S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

 
A creepy, mature, first-person sci-fi shooter.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You play as a mercenary in a radioactive zone trying to recover magical artifacts.

Violence

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.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

While not excessive, near the beginning of the game you'll hear "s--t" and "bulls--t."

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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.

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$49.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:March 19, 2007
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, use of alcohol (Windows)

This review of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bybladeserpent April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

fools

Once again commonsense, you are brain dead fools. this game isn't even over-the-top violent. and the blood level of this game isn't high either. it's almost as if you people just look at the back of the box and write crap about what you think the game is like. This game has moments where it'll scare you, but does that make it mature? The graphics aren't that great so the violence is not even as realistic as you think. Common sense, get some real reviewers...
Teen, 17 years old Written byburnside001 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

DID YOU ACTUALLY PLAY IT!!!

HAVING COMPLETED THE GAME, I CAN TELL THAT COMMON SENSE HASN'T. HONESTLY, CALLING THE ARTIFACTS MAGICAL, ANYBODY WHO HAS REALLY PLAYED THE GAME WOULD TELL YOU OTHER WISE. a REALLY BIG MISTAKE IN THE COMMON SINCE REVIEW IS SAYING THAT THE GAME TAKES PLACE AROUND THE TINE OF THE ORIGINAL DISASTER, RIGHT OFF THE BAT CHARACTERS STATE THE THE DATE IS NEARLY 30 YEARS LATER ALSO, THE BODIES AREN'T DESTRUCTIBLE, IN OTHER WORDS THEY DON'T BLOW INTO CHUNKS, YOU CAN LAY 1000 ROUNDS INTO A CORPS ALONG WITH A GRENADE OR 2 AND THEY WON'T FLY APART. FURTHERMORE, THE GAME HAS HUGE AMOUNTS OF FACTS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL DISASTER AND THE GAME MAP IS BASED OFF THE REAL EXCLUSION ZONE, DOES THAT NOT QUALIFY IT AS AT LEAST MODERATELY EDUCATIONAL, YOU GUY'S REALLY NEED TO BE MORE ACCURATE.
Adult Written byeliram874 June 2, 2014
age 18+
 

Don't even bother buying it.

I was the previous user eliram first of all my sincere apologies to everyone for my previous review I was totally wrong and should not write the review till I finished completely playing the whole entire game including side quests. When I wrote the review back then it was a total careless mistake which I absolutely regret. The video game as mentioned it is gory when you go to an emission and your body splatters to pieces after the character dies. as a christian whether roman catholic or orthodox there too many problems with this game one of those problems you have to shoot zombies, snork(mutated humans)(basically shooting the dead) The game is called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for a purpose Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers, and Robbers. (http://www.ign.com/articles/2007/03/12/stalker-meaning-revealed) You not only stalk artefact's but also have the choice to stalk people including a sacrilegious element in which you can stalk a catholic priest that has a weapon and the suit of military in exchange of money. they insult the catholic beliefs as well as orthodox. The first 2 stalker series wich is this one and clear sky they have sacriligieus elements as well as blasphemies (http://stalker.wikia.com/wiki/Kill_Father_Diodor) (http://stalker.wikia.com/wiki/Father_Diodor) you can also skip this mission still it is a high insult to any Christian Catholic and to God. You can kill and loot enemy's weapons and food. You do not loot money since the game was no programed that way. get drunk the type of enemies you encounter are humans(includes zombies, and humanoids, and other armed human beings) and mutated creatures. You have the choice at times to do mercy killing to your enemies. You can also choose to betray other characters in order to steal a weapon or just because one of the characters will pay you money. this game can be played decently you can also choose not to stalk anyone. reason is called stalker is because you are trying to stalk a main character which will lead to an unexpected twist. absolutely no sexual content, only the f-word is used twice some profanities including D words(way too many to count), S words. there is 2 blasphemies in game gd word. and also about one to two f words in game if you download and install mods(which stand for modifications) the game can get gorier and be filled with many of blasphemies.(for instance Complete 2009) only spiritual thing that contains there are mutants by the name of poltergeist(in real life is one of the names of on of the devil's) because they can lift objects and throw them at you invisibly This game is not for kids nor for any decent Christian Catholic or Christian Orthodox period. When I wrote the review I played things here and there and focused on the main story but if you choose to do side quests which are only options you will encounter this problems. the profanity is unavoidable the Russian profanity is not worth mentioning it is really strong one of them highly common is the f word as the bandits die. I do not recommend to anyone this game since there is sacrilegious elements. as well as there is no moral is quite the contrary the world of this game is from an anarchist's perspective (even though there is no mention of it.) there are other games all of the s.t.a.l.k.e.r. series are like that, I definitely can see why there is no other reviews for the other games as well. i removed the game and broke the cd's it is just highly insulting do not waste your money in this one buy other games instead.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass