S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 announced.....and its coming to consoles too :P

stemot

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Right, I bought the collectors edition of SoC when it was released and could never get into it. Should I buy this Steam package and give them another go? I'm not interested in modding them on a first playthrough though, is that a bad thing?
 

Warbie

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Right, I bought the collectors edition of SoC when it was released and could never get into it. Should I buy this Steam package and give them another go? I'm not interested in modding them on a first playthrough though, is that a bad thing?
I was the same. Repeatedly tried to get into Stalker - so many people can't be wrong, right? - and never could. Ropey combat, ai; basically an unfinished game. Someone convinced me to try the Complete mod, persevere an hour or two into the game, and it clicked. The combat and ai are still ropey - bot-like is the way to describe fighting in Stalker - but the improved visuals and atmosphere more than compensate. Give it a last go. Eventually you'll have one of those 'Stalker moments' people talk about. Mine was walking through a deserted town, fighting off mutant dogs and watching the weather change from overcast to grey, rainy, then a storm, loosing track of time and exploring until suddenly it was night and all you could hear over the splash of the rain was growls as things started to come out /o\
 

stemot

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I was the same. Repeatedly tried to get into Stalker - so many people can't be wrong, right? - and never could. Ropey combat, ai; basically an unfinished game. Someone convinced me to try the Complete mod, persevere an hour or two into the game, and it clicked. The combat and ai are still ropey - bot-like is the way to describe fighting in Stalker - but the improved visuals and atmosphere more than compensate. Give it a last go. Eventually you'll have one of those 'Stalker moments' people talk about. Mine was walking through a deserted town, fighting off mutant dogs and watching the weather change from overcast to grey, rainy, then a storm, loosing track of time and exploring until suddenly it was night and all you could hear over the splash of the rain was growls as things started to come out /o\
So without modding it, in your opinion, it wasn't worth your time?
 

Warbie

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Pretty much. The Complete mod gives the vanilla Stalker experience - gameplay doesn't appear to be changed - while improving the look and feel significantly. This was enough of a hook to keep me playing - before I couldn't see passed the poorer elements.
 

stemot

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Pretty much. The Complete mod gives the vanilla Stalker experience - gameplay doesn't appear to be changed - while improving the look and feel significantly. This was enough of a hook to keep me playing - before I couldn't see passed the poorer elements.
Hmmm, I'll mull it over some more and decide before tomorrow, it's just £7.00 for two games, especially one that was recently released seems hard to pass up but I want to be able to sit down and get the same enjoyment others have from them, and that just didn't happen when I've tried it before.
 

L3N!N

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If they fix the player's anorexic wrists, I'm all in.

Does anybody know why SoC basically destroys itself when you quick-save outside of the map's play area? Because my SoC has been defunct for 2 years, and it crashes whenever I start a new game.
 

stemot

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I've bought the bundle. After watching footage of the complete MOD I'm ****ed if I'm not gonna get on that.

Does Clear Sky still use the TAGES protection?
 

ríomhaire

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Still haven't played either of the sequels even though I have both on my steam account. Currently playing Metro 2033 though, which is sort of related. Is there really no good mods for Clear Sky? Was it that bad?
 

AHA-Lambda

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didnt the stalker complete guys also make one of those mods for clear sky aswell?
 

stemot

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didnt the stalker complete guys also make one of those mods for clear sky aswell?
Yeah, it was on the page when I was looking for the MOD for the original game. They've started one for CoP as well.
 
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Clear Sky was a mixed bag. It looked real nice for its time in my opinion, but it was even buggier than the first game and parts of it truly feel unfinished.

Locations: The swamps, which are the first area, were awesome, large, nice atmosphere, nice buildings. Really, the only thing I didn't like about this area was there wasn't enough to do in it. The new part of Red Forest is also great (if a tad bit linear), and very scary at times. Unfortunately, except for Limansk (which I'll get to later) all of the other areas are recycled from the first game, with some changes, and they're all a rather uninspired and dated looking compared to the new areas.

There are a fair few new developments on the gameplay front, some good, some bad. Among the latter is a significant one, faction wars. Basically, you can join any of the factions (although doing so often makes continuing with the story very difficult indeed), and once you do you can help them in their battle with whichever faction is their biggest rival, taking and holding control points against waves of enemies and, eventually, wiping out the enemy HQ. If you're a blood knight and/or enjoy STALKER's gunplay it's mildly enjoyable, but it really doesn't suit the game at all.

That, coupled with the fact that most of the areas in the Zone are packed with stalkers carrying out their faction warfare, along with the usual mix of soldiers, mercs and bandit rabble, the atmosphere is more often war zone than Exclusion Zone, which is a big negative for those who enjoyed the usually desolate atmosphere of the first game.

There are also good ideas, such as:

  • Equipment can be upgraded and repaired by mechanics. Suit upgrades, especially, have a lot of bearing on...

  • Environmental dangers, which are handled more logically. In the first game, getting the best armor just meant taking, say, 30% damage from an electro instead of 60%, or being able to stand in a radiation field for 10 seconds rather than 5. Now it's somewhat more logical, hazards generally turn their areas of effect into no-go areas unless you have sufficient protection. A psy-field that will turn your brain to mush in a few seconds with no protection becomes reasonably safe to navigate with the proper protection (but it can still give your character a splitting headache if you hang around for too long or go near the center, and wears your suit out pretty fast too). There's no way to make your suit very resilient to all types of damage, so you have to specialize.

  • Artifacts are handled far more intelligently. They're no longer nuggets of money that lay around in the open and which only you ever bother to pick up, you need a special detector device to even find them, and they're almost always found within dangerous anomaly fields that you'll need good protection (see above) to explore. Artifact hunting is a task in its own right and their high value is justified by the difficulty of acquiring them and by their more useful properties.

  • More of a storyline thing, but there's a somewhat more political take on how factions interact. For instance, bandits aren't immediately hostile (you can even join them) but they're generally dickwads and are always trying to rob or extort money from stalkers, they even run a prison camp of sorts in the garbage, forcing stalkers to dig through the radioactive trash for valuable objects.

Those are pluses, but they're all present (and executed better in most cases) in Call of Pripyat.

The worst part for me was the endgame. Avoiding spoilers I'll just say that Limansk was a huge let-down, it looked pretty nice and had the potential to be spooky. It's a large town southwest of Pripyat (in the game, anyway), one of those Soviet-era closed cities that were presumably home to some kind of classified research. Like I say, there was potential there, but in practice the area has horrible gameplay. From the minute you enter it turns into a bad Call of Duty clone, you're shepherded down linear pathways and have to help thick friendly NPCs clear out machine gun nests and wipe out waves of bad guys.

It gets even worse inside the derelict hospital (another location that could have been scary), where it's constant room-to-room fighting and machine gun nest clearing, ending with a pseudo boss-fight with a helicopter. The difficulty and pacing of this extended battle is terrible. There is little chance to resupply or even loot the bodies of the scores of hostiles you eliminate, because as soon as you clear one room your NPC compatriots are urging you on while they "hold off" the next wave that's materialized. When I set out for this mission I brought as much ammo as I could carry (and I even had a weight upgrade for my suit meaning I could carry more than usual) and by the end of the hospital I was down to my sidearm.

I won't say much about the actual "boss-fight" except that it was one of the most frustrating and least satisfying ones I've had in a long time, partially because of the logistical concerns mentioned above but mainly because it was just badly executed. Like I said, the last quarter of the storyline (from Limansk onwards) felt unfinished.

I only spent $10 on it and I enjoyed myself more often than not, but I'm a big STALKER fan so that was pretty much a given. My verdict: for fans-who-must-see-it-all only, everyone else should go straight to Call of Pripyat, which is a much better game overall.

Oh look, I wrote a review. :dozey:

didnt the stalker complete guys also make one of those mods for clear sky aswell?
Aye, they did. It helps polish the game up a bit but doesn't help much with the unfinished feeling or the overly busy tone of it.
 

DEATHMASTER

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Just beat CoP, pretty interesting ending variations depending on what happened and what you did throughout the game.
 

Tacoeaterguy

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Just downloaded the complete 2009 mod, for my first play through. The only reason I did this was because I could not handle the fact that if the condition of your armor and weapon went down, you would have to completely replace it. It also makes the game look a lot nicer.

Where is the guy that repairs my gear? I read in the 'features' of the mod that only the bar trader, or Screw can repair stuff. I'm not sure where either of these people are.
 
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The "bar trader" (a.k.a. barkeep) is the owner of the 100 Rads Bar, which is just north of the Garbage. Trust me, you can't miss it.

Also look out for repair kits on bodies you search, they're a rare drop but each one can be used to repair a weapon or suit to perfect condition.
 

ríomhaire

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Well in fairness without mods pretty much everything you find is in near perfect condition and degrades very slowly. It's really unlikely you'd ruin your equipment before finding a new one. The only real problem I had in my first playthrough was a SEVA suit getting pretty worn before I found a second one, but that one saw me through to the end of the game without getting near red.
 

Warbie

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Has anyone here tried the TGZ ES mod with CoP? I'm tempted to give it a go on the first play through as I like 'The Road' type visuals. According to the guy who made it it's meant to work well with AtmosFear 2 set to crappy weather.

Oh, has anyone found a way of raducing the crosshair sizes - they're ****ing huge!
 
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Does turning the 'dynamic crosshair' option change the size of the crosshairs much? I'm fairly sure the size of the crosshair is determined by the combined accuracy of whatever gun you're using as well as its ammunition type.

Me, I just turn the crosshairs off and use the iron sights, but I realize that notion doesn't appeal to everyone.
 

Interface

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Hey, I'm playing through Stalker CoP and I have this bug where I permanently suffer from radiation poisoning (atleast I think it's a bug), does anyone know how I could fix that?
 

unozero

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Does anybone kow how to use artifacts in Stalker with LURK?
There aren't slots to put them in....or am I missing something.
 

ríomhaire

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Never played LURK, but maybe just carrying them gives you the effect? The slots never really made much sense.
 

Tagaziel

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I think they do. You don't shove anomalous materials in your pants in real life, so why should you in STALKER?
 

Warbie

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Yeah, i've got a Burnt Fuzz between my bum cheeks as I type.
 
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Does anybone kow how to use artifacts in Stalker with LURK?
There aren't slots to put them in....or am I missing something.
I'm fairly sure that artifacts in that mod no longer have any effects whatsoever, and that's by design. That's a pretty boneheaded decision if you ask me: the primary reason artifacts are as valuable as they are is because of their weird sci-fi effects.
 

Barnz

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butt****ing customers
 

ríomhaire

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My internet connection is always randomly concking off so any game with such a feature is a no-go for me. Randomly loosing a connection in the middle of an online game is annoying enough but being kicked out a ranging in STALKER? STALKER is one of the most immersive games out there and having it interrupted by anything is a shame and being interrupted by a feature of the game itself? **** that.
 

Krynn72

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In Ukraine, there are different products that people love so much that they buy a license in principle. We want to create just such a product.
Then start by removing stupid ass DRM that decreases value for legitimate customers, idiots.

Whatever, the good part of the STALKER team left the company anyways.
 

Lobster

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Its really sad that the first and only piece of genuine infomation about the game, is how bad the DRM is going to suck.
 

Bad^Hat

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My internet connection is always randomly concking off so any game with such a feature is a no-go for me. Randomly loosing a connection in the middle of an online game is annoying enough but being kicked out a ranging in STALKER? STALKER is one of the most immersive games out there and having it interrupted by anything is a shame and being interrupted by a feature of the game itself? **** that.
You know, I always see several comments like this whenever something like this is announced, and yet the fanboy chorus will always cry, "but who doesn't have a functioning internet connection in the year twenty eleven?!" Plenty of people, jackass(es), your situation is not indicative of everyone else's. I'm reluctant to attribute the same ignorance to the publishers who use these measures, though. Call me a cynic but it seems like a much more calculated venture. Surely someone like, for instance, Blizzard must know how many potential customers they're turning away from their game when they do this, and yet it continues to be a rising trend. :/

Edit: To clarify, I'm not talking about anyone here when I mentioned the fanboy chorus. Not specifically anyway. :v
 

Stigmata

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I think these decisions are made via outsourced ignorance. Some market analyst says, "This other game series added connectivity DRM and didn't lose any sales compared to its previous release!" and nobody in the chain of command stops to think, "Wait... doesn't that just mean the lost sales were made up for by the natural growth of the PC market, which would have grown either way?" or, "Since when does one torrent download equal one lost sale?" or, "Since when does any series experience equal sales over multiple releases?" or, "Maybe piracy isn't the reason our sales suck."

On that note, it'll be pretty funny to see how many developers and publishers scream "PIRACY!" in the next 24 months, once the Western gaming audience has run out of credit to buy their games with.
 
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