Like a more linear, story-driven stalker, with better, more detailed graphics, incredible and clever weapons (like having to manually pump pneumatic home made weapons that fire static electric bolts), very tough gameplay, and great atmosphere.
It really is the atmosphere and clever weapons and gameplay that set this game apart. Stealth (I find) is a little broken, as if you are even close to spotted by one enemy, even if they dont fire a shot or get off any kind of verbal warning before you drop them (SILENTLY), all other enemy in the area know not only what happened, but where it happened, how it happened, and exactly where you are at any given second.
Dont get me wrong, when the stealth DOES work, which just takes incredible patience, and no even tiny mistakes, then it is incredibly satisfying to sneak through an enemy camp, either taking them out with throwing knives, or even leaving them alive none the wiser for your visit. One section in particular is very tough, but if you do manage to sneak through it rather than go through guns blazing (always a bad idea in this game, as ammo is scarce, and health goes down FAST), you feel such a sense of accomplishment, I cant even think of a game that comes close to that. Even splinter cell at its best doesnt have that sense of tension and fear of being discovered than this does at every turn when you are trying to stealth a section.
The voice acting is great, thought I recommend putting on the english subtitles and letting the russian language take over for the total immersion experience, the story ok (good for games, which usually suck more than anything), audio fabulous, and basically everything more or less spot on.
Its even a fairly long game by modern standards, taking about 12-15 hours to complete, especially if you really go through the game taking in all the bits of extra story you can get from listening to people talking in the various metro stations you come to.
All I can say really is.. WOW!
What a game. Came from nowhere, with little fanfare, from an unknown dev studio (with some of the stalker team there, which really stands out at times), and almost no advertising. How this game wasnt huge I will never know. The only thing I can think is that its because it wasnt huge on the consoles, because it would be too difficult on consoles because of the controls and lack of immersion, it didnt get the hype of some of the other games out there that arent even a tenth as good, and so wasnt noticed by many people. But I love it, no matter what.
At the price, this is my most recommended game for sale on play at the moment. Nothing else I have seen comes even close to this for value for money. Incredible, just incredible.
If you love games, and have six quid spare, you would be crazy to not buy this amazing game RIGHT NOW!!
P.S., the reason it has four stars instead of five, after the great things I said, is because of the broken stealth I mentioned, and occasional difficulty spikes (very occasional, but once or twice noticable and annoying). Other than that this would be four and half or five stars all day long.