Yep, i'm here.
A bit patchy, but a good "best of" of some of the the community mods.
Do NOT make this your first playthrough, go for the latest unofficial patch and extended content for that.
It's Lost Alpha.
Honestly, it does not 100% deserve its negative attention from the STALKER community, but it's not like it doesn't deserve SOME of it.
The biggest issue with Lost Alpha (and to some degree its greatest strength), is that it is a mod which seems to be trying to feel more like a game. It is incredibly cool see a redone cordon, (which in some sections I think may just be better than the original), and incredibly cool to get to finally use that belt system, find entirely new areas of The Zone, a good way to describe Lost Alpha you will find is two steps forward, two steps back.
The main story writing sucks, that's pretty clear. But a lot of the side-quest writing (especially dealing with Nimble) is surprisingly excellent.
A lot of the maps now have new areas, are completely new (sometimes in ways which make more sense than SHoC), and have cool new areas which reveal shortcuts to make your movement through the map easier on back trips.
On the other hand, many of the maps are now arguably way too big and many, many quests require you to go 2/3 of the way across the maps or across multiple areas to get a mediocre reward for the amount of travel.
New graphical options, and upgradable detectors!
Yeah but detection is inconsistent and half broken, and the game is optimized like a heroin turd being forced out of a junkie's ***. There are several visual issues relevant to Radeon cards the devs still cannot fix because they do not OWN a radeon card. Water is still unfixably bugged and glitchy for me.
New underground areas! New mutants seamlessly built into the game!
Yeah, but now you have needless psy attacks and scripted psy bolts after MANY MANY story missions. Some of these work, like the one in Garbage, many of them just plain do not work.
A good comparison I would make would be to the stalker mod OGSE or Old Good Stalker Evolution, in that while Lost Alpha tries to be a game while often feeling more like a mod, OGSE is a clear janky as hell mod which at times feels more like a full game.
In its current state with the Director's cut it is much easier to recommend Lost Alpha, especially with the Extended Pack mod which adds a new arsenal of weapon changes and rebalanced the honestly rather rough gunplay of stock Lost Alpha.
Some of the design choices for Extended Pack are questionable and seem to lean more toward a Misery style balancing (it was ******* weird to fight my way to Bar from Cordon only to find despite having two very valuable artifacts and four other artifacts, two sellable guns, I basically had no money to buy new guns or equipment).
tl;dr it's okay if you want to try to see a bunch of fans try to make a new stalker game based on the original alpha try it, just know you're in for an equal amount of ****.
One of the best fixes or fan contributions to any game ever. Basically revives and allows you to play one of the greatest roleplaying games ever released by fixing all of the issues which made it genuinely unplayable in the original release.
Wow, that was... I don't know what to say except I am disappointed. This mod is like a four paragraph long short story where the first is great and there is no real ending.
I really, really wanted o like this mod. The opening and the Sci-fi Die hard style gunplay were great, the amount of detail put into reskinning just about everything you could get your hands on so it does not look like half life 2, really promising. And then it goes into a power plant? and then eldritch horror stuff with no real setup or way to avoid it? The gameplay gets really frustrating once you realize there are only two enemies in the game and one of them appears to be a combine soldier reskin, the other a tanky combine shotgunner who can tank 2 AK mags to the face and respawn infinitely for what I must assume was supposed to be a "boss battle"? Dude, what the hell?
Up until the last 15 minutes of the mod I was thinking this would be an eight, and then the ending comes and explains very, very little for no real reason except pretense was all I could come up with. We're being watched by an alien race... who are trying to genocide us, and maybe the revolution is being controlled by aliens and yet... the game just ends. It just ends, it ends before there is a real explanation to anything. If this was supposed to be a teaser to a bigger world/setting well then you failed because It doesn't feel like I can expect a finished mod. This felt like a demo. How did you even make a trailer for this, it would be 3/4 of the mod. There is a grenade weapon or launcher which you can pick up ammo for but never use. This feels like a demo. It's the opposite of a self contained story and yet it is the only mod in this storyline unless your other mod gave ALL the exposition?
I feel like the longer I get from beating this, the more I think and the more I dislike it, so I'll submit the review now.
What the hell happened after you left the office building? Did half the team quit?
Easily one of the best mods i've seen come S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s way since Complete 2009, Misery ups the ante and grit at every angle, often forcing you to be more careful with every decision, stick with other S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s and do many things you wouldn't normally do, even in a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.
It's hard to describe without playing it but it's a mod that will click with some and maybe not with others, it just depends how brutal you are willing for your game to be.
The mod isn't perfect, a few bugs like the AK-47 not removing the clip upon reloads are weird but will be ironed out in 2.0, but it's highly recommended by me as it's an experience you won't get anywhere else.
Sidenote: When installing this mod, the difficulty by default is set to Master, something which I recommend switching to STALKER as quickly as possible, as the game can be almost impossible especially early on with this setting. (It's up to you how realistic you find the bullet damage though)
Quite honestly one of the best zombie games ever made and easily up there with the original Left 4 Dead. It's able to do what Left 4 Dead did with zombies and make slow zombies scary, and often terrifying.
I have to say after playing the 9.2 alpha, I haven't played a tech demo or alpha this fun in a while. Just watching the 3 little guys run around the area, each co-operating for survival is undeniably pleasing considering that this is free. But even WHEN it gets released i'm without a doubt i'll buy it. My only gripes are that the AI, while extremely smart can sometimes bug up giving it an extreme case of ADHD, and the fact that it will often crash at random.
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