S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
A creepy, mature, first-person sci-fi shooter.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
You play as a mercenary in a radioactive zone trying to recover magical artifacts.
Violence & Scariness
As a violent and gory first-person shooter, players see bodies torn apart, lots of characters and animals bleeding profusely, and chunks of flesh flying. Realistic weapons are used and shots to the head rewarded. Knifing an opponent is also praised.
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While not excessive, near the beginning of the game you'll hear "s--t" and "bulls--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Liquor (most notably vodka) can be located and consumed all throughout the single-player campaign. It reduces radiation and applies a limited "drunk" effect.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the extreme violence and gore in this game make it an adults-only affair. Anomalies tear bodies apart, characters and animals bleed profusely when shot, and chunks of flesh fly freely when hit by more powerful attacks. It is possible to shoot others in the head, which results in a reward during multiplayer gameplay. This game offers online play, which Common Sense Media does not recommend for anyone under 12.
Where to Play
Based on 5 parent reviews
I think parents and the like should start using their brains and play this magnificent game.
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Great game for tanagers and adults.
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What’s It About?
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: SHADOW OF CHERNOBYL takes place at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where an army of zombies spawned by the 1986 disaster is bent on destroying humanity. You're a \"Stalker,\" a freelance mercenary, and your goal is to stay alive long enough to recover rare artifacts with magical properties to sell to the scientific community, military agencies, and anonymous collectors. With the money you accumulate, you can buy better weapons, ammunition, equipment, and protective suits to be worn in areas with extremely high radiation levels. You can consume artifacts, too, but each comes at a price: The gelatinous Slug artifact, for example, can drive out radiation and nourish you, but it also makes you extremely susceptible to thermal, electric, or chemical injury.
Is It Any Good?
Because of its creepy atmosphere and disturbing creatures, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is billed as a "survival shooter" game, combining elements from the "survival horror" genre. You will also experience stealth games, role-playing games, and tactical-action games. With the latter, you can go it alone or work with computer-controlled allies to solve the non-linear mission objectives. The game's artificial intelligence is quite good.
The single-player game boasts more than 60 hours of gameplay, not to mention multiplayer modes for up to 32 players online. Because of its many missions and modes, chilling atmosphere, and interwoven role-playing elements, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. won't disappoint fans of first-person action games. Just be sure to take notice of the game's "Mature" rating (for players age 17 and older) because of its intense violence and gore.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how this game is purely science fiction. While it takes place at Chernobyl, years after the real-life nuclear disaster there, you are primarily shooting radioactive creatures and other baddies. Why do you think producers chose to use a real-life disaster as the setting? With mature teens who play this game, you may want to discuss what happens to people and vegetation near a nuclear accident or bombing.
- Platform: Windows
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: THQ
- Release date: March 19, 2007
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, use of alcohol
- Last updated: November 4, 2015
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