    Not soon enough!

  3. AndrewC says:

    Wherever there is a high bridge, I will be there to fall off it. Can I have this game, please?

    @ Heliosicle: It’s only a month. It’s only a month.

  4. Ashes says:

    Want this so bad. I just hope the internet hasn’t lied to us about GSC finally getting it right with this one.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I don’t think it’s going to be 100% right, but far more right than Clear Sky.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      If you’re expecting scares, you may be a little disappointed. So don’t expect them. Instead expect a lot of Very Weird Shit ™. Now that, CoP has in spades. Jim is probably a pickier chap than I (although I’m bloody picky) but even so, GSC have gotten so much right with CoP that my only wish is that there was more of it.

  5. Marty Dodge says:

    I am playing “Shadow over Chernobyl” right now and really enjoying it. I got it for $1.99 from Steam during their sale. I am looking forward to this update and now realise what all the fuss is about.

  6. JonFitt says:

    I’m looking forward to this having skipped Stalker 2. But I’m concerned by the idea of low stamina and huge maps.

    I spent a large portion of the first game motoring across maps to get to where the action was. It was a double edged sword: it meant you could get to where you wanted to be without spending ages on maps you already explored, but you could outrun trouble easily.

    I just don’t think the solution is to force people to spend more time jogging slowly.

    Fast travel always seems like a cheat though. Some sort of (crazy) taxi service across zones you have made “safe”, where you played lookout and gunner would be fun/useful.

    • Tim James says:

      Don’t worry about little mechanics like this. Mods can change them, but they can’t do much with the direction that GSC went with in the game.

  7. Tycow says:


    It certainly is much better than Clear Sky. At lot less buggy/crashy than the previous games also. :)

  8. Jockie says:

    The press release reckons they’ve got Directx 11 support in there as well now, so hopefully the graphics are a bit better than what was reported from early previews.

  9. Shalrath says:

    If they don’t put this on steam for North America (Canadians need love too) there WILL be Murders.

  10. Grey Cap says:

    Best thing about Pripyat? The main enemies (especially in the beginning) are mutants. No longer are bandits and soldiers the main source of income for Stalkers!

  11. Nero says:

    Very much looking forward to this game.

  12. dadioflex says:

    Did Clear Sky ever get fixed or patched up to something equivalent to the old Oblivion Lost mod for SOC?

    I only got so far with CS before getting bored with the factioneering.

    • Heliosicle says:

      the latest patch fixed it for me, so I managed to get through it for the 1st time in a year or so I’d owned it with maybe 2 crashes overall.

      I didn’t think it was brilliant, but I still enjoyed it, also tooooo much human fighting in CS, mutants are just a bunch of zombies in it, or the 2 or 3 scary ones.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      If you’d like to replay Clear Sky in the mean time, I recommend two things:

      title=”Accuracy + Less Grenades MOD”>Accuracy + Less Grenades MOD
      title=”SMRTER Zone Alpha”>SMRTER Zone Alpha Rebuild MOD

      The latter is somewhat like AMK/Oblivion lost, in that it adds a lot of good stuff – more monster spawns, extra caches, currency balancing, you also start with a decent weapon and a healthy amount of ammo for it. Recommended.

      Clear Sky still isn’t much fun at first though, be prepared to save a lot. Once you get further into it, however, the faction warfare becomes compelling for a while. And the new Red Forest is a great place to poke around at night. Limansk is beautifully modelled and proves that GSC were just as good at “linear FPS”… just a shame about that damn boss fight and the conspicuous lack of “the catacombs”.

      If though, like me, you’ve played Shadow of Chernobyl to death, it’s certainly worth a punt.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Ahh bloody hell.

      Accuracy MOD:
      link to

      link to

      Can’t register my e-mail on the forum now… says it’s already taken. >.<

    • dadioflex says:

      Thanks Casimir! Will check those out and get a bit more play out of CS before the new release in February.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      You’re welcome mate. I had a good week’s worth of gameplay out of CS with that MOD, possibly more. But I liked to “freeplay” it for a while – the way the faction system works in CS with SMRTER, bases will regularly come under attack and it’s a challenge to keep them going.

      Be sure to go for SMRTER “rebuild” and not the “original”.

  13. Popular Energy Drink says:

    Agh. This can’t take any longer to come out! Still looking forward to it.

  14. VHATI says:

    This is as good if not better than SoC.

    My complaint is that the X-Ray engine is really showing its age and should be put down. There are many more engines that could do bigger maps and even better and pleasing graphics.

    • manintheshack says:

      Having recently begun my journey through the prequel I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t think anything beats it. In no other game have I stopped as much just to look on in wonder. I watched the sun rise earlier this evening in the swamps and the fog was thick enough that I could make out the multiple layers of distant foliage beyond a perfectly gloomy building right in front of me. I think you get more a sense of perspective in the x-ray engine than any other. Not even Crysis can touch it.

    • VHATI says:

      You sir are looney. Certified insane.

      X-Ray engine is horribly horribly outdated compared to AAA engines. Everything that is done in X-ray can be done and plenty of other engines better.

      I am not saying that X-ray is horrible, it is a decent A to A1/2 engine. The fact is that is started as a dx8 engine, and they have kept tacking on bells and whistles to an aging engine, over and over and over.

      The game looks good enough to play, and has alot of pluses, but this is not an engine that anyone would ever license out for sale because other choices are much better.

      It can achieve impressive graphics at certain times, but it isnt at a level of other engines. Esp when you consider performance. The engine is doing things it was never designed for and it shows.

      This isnt a criticism of the game, simply of the aged engine, that was designed over 10 years ago.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Don’t worry, Manintheshack, VHATI clearly hasn’t tried the Panoramic Mod yet…

    • Muzman says:

      X-ray has probably the best, most naturalistic lighting system I’ve seen. It’s probably surpassed in technical lighting accuracy by many things, but for this thing to perform as it does in so many changing environments and lighting conditions and look good doing it is very impressive. What it did at default and what some of the SoC mods continue to bring out of it is frankly astounding. I agree with what others are saying about some of its other shortcomings with grass and other vegetation, for instance. (from the shots and video it looks as though CoP will be more sparsely decorated compared to SoC, presumably to accomodate the gigantic maps)

      I don’t see why they couldn’t rebuild it into X-ray 2 if they have the time and money. They did a very good job the first time (maybe the coders have left, maybe there’s other problems).
      While it’s probable that other engines could do the same things with light that Stalker did, given the right skill and artistry, talk of changing engines does make me a little nervous. If there’s any chance they’d lose that light, man, forget it.

  15. mcnostril says:

    I disagree.
    The draw distance is okay, but the way the engine handles fog is rather puzzling at times (it turns distant landscape into alpha channels), and the draw distance for things like grass is quite small even at max settings. It wouldn’t be so bad if the grass faded into the picture instead of gradually popping in horrendously noticeable increments. This is not really noticeable in the swamps on account of them being rather flat and the reeds being drawn at all distances (as opposed to grass being dynamic), but once you get to Cordon you’ll start to notice. There’s also the distant LODs that are also somewhat low res compared to everything else when all settings are maxed out.
    They’re small details, but on something as atmospheric as Stalker, they do break the immersion a bit. Sunrise or sunset in the swamps look pretty amazing though.

    I wonder if they implemented some sort of panorama like Stalker Complete did? The ones for CS don’t work very well, but in SoC they definitely make the area seem that much larger.

    • mcnostril says:

      Oh bloody hell, that was in reply to manintheshack’s post above.

  16. Casimir's Blake says:

    Preordered anyway. For now let’s just say GSC have made up for everything, absolutely everything.

  17. Fumarole says:

    I’m absolutely puzzled as to what people find wrong with Clear Sky. I just played through it over thirty or so hours and loved it. It certainly is an improvement over Shadow of Chernobyl in every respect that I can see, save the novelty of everything in the first game.

  18. Vhati says:

    Obviously you guys have no imagination.

    Picture a giant crashing through a wall in cryengine, or dunia.
    Or how about an invisible bloodsucker pushing vegetation around while he is running towards you.
    Or the improved particle effects for the anomolies. God/sun rays that dont kill your graphics card.

    How about running foward and not having to notice how god aweful the freaking grass looks as it grows as you get closer to it.

    There is so much stuff that would work incredibly well with Stalker that xray cannot do.

    Everything people so love about Stalker has nothing to do with the engine. Its the artistic style, and design that gave its strength,easily recreateable using a better engine. Changing to a better engine will not hurt anything.

    • Muzman says:

      Incidentally Vahti, the god rays thing is a graphics driver problem. I’m not sure of the current status of this, but I know I updated my drivers (to play Far Cry 2 as it happens) and the god rays became a slide show. Rolling back to the old version made them have virtually unnoticable impact on the framerate again.

  19. IfIcouldIfukinwould says:

    i agree with VHATI, i’m currently using my old system (P4 3.4 single core/ATI Rad x1950 gt) i can play farcry 2 even crysis on med with decent FPS, low is a struggle in COP, x-ray engine is outdated and over-resourceful.