The cordon is a level from the first two S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, with the version from Clear Sky making an appearance in RCOM. If you have played a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game prior to Call of Pripyat then you'll probably recognize this map as the entrance to the Zone itself. It serves a similar purpose in RCOM, but is also vital to the character of the Zone. All things in the Zone must start and end at the Cordon.
Starting your Journey in RCOM
Normally for a STALKER enter the Zone, he'd have to find a way to get past the Military checkpoint. Fortunately for Major D. in Call of Pripyat, he has been sent into the Zone under the guise of a stalker by the Ukraine Government themselves, and has informed the Commander at the checkpoint of his arrival. As you play RCOM, you'll start your journey into the zone at the Military checkpoint in Cordon, instead arriving strait in the location of your primary objectives as in vanilla Call of Pripyat.
The Cordon is also the starting location for other STALKER's as well. As to be expected, it is populated mostly by rookies who don't dare to venture deeper into the dangerous Zone. This also leads to some veteran STALKER's who benefit of the needs of the naive rookies of the zone; they will charge high prices for goods, repairs, artifacts, and anything else they can benefit from selling.
On the flip side, being close to the exit to the zone leaves the benefit of weaponry, food, and supplies being easier to smuggle into the Cordon. While prices in the Cordon are often for the rich or foolish, just a glance at the availability of trader's stock is usually enough to leave the most seasoned veteran's of STALKER's salivating in envy.
Home Sweet Home
The Cordon's location also can benefit the player. There are two important reasons the Cordon can serve as a "hub" in the RCOM Zone:
- Big named traders in the Cordon have power, money, and goods - all things which can benefit the player. In the Cordon there's opportunity to partake in trader's quests involving artifact hunting, deliveries/retrievals, and killing anything that might be hurting the trader's business.
- The Military checkpoint serves as a means of communication with the Ukraine Military, who can give secondary objective tasks.
The environment in the Cordon is probably the safest in the Zone. The weather is usually clear, there aren't many mutants, and there are plenty of STALKER's roaming around with high hopes. The Cordon is mostly inhabited by STALKERs, although some hostiles will occasionally show up.
Below are a few pics of the Cordon: