Like the previous Complete mods, this mod is in my opinion the best combination of modifications that don't alter the original game.
I used the latest version and didn't have any of the problems others reported, except the few XRAY engine crashes the STALKER games always have. I played through the whole game, finished all quests I ran across and collected about half of the possible achievements, so it was a pretty thorough playthrough.
One thing that was definitely missing is a FOV fix. There's a tool for that, but it's pretty hard to get nowadays, as most mirrors are down.
Enemies: I get the impression that enemies are strong in damage and in health to promote the option of running away from them. Except for one problem, you cant. Corridors are tight and enemies follow you at high speeds for every mile of the way. So we are forced to contend with restarting the level or saving after every baddie dead. NO GO.
Normal ending: Disgustingly brief and unresolved. I know its supposed to encourage playing the hard mode for the better ending, but to be honest it really pushed me to uninstall the game, and I did. I only reinstalled it to show it off to my friends.
Alternate modes: Though most people wouldn't bother touching the hard mode after the disappointment of the normal ending, I decided to power through it anyways. The changes make the scares fresh and the ending for hard mode worth it.
Atmosphere: The music and environment really pull together a hostile and terrifying environment. I get a lot of AoM:DC vibes sometimes to with breaking every box for ammo, having flashlight batteries, dog and slasher enemies. Nostalgic.
That randomly spawning enemy: Static enemy positions really take the teeth out of a horror game, so this mod decides to randomly spawn an enemy behind you. Really keeps you on your toes.
IF you're patient and forgiving, this mod is actually pretty impactful, but that can be said for any other mod. What sets this mod apart though is the effort that goes into the environment and the atmosphere. I even wondered for a second if I should continue playing such a violent game.
This was brilliant! One of the best source mods, on par with mission impropable.
Some of the puzzles were too convoluted though. Like the keycard and the metal rebar thing.
The B&W effect that happens when you go below 30hp was annoying especially beacause some places don't have heaters so you can't heal.
It takes a page from FEAR in that the combat and scares are separated completely meaning that you know your not in danger when your in the spooky derelict apartments, unless you count zombies as threats which I don't really, even on hard difficulty its easy unless your being overrun (which you aren't). Hasn't anyone learned by now that zombies are strong in numbers, yet as one of the few I've played have not given us any real zombie threats. It does have some ok paranormal events though. Those scary bits are cut inbetween by large shoot outs with combine in a sewer and a multistory apartment complex... You'd think gamers and therefore modders alike would have learned this by now, make something that doesn't hamstring the game into one particular "feeling", excitement & difficulty vs horror & tension. How about try to do both at once! Of course it would mean there is some work to get it right without sacrificing the strength of either but nobody said that being innovative was easy. It's not. Theres the right thing to do and the easy thing to do. Easy is to just copy whats been done before, right is making a innovative and fulfilling experience.
The mod does feel like its halfway there to something great, its got a very nice set of textures and level design that has detail in everything so that it looks quite different and more dirty than any hl 2 installment thus far. It even succeeds in being tense even if the horror elements where a bit to few and far between with nothing quite scary until the last one... however...
The one really good scare was copy pasted from Nightmare House 2 tisk tisk. Uses misdirection, your not expecting it to appear there, yet the mod waits for you till you look at the one spot but also plays with your mind with making you think your stuck in a dark area. Its effective and rather than copy pasting (the script & environment) the creator of this mod should have learned from it & made something new himself.
oh & No story