Full concept modification of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat that touches every game aspect including textures, sfx, music, weapons, AI, items, weather difficulty and much more.
Overall this is a strong mod with vibes of the old S:SOC mods like LURK and Oblivion Lost. But even with the increased difficulty there are some serious inconsistencies. But on the review as a whole.
OK, before i go any further i have played the series thru on Master before so the games difficulty is known to me. When the game is installed you choose 1 of 3 classes. As a previous player i prefer the long shot game, So I played the USS Sniper. The starting equipment was lack luster. Others have called out a sniper being sent on a mission w/o a scope is kinda weird, but i give that up to the game using this as a balancing feature. No biggie there. But what gets me is the inconsistency in damage and well overall AI issues. First thing, while the features mentions zombies being tougher, this proves to be wonky and unpredictable. Like early in my game a zombies more than often could shrug a 7.64x54R round like it was nothing. I'm sorry a 185grain FMJ round would take a good 1/3rd of his skull with the bullet as it passes through his skull. But no more than 3 minutes later a 5.45mm x 39mm round kills a zombie in one go. Don't even ask on pistol rounds.
While the hit damage done to enemies is overall OK (Minus Zombies), the damage done to the PC is kinda ridiculous on Normal (First time thru on a mod i wanted to get a feel on the rules at play). An enemy at easily 100m plus peppers me with buckshot and even with Military Armor (Which even IRL the lowest level vest will stop buckshot at close range) i lose maybe 2/3rds of my life and become stunned for a moment. I appreciate the stun effect but that much damage from something my vest should have stop is kinda wonky. Also some enemies seem to be snipers with handguns and get lucky one shots from near max range. And zombies stumbling shooting from the hip seem to get near 1 shots at max range. While somewhat realistic, a lot of these changes seem to be made in the name of artificial difficulty.
The best mod for CoP I've seen so far, it does so much right, and only a couple things wrong. Unfortunately for me, those couple things are very, very irritating. Lets go over the pro's first.
-Fantastic visuals, bleak and depressing.
-Turns STALKER into a survival game, which is how it should be. Forces you to think and plan, and not doing so will result in death.
-Food and sleep requirements are relatively balanced.
-Firefights feel realistic, both the player and the other stalkers will go down from only a few shots with the basic armor.
Now we get into the negatives. There is a significant amount of artificial difficulty in this game and it can really ruin the experience. Having classes and specializations in this mod was a poor decision, mostly due to my next gripe, which is my most glaring problem with the mod. Ammunition is FAR too scarce. NPC's drop little to no ammunition when they die despite spraying bullets everywhere in the fight, and traders charge crazy prices for basic ammo. It's cool to have a small amount of ammo in a survival game, it forces you to make every shot count and think about how to use your resources in every situation; but this is going too far. Let me paint you a picture. In more than half of the firefights I have, I run completely out of ammunition. This forces me to run to nearby corpses and just pick up whatever weapon they might have had, use it for the 7 shots they had left, drop it, and run to the next corpse. This is incredibly frustrating, especially since characters are specialized in only a couple types of weapons. The next problem I have with the mod just makes the first problem worse. Mutants are way too resilient. I dont care how mutated it is, a psudodog should NOT take 5 shots from an assault rifle to kill. A snorker should NOT be able to take 3 rounds of buckshot at point blank range. Every fight with mutants will significantly reduce your ammo and health, and will leave you with nothing to show for it.
My Review to MISERY:
No discussion, Graphics are epic and the best so far in the STALKER Series. Really like the Textures... My mark for this: A+
I really like the sounds. If you sit @ a campfire with your fellow stalkers and listen to the background noises while a thunderstorm is over your head. Sounds awesome... My mark for this: A
Well, this was really hard to estimate, but I tried my best. I began a new game and came into the zone as an Sniper and really got ****** up at the beginning. What on earth is my government and the USS thinking, when its giving me 10 Shots of Ammo for my Sniper Rifle (Without Scope). No, seriously, NO GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY OR WHATEVER will EVER EVER EVER send its agents into a zone, that is well-known as dangerous zone, with 10 Shots of Ammo for his 19th century sniper rifle without any Scope. This is a part that is just unrealistic. Second. After walking around for a few minutes, fighting and trying to get more than 10 shots of ammo, I got kinda tired. My professional trained soldier (agent) that is specialised as a sniper (Which can walk, run and stay hidden for days and weeks outside)cant continue walking while carrying 20kg in his backpack... unrealistic, too. There is far to less ammo available for me and I had to kill 40 Stalkers and find 2 stashes to buy myself a small amount of food, an even smaller amount of medic stuff and a useful amount of ammo (90 shots + 30 Pistol shots). The gameplay is way to overharded and not even realistic anymore IMO. My mark for this is: C-
- Performance and Crashes:
I had no crashes while playing on Win7 64bit. I reinstalled STALKER COP and then installed MISERY. No performance issues. Always >29 FPS. My mark for this is: A
- Installation and Manual:
Great Manual and easy Installation. My mark for this is: A+
All in all a good Mod, though i had no fun playing stalker anymore after 1 hour (because of the "overharded" gameplay lacks). I give you 7/10 points.
The mod is graphically amazing. And really gives the zone a good feeling. But the difficulty of the mod is almost degrading of it. You can barely even survive more than 5 minutes in the zone. Just radiation kills you in a matter of seconds and its unbelievably hard to find anything to cure it.
After playing through the new release, I feel nothing has really changed. The AI still flips out, the lack of subtitles makes the game far harder than it should be (IE, you're a Russian who can't speak Russian), and sometimes you die without any reason.
It seems the MISERY team still can't fill the gap between realism and fun.
Misery 1.0 and 2.0 feel like different mods, with 2.0 being the underdog in all of this... and not in a good way. After playing for nearly 20 hours (I have had nothing else to do today, sue me!) the game is just... well, it's not as fun as the first release.
When trench-coat wearing NPCs can take two buckshots to the head at point-blank range (after pushing me out of the way in their panic with those invisible force-fields I've discovered they have), they can down me in two shots (while wearing full armor) with a low-quality pistol. This is a severe balancing issue, and I highly doubt it's the way anyone would want to play the game. I'd expect this kind of damage resistance on a zombie, but a bandit...?
Second, fix the subtitles. I will continue to aggressively poke you with my lengthy bunny stick (note, an actual stick made of wood, not bunnies) until you do. I'm having a hard time discerning between "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE" and "Take a seat" when traveling with fellow stalkers during a Blow-Out/Monster attack.
Third, do something about the head-wobble (no one walks like that but a cripple, and I used to be crippled, so I know) and jam getting in your eyes every time you're injured. I've got a friend who's served in the military and has been shot twice (chest and neck) with large caliber rounds, and he doesn't recall getting Call-of-Lamers jelly in his eyes when being wounded.
You should really consider adding optional files (yes, this is your mod, but you're releasing it to a public audience) that lamers like us can download so we don't barf every ten feet and have to napkins our eye-holes whenever someone throws PBJs at us...
Excellent sound and visuals. Presentation is top notch. Ambitious amount of new features and overhauls. If this game was optimized and bug free, it would be the most immersive survival game ever conceived.
Unfortunately, it can be a true misery to play. Load times on an SSD are ridiculously long. Very prone to CTDs, which coupled with the long downtime waiting for the game to load, can be a real turn off. Vanilla CoP stutters when moving between cells. With MISERY 2.0 you will experience stuttering that is very immersion breaking. Sometimes pausing for an entire second at a time. The engine just doesn't stream in data smoothly causing the game to hitch. This was annoying yet bearable in vanilla CoP, but with the high quality content packaged in with MISERY it is almost crippling. Though I'm no expert, I'm confident that is what is happening.
The team would have been better off making their own game from scratch. With an engine that can handle this ambitious project to give players a hassle free experience like no other. Here is to the future!
A lot of really impressive work has been put into this mod but as of now, at least for me personally it isn't stable enough for me to play. I've had a good number of game crashes and save corruptions. I've never experienced corrupted saved games in STALKER before this mod. Every once and a while isn't a huge deal at all but it's gotten to the point where both my backup save and quick save both are corrupted and I essentially lost all progress I had made on the game. This is a problem. Other than that the mod is pretty good. Some of the balance might be a bit off though. NPCs are able to use the Kar98 very effectively while I wasn't able to kill a single NPC with it. The anomalies are much stronger than in other games and mods but that's just the style of mod but it doesn't align with my personal preferences. The mod is graphically stunning and isn't that hard on your computer. my two year old rig can run it with a few hiccups on high. It would be nice to be able to open the porn mags.
I see improvements from 1.2 but i also see downsides most of which can be patched over the next few weeks. Keep in mind this is not a finished product and it's free. report bugs/imbalances to the mod team so they can fix them. Bugs can only get fixed if you can give them more information than what i have been seeing so far such as "buggy, unpolished, est.." that isn't helping the team give them details about your problems and most importantly be respectful they are giving you a free product don't spit in their face, help them make it better just report any bugs or problems you have they will try to address them.