Chernobylite is an FPS that was about two years in early access until it was finally released for PC. The game brings elements of action, mystery and horror, amidst the ghost town of Pripyat, which in 1986 suffered with the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Irony of fate caused a series about the history of the tragedy to be released during the period, which further increased interest in the game.
But was the expectation fulfilled? Check out our full review:
Kickstarter with real travel and other features
During your long crowdfunding campaign, Chernobylite drew attention not only for the content that the game was proposed to present, but also for some peculiarities. The first one was the possibility to travel to the city of Pripyat together with the game developers. However, for that, it was necessary to arrange the tour from Kiev, capital of Ukraine, since the quota does not include fares and accommodation, only the production company.
Chernobylite brings a very faithful reproduction of the city of Pripyat.Source: Disclosure
To do this, it was necessary to purchase one of the 25 support quotas that cost US$1,300 each. According to the official website of the game’s producer, The Farm 51, four people contributed and were able to make the trip, which even had a “roll” inside the Exclusion Zone, the area most affected by the accident and whose radiation remains until the nowadays.
Another element that drew a lot of attention was the image capture system for the game’s production. To achieve a high level of realism, the producer used a series of drones and laser scanners to map the region, as well as hundreds of visits from the developers themselves, who took advantage of many of them to create the game’s sounds inside the ghost town.
The game allows you to “walk around” the entire city of Pripyat.Source: Disclosure
Because of this painstaking work, the game was delayed longer than expected. But, fortunately, we can already enjoy this great virtual trip to one of the most dangerous and devastated regions in the world. And the best part: from the comfort of the sofa at home.
Where is Tatyana?
This is a question you will ask all the time in Chernobylite. All because the main reason for you to be in the devastated city of Pripyat is precisely this: to find your beloved. In the game you play the role of Igor, a scientist who returns to the Chernobyl region, 30 years after the nuclear accident, looking for answers about what happened before the tragedy and, of course, finding out “where is Tatyana”.
The plot revolves around Tatyana, the happy girl walking through the devastated city.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
For this, Igor uses a metal called Chernobilita (or Chernobylite) that allows him to manipulate space-time. However, other people are also interested in the material, as well as trying to cover up secrets about what actually took place in the alleged nuclear accident. This includes the presence of secret organizations, the KGB, tainted creatures, and even stalking monsters in the best Nemesis style of Resident Evil 3.
Another interesting point is the way in which ramifications are made in the plot so that your decisions have a greater impact. You can take on an Igor determined to find his beloved, even if it costs you and your allies’ lives, or prioritize more important causes and leave the search for Tatyana in the background. However, the consequences are really impactful and, in many cases, there is no going back, just playing again.
You will relive scenes before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
Although it all sounds crazy, it’s even fun to dive into the story of Chernobylite. However, for me, everything has taken a back seat, as, in my opinion, the most fun is to experience this “virtual trip” to the devastated zone, even if the price to pay is facing government soldiers and creatures from another world (or time).
Survival and RPG Elements
Chernobylite brings a gameplay with a greater focus on survival, even though much of its disclosure has had an emphasis on horror. In the game, you have to fulfill missions that involve going to a certain point in the devastated region, whether to search for an item, rescue an ally, defeat soldiers and creatures, etc.
In addition, you have a kind of base where you need to evolve it in pursuit of the group’s well-being, building generators, air fresheners, weapons and equipment creation benches, and even superfluous things like a record player or a Old TV.
Chernobylite brings craft elements that could be put to better use.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
And it is precisely this part that leaves something to be desired: the need to spend resources on things that are so superficial for the group. The biggest example is having to build a radio so that your ally can listen to music, running the risk of him abandoning you if the extravagance is not carried out. Nothing against my partner’s musical taste, but having to spend the resources that could improve my weaponry just to keep him entertained? It didn’t look good.
The interesting part is that the game creates some difficulties regarding your weaponry. You cannot, for example, steal your enemies’ “sophisticated” rifles, as they have a kind of digital lock. The way is to gather trinkets and create your own, which obviously won’t have the same effectiveness. The same goes for revolvers, shotguns and other weapons.
Hand-to-hand combat is somewhat ineffective if not done stealthily. Running like a madman to stab enemy soldiers may have some effect, but with creatures it’s not recommended. The way is to create strategies to save bullets, since the same resources you use to create ammunition are also to fulfill your allies’ requests, such as perhaps a more comfortable chair.
The best strategy is to act stealthily.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
Finally, it is worth highlighting the most important feature of the game: a small multi-function locator. In addition to showing features and other elements within a given radius of the map, it also shows the radiation levels of the environment, being a determining factor in fleeing from more contaminated areas.
Feel in Pripyat
Going back to talking about the game’s funding campaign, one of the points that most caught my attention was precisely the proposal to reproduce Pripyat in a level of realism never seen before. Although bold, the promise was fulfilled to the letter, and it is impossible not to feel the atmosphere that would be like walking through the streets and abandoned buildings of one of the regions most affected by the disaster.
Chernobylite featured an actual mapping of the entire Pripyat region.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
I say this because it is not just the outer part of the Ukrainian city that has been faithfully reproduced, but practically all its buildings. For example, when entering one of the various buildings in the city, if you come across a piece of furniture or an object lying on the ground, know that it may be there right now, that is, it is not something created by the game, that element exists in truth.
And what about the early part of the game, which takes players into the Chernobyl plant? Yes, you can walk through the corridors, see the famous Control Room where the chaos alarm started, and even see up close the reactor that exploded and caused the biggest nuclear accident in history.
The famous Chernobyl Control Room is present in the game.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
The icing on the cake are the scenes recorded in the city and inserted in the game’s animations. Highlight for the actress who plays Tatyana walking through the streets of Pripyat, and aerial shots made by drones that show how much the real and the virtual are similar.
However, realism was applied so assertively in the game’s setting that it ended up causing other elements to have a certain slip. Your enemies, for example, suffer from lack of whimsy. Both soldiers and creatures are excessively repetitive and reused, that is, similar to each other, in the “Copy and Paste” style.
Chernobylite soldiers and creatures could have a greater whim.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
It’s even understandable considering that The Farm 51 is not a large company, and that would be even harder work. But at the same time, I think that if half the whimsy given to the scenarios were also given to these elements, we could have an even more beautiful game.
What can you improve?
Although The Farm 51 has stated that there are no plans to include multiplayer modes in the game, it would be quite fun to see something like this in Chernobylite. Several times I have wondered how exciting it would be to explore the abandoned city with friends, or even play competitive knockouts against other people among the abandoned buildings.
A multiplayer mode wouldn’t go amiss in Chernobylite.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
It would also be interesting to see a longer story. Whether with the arrival of future DLCs, or other add-ons. because though Chernobylite has an interesting replay factor, and a free exploration mode where you can simply wander around the abandoned regions, the main story is a bit short for those who have waited so long to get their hands on the full game.
Chernobylite it delivers on what it has pledged to do during its two years of development and early access. It brought a never-before-seen exploration of one of the most famous regions in the world, in a story that entertains and brings a very dignified development.
Chernobylite invites you to follow the events before the nuclear accident.Source: Diego Borges / Reproduction
However, the terror was left aside and gave way to a survival game, in which it is not enough just to fulfill the main missions, but you also need to think about your allies and the evolution of your team, making the famous loot before returning to the home.
The game is more than recommended for those who, like me, are dying to get to know the ghost town of Pripyat, at the same time they are scared to set foot and get close to the region.
“Chernobylite takes the player on an incredible journey through a region devastated by the nuclear accident”