It's currently #3 on my GOTY list. It might be the most atmospheric game I have ever played. Also, play it in Russian with English sub-titles, makes it a lot more immersive.
I disagree. If you play it in Russian, you're going to miss a LOT of conversations that aren't translated. Do it a second time if you want, but I don't think it loses much at all if you play in English.
i plan on doing my second run in english to pick up on those conversations, but i think a huge part of the appeal of the game is how distinctively russian it is, how grim the faces are, how resolute the characters, how accustomed to tragedy and winter, long before chernobyl was a thing the country was home to a pessimistic perseverance, and survival in the harshest of conditions, and this is all reflected in their language and manner of speech.
also it's just a damn gorgeous language to listen to. but yeah, it's a shame the background chats aren't subtitled.