Chernobylite is a sci-fi role-playing game with horror, and survival aspects set in the post-apocalyptic Soviet Union from the game studio Farm 51. From the moment Chernobylite starts, you’re given a tutorial on how to fight enemies, dodge, and even craft items before you wake up in a car with two mercenaries you’ve hired to help you track down your fiancé who went missing before the collapse of the Chernobyl reactor.
It’s here that you discover that each of your choices has consequences and this mechanic is echoed throughout the entire game, in my play one of the Mercenaries was right at the beginning of the game because of my actions. The main character you play Igor and the survival mercenary then uses a Portal gun Igor powers up on the spot with Chernobylite to retreat to the safety of our base after the opening cut-scenes.
The other surviving mercenary then walks us through the details, and intricacies of Chernobylite that we need to know so we can succeed in our mission to find Igor’s missing fiancé Tatayana to put it as simply as I can. There is an awful lot to unpack in learning this game, and I don’t mean that in a bad way!
One of the first things you learn while making it back to your base is that you need to craft survival items in the wilderness to survive both the radiation and restore your health. Then at your base, you’re taught how to grow your own food, customize your weapons, and keep the morale of the people helping you find Tatayana up.
Chernobylite reiterates the fact that your actions while playing the game can change the outcome of situations, and by not taking into account the advice of the people who follow you in your mission to find Tatayana they can outright leave your group.
If people leave your group it then creates more problems because the game focuses on sending these people out on missions to gather supplies such as medicine, and food, and crafting components to help grow your base and without their help, you have to do everything by yourself.
Once you understand these basics, Chernobylite isn’t a breeze to play but it’s still fun and enjoyable and the different dialog between characters helps reduce tense situations. It’s these characters also that you meet out in the field that can help you discover the truth behind Tatayana’s disappearance.
Some characters in the field will help you but only if you trust them, and others will betray you if you give them chance. Not knowing who to trust is one of the biggest issues while you’re exploring but, if you’re clever and you keep looking for clues you will uncover the truth behind not only what is going on with the monsters, but with your fiancé as well.
Chernobylite is a truly unique game Farm 51 during its development paid very close attention to detail on every single aspect of their game. Let’s take for example the setting, the game is set in Russia so all the characters in the game speak fluent Russian and they’ve given a variety of subtitles for people all over the world so people can understand what they’re saying.
They also took into account regional characteristics of the individuals who would generally be found in that area and gave them mannerisms that would reflect that in their character designs, something that not many if any game developers take the time to do.
You don’t see any obese blondes in American Trucker Simulator riding around in a wheelchair! But you definitely will see an accurate depiction of a Slav in Chernobylite complete with stereotypical hard bass! It’s that attention to detail that already makes Chernobylite so impressive in comparison to other role-playing games!
Even the animation for the characters is on point and very detail oriented with no clipping through objects, and such a flawless implementation of the animation it adds a sense of realism to the jump scares you’ll encounter during the game.
But one of the biggest things I love about Chernobylite is the atmosphere, as many people know Chernobyl when the reactor went up. The entire city was evacuated and because of this people had to abandon their homes, jobs, and even their belongings leaving so much behind.
So as you wander through the open areas to complete your missions you can find time period-accurate toys, and equipment scattered about the buildings that are decaying overtaken by nature and time with the sounds of nature echoing all around you. All of these things are just to remind you that you’re walking through a ghost town of pain, and loss.
Chernobylite is one of the best games I’ve ever played with so much attention to detail just to give us the players a truly unforgettable experience. I would definitely recommend this game.
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