Sunday, February 03, 2008

Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. €8 from the bargain bin.

This game is trying really hard to make me dislike it. It is confusing, laggy, buggy and the story is told in Babelfish translation that is borderline incomprehensible. It is also bloody hard - shootouts are an exercise in luck and desperation rather than fluid skill with the stark "Game Over" message a regular outcome.

Just when I thought that I was getting the hang of things I suffered the frustration of a mission failing to complete. Apparently some passing wild dogs ate the last of the mutants I had been tasked to kill. Google uncovered a patch and joy of joys this very quest bug was mentioned in the patch notes.

I dutifully downloaded and installed the patch and ...

$%@&&%*@

..."Cannot load save game because of incompatible version number"


Of all the crimes a game developer can commit surely producing a patch that invalidates a player's saved games is the most heinous.

I have struggled through some ponderous buggy games before because the atmosphere sucked me in and I have discovered hidden jewels (Arx Fatalis, X2). Eurogamer gave the game a good but honest review. I may just give up or I might just give it one more try.

2 comments:

Zoso said...

If you can stand it, I'd try and get through at least to lab X18 which is really very creepy. I didn't get an awful lot further with it myself, it's nicely atmospheric and all but never gripped me enough to bother finishing it.

mbp said...

I wish I read your blog entry before patching Zoso - at least then I would have known about save games being rendered useless.

I probably will give it one more go - but I hit another bug last night - a quest to kill some zombies at a location only to find no zombies there. This is on the patched game.