Modder. Many thanks to SetaKat and david.m.e for teaching me tricks to modding S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Games I play: Neverwinter Nights 2: Complete, Planescape: Torment, Fallout series, The Elder Scrolls, KOTOR series, Dragon Age series, Mass Effect series, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, SOMA, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra, Underhell, Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, Anna: Extended Edition, Dishonored, Thief Gold/Thief II, Deus Ex series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, Metro series, ArmA 3, Rainbow Six 3: Gold, Half-Life 2 w/ Cinematic Mod, The Talos Principle, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition, Obduction, Total War: WARHAMMER, Tales from the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us. But I'm always up for some Natural Selection 2, Crysis Wars, No More Room in Hell, Killing Floor 2, and Serious Sam HD. I only play PAYDAY 2 and ArmA 3 privately, join our community at GND-Tech.com if you'd like to play with us in any of these games/mods and perhaps others.
Use the unofficial patch. With it, the game is stable but not without its glitches. Despite this, it's a masterpiece. One of the absolute best RPGs ever made, only Fallout 2 has more role-playing than it. Rich world full of lore and intrigue, well developed characters, very good dialogue, lots of possible character builds. More responsive to race selection than any other game.
No hero story to be found here. You are a pawn in something greater than you can imagine, characters try to use you at every turn, it's never clear who to trust. This alone makes it unlike most games and Bloodlines pulls it off well.
The last few hours of the game don't showcase the same brilliance as the rest; like the bugs and lack of options this is because it was rushed. Flawed, but still one of the best games out there especially compared to today's RPGs (or should I say poor excuses for RPGs).
I hate to give a low rating to a mod that clearly had effort put into it, but I feel this mod does a lot wrong.
This custom story focuses more on story than gameplay. Nothing wrong with that on its own, but obviously such a thing requires excellent writing... and the writing here is fundamentally flawed in so many ways, in ways one would expect out of a mod which is why most mods focus more on gameplay instead. Few people have the writing talent of thechineseroom and even they focus too little on gameplay for their own good. The story here is not at all bound by logic and the narrative doesn't try to cover it up. You're forced to accept things that should leave you thinking, "Um... ok?"
The gameplay is just... really badly designed. So much of it is scavenger hunt type gameplay: Find numerous hidden little objects to advance. This is the opposite of fun, it's boring and tedious hence why you rarely see such a design in actual games. Frictional Games never uses it. Looking behind curtains, inside bookshelves, and the like for little objects isn't very intuitive or challenging and not at all rewarding.
The scares are few and far between. This mod is known for evoking a wide range of emotions (although the story is too illogical for this and the writing quality just isn't there), it's not all horror like Amnesia. But when it does attempt to scare you, it's the same old tiring things that other modders have also done poorly. Statues appearing around you in a circle? It's just stupid and it pains me to say. Yes, it's very hard to make a custom story that scares the player in an original way, but the thing is Amnesia's type of terror hardly gets old.
It has some cool looking levels and impressively scripted gameplay segments, although much of the levels show a lack of polish, being able to see in between the tile-based walls and such (seeing the white void in between wall pieces and such). Rather immersion breaking.
At least the funny parts of this custom story are somewhat funny. The effort is there and I do appreciate that, but the design and craft are not there. Most modders are better off focusing on terrifying gameplay and atmosphere, which is a bit easier to do effectively as many other custom stories have done. But when they try to go for story over gameplay, that typically ends up underwhelming especially when the gameplay is as tedious as it is here.
The most ambitious mod ever made. A re-imagining of Shadow of Chernobyl, bringing the promised gameplay enhancement and level enhancement. The maps far exceed the maps in all three vanilla S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, as well as every other mod made for them, due to the much greater attention to detail.
With that being said, it has some serious issues. First and foremost, the story. I'm all for following the old script for Shadow of Chernobyl, but dez0wave made many changes, effectively making their own version. And it's not good, actually it is downright childish at times, answering questions that should be left ambiguous and with an utterly ridiculous encounter at the end. The "Illuminati" scenes add nothing to it, leave that stuff to Deus Ex.
Then there's the A-Life. So much for alpha-build SoC A-Life, because Lost Alpha's is the polar opposite. The maps are lifeless. They are artistic beauties, but utterly lifeless. Barely any wildlife, barely any NPCs, nothing to do at all (although the quest shortage is excusable given this is a mod). dez0dor said they tried to make the atmosphere more like the movie, and I guess they did because aside from the main three characters in the film, the only creature I can remember seeing in the Zone is one wolf. Yeah... Lost Alpha is about the same in this regard, LOL! The problem is, the movie is dialogue driven and excels there, and then there's the fact that it's a movie; cinematography and art design and thought-provoking conversations make up the movie. But Lost Alpha is a game, it needs more and the writing quality isn't there in the first place.
For some reason I still rated this 8/10. Probably because deep down I'm such a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fanboy and Build 1935 maps blew me away, and Lost Alpha's are even BETTER. The potential is there. Director's Cut promises to remove the level restrictions to make for less linear progression (Lost Alpha is surprisingly linear right now), and improve the A-Life. The former is probably tricky. The latter isn't... I wonder if some modder improved it already? I tried to use the SDK but it's unstable for me, crashes all over.
Lost Alpha is not quite what SoC should have been. The gameplay mechanics and maps are what SoC's should have been, but the story isn't and the A-Life isn't. The story will never be fixed, but let's hope they can improve upon the A-Life and freedom. It would be fantastic if other modders made quests to add content to the empty (but beautiful) maps, to help make the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. community thrive once more.
Incredible art design and atmosphere, powerful storytelling that tops the vast majority of games. It may not seem as scary as Amnesia: The Dark Descent or Penumbra at first, but just keep playing... on that same superficial level it is significantly more terrifying than any other game as a whole, yet it extends much deeper still. I previously considered Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent to be the best horror games ever made, but SOMA is an significant improvement in almost every way.
Full review: Gnd-tech.com
The effort is there, but the writing quality isn't. It's also full of graphics pop-in, contrived jump scares, and strange level design that appears non-linear but forcefully says otherwise.
Does what it says it does
It does exactly what it says it does. Although it's not a big mod, this mod improves atmosphere more than you'd expect.
A must have for KOTOR 2.
A must-have if you own this game.
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