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Old Good STALKER Evolution

Mod review - 1 agree

As an owner of the Russian game version, I have had this mod for quite some time before its release on ModDB. With a lot of mods already available for SoC, the enjoyability of features introduced by each is rather subjective. As such, the 9/10 rating comes more from the quality of the mod execution, rather than my actual opinion on the innovations present in OGSE.

And so, here is what players may expect from the game:

-New Quests, Characters, Lore and Enhanced Storyline. The vanilla did not have much in terms of things to do apart from the main storyline, and side quests given by certain NPC's were a bland "fetch this, kill that" sort. Not anymore: the mod has introduced a lot of mini-storyline missions. During your travels in the Zone, be on the lookout for new NPC's and collectibles (e. g. books, vynils)! Additionaly, some of the main quests have been changed, and new solutions have been added for some. The drawback I would note is that sometimes quest markers are somewhat vague or completely absent, so be sure to read the dialogues and quest descriptions carefully.

-Graphics. Not much to add here. The sun, the sky, the weather, the textures... You have to see it for yourself.

-New weapons and equipment. The weapons are more accurate and deadly, making gunfights more intense. Pistols, with a few exceptions, have been removed. The sidearms' role is now taken by SMG's, which are also more useful now. Weapon addons now include reflex sights and expanded magazines. New guns have been introduced, and shotguns, unlike in vanilla, are more common and useful. The new weapon system is quite balanced, in my opinion. New armor types are available for looting or purchase. Tired of going back and forth on foot? You can now buy vehicles from the traders!

-Inhospitable Zone. The game now feels a lot more like a survival shooter. Armor gets damaged quickly and is quite costly to maintain. Medikits heal slowly, so you can no longer get away with standing out in the open and spraying the area with bullets, while mashing "Medikit Quick-Use" button. Taking medikits will reduce their effectiveness, the more you use them, so be sure to have a supply of water bottles to alleviate the effects. Medikits are more sparse, so be careful. Mutants are more dangerous, for example, the controller is no longer helpless if you run up close to him: the monster can still use the mental attacks or strike you with claws; pseudodogs can now strike the weapon out of your hands with their jumping attacks. New species of mutants have been added. The anomalies are now poorly visible, so keep your bolts handy!

These are just a few features introduced by OGSE. Some of them can be tweaked via the configurator. Don't like slow medikits? You can make them fast again. Thinking the Zone is a little unpopulated and craving some mutant-shooting action? Increase the spawn multipliers for monsters! The customizability is a definite plus in this mod.

The mod works almost perfectly, there are almost no crashes, and none of the few ones you may have are reccuring.

It has been a tremedous work for the developers, and I would like to thank them whole-heartedly for such great experience!


The Gate 2

Mod review - 1 agree

(The latest version of the mod with the patch has been installed and played).

This mod and its screenshots looked very promising. The best thing about The Gate 2 is its maps. They do look like effort has been put into them, and are very well varied: a small town, a space station, German underground bases, a power plant in Korea...

However, the more I played, the more disappointed I became. Long story short, here is the list of all the things Gate 2 needs to improve on:

Bad Gameplay. First, there is no crosshair at all. Enemies have deadly accuracy, and there are little to none medkits in the levels. I would excuse this for the added challenge but sometimes fights get to the point of unfairness. The question I wondered most while playing was "What am I supposed to do next?" This is where the most critical flaw comes from:

Bugs. I got stuck several times without a reason, for example, when I had to disarm the bomb at the Nazi base. After doing so, I ran to the next hall and checked on every door. None opened. In search of the exit I made a couple laps around the sub, then suddenly the very doors that I had checked, opened, when I walked up to them again. Script triggering bug was what made me lose my patience with the game. Several times my companions (****** version of Alyx and Father Gregory's twin) refused to follow me, stopping completely in one place. At the CIA safehouse level the scripting bugs kicked in again, making me lose my patience and abandon the game.

Bad taste. Your character is speaking to his boss, and Father Gregory's twin walks by, farting loudly. You shoot zombie people, and "Aliens" facehuggers drop out of their corpses without having been there. It's 1950's in the beginning of the game, and you see propaganda posters with Obama, George Bush and Osama Bin Laden on the walls. Still, I could forgive this flaw if my experience was not ruined by bugs.

I really hope that the bugs can be fixed and gameplay made so that it's clearer what to do.


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