S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

The prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky is a first-person shooter(FPS) set in the wastelands around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The land is crawling with mutants, dangerous anomalies, treasured artifacts and people willing to kill for those artifacts. You are a mercenary that survived an anomalous blowout. Saved by a faction called Clear Sky, your job now is to find out why the blowouts are occurring and try to stop them.

Release Date:

August 2008.

Pros:

  • The graphics are slightly better than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl. And the animations look a bit better too. The user interface has also been modified to look more atmospheric.
  • This article was originally written based on my experience with Clear Sky on my older Windows XP PC with the specifications listed on this page. The screen shots were also taken with this XP PC listed. Having got a newer Windows 7 PC, I played Clear Sky again and was truly amazed how much better the graphics are. I still cannot max out the graphics settings, but the game looks much better than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
  • Sounds are also slightly better than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
  • Faction wars are a nice addition. But they are also available in the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. via mods.
  • You can custom upgrade your weapons and armour.
  • There is now dynamic action music and it works pretty well.
  • The AI is just as good as Shadow of Chernobyl.
  • Clear Sky has mods. Check out the recommended mods section of this page.

Cons:

  • The story is nowhere near as good as the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and is also shorter. Even though Clear Sky is better in almost every aspect, I do recommend playing through Shadow of Chernobyl first to be able to understand the plot for Clear Sky.
  • Clear Sky only has one ending.
  • The random tasks you can get is buggy. Sometimes the game just does not let you complete a task even though it is done.
  • There is a bug where I cannot see fences sometimes. It is like walking into an invisible wall.
  • There is quite a few random crash to desktop bugs. I even reached a point where it was crashing consistently at the same point that I could not continue from my save game.

Other Points:

Biases:

  • Reviewed version 1.5.10 of the game.
  • I really liked Serious Sam, all the Doom games and Quake 2.
  • I also really liked Alien Vs Predator, Soldier of Fortune 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.
  • I also liked Star Wars Battlefront 2.
  • I also liked Call of Duty, Battlefield 1942, Delta Force and Spec Ops 2.
  • I have not played multiplayer for Clear Sky.
  • I have completed the single player story campaign on the easiest difficulty.

DRM:

  • CD-Key must be entered when installing the game.
  • Uses Tages protection. The first time I ran the game, it asked to install the Tages driver.
  • The disc must be in the drive to play.

Patches:

  • Make sure to install the patches BEFORE seriously playing the single player campaign. Save games in some old versions are not compatible with newer versions of the game.
  • 1.5.10 - Bug fixes and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box):

  • Microsoft Windows 2000(SP4)/XP/Vista
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz / AMD XP 2200+
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard disc space
  • 128 MB DirectX 8.0 compatible card / nVIDIA GeForce 5700 / ATI Radeon 9600
  • Keyboard, Mouse
  • LAN / Internet for Multiplayer

Computer Played On:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips:

  • If you run Clear Sky in DirectX 10 mode and the game is crashing on start up on a Windows 7 64bit PC, it may be caused by the Platform Update for Windows 7x64-Edition (KB2670838). This was an optional update for my PC and from reading around, it was supposed to enhance some graphics stuff and prepare the PC for IE 10. I uninstalled the update and Clear Sky started running fine. Checking a few games before and after uninstalling the update, I did not notice any performance changes. I found this information from this forum thread.

Recommended Mods:

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