What lies in the Zone?
The STALKER series of open world shooters is a pretty special set of games which is well worth looking at if the likes of Far Cry float your boat. This is the lesser known second entry in the franchise, and although it's often considered the weakest of the set, it still has enough plus points to make it worth picking up. The story takes place before the terrible events of the previous games, which charted the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, but which added mutants and gang warfare to the real life event. The area is still wracked with unrest as multiple factions fight for control, while avoiding radiation, monsters and other such hazards and you'll fight yourself caught up in the chaos as you venture forth to find out the truth behind some of the series' mysteries. The game itself is a first person shooter but instead of following a linear storyline, it opens things up for exploration, with missions and sidequests to complete as you roam around this grim world. Clear Sky is a bit of a mixed bag. On the downside, it reuses a lot of assets from the first game, so it feels like an expansion rather than a true sequel, but it does give you new areas to explore to make up for this. There are also plenty of bugs and some repetitive goals and quests, while the story is a little hard to follow. However, the game certainly delivers on the shooting front, and the action is both satisfying and enjoyable. The visuals stand up pretty well too, with some atmospheric environments to roam around and some creepy monsters to blast and overall, despite its faults, this is worth a look.