- This is it. The big one.
- A few months ago, I got in touch with the developers of one of the most anticipated mods for SoC, Lost Alpha, and they promised to roll out a pre-alpha for the testers by April. Much to my surprise, the devs delivered today with a sneak peek of the first levels. I was one of the testers who got the pre-alpha. In a surprise announce to the testers, the modding group said that they are going to focus more on a brand new project - an original interactive novel set in Russia, where you can play as the characters from Katawa Shoujo. "We'll even have voice acting", joked one of the lead artists. If mentioned Lost Alpha, they exclaimed that "a lot more was going to come in the coming years"!
- Excited to try out Lost Alpha, I loaded the game and I was greeted with helpful and entertaining tips to play LA, on the loading screens. Some tips recommended to try and shoot down birds like in Flappy Bird and others recommended to take more risks since "you only live once".
- As expected from STALKER mods, the visuals were alright. Dezowave did tell us, that they had to downgrade some of the graphics in some areas to hog less RAM, since different high definition posters were put up on the walls. I was pleased to see that the textures in general had a rusty and post-apocalyptic feel to them. It really puts you in the Zone.
- The new levels were simple, yet elegant. We were given a test playthrough of the Yantar part of the storyline. The area was creepy and had a lot more vegetation. The lab under X16 also had minor adjustments done in the lighting and spawns department. Dezowave said that they had designed a whole new level under X16, however one of the testers got lost in the walls of snorks and the level was scrapped.
- Gameplay felt very unique as expected. The gameplay from SoC was combined with an unique "levelling" system, which would award you for headshots and stalker-kills. There wasn't much to new items in LA, however when asked about porn magazines in Lost Alpha, Dezowave commented that "everyone thinking that Dezowave are perverts are plain wrong, we are against pornography and in no way supporting it, porn magazines were only designed for immersion, depth and atmosphere purposes only".
- Speaking of which, Lost Alpha truly immerses you into the game and makes you cautious of every step you take. The player can now get his saves corrupted at random times. "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" said the devs. To get an edge over others, the player can purchase a guide to uncorrupt the savegames for $6.99. Dezowave even cared about the most hardcore stalkers, there's now an option "Unknown Road" to start the game, where you are spawned into the Zone without any equipment, without any sound or video display. When asked about the option, they said "It makes the game difficult, duh". New mutants included electro-dogs, electro-rats, electro-cats, electro-poltergeists and electro-snorks. Pseudugiants are now immortal to everything.
- Some new gameplay elements really impressed me, such as bolts now have an amount, instead of endless bolts and how you can now find gunpowder, can load the bullets with it and eventually the magazines.
- Lost Alpha was somewhat stable, however the chance of a crash increased by every minute you didn't save the game. "It's still a feature" said Dezowave.
- All-in-all, I'm happy to see that Lost Alpha is in development and now that it's been extensively tested, they can move onto the more serious phases of the mod.
- Happy April, stalkers.
SoC - "Lost Alpha" Pre-Alpha Review APRIL FOOLS
TheREVIEWER Apr 1st, 2014 1,538 Never
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