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Ships Ahoy - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

Today is the day S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky should be appearing in North American stores after a brief snag that caused a delay of a couple of weeks (story). Likewise, this press release announces that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is available for online purchase and download from Direct2Drive. Also, as promised (story), GSC Game World's first-person shooter prequel is also now available for purchase and download from Steam.

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16. ... Sep 17, 2008, 01:46 theyarecomingforyou
 
The sunsets, rain, lighting and clouds are the best seen in any game - the atmosphere is amazing. However, night time definitely lasts too long.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Founder of the "I Hate Smiley Fitz" society

Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
 
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Star Citizen: Blue's News
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15. Thanks! Sep 16, 2008, 15:08 Surf
 
Thanks for the night vision tip! That will help as right now I am walking around a base for about 1 real hour for the sun to come up. No way in hell am I going into those swamps at night alone and with rain and lightning!

game has the best atmosphere once again, i have never seen any game beat Stalkers atmosphere.

 
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14. Re: Stalker US Sep 16, 2008, 12:23 A51Abductee
 
Surf - you can upgrade the first armor (that CS gives you as a quest reward) with level 1 night vision. Makes the nights slightly more bearable, but still scary as hell.

Loving this game, screw the official reviews. Perhaps Deep Silver and GSC just didn't have the funds/clout to bribe the reviewers like the "Grade A" hype games out there.

 
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13. Stalker US Sep 16, 2008, 11:25 Surf
 
Was playing the pirated UK version which was surprisingly different and more difficult. Bought it yesterday 9.15 and the Gamestop guy said it was out on Friday 9.12?

Anyways, I had put in 6 hours into the UK one until a show stopper happened that prevented me from going further. That was the Cracks fault, not the game.

Played the US version last night for 4 hours straight, not one crash. I am playing on Vista x64 SP1 just to get the DX10 stuff! Very nice! I played the UK version on the same system, dual boot, Win XP Pro Sp3.


I think the game is great! No problems, its different enough from the first one but with some nice improvements. The swamps are scary as hell! The nights last too long since you cannot sleep or pass time, and screw going out at night!


Anyways - IF YOU LIKED STALKER, YOU WILL LOVE THIS ADD ON!

 
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12. Re: STALKER CS Sep 16, 2008, 10:29 Overon
 
I'm pretty sure I've seen Steam patch games that Valve themselves didn't make. Also, whenever you see Gabe interviwed about Steam, he talks about it automatically patching all your games to the latest versions as one of Steams prime selling points.
I understand all that. I'm talking about games released on impulse, direct 2 drive, and steam that the company that runs those services does not have the ability to release patches for 3rd party games. The original developer/publisher has to develop these special patches for these services. Have there been horror stories where the retail game gets patched, but the download version of the patch is either delayed or never comes out?

 
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11. Re: STALKER CS Sep 16, 2008, 07:45 4D-Boxing
 
Thanks for posting feedback on your experience with Clear Sky guys! Going to pick this up today. I have afeeling it will be like the first STALKER in the sense that people either hate it or love it ...kind of like the reviews I've seen ..either it's a 7 or it's a 8.5 to 9.

It's a hard game ...good. I don't want a GEARS type of experience..Harcore was like Delta in Crysis....

This comment was edited on Sep 16, 07:46.
 
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10. STALKER CS Sep 16, 2008, 03:09 Scud
 
I just got through playing for a few hours and so far I'm enjoying it, I haven't left the swamp yet but I've managed to help CS gain control of the road to the Cordon. I'm not sure what the big deal is with the difficulty but so far it hasn't seemed any worse than it's predecessor, I'm not playing at the hardest difficulty setting but comparatively it seems about the same so far. Seems okay performance wise for me so far at 1280x1024 under XP Pro with 2 gigs of ram and an AMD Opteron 180, and a 8800 GTS, the improved full lighting seemed just a bit sluggish so I dropped down to full dynamic lighting with everything else set high.
No crashes or other bad juju yet either.

 
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9. Today is Release Day? Sep 16, 2008, 02:41 Paranoid Jack
 
I bought it last week at my local GameStop and have yet to break the wrapper open because I'm so hooked on WAR. I too didn't have as bad an experience with SoC as others here but would also point out some people have a lot lower tolerance for what they perceive to be major problems.

Hoping when I get around to it that it's as good as the original if not better.

This comment was edited on Sep 16, 02:45.
 
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8. ... Sep 16, 2008, 02:00 theyarecomingforyou
 
Firstly, I'm loving Clear Sky. I'd read a lot of negative things in reviews and so I was a bit hesitant but it was definitely worth it. The weapons are vastly better, graphics are a HUGE improvement even on lower settings, atmosphere is amazing (rain, lightning, huge anomalies, etc), travelling is less tedious, you can carry more (even though the weight limit hasn't changed) and the battles are really fun (improved AI). The biggest annoyance is how hard it is to earn money and the lack of artifacts (they might as well not even be in the game, which is a huge shame). It has performance issues (runs perfectly, then will jerk about) but the bugs aren't too bad (only one I've had was spontaneously dying during a conversation). I'm very happy with the game - it has a different character to the original but that's not a bad thing; the only unfortunate thing is it's lost quite a lot of its fear factor. Multiplayer is also great fun, even if it's no Team Fortress 2.

Secondly, Steam games usually patch very quickly. I've had Civilization 4 update before the patch was even listed on Blues. The occasional game has issues (usually relating to the original publisher) but generally it's very good.

So I'm happy with my purchase. Hopefully we'll see a few more substantial patches and Clear Sky should become a very decent game.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Founder of the "I Hate Smiley Fitz" society

Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
 
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SteamID: theyarecomingforyou
Star Citizen: Blue's News
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7. Re: Sep 16, 2008, 01:35 Rseman
 
I'm pretty sure I've seen Steam patch games that Valve themselves didn't make. Also, whenever you see Gabe interviwed about Steam, he talks about it automatically patching all your games to the latest versions as one of Steams prime selling points.

Except for HL2 having a bug that stopped you being able to complete the game under WinXP x64 (they may have fixed that eventually), I've never had any issues with any games under Steam.

 
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6. Re: No subject Sep 16, 2008, 00:09 elefunk
 
The Steam version comes with the first two patches already integrated, so my experience so far has been very smooth. Granted, that's only about 45 minutes of gameplay so far.

I found a good performance balance for my:

Opteron 165
2GB PC3200
8800GT


Remember, these are settings that look much better than the original. "Regular" dynamic lighting even looks better than the original. Anyway, my settings are set to:

-Enhanced dynamic lighting (*NOT* DX10)
-Turn grass distance down a bit
-Turn shadow quality down a bit
-Didn't change anything else from where they started
-1680x1050 resolution, no AA

Gives me FPS fluctuating between 20-60 depending on the situation, remains playable throughout.

 
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5. Re: No subject Sep 15, 2008, 23:41 Ludomancer
 
I've put about 2 hours into the game so far. Brutally hard. If you love realistic difficulty, you will love this game. Very hard.
I have only had one bug so far, surprisingly a bluescreen. Otherwise the game is good. They put you through a couple linear "stages" at the beginning, but then thankfully the game opens up into it's usual open-ended style. It seems to expand on this in some ways by having each area (as far as I can tell) have it's own dynamic set of events going when you enter them. That has good and bad points, but too much to go into here.
The only "negative" impression is the performance. I'm running a 7800GTX card, and the game is shit on my system. I have never seen such bad performance from a game, but I don't feel it's the game's fault. You have to figure it features fully dynamic HDRI, so... go figure. I will see how it goes when I get a new card. Otherwise it runs fantastic when the render engine is set to "All Static Shadows" (or whatever the lowest rendering setting is), but at "Maximum Detail".

For Overon - I downloaded the 1.0004 patch for my retail version tonight. On the same page was another patch for the "online" version (or something similar), so I can only assume they released a patch for both boxed and online distro's at the same time.

I really like the Stalker games because I understand what the developers are trying to make. I typically pirate every game before buying to see what it will be like, but I generally purchase the Stalker games right away just to support these guys. That's rare for me, but knowing that might make a difference for you.


 
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4. Re: No subject Sep 15, 2008, 22:57 Overon
 
Okay someone has to clear something up for me. I need confirmation. When you purchase through steam, direct 2 drive, or impulse, doesn't that result in the patches for the game coming later than for retail purchases or not at all? Aren't they always late in releasing the patch for digital download people or not releasing one at all?

 
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3. No subject Sep 15, 2008, 22:19 Rhialto
 
Got it the 12, installed and applied latest patch and have put about 10 hours in it and I like it A LOT. In SoC I never had ANY problem at all with the game and yet it is the same for CS. So yes you read about some people having problem but not too often about people having no problem at all and I wante to point that out.

I have yet to read a review that like me have not experienced a problem but who they are aware of some problem. Every article just seems to do cut and paste from each others. Anyway.

Playing it DX9 all settings maxed 1280x1024 and it's perfect. I wish I was able to play it DX for 2 additional effect but just like SoC I will explore the zone more than once so in a few months maybe I will have the chance to enjoy DX10 extras.

Harder than SoC but somewhat funnier in the way it is, maybe, more realistic. It's no fun when you run in like a God and just kill everything. It's different and will make you play differently by beging more careful and thinking more how you will get closer, etc.

I'm not a huge player. being limited in time I carefully choose what I buy and both S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are the only games that give me shivers, truely! I really enjoy when the evening come, children are n the bed and then I start S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for 2-3 hours in the dark with headphones. Excellent experience.

I only hope there will be a 3rd one.

This comment was edited on Sep 15, 23:48.
 
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2. No subject Sep 15, 2008, 22:06 Verno
 
Having spent a day playing it at after Futureshop broke the street date, I can safely say that Clear Sky is a buggy mess and takes a few steps backwards from the original. What a disappointment, last time I buy a game in the Stalker franchise. I had hope they would've learned from their mistakes with Stalker but Clear Sky appears to have had zero QA.

 
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Playing: The Last of Us Remastered
Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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1. Clear Sky is a bust Sep 15, 2008, 21:50 Fion
 
I have not been hearing good things about the game. Bugs, crash issues, content issues, lacking the 'feel' of the original. It's to bad.

 
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