S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a first-person shooter game first released in 2007. The game is set in an alternative universe where another nuclear tragedy occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The player assumes the role of Stalker, an explorer who goes to the setting of the nuclear disaster called ‘The Zone’. The storyline continues after the second tragedy.
The story is told in a non-linear way and players have the freedom roam around the location and interact with other characters in the game. The character does not level up, but various weapons can be bought or found in order to improve the character’s abilities. As a result of the radiation, players will encounter mutants throughout the game. There are different types of mutants including dogs, crows, snorks, controllers, and bloodsuckers. Upon entering an area with high radiation levels, a radiation icon is displayed on the screen. The color of the icon depends on the level of radiation and the character’s health decreases, too.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has five different outcomes, depending on the decisions of the player throughout the game. The game makes use of an x-ray graphics engine, an artificial intelligence engine, and a physics engine to make the elements in the game seem more realistic.