STALKER really got a lot of things right.

zamardii12

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So, I pretty much beat the original STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl when it first came out back in 2007 and I liked it quite a bit. I never played Clear Sky or Call of Pripyat so I bought them a couple weeks ago when they were on sale. I started Clear Sky 4 days ago and I have to say while playing it I just felt like this was a way better version of Fallout. It has all the right devices in-place to really keep my interest. Not sure how to go about this, but I will just list what I like about it and what I have found in the 6 hours i've played so far...

Note: I know a lot of these are changed with the STALKER Clear Sky Complete mod (which I have), but I don't use the newer functions of the mod including warping and the sleeping bag so I can play the game the original way.

  • I like the realistic mechanics of the game; weapon accuracy, weapon degradation, inventory management, character movement, and the faction system.
  • Inventory management when it comes to movement is cool. For instance if you can carry 50 kilos and you are carrying under that you can move at regular speed for longer as well as sprint longer, but if you are carrying over 50 kilos then you can still move, but your stamina meter goes down faster whether going at a regular pace or sprinting. If you get to 60 kilos then you can't move at all. So this presents some interesting problems when determining what I want to keep to sell or if I am far from a vendor, leave stuff behind so I can move faster for longer.
  • There is no fast travel for one exception. There are certain people who you meet along the way who will guide you to certain places, but for a fee, and if your faction level with them is "friendly" or not. The fees for fast travel are kinda hefty so I don't use it.
  • There is no sleeping. When it gets dark, it is pitch-black and that's that. You can't go to sleep so you need to play through the night which can be quite precarious if you only have a flashlight. I like this because it completely changes the difficulty of the game where firefights are a lot harder b/c you can't see the enemy if they're shooting you from afar until they shoot at you and you see their muzzle flash.
There are other things I like about the game too like NPCs will be weary of you if you approach them with gun drawn and such... I like the attention to detail they put into the game. It may be dated graphically, but it honestly doesn't bother me one bit. The Clear Sky Complete mod helped plenty. I was sad to read that STALKER 2 was cancelled, but I really really hope they revisit this series because it deserves a proper sequel. It did make me think that perhaps Metro: Exodus could be a spiritual successor (if perhaps simplified) to STALKER having a similar setting and being open-world.

In any case, I just wanted to share my experience thus-far with Clear Sky and I already have Call of Pripyat installed which apparently is the better of the trilogy.
 

Porter_

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STALKER is such a great series. i put a ton of hours into all three games. it's probably time i revisited them again. the atmosphere of these games will always be incredible, but the shooting mechanics are terrible. i wonder how much that would bug me these days, after being spoiled with so many games that have great shooting mechanics.
 

zamardii12

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i wonder how much that would bug me these days, after being spoiled with so many games that have great shooting mechanics.

I have heard recommendations to install the Sky Reclamation Project mod.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/srp

And then use the "alternative ballistics."

Make sure to read the Readme.

ALSO folks are saying to rather use the AO (arsenal overhaul) mod. This includes both...

http://www.moddb.com/mods/custom-mod-cs-ao-complete-mod

If you are curious what's in the AO mod here is the list:

http://www.moddb.com/mods/arsenal-overhaul-clear-sky
 
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zamardii12

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i am weird but I still think these games are great as they were released.

That's how I started playing Clear Sky. The only mod I have installed is Complete and I only cared about that because of the graphical improvements, but I could and did enjoy the game without it. The first 3 hours I played or more were without any mods.
 

wrangler

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When you get done with those you need to check out Lost Alpha.

btw Call of Pripyat is the most bug free and best looking of the series but to call it the best of the series... Shadow of Chernobyl is a modern day gaming masterpiece. A Tour de Force. How that happened considering the way the game was butchered together from the original vision is nothing less than a miracle.
 

zamardii12

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When you get done with those you need to check out Lost Alpha.

btw Call of Pripyat is the most bug free and best looking of the series but to call it the best of the series... Shadow of Chernobyl is a modern day gaming masterpiece. A Tour de Force. How that happened considering the way the game was butchered together from the original vision is nothing less than a miracle.

So I am looking at Lost Alpha and I may yet revisit Shadow of Chernobyl. So does Lost Alpha build upon the original or is it a standalone mod? Like, if I install it before starting the regular SOC game then will it just add to the existing game or is it all new?
 

wrangler

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Stand alone game built with help from Stalker creators, source code etc...
It is literally its own game with a new story.

It is supposed to be a mod that added back in the content that was cut from Shadow of Chernobyl but somewhere along the way it turned into its own thing.
 

zamardii12

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Stand alone game built with help from Stalker creators, source code etc...
It is literally its own game with a new story.

It is supposed to be a mod that added back in the content that was cut from Shadow of Chernobyl but somewhere along the way it turned into its own thing.

SO I should play regular Shadow of Chernobyl first and then play Lost Alpha.
 

Absalom

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Misery mod for CoP is epic. I love the immersion that one brings to the table. It's like a totally different game.

If you've never played Misery, nor watched someone play it, please refrain from spoilers, install it and start a black road playthrough. Then report back your first in-game night's experience. Mine was unforgettable.

It's never the same "wow" a second time through though, so doing a virgin playthrough is a must.

Man, why don't we have full blown games like Misery?
 
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zamardii12

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Misery mod for CoP is epic. I love the immersion that one brings to the table. It's like a totally different game.

If you've never played Misery, nor watched someone play it, please refrain from spoilers, install it and start a black road playthrough. Then report back your first in-game night's experience. Mine was unforgettable.

It's never the same "wow" a second time through though, so doing a virgin playthrough is a must.

Man, why don't we have full blown games like Misery?

Thanks for that! I will definitely give that a shot once I finish CoP.
 

Draax

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I really miss the STALKER franchise. I really liked the grittiness of the visuals, it really fit the game. The atmosphere of the environments and game in general really haven't been duplicated, IMO. I would highly recommend the complete mod.
 

blert

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The Stalker series is in my top 3 PC games. I've played all three with just about every mod available and every time I start up a new game ithe excitement is the same as if I was starting for the very first time. For me no new system build is complete until I have these games installed.
 

Krenum

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They are great games. Played the heck out of them. I miss the Stalker Franchise too. The first time I ran into a Bloodsucker underground, it scared the bejesus out of me!
 

Flogger23m

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Good games but they were flawed. Only the 3rd game was done right out of the box. Still really enjoyed it and wish more open world/open ended games were like it. All unique locations with unique things to do and encounter there. No percentage map with the same repeating activities over and over again.

Wish they could have rebooted the series, staying true to the original style, but with proper quality throughout due to a bigger budget.
 

dub77nj

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I'm going to dive into stalker for the first time. I'm starting from the beginning with the first one. Any recommendations for eye candy mods or quality of life I can install or just play vanilla straight up?
 

blert

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Vanilla is perfectly fine but I'd recommend the Complete Mod. Its one of the first and best mods out there that has a bunch of graphical and other tweaks that make it run much smoother (and look better). Most of the other mods increase the difficulty significantly which can cause frustration and rage quits until you "get it" if it is your first time playing

This game is not your typical mindless, dumbed down, run into the middle of a firefight, soak up a bunch of bullets and blow things away game. In some cases it's best to try and slip past than engage in a fire fight or take on a bunch of mutants.

One or two hits can kill you

One or two hits can kil you (not a typo)

Unless you are carefull and take a moment to plan out your next move you will die. A lot. Until you "get it"

Save often especially when moving into a new area.

When you first start playing I'd recommend having the mind set that it is a stealth game with elements of combat. Once you get decent gear the game gets significantly easier and you can let up a bit but you still need to think and be aware
 
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I also recommend the Complete Mod. Improved graphics and some essential quality of life improvements.
 

muz_j

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I love this series of games - and I'm still trying to finish off Lost Alpha DC. It's different enough from the original SOC that I consider it a separate title. The hardware requirements for it are radically higher and it has a _lot_ of changes to both game-play and graphics.

There's now 6 games in the series - the original 3, plus STALKER Lost Alpha Director's Cut v1.5 (stand-alone title - and don't forget the extended pack for this game), Oblivion Lost (mod for SOC) and there's Call of Chernobyl (stand-alone - it includes pretty much all maps from all 3 original games in one big mega zone and later versions of it have their own story based quest too. I haven't played enough of it to decide if I like it or not. The Misery mod is being ported to it, if that's your kind of thing).

For the original 3 I'd also recommend the Complete series mod's for SOC and COP - but I prefer OGSM for Clear Sky (Old Good Stalker Mod - it's an english port of a german mod that adds quite a few features to gamplay).
the ZRP & SRP mods are recommended too - as they're bug fixes. I'm a fan of the Russian audio mods too.

Lost Alpha in my eyes - is really what the original game was intended to be, but it never got there and had a lot of things cut from it. COP is definitely the best of the original trilogy.





There's also STALKER SOUP, which is another free version of the game and it's a combination of a lot of mod's - but I really don't like that game at all. It doesn't feel like stalker to me and I really don't like some of the game play changes, as well as how the game starts.

...so there's a lot of STALKER out there.

 
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dub77nj

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I've started slowly and I'm still in the beginning area around the train tracks building up RU.

i'm impressed with the game play, graphics and general feel. I get why people love this game. Even over 10 years later this game plays better than a lot of fps/rpg games Ive played and I play as many as I can. I can say I'm a fanoi..
 
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muz_j

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I've started slowly and I'm still in the beginning area around the train tracks building up RU.
i'm impressed with the game play, graphics and general feel. I get why people love this game. Even over 10 years later this game plays better than a lot of fps/rpg games Ive played and I play as many as I can. I can say I'm a fanoi..

With update mods like the Complete series, the original games are still look pretty good. Plus you can max out the detail settings within the game with decent hardware.
I think my favorite thing about all the STALKER games is that they reward players who experiment - you can complete tasks multiple ways in many situations.
Generally at the start I try and get myself a decent gun with a scope and as you say - build up cash. A good scoped assault rifle usually my default in the earlier parts of the game.
The underground complexes can still be unnerving - try playing those (if you haven't before) in a dark room with the volume turned up and you'll probably see what I'm getting at.
I quite like the story lines and the atmosphere in the games is beautifully depressing...

It would have been interesting to see STALKER 2 - but unfortunately that got canceled a long time before release :(
 

M76

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I never could get into the stalker games. Not sure why, as I remember it seemed like fallout 1 but in 3D. I never actually liked fallout 1-2 or old school rpgs like that.
 

Flogger23m

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STALKER is definitely gold. I've played METRO and it's still far from it.

Metro was the far superior game, but it is a very different type of FPS. It is a linear FPS, STALKER is open world and much more survival like. They can't be directly compared from a gameplay standpoint.

I never could get into the stalker games. Not sure why, as I remember it seemed like fallout 1 but in 3D. I never actually liked fallout 1-2 or old school rpgs like that.

I never played Fallout 1/2, but STALKER wasn't an RPG. It certainly was a shooter with some survival and scavenging. Yes you would progress and find better gear such as armor, anomalies that gave you special powers (decrease bleeding or radiation), but it still felt a lot more like a shooter. The first two games are very rough without mods. I'd give CoP a try but would consider installing a graphic mod.
 
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