Yes, do it. My all-time favorite game is actually Shadow of Chernobyl. Played it so many times it's ridiculous.
You should install the Complete Mods for all of them before you play (there's other great mods for the subsequent times), and FOR SURE you should play SoC first. After that, I'd play CoP, and Clear Sky last.
Make sure to take your time in SoC, and cherish the experience. Play a lot of it at night, with headphones, preferably alone to get the full effect
BTW, it's fricking HARD at first, and confusing because the tutorial is a joke. It takes awhile to get the hang of it, and teh story to get interesting, and to get some good guns (the early guns are frustrating, but they get WAY better).
Also, you may be tempted to give up out of confusion and a lot of death, but don't! It gets REALLY great, and a lot easier once you get the jist of how everything works. The gunplay and atmosphere of the Stalker games are just awesome, and the story's pretty decent too (at least in SoC).
Although some people bag on it, damn near everyone who finishes the game (many of them not until like 1 year after they gave up in teh beginning their first try) will tell you it's one of greatest they've ever played.
Make LOTS of manual saves (not just quick saves) esp. early on cause death is always around the corner and the game makes almost no saves for you. It can be REALLY frustrating playing over long stretches if you forget to save.
I also can't stand a lot of the original button layout ... There's much better ways to configure the controls, esp. with a 5 button mouse. But you have to play for awhile to know which buttons need moving.
Also ... after like 8 hours or so (after you turn off the emitter in lab x-15) you'll get an optional mission called 'Meet the Guide' ... make sure you DO IT to be able to get the real ending
Enjoy ... BTW, I'm jealous of anyone who gets to play SoC for the first time.Edited by brettjv - 4/23/11 at 2:18am