Reviewed on: PS4
Publisher: The Farm 51
Developer: The Farm 51
Available on: PC/XB/PS/NS
Chernobylite is a hard one to pin down into a category, but I shall try. It has elements of survival, horror, crafting, stealth, base and colony management, FPS and mystery all in one tight, semi-open world package. And one might suspect that means the content is so diffuse that it only does a half decent job of any of them – fortunately, those people would be wrong. I am having a blast with Chernobylite. So let me get the things that bug me out of the way – it's a short list to be fair. Tutorial/Prologue So it’s not a hand-holding tutorial or anything like that, but it is excessively easy, long and tedious. I just wanted to see the game, but it had to guide me through some principles of the game and get me invested in the story. Not bad reasons for a prologue, to be sure, but it did go on. Base-building This is a minor one. The base building menus are difficult to navigate and not clear what I’m looking at most of the time. I’ve played the game enough now that I kind of know where to go for the things I need, but the menus could be much better signposted. Additionally, a few pointers as to what might be useful to build first wouldn’t go a miss. I built a ton of stuff, with limited resources, initially that I could have done without either entirely, or at least until much later, into the playthrough. The good stuff Everything else. Survival/Base-building/Colony management Exceedingly well-balanced, with a lot of depth, the base-building mechanic has many options. It is initially confusing, and there’s a couple of essentially useless items, but overall, the base management is deep and interesting. With options for different tiers of equipment and weapons, power management, as well as food and ammo supplies, there is a lot to keep an eye on and keep in mind for your colony’s survival. Colony Survival On top of food, ammo and medicine, you’ll need to manage your colonists needs. These include air and comfort, which are managed by the things you building your base. Managing these things are not as simple as you think; you’ll have to carefully think about the resources you’ve managed to source and what you can realistically achieve with each outing.
Missions The world is semi-open, meaning you’ll have to choose your missions carefully. At the start of each day, you’ll receive a call on the radio with another main mission, followed by a decision with where you and your team go, and what your needs are. Will you focus on the colony's needs, or what will reach your overall objective finding your beau.
FPS vs Stealth It’t not COD, but the results of each combat are so important. Do you have the resources to heal from a combat gone bad? Then just don’t do it! You need to keep track of your healing resources and choose carefully when you engage enemies. At the very least, take down the first enemy you encounter stealthily, and then deal with everything else after the fact. You can take down one, maybe two, stealthily. After that, the chances are you’re getting into a firefight. And they can hurt bad, Also be very careful about where you walk around, as radiated zones can reduce your health pool and reduce your max health pool.
Horror This is where the game creeps up on you very steadily. It hints the horror element early on in the tutorial, but it doesn’t pay off until a fair while later. And when it creeps you out, it does it well. This is what I saw.
And then turned off the TV these creepy dolls I was facing, and the screen went to black. And then there was this...
Super freaky. Conclusion Play this game – that's my advice. It’s a pile of fun, loads of depth and I have far too go until completion. 9/10