Chernobylite Review

Chernobylite is classed as a survival horror RPG and it does a great job of taking aspects from both genres – and that’s what makes it so fantastic.  The team at The Farm 51 have done such an outstanding job on blending these two genres that makes Chernobylite stand out from the other post-apocalyptic style games. It’s easy to understand why the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has captured the attention of many around the world, including The Farm 51, which had a team enter the zone to use a 3D capturing technology that would allow them to recreate the current state of the zone.

In the game you play as Igor, a Ukrainian physicist who has come back to Chernobyl after 30 years to find out what happened to his wife, Tatyana. The story is utterly outstanding, with plenty of player choice that many will have differing experiences. Just know that when you’re embarking on the Chernobylite journey, nothing is quite what it seems, everybody you meet has their own interests at heart, and you’re every decision matters.

The game is based on a material known as Chernobylite. This substance was formed after the nuclear disaster and gives you the ability to travel through time and space. Now whilst that might seem amazing, it also introduces some monstrous creatures who make your time in the exclusion zone all that more terrifying. Speaking of the creatures in the game, Chernobylite offers you two types of enemies to worry about: strange, demented monsters and paramilitary soldiers from the NRG.

Combat in the game gives you a few different options. You can go down the traditional route with pistols, rifles and shotguns, choose to opt for a more stealth based approach or even unlock the ability to use chernobylite based weapons. All the weapons in the game can be completely customised and there is a deep list of parts you can tweak to suit how you prefer to play. I took my AK-47 and turned it into a snipers dream to allow me to play as stealthy as possible (good lad – ed). One other small point in regards to the combat that I really liked is that you can control the difficulty of this independently of other aspects of the game so if you’re an expert gunner but can’t salvage then you can ramp one up whilst lowering the other one.

On to the actual exclusion zone. This is where my hat really goes off to the devs. They have captured everything about Chernobyl that makes it so fascinating and yet utterly terrifying. The devs could have used the supernatural creatures to make this game scary (and they do use them in some outstanding controller-outta-hands jump scares) but they didn’t need to, the atmosphere they have created in the exclusion zone has you constantly on edge and questioning if that underground storage room is really worth going in to for some mushrooms and electronics.

If wandering the exclusion zone aimlessly isn’t you cup of tea, you have the option to spend your time in you base. This is where you can build up various upgrades for you, your companions and for the base itself. Whilst in the base, you will be able to interact with the variety of different characters who join your group. As you progress through the game, these characters will be able to teach you skills to make surviving the exclusion zone just that little bit simpler. 

Aside from giving Igor some useful skills, the companions are essential to the game’s story progression and unlock new story missions to play. Not everything is straight forward with the companions is straight forward however, make too many choices that they disagree with or allow their wellbeing to become poor and you might find them turning their back on you and becoming adversaries.

The base is also where you start the games missions with each taking a game day to complete. Missions will vary from supply drops, food rations, weapons caches and of course storyline.

You also have your companions that you can use to scavenge for supplies to ensure that your base has everything you need to survive. At the end of the day you have the ability to distribute rations to improve you and your companion’s wellbeing. This where the game can get tricky, if you don’t have adequate levels of food, someone might have to get less or even none resulting in them becoming more likely to abandon your group.

Conclusion

Chernobylite is an amazing, well put together survival game that has some mind blowing plot twists, some truly difficult decisions and a stunning backdrop to experience. Add in the constant sense of unease as you take every step in the exclusion zone and The Farm 51 have made one of my games of the year!

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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Good
  • Exclusion Zone is utterly breath-taking
  • Constantly keeps you on edge
  • In game decisions have serious consequences
Bad
  • English voice acting isn’t the best
9.5
Excellent
Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 10
Audio - 10
Longevity - 9

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