There seems to be a swarm of bugs occluding the newly arrived prequel to STALKER, which ruined the day of a bit-tech member who pre-ordered it quite a while ago.  The new engine may improve the lighting and shadows, but it also seems to have brought a swarm of small (and not so small) issues with it.  The news is not all bad, weapon customization and join-able factions will add to your experience and may help the games replay-ablility.  The only question is whether you will wait for the patch, or suffer through the current anomolies.

“Quite simply, the game itself may be OK (though not exceptional) but the actual experience you are buying is just awful. It doesn’t work and if we’d have paid for it instead of just getting a review sample then we’d feel angry, cheated and disappointed. We’d take the game back and get a refund straight away because this product is broken, however we’re sure that a patch (or many) in the next few weeks to months to fix it into a playable state. The problem is, there’s absolutely no guarantee of this.

Are there going to be patches released later to correct these issues? Probably, and the fanboys out there (like Rich, ha!) will wait blindly for it, but even then there’s no guarantee and anyone who throws an argument like that up as a defence is missing the point. Patches are acceptable to correct certain issues, but this isn’t the case of a simple driver conflict affecting a minority of systems. We still found problems on a freshly created, clean system and under a variety of hardware configurations. These are constant, unpredictable and unavoidable errors in the code.

When you get right down to it our job is to tell people if this is something they might enjoy and should spend money on. Our experience with Clear Sky is that it rarely works and we wouldn’t spend money on it for exactly that reason, even if the game itself is OK. There are better games coming out to look forward to and splash the cash on, so look it up in a couple of months and see if the patches have arrived, but don’t touch it until then if you know what’s good for your sanity.”

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