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I can't get around than feeling this is over-rated from one end to the other. This mod (or however you want to call it) has been a real mess to get working in the first place. Then once it's working it's so horribly unstable you see CTDs more often than a dead cat on the road sees black rubber.
- Talk to an NPD: random CTD!
- Change map: random CTD!
- Walk over a dead body: random CTD!
- Sneeze in the wrong time: random CTD!
Of course anybody having ever played a STALKER game knows that you need to spam the quick-save key every 10s or you loose your game to random CTDs but in this mod it's extreme. Many other mods are less crash-happy than that one.
Ignoring the stability problems for the moment the strong point of the mod is the inclusion of tons of maps. But what good are maps if nothing is in it? Jogging all the way through dark scape and the only thing I've met in these 10 minutes had been two lonely bandits not knowing what they should do there. So in general maps are empty... empty... horribly empty! I read somewhere this is supposed to be a modder source but then I think it should have been released also as such. With no story, mostly empty maps and really next to no tasks around to do there is really no reason to play this mod at all. If somebody can use it to make a "real" mod all the better but from a player perspective this is not worth the time.
- horrible stability
+ many maps
- empty maps
+ free to join any factions
- no story and no tasks to do anything but poking your nose
Recommended for players? NO
Recommended for modders? YES
First game crashes now important NPCs stuck on geometry preventing you to trigger important triggers so you are helplessly stuck in the beginning of the game. I'm sorry to say this but right now this is a bug-galore and unplayable.
Unplayable due to CTD right before the intro video while vanilla CoP and other mods for it work. For this alone I would not give a 1 but if the devers do not even respond in the first place and then not caring at all since "we don't care about CTDs caused at startup by our mod" then this deserves a 1 for bad handling. And a mod that crashes and is not playable doesn't warannt anything more than a 1. Having bugs (even way too many according to various posts all over the Internet) is not a problem for me as long as you intend to fix it sooner or later. With "we don't care" though I've got a serious huge beef. Should this startup CTD caused solely by this mod is tackled I'll re-evaluate the score. Up to then it's 1 especially for bad community/bug handling.
The idea of the mod is all nice and dandy but a few things are a big problem. The biggest problem is the difficulty. Enemies do ~25% damage a hit... you do next to no damage per hit and health items are next to non-existent. After a couple of maps it is impossible to continue with next to no HP left. Furthermore the mapping is kinda bland: corridors... corridors... and yet again corridors. CryOfFear shows how a good level design works. With this mod though after some way into it you just have no will to continue as it is simply not fun like CoF had been just annoying. With better balancing and more interesting mapping I would give this a better mark but they it stands right now 6 is the best I can give.
Broken mod. Models to not show up or most of them don't. Unplayable like this.
This mod made it really difficult for me to rate. 8.5 would be better but ModDB doesn't support such a score. I swayed between 8 and 9 but went for 8 because of this "feeling" I got, a feeling that something is off, something stands in the way of a "wow" experience.
This mod is rather unique for which it deserves praise. The idea of the mermaid mechanics is refreshing and so are in general the various puzzles included which often are not so easy to see the first time. The graphics idea with the above and below water is a nice touch. Although the story is somewhat convoluted the flash-backs in the 2D children book type cut scenes are an interesting idea done well. The difficulty is just right.
Minus points I had though to give for the controls and user interface. The 3rd person control yields troubles at times making it difficult to interact the way you want. Some influence mini-games are quite frustrating as sometimes the controls don't do what is written on the manual. For example when you have to deal with the traffic signs you can turn the sign but for some reason it is ignored and placed always the same way. You have to figure out how to move properly to trick the controls into doing what you need to solve the puzzle. The conversation interface also is counter-intuitive to use. Using the mouse wheel (hence next/previous weapon command) to select the item would have been better. Also the face animations look quite off. Now I don't know if this has been intended or not so I give the mod the benefit of the doubt. I don't really like it as it looks like Garry's Mod posing.
Overall it's a mod that I recommend to play and being it only for experiencing something different. This mod could use some polishing but otherwise it's an interesting experience albeit a bit a short one but that's why it's called short stories after all.
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