The STALKER Series - An Overview Of This Unique FPS Franchise

by Seelyon

I'm not usually a fan of the FPS genre but the STALKER series changed all of that, it created a great atmospheric story and game world that really captivated me.

I'm not usually a fan of the FPS genre but the STALKER series changed all of that, it created a great atmospheric story and game world that really captivated me.

Whenever I bring up the topic of the games though I get plenty of wide-eyed looks. While it has recently become a more popular series there are still plenty of gamers that don't know about this strange and unique experience. I'm hoping that this overview of the series will serve as a great reference for those looking to get into the game or just people looking for some nostalgia around their own STALKER experience (partly because there are very few games like STALKER out there).

The games take place in an almost alternative reality to our own world where the explosion at the Chernobyl Power Plant has created a Zone that is now inhabited by mutants, zombies and various human factions that are vying for control over this new strange territory that promises a wealth of knowledge and riches.

Don't forget to cast your vote in the poll below and leave your own comment about your experience with the STALKER series (even if this is the first time you've heard of it).

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A Quick Overview

The staples in the STALKER series include:

  • An artefact system that lets you customise your character.
  • Multiple equipment slots to give you great choice (focus on radiation protection or bullet protection).
  • Very eerie atmospheres and story.
  • Multiple factions with options to align with any of them or none.
  • Great mod support and community that has improved on the main game.

Shadow of Chernobyl

The Beginning Of A Journey

Shadow of Chernobyl is the game that started it all, it does a great job of introducing the mechanics and setting with the features that remained a staple of the future games.

In a fairly standard opening players wake up as a wounded survivor who is brought before a black market trader that you'll become very familiar with throughout the rest of the games known as Sidorovich. For saving your life he of course wants some compensation so you take up several jobs in order to repay your debt and learn more about your own history. From here on you become known as "The Marked One" for the STALKER acronym tatooed on your arm. Your only other piece of information is the name of a man named Strelok in your PDA.

After some early story elements and tutorial like missions in the immediate (relatively safe) area you begin to expand to other locations like the popular Garbage, another staple in the series, a place that you'll get to watch change and evolve with time.  

Eventually you learn that Strelok made it into the centre of the Zone with his group and you split your time between chasing him, helping various factions and completing all sorts of side missions. The game ends in an amazing climax with multiple endings split into two different categories.

The unique story and world of the first game was what really had me thirsting for more and awaiting each new release (which is when I first got hooked on STALKER alternatives).

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - PC

The world’s worst nuclear disaster occurred on April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl power facility in the Ukraine. The area slowly recovered until 2006 when an unforeseen second exp...

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Clear Sky

A Continuation That I Loved

Clear Sky is probably the least unpopular of the series, it's a game that changed up a lot of things from the original that weren't all well received. Personally on the other hand I really enjoyed it and the changes that it made and still consider it one of my favourites.

The story this time around puts you into the shoes of Scar, a veteran who while guiding a team of scientists is hit by a powerful emission and is the sole survivor. Now The Zone has started to go through a number of odd changes that threaten the lives of everyone living inside it and your own.

Once again you'll be tracking the adventure of Strelok and his team, which creates a very interesting experience. It's a different time frame so every location is a whole new experience, so don't think you're repeating the same story by any means. And while I won't ruin it for you the ending in this one will really mess with your head and I loved it.

The biggest changes this time around were definitely in the faction war and weapon upgrade systems. You've got more of a role to play in the wars of the factions and you've got the option to take over locations for your faction.

Regardless of what other people say about the game it's an important story stepping stone and it's one that you have to try for yourself before listening to others.

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

A team of stalkers has reached the very heart of the Zone - the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. a catastrophic explosion of anomalous energy has changed the environment. The road...

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Call of Pripyat

The Last Of The Series

Call of Pripyat definitely is the best to be produced in the STALKER series and is actually set after the first game in the timeline of things as countless STALKERs hone in on the centre of The Zone and the riches that await them there.

In this third game you'll take control of a military officer as he attempts to learn the reasons behind the crash of several helicopters. This game is set in entirely new environments so everything is fun and fresh. Between every helicopter location there are plenty of opportunities to pick up odd jobs to increase your equipment and help (or hinder) the various inhabitants.

After inspecting the helicopters you have to make it into Pripyat for extraction where you get to meet up with your old friend Strelok as you and the team you've put together have to fight your way through a number of fanatic opponents. Ultimately your choice to leave The Zone is yours with the ability to free play after completion of the main story.

Factions for the most part have been removed due to a cease fire, making bandits and stalkers the two main factions that you can join or defy along the way depending on your preference.

Updated: 07/24/2015, Seelyon
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