Last game from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy is set in completely different surroundings of Chernobyl area comparing to Clear Sky and Shadow of Chernobyl - apart from Pripyat none of the locations from previous games were transfered to this game. Also the gameplay itself was changed - we start as Ukrainian national security officer sent into the Zone to learn the fate of few helicopters that were sent earlier. This time we approach the Chernobyl from different side, so the area is nothing like in the two previous games - open area with several locations spread all over the terrain. The goal is completely different - we have to find the crash sites of the helicopters and follow that trail to find the survivors.
Third games is based on completely different rules than the previous ones, we still can find the artifacts, but they are located only very close to the anomalies, the anomalies are different (only few large in the area and clearly marked on the map), just like in Clear Sky the mutants again play little part in the Zone. The gameplay was changed and the missions available are different than in the previous games, they form a quite complexed story that we have to follow. Also, just like in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, the emissions play an important part in the game putting extra pressure on the player while leaving the safe places.
Overall the game concept was good idea, the introduction of real places from Pripyat area, complete change of the surroundings, but the whole part of the Zone created for the game seems too artificial (each location is separated from the others and they all are equally spread all over the area). Another problem is that in practice there are no places without a purpose - each of the locations you will have to visit once to finish a mission and only once - there is no point in returning there ever after. Also the whole area seems quite safe comparing to the Shadow of Chernobyl - mutants are easy to spot, they have limited areas of activity, same with the stalkers and bandits, anomalies are hardly present.
Call of Pripyat is much better than Clear Sky offering more interesting missions, well developed characters and good locations, but only because Clear Sky was so much worse than Shadow of Charnobyl. Comparing to Shadow of Charnobyl third game is not much worse, but as any sequel it lacks the originality of first game and does not offer much instead.
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1994 United Kingdom
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