Two interesting posts regarding the semi-open world design they chose vs open world.

This game is fantastic, I love just how comfortable it is to play. Everything of note (quests, encounters) is conveniently marked on the map and the material analyzer highlights items that can be picked up so you don’t have to strain your eyes rummaging through dark buildings - on that note, some great use of lighting here, which can lead to some very claustrophobic sections when your only source of light is a narrow bear flashlight.

Story so far is also quite intriguing (day 14 currently) and I’m looking forward to see where it will go. And while there are many similarities with STALKER, the game actually reminds me more of Alpha Protocol.

Just about the only complaint I have right now is that Medium difficulty is too easy, I should’ve started on one of the harder ones.

And done. Absolutely loved the story in the end, and the choices the game presents you with are both interesting and bitter - very solid writing, just the right blend of Stalker influences and soviet existentialism. I thought about changing some of the decisions in my game (great gameplay mechanic, given the theme of the game) to ‘fix’ a few things and get the optimal outcome, but it’s so rare for a game to present the bad outcomes as something worth experiencing that I’ve decided to let it be, as it also lead to some fulfilling character redemption arcs.

Bottom line, easy 9/10 for me, and a must play for anyone who’s a fan of post-apocalyptic games, especially STALKER, and appreciates good choice & consequence.

I’ll definitely replay this in the future on higher difficulty settings to get more out of the resource scarcity and survival elements.

Good to read. I am still waiting for all the extra content to be out before I delve in, but I have it already bought.

Yes thanks for that. I also have it sitting ready to go.

I have to get back to this at some point I suppose. I kind of bounced off the mission structure and storyline a bit, but I did dig the atmosphere.

I’ve had a look at the DLC roadmap and I think the game is good as is right now. They’ll add a new map in Q3 but even if you play right now you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything, it feels like a complete experience. If you’re in the mood for more time in the Zone this is it right now.

I thought it would annoy me too, since there are only 7 or 8 maps in the game, but the way you approach them changes quite a bit depending on the objective and environmental factors at play on that day. Plus, resources respawn rather slowly so even if you run the same map twice you will only have critical stuff (events, objective) to do on the map rather than having to scavenge the entire map for loot again.

I am sure the game is fine and complete now. But…since I already waited this long, I can wait a bit longer. Maybe the new content will be great and worth playing and since I rarely go back to games for DLCs, I might miss out on it if I play now.

What makes this game so special? Been eyeing it on the Steam summer sale.

@tomchick I could have dreamed it, but did you play this for a while? If so what did you particularly like about it?

I did play and I really enjoyed the overarching structure for how it incorporated base building with the feel of an open-world that you can play through and explore at your own pace. For more specifics, I’d point you to my exchange with Solver, who played it more than I did, at around this point. I think his/her explanation of some stuff I didn’t understand is a helpful overview of what I found enjoyable and frustrating.

But overall, this was a thumbs up experience for me, even if I didn’t see it through to the end.


Yeah, the most special part of the game to me is definitely the recreation of the world. Much of it has been done through on-site scanning by the devs and it shows. Seeing very recognizable digital replicas of familiar items and spaces is impressive, and while the Western audience will not experience any familiarity, I think the level of detail impresses nonetheless.

It’s an incredibly atmospheric game with moody and beautiful environments (the real ones and the fictional ‘dreamscape’) and a novel approach to story decisions as the game makes dying and changing the past a part of the gameplay loop.

The game is probably better if you have a place (like this one!) to ask questions as you go. A few things are non-obvious or easily missed, which could affect the overall experience quite a bit.

Sorry to ask what may be a dumb question, but what other game is this like? Is this like the Stalker series?

There’s been some disagreement about this in the thread, but I’d say Stalker is a good comparison.

It’s a very similar game in setting and overall vibe. Gameplay focuses much more on the stealth and scavenging parts of Stalker and less on combat, so don’t expect great gunplay.

It’s also not an open world – you go on missions that take you through 5 or 6 maps repeatedly, but the game does a good job using different parts of the map and keeping it from getting stale.

So is it more story based gameplay?

I’m of the opinion that similarity to Stalker is very superficial but that seems to be a minority view.

It’s not an open world game. The pillars of gameplay are base scavenging and base building (you gather raw resources on each mission, then use them to build stuff) on the one hand, and maintaining your team on the other hand. The latter is a Mass Effect style mechanic, you gradually recruit characters and then you also need to keep them happy enough with your storyline decisions.

There’s freedom within the missions but you’re solving a mystery and the game’s story driven in that sense. You’re a former engineer at the Chernobyl plant where your fiancee disappeared after the nuclear accident, and you’re looking into her disappearance and weird events around the power plant. So it’s a story-based game.

That sounds great. Thanks!

I’m not sure this is going to be a game I continue much. I just did my first mission and I didn’t really like creeping around. I couldn’t see a way to complete my mission without alerting the soldiers guarding the drop because when I stealth killed them they made noise and attracted the other soldiers. I couldn’t grab the drop while in combat so i had to fight. I only had the starting pistol while they had rifles of some kind. At some point I just started smashing the enemy in the head with my gun. Finally I killed everyone.

It is a gorgeous game, but I’m not so sure it will be enough. I’m also not someone to care about the aesthetics of the base building part, so that won’t be a point of interest. Oh well.

There’s no real penalty for killing humans, you morale (psych level) will drop but you can quickly fix that with a healthy dose of vodka. Just like in real life!

I just installed this last night. Didn’t really even make it to the first mission before going to bed, so I’ve only tried the one stealth takedown right at the start.

It’s really pretty, but it’s also the first (newest) game I’ve played that makes me think it’s time to upgrade from my 1070ti. It’s not quite a slideshow, but it’s getting close in some places. If only I had $800 lying around for a 3080…