If you’ve ever wondered what the hybrid of Fallout 4, Metro, and a survival horror game would look like, then Chernobylite is the game for you. Chernobylite combines some of the best elements of shooter, horror, and resource management games and creates a very unique game. I went into this experience expecting your run-of-the-mill, Metro like shooter and was pleased to see that there is so much more. Base building, stealth, branching narratives, and real consequences are all here.
In Chernobylite, you play Igor Khymynyuk, a physicist in one of the Chernobyl power plants, as he attempts to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of his wife. Now I am sure that many of you know the story of Chernobyl but this is an exciting new take on the story and how it has affected its citizens. Without too many spoilers, not only will you be encountering human soldiers, but you will also encounter creatures called Shadows created by the meltdown of the power plants.
The Farm 51 is not a large team and what they were able to achieve with Chernobylite is very impressive. When it comes to the visuals, it’s exactly what you would expect when you are put into the setting of Chernobyl. The environments are very detailed and have a very gritty feel that helps portray the developer’s story and the mood of each in-game situation. The game world was created using pictures and scans of the actual exclusion zone. The motion felt very smooth and it seems like it will be easy to play on a host of different PC setups. Chernobylite also supports DLSS to help those on lower-powered machines. There was only one issue I had while playing the game. The motion blur seemed to be a little disorienting in my case so I decided to disable that in the settings.
As stated before, there are many mechanics in Chernobylite that you may not expect in a typical shooter. One of those mechanics is recruiting and building a team. You add people to your team via various quests throughout the story. Once they are recruited, you can learn different skills from them and send them out on missions for you. The Farm 51 did a very good job with this part of the game. When you send a teammate out on a mission, there is a success percentage. The different skills that each team member possesses can increase or decrease that success percentage. This percentage will also be affected depending on how well your team is equipped at the moment. Building out your arsenal and loadouts will help greatly when it comes to teammates making it back in one piece. This entire system is set up very nicely. The UI is clean and easy to understand. Another welcomed addition to gameplay is the player’s sanity. If you choose to take the lethal route in this game, this will take a negative effect on your psyche. The option of player choice is always nice. Also, taking a stealth route is beneficial since Igor can be taken down easily.
While playing through your different missions, you will come across various dialog choices. These choices will affect your story in different ways. Some choices will give you access to different skills or items. These choices can also lock you out of attaining others so choose wisely. This also feeds into the nonlinear gameplay of Chernobylite. There are a ton of side missions and objectives that don’t need to be done in any order. Of course, there will be times where completing objects before certain missions will prove to be beneficial to the player. Later in the game, there are ways to obtain some of the things you may have missed but I will leave that for you to discover.
When it comes to resource management, survival, and base building, Chernobylite has done a great job implementing these mechanics into the game. Survival is a large part of what makes Chernobylite what it is. You will need to gather different materials while out on missions to craft different items. Weapons in the game are microchipped so the player will not be able to scavenge weapons from enemies. Instead, you will need to scrap weapons and materials found in the field to craft items to expand your base and equip yourself and your team with the tools needed to complete objectives. You will also need to keep your community satisfied. Think Fallout Shelter. You need enough beds, food, and supplies in order to keep your settlement running smoothly.
Chernobylite creates something way more than a first-person shooter. The base building is deep and searching for items needed for crafting can be a totally different game in itself. For those that just want to jump into the game world and play around, there is a free roam mode. This gives the player to chance to play, test, and explore without the consequences that come with the decisions made in the main storyline.
Chernobylite delivered a lot more than I originally expected. The story is great and keeps the player wanting to find out more. The gameplay adds unique elements to the normal first-person shooter and horror genres. The option to go through a game non-lethally is not a new concept but adding the insanity aspect adds layers to this already complex game. For lovers of games like Metro and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., this will be a welcomed treat. This emotional and complex trip through Chernobyl is well worth the price of entry. All the different aspects implemented into Chernobylite can lead to hours of entertainment. The Farm 51 has really created something special here. If you weren’t a Kickstart supporter, you can jump into this adventure for 29.99 USD. Chernobylite is currently available via Steam and will later be available on consoles.