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Back in the swamps

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  03:11:01  27 July 2017
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Three Mile Island
Senior Resident

On forum: 11/04/2008

Message edited by:
Three Mile Island
07/27/2017 3:14:30
Messages: 2003
Back in the swamps

Just started a new Clear Sky game after a couple of years' absense, it almost feels like coming home. I must have played CS a dozen times during the last decade.

I've seen a lot of misguided forum posts over the years dismissing this wonderful game, claiming it's the least good of the three or not worth playing at all. That is of course utter nonsense, in fact Clear Sky is the Stalker game that best captures the true essence of the Zone:

* CS has the best graphics of all three games. Even though CoP has a newer engine, its graphics quality seems reduced on purpose(?).

* CS uses the same wonderful background music as SoC (you need to disable "Dynamic music", of course). The CoP music doesn't come close.

* CS has the most varied atmosphere of the three games. Some parts are scary or eerie like SoC, other parts are hilarious, all are great. CoP mostly feels bland due to its music, the mediocre voice acting and the "theme park" level layouts.

* CS introduced gameplay features crucial for the Stalker experience, like artifact hunting. CoP hardly contributed anything useful (except refining the looting/inventory mechanics), just unnecessary and buggy weapon scopes and lots of drugs to make the game even easier, while at the same time dumbing down key features of SoC and CS (like the reputation system, or making anomalies less deadly).

* CS doesn't spam mutants and artifacts the way CoP does. In fact there are only two Controllers and two Pseudogiants in the whole CS game, which makes each meeting the more memorable. Since artifacts are so rare in CS, they become collectable items you don't want to sell (unlike CoP, where they're just another source of easy money).

* CS (when patched) is not generally buggier than SoC. This myth probably stems from players in 2008, that compared the patched SoC with the newly released unpatched CS, which is of course totally unfair. CoP isn't exactly bug free either, with its frequent freeze-ups and NPCs appearing out of nowhere right in front of you. Clear Sky's faction war does glitch frequently (though some players just haven't figured out how it works), but then again this bonus gameplay feature is completely absent in SoC and CoP, and is not required to play the game. Even DX10 seems to work in the GOG version.

Of course not everything is great about CS, but these are minor points:

* The fighting with the Renegades in the Swamps is too easy and ends too quickly. Then again, many complain that there are too much people and too much fighting in CS...

* It's a little shorter than the other two.

* It does become a corridor shooter at the end, but so does SoC. Personally I usually stop playing after lowering the bridge to Limansk because of that.
  02:28:39  7 August 2017
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Daddy Cool
On forum: 11/10/2008

Message edited by:
Daddy Cool
08/07/2017 2:29:40
Messages: 76

Back in the swamps
've seen a lot of misguided forum posts over the years dismissing this wonderful game, claiming it's the least good of the three or not worth playing at all. That is of course utter nonsense, in fact Clear Sky is the Stalker game that best captures the true essence of the Zone:


I've played CS from shortly after it was released. I remember the criticism of it, but I loved the game. I had just finished SoC then started CS. It had its problems, but I still enjoyed it and the environment. The swamps were great. Some people complained that it had locations that were in SoC and that was boring. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing the old locations back in the game, as it ties them together. New levels + the old is ideal, at least in my opinion.

Hunting the artifacts was a great idea, instead of them being visible and easier than trivial to find.

I've been away from the games for a few years, but once the weather turns cold here & chases me inside for the winter, I'll be playing these. Starting with SoC, CS, and finally CoP, or as far as I get by the time spring arrives. I except to be in CoP by then. However, I do screw around quite a bit in the Zone. And I do want to get to CoP, at least the beginning so I can take care of my ol' friend Tuna.

I'm coming for ye Tuna....
  05:37:55  7 August 2017
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Tejas Stalker
Official Stalker on Facebook


On forum: 05/12/2007

Message edited by:
Tejas Stalker
08/07/2017 5:38:39
Messages: 23235
Back in the swamps

Daddy Cool~

Actually you can grab the artifact and sprint away from Tuna and his 2 friends.

They become "red" hostile and appear as your enemy if you return to the area.

However if you continue to do tasks for the Stalkers ( Loners ) and
improve your relations, you earn enough points to change Tuna and
company from "red" hostile to "yellow" neutral. No need to kill Tuna.

  17:21:37  8 October 2017
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RK Roadkill


On forum: 05/27/2011

Message edited by:
RK Roadkill
10/08/2017 17:22:38
Messages: 1271
I have to agree with every thing you pointed out.
I feel the same about CS.

CoP was more casual. Barely any human enemies, you couldn't affect faction relations that much. Money was everywhere, artifact hunting was too easy and you just go to sleep and wait for emmision and loot all over again... to easy. Also I agree on a theme park.

Clear Sky really shines with SRP installed. The Clear Sky that was meant to be

I'm replaying it right now and damn graphics are soo much better than Cop's.
The lighting, textures, bump maps,shadows just beautyfull.
The most atmospeheric levels for me were Swamps, Red Forest, Army warehouses and Limansk. They were so mysterious and desolate which we all like about stalker. While other levels were more active like Garbage, which was a meeting point for all waring factions...
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