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stalkerSTALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl was released by THQ as a retail game in March 2007, approximately two years ago. Although it was still a little bit rough around the edges, this only added to its character as a post-apocalyptic shooter.

Contrary to its sequel – Clear Skies, the game was well received by game critics and received high scores all around the world, with an average of 82.15%.

These days it can be bought for around $19.99, a price well worth to pay. However, if you’re quick, you might be able to grab it for free.

GameTap, an online Pay ‘n Download games merchant, has released the first STALKER game as a free download, at least until the end of the week. Be quick and grab a copy, read below about the game and GameTap instructions. Please note that this is a modified copy by GameTap. As a result, it can’t be used for any of the available mods.

Most free games we see around here are either very short, experimental episodes, or multiplayer games. A full-fledged singleplayer adventure isn’t something we see each day in the world of free gaming, mainly because it takes huge amounts of additional planning, coding and – most of all – money. Perhaps STALKER sounds a prelude for times to come, perhaps it’s merely a one-time event. Anyhow, it’s a chance not to be missed.

About The Game

STALKER takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chernobyl, and provides an alternative end to an already horrible disaster. The area’s flooded with radiation and mutants. The Zone isn’t a safe place to be, and humans huddle together in small groups. Man created hell.


The game is ambitious, to say the least. It’s an intensive, free-roaming first person shooter and role playing game. You start the game in one of the shattered fractions, and quickly get to explore The Zone through quest-like missions. It doesn’t take too long before you’re working for several different fractions in the game, as a hired gun and nuclear explorer.


It’s a great game. The story may be slightly shambled at times, but the game’s loaded with plenty of content to keep you busy. There are always new things to explore, more fights to be fought and more excitement to be sought. The fact that the game feels a little rough sometimes, with an occasional bug, only adds to its grunge character and atmosphere.


Downloading STALKER

There are a few things you need to complete before you can start playing STALKER. It’s an annoyance, true, but a very small effort to pay for a free copy of a retail game.


First of all, register for a free account on GameTap. Don’t worry, they won’t try to lure you into one of their paid packages.


When you try downloading the game, you’ll be asked to install the GameTap plugin. You’ll need this to download the game. Supported browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox.


With the plugin installed, you can finally download your free copy of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. Depending on your internet speed, this could take a while, so you might want to let this run overnight.

STALKER currently only runs on Windows 2000/XP, although Vista is currently being tested.

Be quick and grab a free copy now! If there’s anything you need to share, or need help on the subject, refer to the comments section below.

  1. Titanium Pen
    May 24, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Hey, you mshould try out Battlefield Heroes. It's better in my opinion and it's free! I've got a free spare beta key.

  2. Esoares
    May 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Already downloaded it, but the service is a little weird: The game is instaled on my PC, but I can only start it throught the site, can't copy my saves, can only play while logged on internet. It creates a rogue "X" drive (I already have a X drive, my Alcohol virtual drive, I had to exchange the letter so the game could work), and it installed on a default weird directory (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Dados de aplicativos\GameTap Web Player\)

    Anyways, its an awesome game, if you haven't played, give it a try, its really worth. I'm thinking about buying it, since all the bugs from his launch was already fixed.

    And thanks for the tip, Simon, Gametap was a great discovery! Keep the excelent work!

  3. Doug
    May 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    It's been downloading for the last 5 hours; now at 1.8GB of 3.4. And it says that it will take at least 5 more hours.

    Can hardly wait (I've heard that this is a good game), but had to change all of the power settings and screen saver to prevent laptop from hibernating while I carry on with my life.

    BTW, is a great site. I've bookmarked more from here than any other site.


  4. aGorilla
    May 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Actually, play will be finite. They rotate through free games. Sometimes it lasts a week, sometimes more. You never know.

    ps: The service is quite screwed up at the moment. A lot of paying customers (myself included) are having problems with downloading, and playing, various games. Been like this for almost 2 months now (since they switched to web based).

    • Simon Slangen
      May 22, 2009 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks for the heads up. Too bad though.

      *crosses fingers*

      • aGorilla
        May 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm

        On the bright side, for you free players, the screwed up situation has caused them to fall behind in pulling free games. So if you get it running, it may last a bit longer.

        Look for it to show up on the list at the bottom of this post:

  5. paul
    May 22, 2009 at 8:45 am

    is it free to download until weekend and play forever? or free to download and play only until weekend?

    • Simon Slangen
      May 22, 2009 at 8:57 am

      The download is available until the end of the week (at the very least). Play should be infinite.

  6. paul
    May 22, 2009 at 8:38 am

    no longer free...?

    • Simon Slangen
      May 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

      It will be free until the end of the week.

  7. Dim
    May 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I've played this game and what can I say? It's the BEST game ever, period.

  8. Mac
    May 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    It won't even let me sign up...keeps blanking out my pw when submitting. Tried in both Firefox 3.5b4 & IE8 on a 64-bit system. Apparently this doesn't work on a cutting-edge system.

    Too bad too, this title looked like fun.

    • LuckyShot
      May 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      Have you tried changing the username?

      When I first tried to register it did nothing except showing a "If you are registered go to step 2 to login" and since I wasn't registered I received an error. Then I retried changing the username and it worked.

      300MB of the game have downloaded already which is pretty fast for my DSL.

      Hope it helps :)

    • Simon Slangen
      May 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

      Afraid that's not your only problem. Simply doesn't seem to work on 64bit systems yet.

  9. JK the Fifth
    May 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Whoa! 3.4 GB. On my connection it will take about...30 hrs. :(

  10. JK the Fifth
    May 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Can I use any Download Accelerator or at least resume it ? Exactly what size is it ?

    • LuckyShot
      May 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      It's 3,4GB but you can start playing the game at 33%.
      Thanks for the post Simon!

  11. Tyler
    May 21, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Doesnt allow the download if you use a 64-bit system.

  12. Michael Cecil
    May 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

    There are some strange parallels between this game (or at least this account of this game) and the movie "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovsky. Does anyone know if this is intentional, or just further proof that we're running out of ideas?

  13. Chris
    May 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Thanks, it's downloading now.

  14. mojo
    May 21, 2009 at 8:50 am

    so i tried getting it through firefox. it installed its plugin, but would not recognize it. everytime i restarted firefox, it would say that the plugin needed to be installed. then i finally decided to try it in IE and it installed the plugin ok, no need to restart IE. But then when i went to download it it said it cannot because it I am using a 64 bit OS. WTF? Why not let me download it and then I'll figure out a way to run it. Any suggestions?

    • Simon Slangen
      May 21, 2009 at 9:06 am

      It appears that GameTap (or rather, Exent - who're behind the DRM download system) doesn't support 64bit yet. This will change in the future, but that's not much of a fix right now.

      To the extent of my searches, a workaround doesn't seem to exist.

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