Call of Pripyat takes you once again into the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in 1986. This so-called "Zone" is a highly contaminated area cordoned off by the military and now is combed through by the so-called stalkers, modern fortune hunters, in search of unique artifacts.

In the role of Agent Alexander Degtyarev, who is dressed up as stalker, you have to investigate the mysterious disappearance of five military helicopters and thereby stand one’s ground against the various stalker groups.

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Update #1: 11/25 5:46 PM EST:

I don't want to make AMD users hate me, so I've decided under certain conditions, I AM going to add a technology that was developed by AMD.
What technology is that? AMD's TressFX.
However, just like Subsurface Skin Scattering, this would take a while to implement.
So I will only add it on condition that I also end up adding SSS!
If anyone out there wants to make this happen quicker, and has the know-how to do it, send me a PM and join the team, especially if you also have an AMD card so we can compare performance!

Update #2: +2 minutes from last post ;)

I've decided to upload a DirectX 11 showcase video of what we have so far in DX11. Currently Meltac is helping me understand DX11 syntax better so I can convert DX9 shaders over.
If all goes well I will show off the following features: HBAO+, grass shadows, might throw SMAA 1X on top of MSAA, Nvidia's Bokeh DOF shader they just sent me (DX11 only), Metlac's sweet Visor effects, and....reflective wet surfaces during rain! I've adapted the effect from OGSE to work on DX11 in conjunction with the wet effect DX11 already has: so you get the water running down surfaces, making the ground visibly wet, and now it will cause reflections too.
This is of course assuming I get all those shaders converted to DX11 in-time.
I plan on updating the page as soon as it's done. Don't hold me to this, but I hope to have the video before it becomes midnight EST. So stay tuned to our page!

So I promised a news update regarding graphics that this mod will have. However: this is going to be a less content filled post than what I had initially planned. I had planned a bunch of screenshots and a video but there simply isn't enough done in a final state to show yet.

So, what new graphics features have currently been implemented? Well, since I'm new to rendering and I'm doing most of this alone, so not a whole lot...yet.

I'm registered as a Nvidia Gameworks developer, so I have access to various effects Nvidia uses and I'm taking advantage of that.

So far I've added:

  • Nvidia's HBAO+
  • Color grading from OGSE (which we may use to give certain scenes different moods)
  • Metlac's reflective visors (yep, we have dynamic helmets/visors if you choose to enable them. I'm not a fan of visors personally but I'm finding that I'm leaving them turned on so I can see the reflective effect :p )
  • K.D.'s SSDO (however the adaptation didn't go as well as I was hoping: either the SSDO formula will be replaced, or I'll use SSGI instead)
  • K.D.'s DX9 Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (Heiker is working on integrating Nvidia's advanced PCSS for DX11)
  • SMAA 1X
  • Bokeh DOF
  • K.D.'s Thermal vision (though it isn't picking up heat the way I like as it was meant for SOC's system that uses textures.ltx: without it we need a different solution)
  • A different motion blur formula


Effect's currently being worked on:

  • TXAA (have access to it, facing one small dumb hurdle due to being a noob)
  • Wet surface reflections for both DX9 & 11 (again, have a small hurdle: this time it's not knowing/remembering proper shader model 3.0 to shader model 5.0 syntax)
  • On a small scale: physically based rendering. This won't be done everywhere, as that would be a lot of work. At the moment I'm only working on weapons, and as you can see in the image below, I briefly tested it on the ship in Zaton (though obviously the effect is not meant for a beam in a rusty ship, it's just a demonstration)
  • Height-based fog


Then comes the long list of things we would like to have in a world where we have another graphics programmer or two, or I learn more or Heiker becomes less busy.

As I mentioned I have access to pretty much all of Nvidia Gameworks. Heiker will be adding Nvidia's PCSS solution to DX11, and he's also interested in giving VXGI a whirl.

The effect he's worked on the most, and hope I can show you guys soon, is DX11 displacement mapping. Optional of course, but I think it could make certain things look a lot better that steep parallax mapping simply can't achieve.

One global illumination system that anyone could use, and I would like to have implemented, is Light Propagation Volumes. Whether or not Stalker is suited for it remains to be seen.

Other potential effects:

  • Lens flares and lens dirt (pretty easy: it just depends on whether people want it as an option, as I'm not a big fan of lens flares)
  • Volumetric clouds
  • If I end up with a ton of time on my hands or someone new joins the team: subsurface skin scattering. This would be quite an undertaking though as it would mean going through every human mesh (and I suppose some mutants too) and individually selecting the the parts of each model that represent exposed skin, grouping them separate, and then in the SDK assigning an SSS shader to those parts. It probably isn't as hard of an undertaking as it sounds, just a boring one


I am also interested in another thing that is partially visual based but would take a good chunk of time to implement: a PhysX solution or two. This would allow us to have very complex particle effects that allow for shadowing and light as well as great collision detection. The reason we're interested in this is due to the limitations of GSC's particle system: it's slow, even after some optimizations have been made, and it performs poorly with collision detection enabled.

To clarify, we're not using various Nvidia effects because we don't like AMD or want people to miss out: Nvidia simply has lots of cool effects we can use, plus I don't believe any of us have AMD cards so we can't test out effects that would be catered to AMD users. We will try and make this up to you though.
In terms of something like a PhysX solution: we would simply offer GSC's system in it's place for AMD users, and there's nothing wrong with that as Loner has done an amazing job with various particle effects and working around the limitations of GSC's system.
If someone knows of a complex particle system that allows for hundreds to thousands or particles at once, with self-shadowing and lighting, great collision detection, and it works on all graphics cards, feel free to tell me about it. Otherwise PhysX will be the direction I hope to move in.

Another thing I want to mention is what renderers we have. As I mentioned in the past we have removed the DirectX 8/static lighting renderer. We are approaching the year 2016 and it would simply be a hassle to provide support for this ancient system. Don't fret if you have a laptop as all graphical effects are optional and you can still choose any of the DirectX 9 modes you'd like.

Likewise, we are giving DirectX 10 the boot. Why would we do that? For several reasons. One reason is out of all the rendering systems it is by far the slowest. Another is that we fixed the inherent problems in DirectX 11 such as the blurry text, the static lighting for various effects, and a bunch of other things. Another reason is simply due to the fact that it's extra work adding all the rendering effects to DirectX10, and it doesn't make a lot of sense: it has absolutely nothing to offer over DX9 or DX11. I'm expecting some users to protest this, but the fate of DirectX 10 has been sealed. I promise you that you won't miss it.
I'd like to add that few game developers use DirectX 10. These days games are usually DirectX 11 only, or they provide two renderers: 9 and 11. We're simply adapting to the times.

I have also mentioned both DirectX 11.3 and DirectX 12 in the past, so what about those? Well 11.3 works, but I see no benefit to it really. It's not as good as 12, and only a little better than 11. Away it goes.
That leaves DirectX 12 which I was pretty adamant about at one point. DirectX 12 is a huge undertaking, much more so than I had realized. I will not be pursuing it. That said, Heiker is very interested in it, and may experiment with it in the future.

In related news, and I don't mean to make this a footnote, we are teaming up with several modding groups, all organized by the Ray of Hope development team.

We will be sharing some of our creations with them, and in return we have access to some goodies they have made. Among those goodies is a 64-bit, heavily optimized engine, which they will be providing the framework for. A huge thanks goes out to them in advance, and be sure to check out Ray of Hope!

Last but not least: we are looking for more people to work on the engine, specifically graphics :) If you want to help and know HLSL feel free to apply to the team. Knowing C++ certainly helps but it's not required.

SZA Team continues to develop the project!

SZA Team continues to develop the project!

3 days ago Zone Apocalypse 1 comment

SZA Team continues to develop the project! New levels: 1 - Laba Audron 2 - Blacker Screenshots and videos!

AO 3.1 - Call of Chernobyl 1.2.24 Addon - November 20th

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We've included all the last news and described them with the main details. We hope you'll enjoy the main features we're working on as they take a lot...

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Ray of Hope server server/map test with x64 bit. Enjoy!

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Post comment Comments  (120 - 130 of 153)
hate4uall Sep 14 2010 says:

this game is great but sooo buggy

+1 vote     reply to comment
Predalienator Sep 14 2010 says:

Hey i,m interested in buying the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games but i dont know witch one is the best..could you guys tell me witch one is the best? On another note is there sort of a all in 1 package for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series that is available for purchase?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ogtriff Nov 30 2010 replied:

I haven't played Call of Pripyat yet, but so far I think Clear Sky is better, apart from the pistol aim-down-sight....
Overall, it's got more faction-based missions and things for the player to get involved in, and is more kinetic and dynamic than SoC.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Akutou Sep 15 2010 replied:

Hmmm... Haven't heard of an all-in package, but there's retailers that are offering the threesome at a discounted price (at least at my neck of the Zone)... As for which one is the best- That's definitely a hard question when it's thrown at the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series...
Call of Pripyat plays the best (not counting the small stuttering which is avoidable with a higher-end machine- something moderately modern [two cores of about 2.2 GHz, 3 Gigs of RAM and a decent ATI card]). It suffers from minimal save-corruption (emission/save bug still present but rare) and it only crashed on me once and I wasn't really fair to the game that time (I was Alt-Tab-ing a lot). Many aspects of the games' features have also been improved, though some still suffer- for instance A.I is still somewhere around the 40 IQ range (nothing a mod can't fix)... Unfortunately it's the shortest (with just three areas), but you can continue onwards once finished with the main story.
Clear Sky is also good- it stutters more often then Pripyat and saves tend to get corrupted every now and again (not mentioning the emission/save bug- you pop out a save and the world refreshes, there's an emission before you load, means you load dead...). The story is somewhat interesting but it gets haggy with the frequent emissions. The Zone (in my opinion) also feels bigger and harder to traverse.
Shadow of Chernobyl's still cool- it has the most bugs, IMO, and crashes every now and again. There are no emissions, so no save bug, but corruptions are fairly often- NEVER Alt+F4 after a save. The story is interesting enough to keep you playing, but the gameplay lacks many of the features of the others...
In all- all three games are cool to play, even with their many downfalls. Together they build a great story (based on the book by the same name, which I totally recommend)... If you're looking for the best story- well, just buy all of them and play them one after the other...

+7 votes     reply to comment
Akutou Sep 9 2010 says:

Any idea how I can get rid of the stutter-ness? The game plays well but at certain moments and areas it starts to stutter... Not exactly lag, but stutter... Most often it's when I'm in a base (i.e with a lot of intractable NPCs around), but also happens a lot when I'm out in the open... The game just starts to cut-up a few seconds at a time for about a minute or so then goes back to normal... I utterly hate it since most of the time it starts stuttering when there's an emission aaand I ultimately die since it's impossible to do anything when you're playing with 10fps...
Sooo... Any tips? I've already downloaded a small mod that's supposed to take care of the issue, form Steams' forums, and it did- it was waay worse before...
In case it's not obvious- I meet all the requirements (recommended ones) to play the game... I far as I understand- it's from mutants spawning at the same time and the games' pre-fetching of files...

+1 vote     reply to comment
SirWallyWombat Nov 12 2010 replied:

I had to upgrade my comp, I used to meet minimum and now im WAY above recommended and I don't have that problem anymore. It might be something with the game itself?

+1 vote     reply to comment
degroy Aug 15 2010 says:

s.t.a.l.k.e.r.2 announced!

+4 votes     reply to comment
OrangeNero Aug 3 2010 says:

the town was way too empty. nothing going on at all. some snipers here and there and some mutants and something to find would spice the place up a lot. the game was a bit small but gameplay wise the best till now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tim_the_Wizard Aug 14 2010 replied:

Yeah! Someone needs tom make a random NPC mod, or at least make a more NPC Spawns mod.

+1 vote     reply to comment
LoboKhan Aug 1 2010 says:

I'm surprised there aren't more mods for CoP here at MODDB.

Anybody use the SMARTER Pripyat mod(at filefront)?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
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GSC Game World
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Released 2010
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419 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (16 agree) 10/10

Awesome final installment with the potential for modding greatness.

The downsides, It is too short and when you do jobs in certain places you end up with an empty area afterwards. But Modding is the answer and mods like MSO solve that particular problem.

May 31 2012 by nashathedog

Single Player
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
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