Thursday, November 08, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)

"For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled."

"The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men. On the roads it was a white line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed."

- "The Road Warrior"

Finally finished up S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Due to my PostApoc love (Mad Max, Road Warrior, A Boy & His Dog, etc.), I really dug this game. Felt like Fallout but as an FPS instead of RPG. Hopefully Bethesda can do as well with the true Fallout 3. I never followed the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. so wasn't upset about the map being broken into levels. Even broken up, each level was a good size with tons of stuff in each one to explore (Different towns/villages/bases, abandoned buildings/cars, random clutter, etc.).

I enjoyed that for most maps, there was more than 1 path to your destination as rail FPS bore me now for the most part. Improved armor/guns and the quest log gave it an RPGlite feel too. The game is also very moddable and tons of mods are out there already. I mainly used ones to remove quest time limit, weight limit, weapon/armor degradation and other small adjustments. Can't wait for the sequel - Clear Sky.

"The Nightrider. That is his name... the Nightrider. Remember him when you look at the night sky!"

EDIT: Found a link to Strugatsky's 'RoadSide Picnic' that STALKER is based on.

Some S.T.A.L.K.E.R. links:

Developer Forums
Oblivion Lost
FileFront's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mods

Below are the Stalker Mods I've been running on v1.0003 (Not sure how they work with v1.0005/latest patch or if there are updates to them for either patch):

MP5 to Pistol Slot - MP5 now fits in pistol slot so other rifle goes in rifle slot.

Ammo Mod - Traders have all ammo.

Moonstalker minimod - Used the parts that improve carry capacity and npc item usage. Also used trade generic to improve trade with other stalkers.

No time limit on quests - Removes the quest time limit.

Repair mod - Traders repair weapons/armor.

Flashlight range mod - Tweaks range of flashlight.

Endurance Mod - Carry more stuff. Has higher weight limit than the minimod, which I used until I kept having tons of weapons I couldnt carry back for loot.

Low armor degrade - Armor degrades more slowly. This isnt the one I used (cant find it) but it works the same

These remove weapon & armor degradation (I switched from repair mod to nondegrading mod at some point) [All 3 are needed]:
Nondegrading normal weapons
Nondegrading unique weapons
Nondegrading armor

Mods I want to try next game:

Weapon customization mod - allows more customization - silencers, scopes on more weapons, etc. Couldn't get it to work with the MP5slot1 mod but probably could if I picked scouted each mod for the changes needed to combine them.

Trader mod - Traders have more guns.

Some of these mods use the same files so you will have to modify in the change yourself. Most of the ones I used had good readmes explaining what to tweak when there was a file conflict.

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