Chernobylite – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, Shooter
Developer: The Farm 51
Publisher: The Farm 51
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Chernobylite – Review

Site Score
9.8
Good: Is probably the best game of the summer
Bad: Makes us want to see the place with our own eyes
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Chernobyl incident was something that changed our lives forever and altered the history of mankind. When reactor four exploded on that dreaded night in 1986, it started the fall of the Soviet Union and thus left each country to fend for themselves in the aftermath. But; what if the explosion did more than just make the lands inhabitable due to radiation? In Chernobylite we experience the events of Chernobyl, thirty years later, in a slightly altered future where the game takes a more Half-Life approach to the events of 1986. If your vacation plans have changed due to Covid and you wanted to see the reactor for yourself, then why not explore the place digitally, as the developers fully scanned the lands of Chernobyl and Prypjat in 3D to give an accurate representation of the scenery.

Story

The story of Chernobylite starts rather strange and all over the place. It gives you random slivers of information while you play the intro. Suddenly you are dropped near the Chernobyl power plant and need to infiltrate it to activate something. Soon after, you see a ghostly figure that speaks to you, and this is your wife that went missing thirty years ago during the incident. After a few missions, the game picks up the pace and you puzzle together the various pieces of information that you find. Your main goal is to find your lost wife, but you uncover many secrets along the way about the power plant and the strange resource named Chernobylite.

The game progresses as fast as you want; if you rather invest more time in building your base or upgrading your weapons, then you are allowed to do so. If you want to make more progress, then you will have to search the many buildings in the area and complete missions to find enough evidence to convince your comrades to aid you in your ultimate heist: infiltrating the power plant again.

Graphics

Probably the most astonishing feat about Chernobylite is that the developers have done their homework on how the place looks like in real life. They took multiple trips to Chernobyl so they could fully 3D scan the place with permission from the local government. Playing Chernobylite is like visiting the place in real life, but here you can safely traverse the wasteland without having to worry about getting radiation sickness. The scenery constantly changes, sometimes it’s nice weather, other days it’s rainy and this all influences your tactics and enemies’ behavior. Even though the game looks really good and polished, it also runs smoothly on older systems.

Sound

What makes your stay in Chernobyl really pleasant is the fact that every character is voiced in Ukrainian/ Russian. If you know the language, then you will certainly understand a few words. If not; why not use the opportunity to learn a bit more? Each character responds differently to situations, for example, Oliver is more calm and collected, while Mikhail is an eccentric “hopped up on cocaine” ball of energy. There are various cultural influences when it comes to music, from instrumental music like violins and pianos to squatting on the ground while listening to Hardbass.

Gameplay

Chernobylite is an RPG survival horror that combines elements of base-building with exploration on large maps and resource management to keep you and your comrades in good shape. The game starts with a short introduction on how to use weapons and forage for resources. You, Oliver, and Anton make your way into the power plant to find out what really happened there. Suddenly you come across this new rare material named Chernobylite and this has world-altering properties (a bit like what happened in Half-Life). Out of the blue, you are attacked and you try to escape. Sadly, in the process Anton is killed and Oliver is wounded. This influences the rest of the game as you will soon learn to manage your new resting place and team.

It takes some time to get the game going, but once you are settled in your base, the real quest can start. A hired warehouse is your base of operations from this point onwards. You first clean it up and use found resources to build crafting tables to make even more advanced gear. You can always send your friends on missions, but they will need gear to have increased chances of success. Because Oliver is wounded, he isn’t that fit for riskier missions, but he is a great mentor to teach you new skills. During your explorations, you will earn experience points that you can trade in with friends to learn new perks. You actually have to complete a short quest to fully learn the skill, which makes for a really immersive experience.

Building your base isn’t that simple; you have to take into consideration that various machines will make the comfort level go down, and if your power isn’t sufficient, the flickering lights might cause physical or psychological strains. You will be constantly balancing the base, while slowly improving the crafting tables so you can go out in the wilderness prepared.

Starting each day, you can assign comrades for a mission. The best call to action is to let them find food, as this is most essential for survival. Your friends can be kidnapped or killed, so better arm them well so they make it back in one piece. During your trips, you stumble upon inhabitants and travelers in Chernobyl. Most of them are helpful and want to trade with you, others will join your team or need a favor from you. The main quest mostly progresses each day, but you will have to find clues during your exploration to piece together the events on how your wife disappeared.

Combat in Chernobylite depends entirely on the player, as you can do things stealthily or mow down the opposition with the few weapons available. In the first few missions, you will receive your trusty revolver, find a Kalashnikov, and might stumble upon a shotgun. Every firearm can be modified on workbenches to better suit your playing style. Craft your guns to have more damage, or add a silencer and scope to snipe your enemies off their feet. You are not a natural-born killer, so combat can really affect your psyche. To keep you going, you have the ability to craft various healing items to keep your body and mind in shape, while also evading radiation, because this lowers your total health. The game basically plays like any other shooter, but with crafting and inventory management from survival games.

Just like how you send your allies off to explore, you’ll have to do the same. You’ll have to pick an area to explore, but as the map is divided into smaller segments, choosing an area will immediately cost a day’s time. Even if the area ends up being void of useful resources, you’ll still have lost valuable time. Does this make the game worse? No, it doesn’t, yet it feels like a missed opportunity to roam the large location in one giant open map. Having the map split up into parts ensures better performance and not having to walk hours to find something, so it isn’t all that bad.

Conclusion

Chernobylite is an amazing game, both to play and watch. The 3D render of Chernobyl and Prypjat is wonderful and it is just like you are really there. The game boasts amazing graphics that are enjoyable, even if you have older hardware. The story is a bit strange at first but it becomes almost self-explanatory after a few hours of playing. Combat feels good and you have a lot of ways to scare off your enemies. This title isn’t really a shooter, so killing enemies really has an impact on you. The base-building aspect is realistic and keeping the balance between comfort and utilities is quite hard, yet works itself out when you unlock better gear. The Ukrainian and Russian-voiced characters are memorable and can teach you a word or two. The game is rich with culture but would have been even better if it was open-world.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Chernobylite – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

2 Comments

  1. […] Chernobylite, the survival horror RPG set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from developer The Farm 51 and publisher All in! Games, radiates onto PC via Steam, GOG, and Epic Games Store today with its full 1.0 release. […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No
  2. […] extremely positive reviews on its PC release. We ourselves also reviewed the PC edition over here, giving it a solid 9.8 score. But to make the wait easier, a new trailer for the game was released […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.