Thursday, September 04, 2008

Byte: How *not* to make a first impression

I got my review copy (and I'm not going to dignify that backronym nonsense by typing it) of Stalker: Clear Sky yesterday. I installed it last night and gave it a quick run before work this morning. This is how it went:

Skip all the futile company logo movies... Okay, main menu...
Video options, sound options, invert mouse... new game... Sorted.
Hmm, that's a fairly ugly intro movie. Far too grainy and drab.
Blah, blah, blah, exposition, exposition... I might actually get to take control at some point...
Ah, here we go. Oh my word, what happened to the frame rate? And the anti-aliasing isn't even on.
Video menu... tone down the settings... okay, let's see.
Oh, that's novel. A black screen filled with multicoloured artifacts. There goes the rendering engine. I haven't seen a screen like this since I crashed my ZX Spectrum playing Turrican....
Oh, speaking of crashes, there goes Windows.
Restart game. Load from save. Oh my. It's a completely white screen now. Let's try that again... exit game. And there goes Windows again.
I think I'll wait for a patch...

The original Stalker was fairly flaky on my machine (bearing in mind that I can run something like Mass Effect at full whack with no issues at all on my rig), but this is way beyond that.

Early days, for sure, but this does not bode well for my review.
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