The effort to go a bit further is something we should always applaud, and this is what Chernobylite tries by all means. His ambition is tremendous. So much so that it does not reach everything, but even so it gives us a very interesting narrative adventure and that you should consider trying if you like this type of approach.
You are facing one of those games that are one of a kind, and that is something I like. Chernobylite was also born with a tremendous ambition, that of creating a very immersive shooter with touches of survival, stealth, terror, looting, crafting, RPG elements and base management. Putting everything in the same bag and not breaking is the most complicated. In fact, there are times when it seems to rip a bit. But I still applaud the bravery, because I can’t say that I had a bad time playing it, quite the opposite.
The title developed by the Polish company The Farm 51 was successfully financed through a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $ 200,000. These are figures that are far from the production of the triple A of the large corporations, but that was the intention at all times. At least that gives me a glimpse of the game design, which concentrates a lot of mechanics in very little space. In total, a little more than 20 hours of campaign focused on an individual experience that seems incredible to me all that it offers you, since apart from an absolute immersion, it has a story that grabs you from beginning to end.
All of this seems to me to be highly commendable, and I think it will enchant a certain profile in particular: the one who enjoys this type of first-person shooters that are in the line of video games such as STALKER or Metro 2033. If you belong to that group of players, Those who like to pull the trigger while enjoying a great plot and setting, with well-constructed characters and an environment as unique as Chernobyl, I think without a doubt that you should take this release very into account. It has its “buts”, mainly defined by a finish that can be improved and a certain repetition of mechanics. However, personally I have liked it so much and I value the work behind it so much that I cannot stop recommending it.
A personal story
For me, Chernobylite would be absolutely nothing without the story it tells us and the way it does it. In particular, I like how it plays with mystery, with hiding information from you so that little by little you can build the narrative puzzle. We are Igor, a physicist and former employee of the fatal Chernobyl power plant, who goes on an adventure to obtain a sample of chernobylite, a special element that emerged from the nuclear explosion. What secrets does this material hide? Why so much effort to find it? It has incredible power, not only to generate portals that our protagonist will use to travel between places and dimensions, but also to discover everything about your loved one.
Tatyana disappeared in the Chernobyl accident and a large part of the adventure consists of solving the mystery that her figure hides. So much so, that in more than one mission you will be able to decide whether to strictly follow your role as a researcher, or to deviate by paying attention -so to speak- to your heart to know a little more about it. The decision systemIn this regard, it is important, because it means getting some additional document, or that a new character joins your group. You even have the opportunity to redo some decisions, since the protagonist has the peculiar power to return to his memories and modify them.
Lost? Don’t worry, you will understand it better when you play it. Chernobylite does not propose a conventional story of approach, knot and conclusion, but allows the privilege of altering the order on certain occasions so that you feel that you are taking an important part in the development of events. Removing this, the game structure is very well defined, and is based on advance day after day until you feel like making the final assault on the nuclear power plant. The whole game is mainly based on preparing for that moment, and I already tell you that it will take a long time to do so. You will face very powerful enemies that require you to improve your equipment, skills and, above all, to be in good company.
You are not facing an instant action gameTherefore, I must warn you that you are not facing an instant action game, and in which death does not have the same meaning as in most shooters. Of course, death will sometimes penalize you with lost inventory, but it will also give you the opportunity to enter a limbo of memories in which to alter some of them. For what? It could be simply because you feel like it, or because a certain decision did not sit well with a team member and you want to redeem yourself so that the relationship improves. The approach is very interesting.
But what has been said, we are not facing a shooter of moving forward and shooting without more. If that’s what you’re looking for, I doubt you’ll like Chernobylite. There is a lot here personnel and inventory management. We have a base, and it is important to build beds, have sufficient energy sources, in addition to accommodating the shelter so that our companions are always at ease. At the end of the day, it will touch distribute the food rationsUnless you are well stocked with resources, your allies may become ill and underperform in missions.
Because that’s another… Different missions are available every day. So to speak, you will go for the history ones, and you can assign the rest to the others, usually related to obtaining ammunition, medicine and supplies. At first you will only have one partner, but sooner rather than later you will be able to recruit new characters who will have their own personality and lines of dialogue. The game is based on getting the maximum support and growing with each day, also learning new skills, such as sharpening your aim or gaining skills when collecting materials on stage.
Entering fully into field explorations, the truth is that not much variety of scenarios, although a point in favor of the video game (which surely catches your attention) is that The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has been recreated in three dimensions, of more than 2,500 square kilometers. That is to say, this lack of decorations is explained by the fact that realism has been pursued, although I also tell you that it is something that is partly mitigated by the journey between dimensions and the appearance of supernatural events. Because we will not have only human enemies … but something else.
This is what that gives touch of terror to our explorations. Unknown beings will appear, we will have visions and we will even hear strange things in our heads. They wanted to give a very psychological touch to the matter, and apart from the typical health bar, we have an indicator of mental state. If we don’t take good care of Igor, he will start to hallucinate. I really liked the approach, and although I think it could have gone even further, I can’t help but applaud this kind of approach.
Another crucial part of the game is exploring the environments. It is a unique opportunity to get into Chernobyl in a video game and enter its abandoned buildings. This has been used in a very intelligent way to propose to us a very present and comforting looting task. The radioactivity detector that we carry not only serves to monitor well where we step, but it is also a very useful plant and material radar to expand our inventory and improve the base.
Chernobylite is not just another shooter
Therefore, it would seem somewhat unfair to focus on the fact that Chernobylite has a modest shooter section, with little variety of weapons and playable situations. It is not just a shooting game, and it is in fact just as or more important sneak up on enemies and take them down. It is true that artificial intelligence is not to shoot rockets, but except for a specific error, its operation has been convincing to me. Before I commented that losing your life is not the end, and in fact when you are killed by the forces of the NAR (the military force that occupies Chernobyl), you will appear in a fortress from which you can escape making use – above all – of this stealth that I comment . There are not a few situations prepared to put infiltration into practice.
Relative to the difficulty, it has not been a complicated game for me. You may feel at first that there is a barrier, but it is – more than anything – a small blow that the game gives you so that you learn that here you will have to improve if you want to reach the end. Once you have completed some missions and improved equipment, you will take control. What’s more, you have the possibility to adjust the difficulty of combat, survival and management, which is very well thought out (in case you choke one part of the game more than another).
For the rest, there is a free mode where you can revisit the game’s scenarios, a good opportunity to check one of its best sections: the setting. It has been the developers’ goal to provide insight into the Chernobyl disaster, and everything in the game is charged with a sense of sadness and regret. This is reflected above all in the music, with themes that tend to be slow, with a lot of use of the piano and string instrument. The sound of nature is also predominant, as one of the few protagonists who survive in a beautiful place in its own way, which reflects the echoes of a terrible and, in this case, mysterious past.
I feel like the game lacks an extra point of polish in definition and textures.The Chernobylite setting exercise is powerful due to the sound effects of our protagonist’s breathing, or the clicks that warn us of an increase in radiation in the area we are exploring. Also for the voices in russian, which are the ones I chose and the ones that personally put me in a situation the most (you can choose voices in English if they don’t convince you). All with Spanish subtitles. Unfortunately, the technical is not so good. I don’t want it to be misunderstood, because there are very beautiful scenes, especially at sunset, but I feel like the game lacks an additional point of polish in definition and textures. I have tested it with equipment close to the one recommended by the manufacturer (i7-3770 with Radeon RX 470), and the results have been decent, with an average rate of 40-45 frames per second.
exist many graphic customization options, so in that sense I think it’s not a demanding game. You can control the quality of the geometry, the foliage, the drawing distance, the shadows, the textures, the effects, the smoothing, the flare, the hatching, the depth of field … I didn’t have to play much in this regard, because the game read my characteristics well, so I was able to play at “Very High”, which is the maximum value available.
So apart from the fact that technically it needs to jump a step to convince and that in a matter of repetition of situations it can be improved, it seems to me that Chernobylite is a production to take into account. Be careful, if you know what you are coming for. This It is not a non-stop shooting shooter, but something much more leisurely, which takes time to cook. You should be interested in following its engaging plot and engaging in conversation with its characters, as well as exploring, collecting materials, and paying attention to its all-important management side. If all this convinces you and you are interested in what happened in Chernobyl, the recommendation is very clear: try it.