Breaking News: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

Though Clear Sky has not fared all that badly in reviews so far - despite complaints of show-stopper bugs and ubiquitous brokenness - scepticism has begun to rear its ugly head in terms of the probability of GSC Game World’s ability to salvage the game with patching, and not in the least because of claims that the game still contains bugs that were already present in the original Shadow of Chernobyl.

The general atmosphere of the GSC Game World forums currently resembles that of launch-day BioShock forums (Nabeel, having been a moderator there, can surely testify): A vocal, angry minority (“Angry Internet Folk”) of customers feel they’ve been grievously wronged by a second failed launch in the row and that GSC should have learnt the lesson by now.

A moderator on the forums has confirmed that the project manager for Clear Sky, Anton Bolshakov, has been fired and replaced by Ruslan Didenko, the main game designer.

Despite the aforementioned shortcomings, a second patch (1.5.04) has already been released for the Russian version of the game. Adding fuel to the fire of confusion is the way version numbers are incremented for the Russian/UK releases of the game (1.5.x) and ROW (1.0x). For instance, the 1.01 patch takes the game to 1.5.03 UK. It is my understanding that both patches break save game compatibility.

I jumped relatively late on the Shadow of Chernobyl bandwagon, and played the game with the patch. In that shape, the game worked well and only suffered from one or two broken quests and bogged-down performance. I’ve decided to take the same route with Clear Sky as I did with Shadow of Cherobyl, namely: Wait.