Of all the Stalker titles I found this to be a more satisfying experience.
A distinct lack of bugs and bugged missions (although I did encounter one) and less loading contributed to a more fluid and rewarding gaming experience. The atmosphere and urgency of 'Shadow of Chernobyl' was back and the nervous navigating around endless irradiated water in 'Clear Sky' was gone, all good in my book. 3 main maps and ONLY 1 loading time going map to map was an absolute plus too.
The gameplay is very much similar to the previous titles but minus the niggly bits of Clear Sky (which strangely is still my fave). I only say that, as Call of Pripyat was a disappointingly shorter experience than the others, regardless of its plus points, hence the 4 star rating.
But less of the bad points. This title is revamped with new maps and in keeping with the Stalker trademark atmospherically bland GFX and sound FX. There's the usual traders always ready to help a stalker out (at cost), the usual beasts always looking to take a bite out of you or mentally disrupt you and a few more to startle you when you cross their paths. There's no faction wars, which lead to overly treading carefully in Clear Sky. Weapons, health & artifacts systems have been greatly improved. The need to look after yourself and your weapons was heavily leaned on again after taking a back seat in Clear Sky, for some reason.
I do feel this title is overly short but regardless of that, it has numerous gameplay options and good replay value. The first 2 maps are rich with main missions and side missions but the Pripyat map itself is startlingly bland. A good deal of buildings and architecture but only a small percentage completely accessible.
Definately one for Stalker fans and someone looking to play a good atmospheric and balanced RPG shooter.
I personally do think another final title should be due from GSC detailing proper faction struggles implementing multiplayer and co-op player options as well as rewarding main and side missions. Factions wars were under-implemented and under used in Clear Sky.
But my final verdict is another atmospheric, RPG shooter experience which was majorly bug free.. just a little short