- Yahoo! (90/100) offers a poop metaphor that actually makes us want to play the game ... albeit alone ... and with a fresh pair of drawers nearby: "given all its troubles we're fortunate to have a game at all, let alone one this good. Its setting is superb, its gameplay tense and convincing, and it boasts what are definitely the best fill-your-pants moments in a PC game for quite some time. It's hard to see how it could have turned out better."
- GameSpot (85/100) loves the open-endedness, and gives us the mash-up genre descriptor we've been waiting for: "At its heart, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a first-person survival game that blends action with role-playing. This isn't a linear game, like Half-Life or Call of Duty, where you basically are restricted to a straight path and are taken for a tightly controlled and scripted ride. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s huge environments and open-ended gameplay make it more like a role-playing game, as you can go where you want and do what you want if you're willing to live with the consequences."
- Eurogamer (80/100) offers easily the most compelling review, despite its lower score: "For some people the odd rough brokenness of Stalker will frustrate and annoy. It isn't finely polished, and it's not Hollywood; this is more like an antidote to the Americanised way of doing things. It's a warped behemoth from the Ukraine, and one of the scariest games on the PC."
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