In other first-person shooters, forward is the one and only way lo go. Glowing switches and spawning goons and out-of-the-ordinary lighting and other less obvious goads reassure you that you're on the right path. You can see a htm and not understand a scene, read a novel and not comprehend a chapter, and the show or the story stili goes on. Not so with games. And, as more and more players play more and more games, a *no gamer left behind" mentality emerges. Whether developers decide to lean on hgurative signposts Of to give up and graffiti their games with literal and gratuitous arrows (as Perfecl Dark Zero did on Xbox 360 and Half-Life 2: Survivor does İn Japanese arcades), hours and hours ot guinea pig input had some say in it You can imagine movies and TV shovvs focus-gtouped this way, but what about videogames that aren't? OK, Ukraine-made S.T.ALK.E.R. isn't the first FPS to assume Its audience Is intelligent—far from it. Perhaps it's the way İt is because the studio bypassed the publk part ol the test-iterate-test phase to cut costs. Or maybe it was the cultural distance between Kiev and LA. that made the difference? Or the lag in time betvveen 2001 when GSC Game World announced the title and today In 2007 when market analysts advocate FPS as a "grovvth genre'? Is it in other words, just that S.TA.LK.E.R. is similar tosome American shooters made before "everyone" became a target audience?