14 Days of Halloween: Answer the Call – Donny Grimm’s STALKER: Call of Pripyat Review
The apocalypse has always been popular in gaming, as shown by Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, it’s almost become a requirement that games must now take place in the not-so-distant future where the natural order of things as we know them have changed for the bloody worst. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is no different. In S: CoP you play as Alexander Degtyarev, a soldier posing as a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. who is sent in to investigate five crash landed helicopters sent in to retake control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant… Of course once you’re given a gun and sent on your way you’ll forget that story completely. S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs are Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Looters, Killers, Explorers, and Robbers, which is appropriate because sooner or later you’ll find yourself doing all of these things to or for practically everyone in the fucking game. In all fairness this is by no means a bad thing, money is very important and you will likely make a sizable amount by doing each and every one of these things. Your main income in the “Zone”, the area of effect the Chernobyl disaster had in Pripyat, are strange rocks called artifacts which have mysterious properties that can protect you on your way, but you won’t of course. You’ll sell them and use the money to upgrade your equipment to protect you far better. When I first read the description for the game I thought to myself, “Oh, what’s this? Another Fallout 3 rip-off?” …and I was right, but it does it so well that I couldn’t really penalize it for the fact. If mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat flatters the hell out of FO3. It does do a little more for the hardcore shooter fans than Fallout 3 did, though. As far as gameplay goes, Call of Pripyat is a well rounded shooter and does its best to stay that way, no “action points” or “critical hits”. There is a decent upgrade system for all weapons and armor and a “Weapon Condition Meter” but this is a survival based game. You must also eat to stay healthy. You don’t die but you’ll get some serious effects like decreased stamina and health regeneration if you don’t. You’d think that we had our fix of End-of-the-World games for a while what with Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 collecting dust on our stacks of games and Fallout: New Vegas and Dead Rising 2 hitting store shelves, but it appears that whenever we see decimated landscape and juicy scavengeables peppering the bombed out structures we will come, drooling at the mouths to answer the call…of Pripyat.