Gaming PC 7

Essential Mods for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series

It is very rare for a game franchise to receive 3 great games. Even 2, no even 1 is quite rare, since gaming is in such a sorry state these days. Then there’s the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, which is now a twelve year old franchise. It has not only 3 great games, but when you include new story/total conversion mods, it’s as if it has no fewer than 10 great entries in the franchise!

Mods have kept the series alive for twelve years. Had the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games been unmoddable like most games today, the series would’ve died out and lost its fanbase a very long time ago, shortly after the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat which finalized in 2010. This serves as an excellent example as to why all games should be moddable.

In this article, we will list what we consider the must-play mods for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series for English speaking fans, from overhauls (mods that improve and expand upon the base game without totally changing it) to total conversions (mods that totally change the story, although they may use assets and mechanics from the base game). Note that many of the total conversions are completely standalone free games! Yet GSC Game World, the company that owns S.T.A.L.K.E.R., does not send Cease and Desist letters, instead they encourage them and are working with modders on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.

But by all means, don’t limit yourself to just these mods. Go and see what’s out there on websites like Stalker-worlds, AP-PRO, and ModDB. Note many of the best mods are only on Stalker-worlds and AP-PRO and not on ModDB. Also keep track of my modding and mod tweaking progress here.

First we will list overhaul mods for each game, which should be used on your first playthrough since they are universal enhancement mods, adding back cut content too, without changing the quests.

Table of Contents

Shadow of Chernobyl Overhaul Mods

Clear Sky Overhaul Mods

Call of Pripyat Overhaul Mods

Total Conversion Mods

Upcoming Total Conversion Mods

Shadow of Chernobyl Overhaul Mods

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl is the first game in the series, and the best one unmodded. It is the only one with a good all around story, although Clear Sky has good world building and dialogue in some places. Skipping over the earlier games and going straight for the newer ones is nonsensical, so don’t skip this game! Don’t play the franchise backwards either, play it in order. Use common sense.

But all of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are quite flawed, so much so that I cannot recommend playing them unmodded. Not only do mods improve stability, they make necessary gameplay improvements and often add back cut content, and many even improve graphics without seriously changing the art style, therefore there’s no need to play unmodded (aka “vanilla”).

There are various great, universally improved overhaul mods, such as Autumn Aurora 2.1, Mod Pack 2013, Oblivion Lost, and Old Storyline Restoration (also referred to as RMA), but one mod really outshines the rest, and that is the one covered below.

Old Good Stalker Remastered (OGSR)

The ultimate version of Shadow of Chernobyl. Only a slightly expanded plot, infinitely more side quests, and the best gameplay mechanics in the series along with NLC 7 Build 3.0.

 
Sorry, but I can no longer recommend plain vanilla+ mods. OGSR is simply too superior. It is the ultimate version of Shadow of Chernobyl, the caption above sums it up but if you want details, check out this list of its noteworthy mechanics:

  • Several fully customizable guns in which you can upgrade the magazine (e.g. 30 round, 45 round, or 60 round mag for AK-74 type weapons), use multiple optics, use a picatinny rail mount on dovetail mounts to use NATO optics on Russian guns. The AK-102 allows for all of this as well as a custom furniture set and a vertical foregrip. Another example is the Stechkin APB for which you can attach a stock, silencer and vertical foregrip. Here’s a quick glance at one such gun: https://streamable.com/92oid
  • Double optic weapons, or the ability to aim down an optic and switch to a backup iron sight.
  • Dual render/picture-in-picture scopes.
  • Aim sway, weapon bobbing, first person movement inertia.
  • Separate slot for night vision goggles or thermal vision goggles. Using night vision/thermal vision and then aiming down a magnified optic will force night vision/thermal vision to disable.
  • Artifact detectors.
  • AMK repair kits (all you need is a repair kit and a similar item to the item you want to repair).
  • Exoskeletons are ATTACHMENTS that work with existing outfits.
  • Mask slot for outfits without an integrated helmet, but there are only two gas masks available.
  • 40mm grenades and RPGs don’t detonate at short range, safety precaution.
  • Can fire both barrels out of breach action sawn-off shotguns at the same time.
  • Emissions, which move anomalies like in the lore.
  • Companion/squad system.
  • The hand radio item has an actual use now: it can be used to give orders to companions.
  • Vehicles with fuel tanks and a very nice trunk system with item filters. This is one of the only mods that improves vehicle handling too.
  • Cut mutants and some new mutant variations.
  • The best Controllers in the series. They emit a psy-field and up close they really disorient you and spin you around so that you can’t just blast them, and they can easily make you kill friendlies if you’re not careful. They also zombify NPCs.
  • Can ignite light sources.

Not only is it mechanically only rivaled by two mods (New Arsenal 6 and NLC 7 Build 3.0, and only the latter is actually a good overall mod), it is one of the best written S.T.A.L.K.E.R. experiences, really capturing the mysterious and eerie nature of The Zone. It also has lots of very authentic Russian slang if you play in Russian. OGSR expands on the plot near the end, lengthening it a bit, and also generally gives you more ways to complete quests. And the English version of OGSR includes an adapted version of OGSE Weapon Expansion Project, so the total amount of projectile weapons is over 160.

Main Download
Database Files

Clear Sky Overhaul Mods

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky is the second game in the series, and the most neglected one. It is perhaps the least enjoyable by default due to how insufferable the weapon balance is. Pistols are inaccurate at 20 feet, while even $20 airsoft pistols are accurate at 20 feet. Rifles are less accurate than $150 airsoft electric rifles, it can take four shotgun shots at point blank range to kill an unarmored person. It’s stupid.

Luckily, all those things are EASILY fixed. For this game, we only recommend one overhaul.

Clear Sky Mod Pack 2019

The ultimate version of Clear Sky, but still somewhat of a work in progress

 
As with the other Mod Pack mentioned in this article, Mod Pack 2019 is an amalgamation of many other mods, more specifically these:

  • Sky Reclamation Project 1.1.2 – The latest and greatest unofficial patch. It needs this otherwise the game is too unstable to play.
  • MYSTERY – This is a graphics overhaul that contains Atmosfear and Absolute Nature. Also contains A-Life enhancements.
  • Complete Mod – Other graphics enhancement and sleeping bag.
  • Gnomus Scopes – New, more authentic scope textures.
  • Additional guns and other content from Misery and other mods, and totally rebalanced to remove synthetic difficulty.

So once again you get better gameplay with more content, better graphics, and more stability. Art style is changed a bit with this mod, removing the bad design choices from Clear Sky (primarily excessive gloss and bloom) and making it more like Shadow of Chernobyl art style. This mod is not fully tested however, patches are still being released.

Full Download

Call of Pripyat Overhaul Mods

We suggest these two options for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat. You’ll have to choose one or the other.

STCoP, Absolute Nature 4, Absolute Structures, and Atmosfear 3

Prettier version of the base game with many new very high quality guns, impressive animations, and even picture-and-picture scopes

 
Everyone first playing Call of Pripyat should at least use the STCoP weapons addon (lots of new weapons of excellent quality, far better quality than standard weapons) and the aforementioned graphics mods. It makes it beautiful; the graphics mods for Call of Pripyat are far better than the ones for the other games. STCoP also brings much better balance for weapon stats than the standard umodded game. Ultimately this is the safest pick and our most recommended selection of mods for first timers.

The links for these mods can be found below. Install them in the order they’re listed.

Atmosfear 3

Absolute Nature 4 – Choose your preferred season!

Absolute Structures Texture Pack

STCoP 3.2.01

The reason we explicitly recommend Atmosfear 3 but not SWTC is due to easier compatibility as a compatibility patch for STCoP and Atmosfear 3 is readily available.

Total Conversion Mods

Each of these mods amounts to its own game. There are countless total conversion mods, this list only includes what we consider “must plays” due to their quality and/or innovation and creativity. Only play these AFTER beating all three games.

Oblivion Lost Remake 2.5

Top 2 best story experiences for English speaking players, most atmospheric S.T.A.L.K.E.R. experience for English speaking players

 
This is NOT Oblivion Lost. Oblivion Lost is an overhaul mod for Shadow of Chernobyl, while Oblivion Lost Remake is a fully standalone total conversion mod. Its goal is to try and restore GSC’s original vision for Oblivion Lost, before it became Shadow of Chernobyl. This means it is more ambitious than Shadow of Chernobyl, and is almost entirely new maps. The old, cut maps from Shadow of Chernobyl were replaced by smaller, less realistic, less atmospheric inferior maps in the final game, which are also in Clear Sky and mods like Call of Chernobyl and Anomaly. The maps here however are much better made and infinitely more immersive.

So immersive is Oblivion Lost Remake that I consider it the most atmospheric S.T.A.L.K.E.R. experience to date, and the most atmospheric shooter to date. This mod really tries harder not only to emulate the original greatness seen in alpha builds of Shadow of Chernobyl, but it shows influence from Tarkovsky’s masterful Stalker movie, and the atmosphere is at times similar to that.

Oblivion Lost Remake also happens to have better default balance in weapon statistics than most other mods, it doesn’t even need tweaking really since guns generally perform like they should. A-Life in this mod isn’t quite Call of Chernobyl/Anomaly tier, but it’s fantastic. It only has a few significant shortcomings, and those are a general lack of guns (only about the same amount as unmodded Call of Pripyat), and weapons are not properly distributed among traders and NPCs, making it so the only sustainable rifles are 5.45×39 caliber. In other words, you will be using a very small selection of weaponry throughout the game. Still a far bigger selection than Metro: Exodus though.

I also don’t like a few story elements in it that reek of fan fiction, but luckily there are very few, in fact it’s limited to one small location (X-18). Mutant spawns can also be too high at times, especially in X-18. Also note there will be a version 3.0 in the future, with full A-Life and many other improvements.

Full Download

Call of Chernobyl by stason174

Currently the best freeplay mod, it is a compilation of Call of Chernobyl 1.4.22 and numerous enhancements along with improved level design.

 
stason174’s Call of Chernobyl pack is one of the most popular mods in the Russian community. It consists of Call of Chernobyl 1.4.22 which is the final stable version, MLR 8.3 (a content expansion mod that adds characters, quests, and significantly overhauls/improves some of the levels), DoctorX Dynamic Questlines, A-Life enhancements and additional dynamic quests, improved graphics, and hundreds of custom addons with the most prominent one being Extended Offline A-Life (preinstalled in the English version). I applied Call of Chernobyl’s English localization and MLR 8.3’s English translation to it, and machine translated the rest which accounts for very little. Furthermore, I applied an existing 64-bit engine upgrade mod to it!

Many of you are probably familiar with Call of Chernobyl, the ultimate open world freeplay base mod that includes every map from the base game, yet many of you are unfamiliar with MLR. MLR is a content expansion that redesigns the levels using alpha SoC build inspired design, and even combines some levels into one. It also incorporates STCoP 2.9, a high quality weapon expansion mod, albeit an outdated version.

The following gameplay modes are available:

  • Story – Self-explanatory, story mode pushes you into a story driven campaign, but it is just a gimped version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl’s campaign so don’t even bother.
  • Azazel – Named after a demon, on this mode when you die, you take on the role of another Stalker, first someone from your squad if you have one, otherwise it is random.
  • Survival – Replaces all monsters with zombies, a joke mode.
  • Ironman Mode – When you die, you lose a life. When you run out of lives, it’s game over and all saves are erased. I only recommend using it with Azazel mode and 1 life; so when you die you take on the role of another stalker, and when he dies the cycle continues. Compatible with all modes.

Compared to Anomaly mod which is listed below, it has less glitchy A-Life with all the same features as Warfare, and is overall more alive. It also does not use Misery, therefore it doesn’t contain the insane item bloat (e.g. Anomaly has multiple cooking systems and tools for it, literally hundreds of spare parts for repairs plus a million repair kits, it is an inventory management simulator above all). This also means it doesn’t have Misery’s awful mutant balance, unlike Anomaly which makes mutant movement silent and gives them extraordinary hit boxes and power and durability for some.

On top of that, both are 64-bit so they won’t have out of memory crashes like other Call of Chernobyl based mods. Be sure to close all other applications when playing. It is technologically behind Anomaly in all regards (graphics and stability), but still greatly improved over the original and runs much better than Anomaly (often around twice the frame rate for me). It just has more dynamic content, and while there’s no real story mode beyond Call of Chernobyl’s default gimped Shadow of Chernobyl story (ignore it), the focus of these mods is freeplay and faction warfare, and Call of Chernobyl by stason174 is the best there is for that.

Main Files (alternate download)

Data Files (alternate download)

Optional mods part 1

Optional mods part 2

Dollchan 7: Inception

A very different Call of Chernobyl fork with some of the best level design in the series. Very good gameplay but incomplete story currently.

 
While it doesn’t have a great name, Dollchan 7: Inception is one of the more different Call of Chernobyl forks, implementing its own takes on the vanilla maps; expanding them and significantly redoing them. The end result is some of the best level design in the series, right up there with Lost Alpha. It lacks all the freeplay customization of Anomaly and Call of Chernobyl, it is destined to be a story driven mod instead, although version 7 here has an incomplete story set in 2008. The upcoming Dollchan 8: Infinity will have a new story set in 2012 right after Marked One disables the Brain Scorcher. It’s also going to have vast gameplay improvements, so keep an eye out for it.

Download Repository – First download everything here and run setup.exe. This will get the outdated version 643 up and running.

Version 816 Update – Apply this update by merging the database folder with the one in your install directory, and overwriting. Note the mod will default to Russian, you’ll have to change it from “rus” to “eng” in the game options.

Narodnaya Solyanka 2016

The original Soup mod, pioneer of ridiculous quest design and synthetic difficulty, but less ridiculous than the other two Soup mods featured in this article

 
Narodnaya Solyanka is the original Soup mod as mentioned above (it translates to People’s Soup). This version on ModDB is being translated by hand into English, and has various gameplay and significant visual enhancements, so it is the definitive version of NS2016. It doesn’t have as much content as OP2.1, but is less extreme with its synthetic difficulty and fetch quests.

Full Download

Narodnaya Solyanka Cumulative Pack 2.1 (OP2.1)

Most content rich Soup mod, number one in ridiculous quest design and synthetic difficulty

 
This mod is also known as Joint Pak 2.1 or OP2.1 (O.P. referring to the Russian acronym for “Cumulative Pack” which is “Объединенный пак”). The mod with many names, I simply refer to it as OP2.1. It is one of many forks of Narodnaya Solyanka, which translates to “People’s Soup” which is why all of these forks are collectively known as “Soup mods”. Of all the Soup mods, OP2.1 has by far the most content and most stability, although it must be run on static lighting mode (DX8) in Call of Pripyat maps and late game, due to memory leaks caused by the 32-bit limitations of the engine.

All of the Soup mods are megamods. OP2.1 easily has 500+ hours of content. In fact, the developers say it’ll take the average player about a year to beat. A realistic expectation to achieving 100% completion of OP2.1 is certainly over 500 hours!

All Soup mods serve as a re-imagining of Shadow of Chernobyl’s story. They have unique, innovative mechanics, endless content in every facet of the word, and at least OP2.1 uses OWR 3 for good measure. But these mods, especially this one most of all, have some noteworthy downsides: ridiculous synthetic difficulty (AI one-shot killing you with impossibly good aim, near-invincible elite human enemies who can survive countless headshots), ridiculous content from other games like Metro and Doom 3 monsters and other non-serious elements. Quest design is largely terrible, involving huge fetch quests like gathering 40 zombie hands. Do not take them seriously. OP2.1 goes one step further and has an anti-cheat system in place so file tampering would be ineffective, but luckily the last download below removes it.

Full Download

Translation Addon – Translates names, machine translates untranslated quest content, includes anti-cheat disabler and spawn menu.

NLC 7 Build 3.0

Ultimately the very best S.T.A.L.K.E.R. experience one can have, but the only English localization is machine translated

 
The naming for this mod is confusing in two ways: NLC stands for New Level Changer, but that just makes it sound like all this mod does is add new levels. Then there’s the versioning in the name; it is not typo’d above, it is actually ‘Version 7 Build 3.0’, and to make things more confusing there is an NLC 7.5, but that one is out of date. NLC 7 Build 3.0 is the latest.

In fact, it’s another Soup mod, but the most different one. It might as well not be a Soup mod. It has a totally different global map than the other Soup mods (less maps in fact), and distinguishes itself through its own quests, writing, and gameplay. The main quest is very different than every other Soup mod, so it serves as yet another reimagining of SoC’s story. It is often hailed as the most mature, professionally made S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod.

It also has uniquely good shooting mechanics in the series; the best aim sway, the ability to switch on/off reticle illumination on scopes (and change reticles on the Kobra red dot sight), it’s one of few SoC based mods that lets you mount more than one optic on guns, and a one of a kind inventory that shows real gameplay evolution. It takes a bit of a “tacticool” approach, and it has the best economy in the series which involves artifacts in the process. Every single area of this mod is exceptionally well thought out and integrated into the game, while every other S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod except perhaps Goldsphere has some traces of inexperienced modders just trying things for kicks. No, NLC 7 Build 3.0 is truly professional and creative.

NLC was originally the worst mod ever created as it had microtransactions (which supposedly went to charity) and required account registration to play. Luckily that’s gone now, this is an open version of NLC 7 Build 3.0 which is quite easily the most intelligently designed mod there is.

Full Download

Spawn menu and save anywhere mod – Normally you can only save at camp fires in NLC 7. This makes it so you can pause and save anywhere, any time. It also features a spawn menu.

Machine Translation – Machine translates the mod so it can be somewhat playable for English users. I will also be rebalancing this mod to remove the terrible synthetic difficulty; this link will be updated to include both the machine translation and my rebalancing.

Guide/Walkthrough (here are machine translated ones)

YouTube playlist with timestamps

Valley of Whispers

A short and sweet mod that feels like an official expansion to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat with only improvements

The caption above says it all. This mod takes place only on a single map that’s very well designed. It is a story driven mod and now has improved gameplay since this version comes with Original Weapons Renewal 3, and graphics are enhanced by Absolute Nature 4.04 and Absolute Structures. This is not standalone and requires Call of Pripyat 1.6.02, and is only in English. This doesn’t seem to work on DX10 or DX10.1, at least not with the Absolute Nature extended grass distance (I haven’t tried DX9).

Full Download

Alternate Download

Spatial Anomaly

Spatial Anomaly is a fairly recent but popular mod for Call of Pripyat. Here’s how the mod creators describe it: “Spatial Anomaly tells the tale of the notorious mercenary Beast and his attempts to survive inside a mystical place dubbed by stalkers as the “spatial anomaly.” Inside reign completely different laws, and everything is in short supply: cartridges, medicine, drinking water, food, and even bolts. This, however, does not stop the mercenary from searching for a way out of the death trap.”

I have yet to play it, but from what I understand it is pretty short (no more than about a dozen hours), mostly excellent except the ending is universally said to be a letdown. It is not standalone, it requires Call of Pripyat to be installed.

ModDB Page

Lost World Origin

This mod takes place in the early days of The Zone, and showcases level design from the old builds making for a very interesting world to explore

 

Considering this mod is only machine translated, its strongest attribute for those who don’t understand Russian is level design and exploration. But it certainly does impress there, and has a very immersive upgrade system for the “Stalker Suit” (also known as Sunrise Suit) outfit and other interesting gameplay features including vehicles. It requires SoC 1.0006 which is what you get from GOG and Steam.

Install the files below IN ORDER!

Main Download

Translation Part 1

Translation Part 2

New Arsenal 6

Only machine translated (broken English), asinine quest design but awesome gameplay, not to be taken seriously

 
This mod uses OGSR 64-bit engine like OGSE 0693 does now, so you will see some similarities. Unlike OGSE 0693 however, it isn’t quite designed to be a perfected version of SoC. No, Arsenal Mod tells its own story that largely revolves around Nazis. It is absolutely retarded and the balance sucks; it is easy to kill most enemies in just two shots or so, and you die this easily as well. I will be rebalancing all of it, however.

So why is this even recommended? Because of the GUNS as the name implies. It has some of the most customizable guns and best shooting mechanics and animations in the entire series, and tons of guns too. And almost all scopes utilize dual render picture-in-picture technology! Play it for the guns, don’t take it seriously. It’s only machine translated anyway so the English is broken and laughable.

This mod is standalone and doesn’t require any of the games. You will need all of the files which are listed below. I will also be rebalancing this entire mod at some point, but haven’t done so yet.

Core download

Database files

English machine translation – Follow the instructions, then customize and run New Arsenal 6 using loader.bat to use the translation.

Upcoming Total Conversion Mods

The mods below are either promising upcoming total conversion mods, or mods that are already out but awaiting either a new version to be worth playing or an English translation.

Goldsphere

A totally different perspective of The Zone, known for its atmospheric prowess

 
Okay, Goldsphere (also known as Golden Ball) is not yet ready for people who don’t speak Russian, but it will be in the near future. It is known as one of the absolute most atmospheric mods for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., ranking up there with Oblivion Lost Remake. It tells a brand new story and is filled with brand new gameplay mechanics. I haven’t even played it yet since I’m waiting for a proper translation (the only one available is an unusable machine translation). So don’t download this yet, but keep an eye on it for when the translation finishes. Sure, you can play New Arsenal with machine translations, but not a more serious story driven mod like Goldsphere.

Full Download

SFZ Project

 
SFZ Project is a mod built on OGSR x64 engine, and has incredible graphics considering. It is a linear story based mod that tells a brand new story, sort of acting as an unrelated sequel taking place after a new massive surge like the one that created The Zone in the first place. Very promising and expected to come out in 2019.

AP-Pro Page

True Stalker

 
True Stalker is one of the more anticipated mod. Built for X-Ray 1.6, the lead developer is WolfStalker, whose YouTube channel is famous for covering mods and he runs AP-Pro, the number one modding website for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. True Stalker is a story mod that introduces a brand new story with a new protagonist, and significantly redesigns original levels. It is looking very impressive. It’s also going to be fully voiced.

AP-Pro Page

Call of Chernobyl – Back to the Roots

This is on its way to becoming the ultimate freeplay mod. It should dethrone Call of Chernobyl by stason174 overall. Essentially it is Call of Chernobyl 1.5 R7 plus STCoP 3.2, which is bar none the best weapon mod in existence for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. right now, all on Open X-Ray 64-bit which has AVX support. It is currently in open beta and is very buggy, but has a promising future. It seems to include Warfare as well. The only thing it lacks is a compatible MLR 8.3 or newer implementation unfortunately.

Information and Download Page

A.R.E.A.

 

This is a terrible acronym that stands for Atmospheric Realistic Expanding Addon. It is yet another fork of Call of Misery/Last Day like the aforementioned Anomaly mod is, but a different one as it is based on Call of Chernobyl 1.5 and includes MLR (older than version 8.3 but I don’t know which exact version) which is a big content expansion for Call of Chernobyl with redesigned levels and new dynamic quests. It utilizes technology/features from X-Ray Oxygen and OGSR engine, and future versions will remove some crappy Misery effects and add new impressive technology such as actual impressive looking muzzle flashes, incredible particle effects that remind me of F.E.A.R., improved animations and inertia, and who knows what else they have in store for us. See this video demonstration here.

Right now I don’t think it is worth playing as it feels like a generic Last Day/Call of Misery fork even with MLR.

ModDB Page

Anomaly

It has potential, but is currently in a rather broken beta stage and isn’t entirely headed in the right direction

 
Junk item scavenger simulator’s, I mean Anomaly’s goal is to be the ultimate freeplay mod, but it also has multiple storylines although writing isn’t a strong point. It is completely standalone; no need to own any of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games to play it, but again, you should only play total conversions AFTER playing the originals.

Anomaly is in itself an amalgamation of several mods and addons: it is a fork of either Call of Misery or Last Day, which is Call of Chernobyl plus Misery. It has Misery’s survival and squad gameplay (and terrible balance and item bloat/inventory clutter), Call of Chernobyl’s configurable open world gameplay, Warfare addon which turns the game into a faction war with ultra dynamic AI (almost like an RTS), a disguise system, and more. It is one mod/game that serves many purposes.

Like Call of Chernobyl, Anomaly includes every map from every game plus more. Its goal is to have the best A-Life in the series and it’s getting there, on par with other Call of Chernobyl based mods which have the best open world simulation AI in gaming by far. Due to glitches however, it remains behind Call of Chernobyl by stason174 in this regard overall. Still, there are many new ways for NPCs and the player to interact with The Zone, things that should be in the game but aren’t.

On top of that, it is supremely customizable: you can adjust the A-Life population factor (controlling how many mutants or humans are in the game), enable/disable and tweak the disguise system, configure the survival mechanic parameters, configure what happens to NPCs during emissions and psi-storms, you name it. In addition, it has tons of weapons, a few 3D scopes (not picture-in-picture however) with more on the way, and will eventually have The Armed Zone which literally adds hundreds of guns.

The following gameplay modes are available in Anomaly:

  • Story – Self-explanatory, story mode pushes you into any of its storylines. You can still create your own character, even though this contradicts with SoC’s story implementation, but like I said don’t bother playing SoC’s story in Anomaly (it will be removed in 1.5 full release).
  • Warfare – Transforms the game into a dynamic war game, like a strategy game. The emphasis becomes faction warfare; create your character and select the faction of your choice, then try to conquer The Zone dynamically, capturing territory and defeating the enemy. Warfare is incompatible with Story mode. This is a work in progress and not fully stable or finished.
  • Azazel – Named after a demon, on this mode when you die, you take on the role of another Stalker, first someone from your squad if you have one, otherwise it is random.
  • Survival – Replaces all monsters with zombies, a joke mode.
  • Accessible Zone – Removes all restrictions on traveling between levels, so you can access any level at any time. Compatible with all modes, recommended for all modes.
  • Ironman Mode – When you die, you lose a life. When you run out of lives, it’s game over and all saves are erased. I only recommend using it with Azazel mode and 1 life; so when you die you take on the role of another stalker, and when he dies the cycle continues. Compatible with all modes.
  • Campfire Mode – You can only save your game at campfires. Compatible with all modes. Not recommended.
  • Agony Mode – You cannot save your game when in combat or in any sort of danger (including being wounded). Compatible with all modes.
  • Timer Mode – Every time you save your game, the timer is triggered and you can’t save until time runs out. Compatible with all modes.

So S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly is a free single player mod, yet it has more game modes than most modern AAA multiplayer games! This mod, like many of the others in this article, really embarrasses many big budget game studios out there.

Main Download – Version 1.5 beta 3.0 is the one to play right now, although it is glitchier than beta 2.4 but has more features. 1.5 release will have so many new, awesome features. This mod continues to innovate. Keep in mind you have to download the previous versions and install them in order.

Alternate Download Link

Legend Returns

 
Legend Returns is a mod for Call of Chernobyl that is meant to bring back old build content, especially the levels. I’m not sure how much more it will offer than that, but Call of Chernobyl with Lost Alpha tier level design sounds like fun. The current version is not really worth playing, wait for 1.0 and an eventual English translation.

AP-Pro Page

ModDB Page

New Project

 

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. New Project is a funny name. It is from the creators of Lost Alpha, which is a mod that lied about what it is: it said it was going to be like the unreleased S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost, but ended up being something new (and terrible) instead. It ended up being a new project. Well, now it looks like they’ve accepted this and are dubbing their expanded version of it New Project.

It is based on Lost Alpha Developer’s Cut, which does have the best level design in the series at least. They’re adding a boatload of new technology to it that makes its graphics look impressive even today, and rumor has it that multithreaded rendering will be a part of it as well. Video demonstrations of it are supremely impressive technologically.

But considering that it’s from the guys who made Lost Alpha, don’t get your hopes too high. They really aren’t capable of good writing, Lost Alpha remains unstable in its latest state, and they make many questionable design choices.

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excellent read. thank you.