S.T.A.L.K.E.R is a captivating, thrilling survival-horror FPS game series totaling three games, with a fourth game underway that is set to release in 2023.
What you’ll discover is that the consensus among gamers is that the Stalker game series should be played in their release order because they follow a storyline that spans across all three games.
If you’re less interested in the storyline, or you just want the best singular gaming experience right now, then you can read on to learn more about what each game has to offer, and how they improved over time.
Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)
The first game in the series, Shadow of Chernobyl immerses you in a post-apocalyptic world filled with danger and adventure.
The graphics are top-notch, capturing the eerie and desolate atmosphere of the Chernobyl exclusion zone with stunning detail.
The game’s plot is captivating, blending elements of science fiction, horror, and mystery to create a truly unique and thrilling experience.
The game’s A-Life system, which creates dynamic NPC behavior, adds an extra layer of immersion and unpredictability to the world.
Compared to its sequels, Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, Shadow of Chernobyl sets the bar with its strong narrative, atmospheric graphics, and engaging gameplay mechanics.
Clear Sky (2008)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky is the standalone prequel to the classic game S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl.
The game’s plot is well-written, focusing on the events leading up to the events in Shadow of Chernobyl.
One of the unique features of Clear Sky is its faction-based gameplay, where players must navigate the political landscape of the exclusion zone, making alliances and taking sides in the struggle for power and survival.
The game’s AI was also greatly improved, with enemies presenting a greater challenge and behaving more realistically in combat.
Compared to Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat, Clear Sky offers a fresh take on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R universe, with a well-crafted plot, beautiful graphics, and engaging faction-based gameplay.
If you’re a fan of survival-horror or just looking for a unique and immersive gaming experience, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky is definitely worth a play.
Call of Pripyat (2009)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat is the third installment in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series and it delivers on all fronts.
The graphics in Call of Pripyat are stunning, featuring even more detailed environments and character models, as well as improved lighting and effects.
The game offers a new perspective on the events of the previous games and a satisfying conclusion to the series’ overall story.
With the release of Call of Pripyat, the game’s AI was again improved, which led to more dynamic and challenging gameplay.
Compared to Shadow of Chernobyl and Clear Sky, Call of Pripyat offers a polished and improved experience with stunning graphics, a well-written plot, and improved AI for an even more challenging and immersive gameplay.
The game’s mission structure is also more diverse, with a mix of main quests and side missions that allow players to explore the world and interact with its inhabitants in new and interesting ways.
As I said in the beginning of the article, the general consensus is that the Stalker game series should be played in their release order.
However, each game offers its own unique strengths and appeals to different players.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl offers a captivating plot, stunning graphics, and an open-world environment with a dynamic NPC system.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky offers a fresh take on the series with its faction-based gameplay and improved AI.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat offers a polished and improved experience with stunning graphics, a well-written plot, and even more challenging AI.
When we consider other factors than just the storyline, then the best S.T.A.L.K.E.R game will depend on your personal preferences and what qualities you are looking for in a survival-horror shooter game.