Clear Sky is the prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, a near-future FPS taking place in a place called the Zone in the Ukraine. A second accident had occurred at Chernobyl, but instead of irradiating the land, it altered the laws of physics and reality itself within the region around it, creating deadly anomalies and bizarre artifacts that have become modern day treasures to those lucky enough to find one. SoC followed the adventures of a stalker as he headed into the previously unreachable heart of the Zone centered on Chernobyl itself, there to discover a dark secret that would change the world.
The Zone is normally off limits to everyone and military checkpoints try to keep people out, but adventurers called S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s have managed to get in to risk their lives for that one discovery that could make them rich. Several factions live within the Zone and the military is more concerned about keeping people out than in dealing with the ones that are already there leaving most of them to pursue their own agendas whether it be protecting each other from the dangers there or enforcing the law in making sure that no one disturbs the status quo.
The sequel takes place in 2012, a year before the events of the first game and follows the same FPS formula in a new storyline.
The story involves a mercenary named Scar who succumbs to one of the random blowouts that sweep the region from Chernobyl. A blowout is a storm of radiation and energy that everyone is forced to take cover from if they want to live, but somehow, Scar survives exposure in the open while leading a group of scientists into the Zone. He is found and rescued by a group calling itself "Clear Sky" who are interested in studying the Zone and Chernobyl in order to understand their mysteries in the hopes that they might help mankind. They make it clear that Scar's resistant nature to a blowout isn't a permanent effect and that if he or Clear Sky do not find out why they are occurring far more frequently and stop it, Scar will eventually die.
After following several leads and exploring the Zone, Scar manages to make his way to Chernobyl where he is asked to stop the leading character from the first game from reaching the reactor. The ending ties into the events at the start of the first game.
The game takes place in the Zone which is divided into several areas comprised of modern day, Soviet-styled, ruins, landmarks, and open areas of dead trees and blasted ground. Most of the areas are open to exploration right from the start while others will be made accessible depending on how far the player has gotten in their quest. The open-ended approach that it takes with its FPS formula is also enforced by the ability to take "jobs" from other stalkers and earn money which can be used to purchase items such as valuable ammunition to upgrades for both weapons and armor. The player can ignore the main quest and pursue their own adventures in the Zone before returning to it. There is no time limit placed on their activities.
Clear Sky also shares SoC's use of real-world weapons. Players can also bleed to death or die from being shot only a few times as opposed to other FPSs that are far more lenient with regenerating health systems. Weapons and armor can also wear down from use and damage requiring the player to find technicians that can keep their equipment in working order. The sci-fi setting also lends itself to the use of artifacts, strange items formed within the anomalous and often deadly disturbances that litter the landscape thanks to the warping effects of Chernobyl's accident.
The largest change from the previous title is in the expansion of factions within the game. Players can join most of the factions within the game after performing several jobs to prove their abilities and change their attitudes towards them which is tracked by the in-game PDA. Conversely, attacking members of a faction will slide their responses in the opposite direction. Factions won't often go to war with each other, but unlike in the previous game, it is possible to see faction headquarters defend themselves more often from roaming bandits. The player can also change the political landscape of a particular area by wiping out or aiding certain factions. A checkpoint that may be run by the Duty faction may be run by the Freedom faction the next day if the player decided to wipe out the previous inhabitants.
With the introduction of Faction Wars into Clear Sky, both old and new factions fight over territory and resources in the Zone.
The Ukrainian Military, hostile to everyone in the Zone.
Scientists trying to learn more about the Zone.
Bandits fighting against Clear Sky.
People trying to make a living and survive in the Zone
Thieves and criminals who steal and kill to get what they want.
A semi-militaristic faction, trying to help stalkers and want to stop the Zone from expanding. Hostile against Freedom.
Anarchists who want the zone to be available for everyone. Hostile against Duty.
Mercs who will do almost any job for the right price.
A religious faction who worship the "monolith" in the Chernobyl Power Plant. Hostile towards anyone trying to get to the center of the Zone.
Multiplayer offers the basic gametypes of Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Players are divided into two teams: Freedom and the Mercenaries. The Freedom team uses ex-USSR weapons while the Mercenaries utilize NATO firearms to realize their objectives. Players can earn money during the match in order to purchase new weapons, ammunition, and armor similar to Counterstrike.
The other game types that are offered is Capture the Artifact which is a slightly different variant of Capture the Flag, only now with artifacts protected by both factions and must be retrieved by either team and returned to base for a score. Artifact Hunt places an artifact somewhere on the map that both teams must fight over and carry back to their base. An additional twist in both artifact game types is that the artifact can be set to generate a deadly anomaly preventing anyone from picking it up for a time.
The original score for S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky was composed by MoozE.
|Track No.||Song Title||Running Time|
|01||Swamps of Despair||04.19|
|02||Theme of Escape||08.34|
|04||Theme of Gargabe||05.01|
|08||Theme of Red Forest||05.31|
|12||Sleeping In Ashes v.2||04.46|
* for the DirectX 10 effects Windows Vista and DirectX 10 compatible video card are requiredRead Less