- Before I begin this review, I believe it would be a great time to mention the importance of whatever developers say. As the people are anticipating and getting hyped for a game or a mod, people will believe everything the developers tell or promise them.
- When it comes to the developers of MISERY, they were given nearly 2 years of time and they promised a "hardcore, gorgeous looking, extensively tested mod". On the release of "MISERY 2", on the 31rd of July 2013, the "final" product was extremely buggy with saves corrupting, stuttering and other technical issues. The developers took 3 more chances to win the stalkers hearts with 2.0.1, 2.0.2 and quick-fix. This is the review of "MISERY 2.0.2 + QF" - their "final-final" product.
- At the start of the game, the player is given a choice of which class he would like to play as. The player can play as a Recon, Assault or Sniper and their loadouts and specifications are unique. I went as Recon in my playthrough of the mod. We will come to the details of the class system later. The player can also choose if it wants to spawn without any equipment in the middle of nowhere aka "Black Road" for the "ultimate hardcore experience". I also went with Black Road.
- So, you are spawned into a zombie-infested area without equipment, you try to take your best shot and run into Skadovsk now, get the basic equipment via looting and so on. The first thing, you'd probably notice, would be that to browse the PDA, you need an Universal Power Device, which you don't have. Fair enough. You reach Skadovsk and the second thing, you'd probably also notice are the new items and oh boy there are many and they are confusing. You can sew your armor now, lubricate weapons, sharpen knives, do cocaine, blaze weed, cook mutant parts, buy and not browse porn magazines, etc. I'm going to say this straight away that you probably won't even use half of the new items, as half of them are JUST for you to sell, since they have no other uses. The other half of the new items are for you to repair your equipment or to fix yourself and whilst the weapon/armor condition boosters can be nifty, most of them can't be used unless your equipment condition is over some high percent, rendering most of the boosters useless. MISERY 2 added moist-covered scopes into the game and whenever you would get one of those, you couldn't clean or repair them. I understand that scopes become like this in real life too, but why the hell would people use them then if they could easily buy a new one? And why not add a wipe/repair option for the scopes? Come on, devs.
- I'm happy to say, that at least the new weapons were good and effective. The weapon sounds were pleasant. However, the new weapon variants were unnecessary, especially "Worn and rusty" variant. Every self-respecting stalker NPC should know, that if the weapon is visibly rusty, it's useless. Yet, almost every enemy loved to use the "Worn" variants. Come on now, devs.
- There was also some new voice acting involved for the player, which consisted of the voice actor breathing loudly against the mic. I'm not even kidding. At low health, the voice actor decided to develop asthma whilst recording. Voice acting aside, I disliked how the player died. If the mod relied so heavily on reality and realism, then the developers should know, that people don't die twirling, seeing red and yelping out "CYKA".
- With the new consumables and "health-boosters" (including drugs and mutant delicacies), there was now also the consumption wait. That means, that whenever you consumed anything, you would stand and be completely numb. In my humblest opinion, I agree with the consumption wait with health items, but with food it's stupid. Whom of us hasn't ran to a bus stop whilst chewing on a chocolate bar and to think that a soldier couldn't handle it, is just plain silly. The Universal Power Device, which was a new element in the mod and what was used to fuel PDA, flashlight and NV goggles and which I believe is military-graded, ran out of juice in a matter of minutes, fueling ONLY THE FLASHLIGHT AND PDA for me and in a couple of minutes, it needed a whole new battery pack.
- The new mutants were bullet-spongier than ever. Probably every mutant took at least 2 direct shotgun shots to die and a pseudogiant took perhaps 2 straight and accurate F1 grenade hits. Bloodsuckers cloak-mode was now almost completely invisible - fun times and oh boy, the psi-monsters! Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world? Descend into the chambers of X8 and you can actually feel earpain from the sounds that the poltergeist makes. I understand that it is supposed to be like that, but damn it, devs, decrease the radius of that excruciating sound it makes.
- The class system was a gimmick in my humblest opinion. It rated weapons and armors "high, medium, and low" depending on the class you chose, when in reality, all that rating was doing, was making you paranoid if you should use it. I didn't see absolutely any difference using a "low-rated" or "high-rated" equipment.
- I somewhat however liked the A.I, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Squads were always moving around, battling, minding their own business and even properly evading from enemies. With enemies, stealth was always an option, since sometimes enemy soldiers would walk right past you without even flinching and the way hand grenades, that all the enemies were using, were handled in MISERY 2, was downright stupid. Enemies kept using them, but you couldn't hear them land, most of the times, which made grenades ridiculously over-powered, since "grenade-land-o-meter" HUD element was removed. Enemies also seem to see you through walls and wallhack, even the completely stupid, bad-humor filled, popular-reference making, idiotic stalker journal during loadtimes says that enemies wallhack. Even the developers give up with this.
- However, not all is miserable. In MISERY 2, the player can also threaten downed enemies to reveal loot, but the enemies themselves can also immediately shoot you or even grenade-suicide. I found that pretty neat. The way blowouts were handled in the mod was also pretty good, allowing the player to have some time to find the nearest hideout, but most important of all, the zombie health problems in the previous MISERY is now fixed and zombies were much weaker. It was also fun to hunt mutants and actually receive loot from them now with MISERY 2.
- Graphically, the mod made the game indeed gorgeous and beautiful with the unique AtmosFear 3. The draw distance was spectacular and the mod gave you an option to increase the radius of spawned NPC's near you, so you could see the whole life in the Zone going on. I did notice some jaggies on the edges of the skybox once, sadly. My main pet peeve with the graphics, were the very confusing, ugly inventory item icons and some character models, but all-in-all, MISERY 2 was beautiful.
- On the technical side of MISERY 2, I was disappointed. The stuttering was present in many areas, the game crashed very many times and even the savegames would corrupt. The devs even included an instruction on how to restore savegames, with the mod. That's wrong. Killing squad leaders after becoming hated would corrupt savegames and to avoid them, because of the mod stability, is immersion-breaking and dull. There was also a sidequest, where the key character would be missing and the long-seeing A.I caused Strelok in the endgame mission to spring far, far away into a killing spree. On the positive side, the loadtimes were surprisingly short.
- In conclusion, I have to say, that it is never a good idea to overhype your products, since the possibility that it doesn't live up to the hype, is clearly evident with MISERY 2. This mod was nowhere near "extensively tested" and with artifacts and proper suits, this mod was nowhere "high difficulty". Now, I can't say that I didn't have fun with MISERY 2, but that fun was brief and became a bad pain quickly.
- 4.3 / 10.0 - "MISERY 2" is unforgiving in all the wrong ways.
CoP - "Misery 2.0.2 + QF" review
TheREVIEWER Sep 15th, 2013 5,101 Never
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