S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is the second game in the series of survival horror shooter games under the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. name which was released in 2008. Designed as a prequel to the first game (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl) in the franchise players will have the opportunity to explore the origins and events that led to the first game across familiar locations.
In Clear Sky you’ll be assuming the role of Scar who is a veteran stalker of the Zone and makes a living through escort missions and the occasional treasure hunt. After getting hit by a large emission while guiding a group of scientists players will wake up to find yourself in the base of the Clear Sky faction that is focused on researching the Zone to uncover all of its secrets. According to their research on the player on their accident you now possess great resistance to anomalies compared to a normal human that unlocks potential to explore locations that have been thus far out of reach.
With the scientists believing that these continued large emissions are the result of stalker groups reaching the centre of the Zone that becomes your objective for the safety of those within the Zone. With players taking it upon yourself to stop these emissions from causing further damage your focus shifts to the stalker group containing Doc, Fang, Ghost and of course Strelok who are rumoured to be the group penetrating the middle of the Zone area. This journey will take the player through plenty of familiar locations and some new ones although they are all different in subtle or major ways to reflect the timeline difference which provides an additional payoff for returning fans.
Fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series can also expect a similar gameplay experience to other titles in the franchise with artefacts, anomalies, equipment and the same first person shooting elements returning in the sequel. The weapon system in particular has received some enhancements allowing you to upgrade and repair equipment to new levels and enhances the inventory management expected of players while adding new layers of choice.
One notable new addition to the game world is faction wars which the player can take part in by overtaking key strategic points and completing a number of repeating quests. Available factions include Duty, Freedom, Loners (stalkers) and Bandits with locations changing hands between them regularly which is reflected realistically within the world.
As you begin to dispose of more and more enemies your allied faction will gain the upper hand which eventually makes the maps safer for you and means the traders have better equipment available for purchase. If you would rather not participate in faction wars players do have the option to stay neutral with every faction although it a hard balance to pull off and often more trouble than it is worth.
- Experience the events that led to the first game in the STALKER universe.
- Chase Strelok and his team to stop them creating a potentially Zone ending emission.
- Introduces equipment upgrade system and repairing for more choice and challenge.
- Join in the faction wars and claim areas for your faction that enhance the safety of the region.
- Changes the world in subtle and major ways that provide insight into the history of key franchise locations.
Review Platform: PC