Haunting and exciting
Following on from the earlier Venom, S.T.AL.K.E.R stands as a superb example of the FPS shooter which blends in RPG elements to fantastic effect. It's ever so slightly flawed, keeping it from true classic status, but it's still a fantastic game which is well worth digging out. It takes place in an alternate timeline where, following the real world explosion at Chernobyl, another terrifying accident occurs. This one causes the area to become one big hotbed for mutants, monsters and bandits, as well as scientists and adventurers looking for information and wealth.The player takes control of a stalker, a sort of scavenger, who has lost his memory but who finds himself with a mysterious task: kill Strelok. Quite who Strelok is is part of the mystery and what follows is a complex but fascinating journey through a grim world. The game itself is an open world shooter, similar to Far Cry, where you are free to explore, carrying out quests, meeting NPCs and joining factions, with this latter aspect opening up better weapons and gear. There are some cool features, like a day/night cycle and dynamic weather and which add to the appeal. For the most part, this is a superb game. The story is well told and gripping, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked. The gameplay itself is exciting and action-packed, with lots to keep you busy, while the visuals do a great job of bringing to life this dark and haunted world. Any flaws are fairly minor so if you are looking for a unique and memorable game, then look no further.