- This time, I decided to review Super Mod Pack 2.4 for STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl. Originally I intended to review Oblivion Lost, but people told me that SMP is a much better and less-buggier version of Oblivion Lost. I went ahead and decided to review SMP to see what's what.
- According to the creators of SMP, SMP uses Oblivion Lost as the base of their mod, but they've also added lots of new content, fixed a lot of bugs and enhanced the overall gameplay and graphics. My first thought on the mod was negative because of the name. Super Mod Pack. It sounded like a bunch of silly mods simply thrown together what would create a huge buggy mess. I was very wrong.
- Installation was simple - just a good ol' installer file, no problems here. The menu screen was fitting and so was the menu music. You spawn right in front of Sidorovich, get your carpark mission and off you go. After leaving the bunker, you'll notice the first thing that is changed - graphics.
- I love what this mod has done with the visuals. First off, the mod added vivid colors to the otherwise dark and gloomy Zone that we all are used to. The colors can be very easily seen in the nature. All sorts of new colorful flowers and other plants have been added to the dark vegetation of Chernobyl. After all, in real life, radiation gave colorfulness to the Zone, so keep that in mind. The mod also applied a slight bloom and gave a light fog to the distance. Textures had also been made better and some textures were even completely changed to still be Oblivion Lost. All these smaller graphical enhancements were very well executed, thus giving us a very pleasant Zone to see, but there were only two things that I wasn't satisfied with - inventory textures, because they were too tiny for STALKER (There were cases where I got shot and desperately needed to use the bandages, but couldn't notice that small little bandage texture in the middle of all the icons and I would simply bleed to death.) and sky textures.
- Now comes a really great mod enhanced feature - gameplay. It was very nice to play through a more fun, easy-going and lighthearted mod which SMP really was after the previous sinister and dark mods I reviewed. I've mentioned it now that the mod is indeed fun and not exactly heading towards being realistic (80kg inventory limit, seriously?), but the great thing is that SMP is fun in a nice, modest way and definitely not crazy like that clown-in-a-loonies-bin mod that STALKERSOUP was. Economy in the game can be pretty rough for you at the first part of the game, but later on it gets much more easier. The mod also made all the locations seem a lot more alive than vanilla. For example, lets take Yantar. In vanilla, the place is deserted, creepy and you want to get out of there much sooner, but now it's filled with Duty NPC-s guarding the bunker, scientists roaming around and when you turn off the generator in the lab, then the ecologists can now be found inside the lab gates and all around Yantar. These populated locations also sadly brought in complete atmosphere turn-offs. While Red Forest was under the effect of the Brain Scorcher, some Freedom soldiers and loners were freely roaming about there. I would get it if they would be zombified, but no - they were killing the monolith and doing the job I should've done and those soldiers in Pripyat, who were waiting for you? They were all dead by the time I got there, with only the glitched squad leader alive and a bunch of bandit bodies next to them. Speaking of overpopulation, having the mod spawn 9 bloodsuckers under the Brain Scorcher is a bit overkill.
- But after all, my favorite thing from this mod are definitely the new features or the huge quantity of them.
- It's very nice to see cut mutants and locations in the game and also some earlier versions of some missions. The game feels early but not unfinished. I was disappointed of one thing that the game had warned you about early in the game. The mod also made the arena much more better and more dynamic, by letting you still compete in challenges even after becoming the champion. Many sounds were redone and the mod also added vehicles. There are many mods that feature cut mutants, but here it seemed like they were much more common. I also LOVED all the new items, more specifically all the new weapons. The mod literally added hundreds of new weapons - rifles, machine guns, shotguns, snipers, handguns, you name it and this mod has it, but nothing too exotic like the gravity gun (wink wink, STALKERSOUP). You have way too much loot and that is a positive.
- This mod also added a decent amount of easter eggs. The best easter eggs were custom weapons that could be bought from or looted from several NPC-s. For instance, there were "artifact-modified" weapons, that could shoot normal bullets with small plasma sparks, "Big Pink Pussycat" that was a modified Kalashnikov with a pink Hello Kitty texture and had a faster firerate and there was a P90 that was modified to shoot buckshot rounds and it could be bought cheaply from Tanya (yes, this mod even added female stalkers as easter eggs).
- Technical wise, the later parts of the game became a bit unstable. The mod had its crashes and some game-breaking bugs that had to be fixed by loading an earlier save and the weather was set to raining for a very long time. The loadtimes were normal. On the positive side, the AI was great and dynamic. If it encountered a stronger mutant of some sort, it would actually run away. Enemies took cover, used more tactics and threw grenades modestly and didn't grenade spam. You could even get friendly NPC-s to cover and protect you. Your allies were surprisingly smart and they would become good bros to stalk with.
- In conclusion, I would say that I was suspicious at first, but then I realized that this is one of the best SoC mods I have played. Yes, it had a few crashes and some bugs, but that aside, you would get a great and fun STALKER experience. You should even try it just for the content
- 9.2 / 10 - A fantastic mod that lets you taste the earlier fruits of STALKER while also chewing on great new content.
- The mod page is here: http://www.moddb.com/mods/super-mod-pack
SoC - Super Mod Pack 2.4 review
TheREVIEWER Nov 5th, 2012 3,957 Never
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