“Chernobylite PC Review” is the noob computer for gamers. I got the idea when the Chernobylite PC case was released. I quickly engineered the PC and started to prototype it in my room. I spent a whole week to finish my design.
The Chernobylite PC is an awesome mod created by the talented Enzo Enzo. It’s a 2 in 1 mod with an LCD screen that allows you to view all your screen shots and movies in a minimalistic, yet highly enjoyable way. To know what this mod is, you must first know what a PC is. Simply put, a personal computer is a machine that is capable of taking input, processing that input into another form, and then displaying that processed output to the user. This also applies to all devices and appliances that are used for processing information.
Five years ago I bought my first PC, a mid-range Alienware X51. The computer was everything I had expected and more. It handled everything I threw at it with ease and it had plenty of power to do so. However, I quickly realised that all the processing power wasn’t helping my lap time on any of the games I was playing.
If there’s one thing that Eastern European games have in common, it’s pain. There’s something about the region that emphasizes on the horror of decaying environments, whether it’s the Stalker games, Metro, or Pathologic. One of the reasons you should play games from other nations is because of this. You get to learn a little bit about the culture that you wouldn’t get from just studying the language, but it also means that these survival game genres are renowned for being a little janky.
It’s the inevitability of the genre’s hump. They have a wonderful atmosphere, but they’re typically stymied by complex mechanics or muddled translations. It’s one of the reasons Chernobylite is so intriguing right away.
Chernobylite is a survival game developed by The Farm 51, the same company behind Get Even and Painkiller: Hell and Damnation. It has more polish than the genre often gets after its initial venture in Early Access.
Theme of the Game
Chernobylite prides itself on being a Survival Horror/RPG Crafting hybrid. It’s all about balancing the requirements of your group with your own resources, with immersive sim-like gameplay, scavenging, and an overall objective to strive towards.
There are many options along the route that will alter the narrative significantly. Not only that, but your party’s attitude toward you will shift. We’ll need to look beyond the pitch since there are a lot of mechanics at work.
Campaign for one player
You play as Igor, a scientist who is attempting to rescue his wife, Tatayana, from the Chernobyl nuclear power facility where he used to work. She has been kept prisoner by the NAR, a mercenary organization entangled in a bizarre plot, for whatever reason. It’s up to us to recruit a team capable of pulling off a serious robbery in order to reclaim her.
There’s also the titular Chernobylite, which are green crystals capable of producing wormhole technology. This technology enables Igor to scavenge for food and components throughout the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, but it has also introduced monsters into the zone, making it more more hazardous than before.
You may discover the conspiracy of what the NAR is doing at Chernobyl and why they’re keeping your wife prisoner by using the clues you collect and the facts you learn about Chernobyl. But Igor isn’t the only one who can benefit from this new technology, and Tatayana’s voice is ringing in his ears…
While the overall conspiracy may not immediately grab you, the narrative develops on you as it progresses, due in part to Chernobylite’s endearing characters. To scavenge at Chernobyl, you have to be fairly insane, and you’ll encounter individuals who vary from desperate to weird.
One of my favorite characters is a Gopnik-like shopkeeper who offers you lootboxes in exchange for food rations while blasting hardbass. Even if Igor’s quest for Tatayana doesn’t pique your interest, the small tales that litter the globe are fascinating. This is particularly true of your ever-expanding group, since they’re all butting heads over how to pull off this robbery and battle the NAR.
But the greatest problem with Chernobylite’s tale is that it’s not all that frightening. It’s easy to get desensitized when fighting creatures created by wormholes and learning about the Chernobyl plot. You’ve seen one wormhole-based jump fright, and then you’ve seen them all. Inside the zone, there is still an interesting world to explore, and I have no regrets about spending time there. It’s an entertaining tale with some unexpected twists and turns, but it’s far from groundbreaking.
Mechanics of the Gameplay
Chernobylite may seem daunting due to all of the mechanisms at play and the sci-fi narrative, but if you give it time, the gameplay cycle is simple to be hooked into.
The first order of business is to split up the party you’ve gathered into separate zones. Each party member has their own set of advantages and disadvantages, making them better suited to certain tasks. Certain story-based tasks, on the other hand, will only be accomplished by Igor, therefore it’s essential to finish them yourself. Otherwise, the member of the group will just look for supplies.
It’s time to scavenge and study after you’ve fully immersed yourself in the zone. The levels are divided into two categories: simple raids on the NAR for supplies and more involved main quest objectives. Markers provide a clear indication of where you should travel, making it simple to navigate. The difficult aspect is that the odds are stacked against you. From troops erecting camps to creatures emerging from wormholes to the zone’s radioactivity.
The Black Stalker, a mask-clad guy possessing the same wormhole technology as you, is Chernobylite’s recurrent adversary. He is hell-bent on killing you and will stop at nothing to do so. He’s meant to arrive at random throughout your mission, but it’s very rare. Outside of narrative missions, I only encountered him twice throughout my game.
Thankfully, you have a scanner to assist you in locating what you need. It not only allows you to discover scrap and the current area’s radioactivity, but also quest stuff. When you’re not in battle, the scanner is essential since it’s easy to lose track of stuff.
Collecting clues in the Zone allows you to conduct investigations using a virtual reality headset that allows you to look into the past. That may seem ridiculous, but the reason behind it is important to the game’s final robbery, which reveals more about the conspiracy, and it makes enough sense from a sci-fi viewpoint to not break immersion. However, there is also a point in the game when it drags, requiring you to listen to the full narrative beat before moving on to the next tidbit of information.
Fighting, at least in the early stages, is very dangerous. Soldiers that will not hesitate to shoot you down, as well as wormhole creatures that may emerge in the globe. Because of their enhanced senses, the monsters are the most wicked of the two. You can’t take them out quietly either; you only have two options: fight or escape. At the very least, the troops you battle will stagger if they are struck. Surviving a battle with numerous troops is thrilling, and it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something impossible or made a horrible error.
While the weapon selection is restricted (you can only alter three weapons and only use one melee attack), there are additional methods to battle. You may go guns blazing if you like, but creating enemy traps is also an option. You can’t set them if you’re discovered, so being covert is essential if you’re going for the trap.
You may change the weather in addition to the traps you place in the field. This is accomplished by creating devices that can reduce radiation or prevent the formation of wormholes. However, since they don’t function until the following day, you’ll need to put them somewhere safe from monsters and troops. Not only that, but they consume the same resources you need to improve your base, so it’s a continuous struggle to keep the zone from being dangerously radioactive vs creating an item to assist you right now.
Chernobylite is notable for the toll it exacts on its victims. It’s difficult to murder your fellow man, even if they’re your adversaries. You’re then faced with a choice: murder the individuals who get in your way so you don’t lose your mind, or sneak around to get what you need. This is interesting in principle, but it’s a breeze to implement. One of the benefits you earn is the ability to perform covert takedowns without affecting your mental health.
Not only that, but alcohol has few drawbacks when it comes to mental wellness. It’s simple to kill opponents left and right with improved gear in the late game, removing any fear or stress. I was able to add a sniper barrel, an extended magazine, and infrared sights to an AK47, making any combat encounter a snap. Because some troops carry vodka, it’s far simpler to just shoot them and take from their bodies, obviating the moral dilemma completely.
Death is a prominent theme throughout the game. When you die, you have the option of changing time to reset the decisions you’ve made in the narrative. This costs Chernobylite you produce, but it may help you correct previous errors. Death, on the other hand, costs you random things from your inventory, so it’s not always worth it and gives the game a roguelike feel.
If you wish to alter the past without losing everything, there is a basic upgrade that allows you to die without consequence. Even though it makes your original selections seem less significant, it’s a great way to test out fresh narrative options.
You’ll need to distribute food after you’ve returned to your shelter. Rations will keep your group satisfied, so locate as much food as you can while in the zone. A full ration will not cure your party’s mind or health, but it will keep it steady (or boost it if you decide to eat two rations). As a result, you’ll find it simpler to make the sacrifice of eating less than your colleagues. You have the opportunity to construct and create in your base both before and after your excursions into the zone.
You may then construct crafting machines, food gardens, beds for your crew, storage for things found in the zone, and decorations to make the base more pleasant using components and plants. However, it is not simple in and of itself. Crafting stations use energy and may decrease air quality, not to mention the dangers of radiation. As a result, it’s a balancing act to create what you need to produce strong gear while also keeping your team happy and healthy.
You’re tempted to build a landmine to take out a difficult soldier, but you’d rather conserve your resources so you can finally manufacture some armor. It’s one of the reasons why the game is enjoyable to play.
You level up by fighting troops and creatures, gathering clues, and constructing your base. This earns you perk points, which you may use to have your party members teach you new techniques. These may be simple, such as increasing the damage caused by specific weapons. They may also be able to update your equipment. It’s a fantastic motivation to have as many people in your base as possible since each party member has their unique talents to teach you.
Resource management is critical, yet it can become a non-issue all too quickly. The transition from hungry scavenger to full-fledged Rambo is much too abrupt. This implies that once your base has grown large enough to accommodate a large party, you won’t have to worry about feeding or keeping everyone comfortable.
I’ve had over 100 food rations for a group of six with no problems, and any prior drawbacks to strong technology were mitigated by spreading lights or anti-radiation showers all around the area. To be safe, you’ll still scavenge, but it’ll be less of a worry. I breezed through the game on medium, making it seem more approachable.
This is arguably the easiest to play of the various Eastern European survival games (such as Pathologic or Stalker). It’s devoid of a lot of the jank that comes with the genre, but it’s also a game that becomes a breeze after the first challenge. Resource management becomes a non-issue, and gaining support from your group isn’t difficult. Later on, being alive will be less important than completing the tale.
Much has been made about Chernobylite’s crew physically visiting the Excursion Zone in order to depict Chernobyl properly. Even with the visuals turned off (more on that later), it’s a fantastic representation of the zone. The zone is divided into different sections, and it’s nearly attractive. We can only hope that no one was exposed to radiation just to play a video game.
This holds true for the game’s most bizarre scenes, giving wormhole technology an unearthly glow. This well-realized depiction of a real-world setting with sci-fi technology shouldn’t go together. Despite this, the immersion is never broken. There are a few FMVs scattered throughout the game, in addition to the emphasis on Chernobyl’s realism. They aren’t a big element of the game, but they certainly help Chernobylite stand out.
Audio & Music
The sound and music in Chernobylite play an important role in the game’s mood, and they’re excellent. While it isn’t a vinyl-worthy soundtrack, it captures the strange tension between the tranquility of the excursion zone and the strangeness of wormhole technology. When a jump scare plays, the sound is sometimes missing, but that’s all. The soundtrack is exactly what you’d expect for a game like this, from the ticking of the geiger counter to the noises of traps and guns.
You may choose between a Russian or an English dub in Chernobylite, but the Russian version is more genuine. There are no bad performances, but some of the acting choices are strange.
Tatiyana is the most prominent example. Her efforts to be frightening fall flat, despite the fact that she does a decent job as the voice in your mind. When she says scary things, she alters her voice to a hiss, and it’s a little forced if we’re being honest. You can practically see the actress pretending to be a ghost by moving her arms. Apart from those short moments of hilarity, everyone performs an excellent job, making the Russian dub an excellent option.
The AI you’ll encounter in the Zone isn’t very impressive. Don’t get me wrong, it gets the job done and helps keep the early game tight, but it’s prone to dumb situations. When the AI discovers a body of one of its kind, it summons others to its present location.
This also implies that those troops who were summoned to the body will experience the same shock and will remain there for some time. Aside than that, it’s the same kind of AI we’ve seen in other games. Attacks are well-planned, and when you’re caught, it seems like your fault. It’s not unusual, and it won’t catch you off guard.
Chernobylite, like many other recent games, offers a few basic accessibility features, but nothing unusual. Control mapping, aim help for controller users, and the option to make running and crouching a button you hold are all included, but that’s about it.
If you believe one mechanic should be easier or tougher than another, you may adjust the difficulty for fighting, management, and survival individually. These are good choices, but there might be more.
If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know that my computer isn’t exactly the most cutting-edge. This implies that, although I made it to the conclusion of Chernobylite, it wasn’t without difficulty. Even with the settings at their lowest, the game was prone to stuttering throughout the game’s most congested stages. Fortunately, the game included many performance choices, including the opportunity to run a benchmark. Chernobylite has you covered if you like tinkering with settings.
Attempting to lock the FPS to 30 to make the game run more regularly was one of the strangest problems I’ve encountered adjusting the parameters. Instead, it slowed down the frame rate to the point that shooting a shot now takes two seconds. This was avoided by playing the game at 60 frames per second. If you’re interested in playing this game, make sure your computer is more powerful than the MSI GL63 8RC.
VERDICT OF CHERNOBYLITE
Chernobylite is for you if you like the ambiance of Eastern European survival games but don’t like the jank. Its scavenging and questing cycle is addictive, and the people are interesting to meet. However, once you have a feel for the controls and physics, it gets too simple. When you combine that with a non-scary narrative, you get an imperfect game with a compelling core. It kept my interest for the whole game, which is something I can’t claim for many games.
KEY MOMENT IN THE GAME
Acting out the game’s final robbery, with my plans succeeding and failing at the same time.
Good vs. Evil
- Loop of engrossing gameplay
- The Excursion Zone is shown in great detail.
- Characters who are entertaining
- Death is approached in a calm manner.
- On Medium, it’s surprisingly simple.
- The story isn’t really good.
- It’s not all that frightening.
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