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Old 08-17-09, 05:05 AM   #128
Ancient76
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Default Re: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat

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The Plot.

The events of Call of Pripyat – the second stand-alone project in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe (Clear Sky being the first) is taking place two weeks after the events of the original game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. As Gunslinger shut the psy-antennas down, lots of stalkers rushed to the center of the Zone trying to lay their hands on the treasures it conceals. But only few made their way into it safely, as a new faction war broke out. The survivals are mostly neutrals, ”Duty” and ”Freedom” members as well as some bandits.
As the psy-barrier broke down, the military started to develop an operation called ”Fairway” in order to establish full control over the new territories. As a first step of the operation, 5 reconnaissance helicopters were sent to investigate the new areas and find a safer way through the anomalous fields for their full-scale ground operation. Despite all the precautions made, the operation fails with all HINDs being vanished from the radars leaving only approximate coordinates of the crash sites.
The player takes a role of major Degtyarev, an ex-stalker who signed the contract with the military in the past, and now is an undercover agent sent to the center of the Zone to investigate the reasons behind the operation failure.

The Zone.

First of all, there will be no faction wars in Call of Pripyat, the number of NPCs will be greatly reduced, as opposed to Clear Sky, and the developers promise us to create a bigger ”back to the roots, explore-the-surroundings” feeling of the game, more common to the original: Shadow of Chernobyl. Among other game improvements, the game’s locations are one of the most important ones with three new huge locations that include a photorealistic Exclusion Zone – Pripyat (the eastern part of the town), Yanov railway station, Jupiter factory, Kopachi village and others, recreated by their true-to-life prototypes with the use of satellite photographs. There are also two underground locations which are kept secret for now.
The first location, where the game starts, is Zaton (The Backwater) – a huge 1.5x1.5 km area, featuring a dried out river with some shipwrecks, a factory of some sort and lots of anomalies. As the player arrives to Zaton, other stalkers have already accustomed to the area, so we can find the Bar in one of the ship’s carcasses, the bases of the ”Duty” and ”Freedom” factions who share one ship by having a cease-fire agreement (but only within the walls of their base), and the mercenary base somewhere in the industrial area.
The Blowouts (aka Emissions) will now be random and deeply incorporated in the local ecosystem: with every Blowout, new artifacts are born in the anomalies, and some anomalies will change their positions (only random anomalies and not the unique looking, static anomalous fields). Stalkers will seek cover during Blowouts and will fight for it, if members of others factions will attempt to use the same hideout; this works for the player as well: staying on the open field during the Blowout is lethal, but finding a safe spot (they will be marked on your map) can cost you your life as well, if it is already occupied by your rivals. The new types of anomalies will also be introduced in the game.
It is also worth mentioning, that now both stalkers and mutants will have their own day/night cycle, with mutants being more active at night, while stalkers will be going to bed. As for the mutant additions, we will see the good old, finally made functional Chimera and Burer. Chimera will be your most fearsome night encounter, as it moves rapidly, hiding in the dark, always trying to attack you from the rear; however it won’t be such a menace during day time, as it can be easily spotted under the sun light. The Burer uses telekinesis to grab and throw objects at you, which can be a heavy barrel or even your own weapon pulled out of your hands and thrown at you. It was also mentioned in some previews that Burer is able to cast a bulletproof shield with his telekinetic abilities. But the good thing about Bruer is that he is not really an aggressive creature and, for the most part, will only attack if the player bothers him.
The behavior of the older and more familiar mutants been reworked as well. For example, dogs and snorks are now attacking on the move, instead of just stopping in front of you and biting like before; so fighting them is now much harder, especially when they attack in packs. The packs, however, can now be formed with the mutants of each type, and since all the mutants are now divided into carnivores and herbivores, we can expect one hunting the other. The Bloodsucker has been redone as well, so it can now literally grab the player and start sucking the blood out of him. If you think they now have an unfair advantage over you, the developers made it fair by removing the invincibility of the bloodsucker while he is invisible.
The stalkers, as mentioned before, have a ”timetable” of what to do during the day: they leave the base in the morning, alone or as a small group, roaming across the landscape in search of artifacts and finally return to the base in the evening for some rest. The developers are promising to make a fair system of an artifact trade, so if you happen to run across some stalker, you can see the stuff he has already collected and trade with him by offering something more worthy than just vodka or a lump of bread.
Searching for an artifact with the detector is also in the game, and both positive and negative effects of the artifacts are rebalanced.
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Quests.

The game features over 70 ”hand-made” quests (no more randomly generated missions), which can be received from not only faction leaders and a barman, but from ordinary stalkers as well. As already mentioned there will be three factions to cooperate with (but not join, as the main character is already an undercover military soldier). ”Duty’s and Freedom’s leaders and members are controlled by the criminal authority nicknamed Sultan, who is ready for cooperation with everyone if it is beneficial to him. However, even without joining a faction, it will be possible to become a dominant force by cooperating with others, for example when the scientists will lose the protection from the military, it will be possible to give them a hint about some guys from Freedom who are eager to grant scientists their services for a small price. For the Freedom faction it will mean a stable financial income and for the player – good relations with the faction and an access to their up-to-date equipment. ”Duty” will support you with machineguns, assault rifles and heavy armor, while ”Freedom” will equip you with sniper weaponry and their armor which is more suitable for exploration and protection from the environmental hazards. The bandits will possibly equip you with shotguns, but it is not clear yet.
Some side-quests have already been shown. For example, we can take a quest from the barman to find a specific artifact on the abandoned fishing vessel – the player finds the ship being surrounded and filled with anomalies, and when he finds his way through all the traps, finds the artifact and leaves the ship, he will be greeted by a stalker, who will ask the player to give him this artifact, as it is the only thing which can save his dying friend. If you’ll refuse to handle him the artifact - two heavy armed stalkers will block the road and ask you the same thing but in the less polite manner. If you will give the artifact, the two heavy armed stalkers will wait until the first one will run away, and then you can find him at the barman’s place selling the artifact. Of course the barman doesn’t care who found it first and the only thing he will say to your complaints is: ”This is the Zone, son.”
Another quest that has been showcased is from Sultan’s bandits. They try to establish control over stalkers, so they are attempting to make a raid at night on one of the stalkers’ bases. You can accept their offer and kill the stalkers or you can warn the stalkers of this threat and they will give you a counter-mission to engage the raid with the bandits but shoot them in the back. What to do is up to the player, but the both decisions will affect his reputation among stalkers and bandits.
The game is expected to have 20 unique characters with unique appearances taken from real life people.

Smaller improvements.

The inventory has been redone as well. An armored suit is now divided into a suit (which mainly provides defense against physical threats) and a helmet (which will protect the player against the anomalous hazards); ammo is now highlighted, when you click on the weapon, to show what gun it belongs to. Both inventory slots, which were previously divided into pistol/main weapon classes, can now fit any type of weapon, so it is possible to carry two rifles at the same time. The weapons will be rebalanced for greater distances in combat and there will be some new guns as well (we will at least lay our hands on DAO 12, an automatic shotgun).
The inventory also contains four quick access slots, so it is possible to bind your first-aid kits, or canned food to the F1-F4 keys. The first-aid kits, by the way, no longer restore health instantly but will take some time to restore the health bar to the fullest; so it won’t be as easy to run through the action by rapidly clicking the first-aid kit hot key. Moreover, the player can obtain some boosters which affect the character’s abilities (like running faster for a long time, or increasing the blood’s coagulability) but there are some rare ones that can give your character a chance to survive the Blowout in the open space.
The weapon and armor upgrade systems were rebalanced and now are more intuitive. The number of artifact slots available will depend on the upgrade level of the stalker suit.

The Engine.

The game runs on the improved X-Ray v.1.6 engine, which differes from v1.5 (used in Clear Sky) only by a greater level of optimization, so it can handle huge locations present in the game. Character models and textures were improved, so the normal mapping is taken from the high-poly models. The HUD will be dependent on the type of armor the player carries: for example, his hands will look different when different suits are equipped.
The Zaton level features some places with 800-900 thousands of polygons. Lots of animations have been redone. And yes, now no NPC will block your way in a narrow passage, the will instead lean against the wall to get behind you.
It will be also possible to play the freeplay mode after finishing the game and be able to complete unfinished side-quests.
The main storyline is targeted for 7-9 hours of gameplay.
The release is scheduled to October of this year.
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Skyrim: Realistic Overhaul - http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=5400
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S.C.O.P.: Realistic mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call Of Pripyat - http://www.gsc-game.com/index.php?t=...3928&sec_id=19
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