CoP - "Misery" Mod Review

Jun 23rd, 2012
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  1. Another mod review from me - REVIEWER. Stalkers here highly recommended me to review a pretty popular, if not the most popular mod for STALKER: Call of Pripyat - MISERY. Misery promised to make the game much more realistic and much more difficult. It also promised to enchance the game aesthetically and graphically. As I fired up the game, I was greeted by a pretty dramatic menu screen, which pretty much sets the tone for the game. Before loading the game, I knew that this mod would be pretty difficult and I took it to my mind. After loading the game ( I will note here, that I am also playing on Master difficulty, no crosshair and recon class), I was spawned right into the Zone, packed with a Makarov and a VSK-94 with 30 bullets. I was shocked at the beginning. I kept getting tired when walking, I didn't even know what to do with such low ammo. I entered the Skadovsk and wanted to buy some ammo and then I noticed, that the in-game economy has been made tough, but not ridiculous. You sell low and buy high the entire game. The max amount of rubles I had in Misery was 30k compared to SoC 100k. I didn't know what to do and I really thought that I am screwed.
  2. I decided to go on the bandit killing mission as a bystander and loot some of the bodies to get a small jumpstart. That helped a lot. Armed with an AK-74, I headed back to Skadovsk and started thinking what caused such a low endurance. I asked around and found out, that you have to sleep and eat tuna. Tuna is the main item to eat to get walking normally and without getting tired all the time. This mod really makes the game more realistic! On the Skadovsk, I also saw Beard selling a pack of batteries. I bought one in case I might need it, but no. Not once in the game any electrical items died out, which made the batteries useless. The mod changed the in-game voices into Ukrainian to induce some Zone atmosphere. Needless to say that it helped.
  3. After hunting for some artifacts, I found out that Misery made the selling prices of artifacts more higher. Useful for artifact hunters, which I sadly wasn't. The game was also made much more beautiful, textures were pleasing, especially the beautiful gun textures and the skies pleased my eyes. Interface was also pleasing to watch and didn't spam your eyes. Graphically, the game was indeed made much more prettier. As I was advancing through the game, I was starting to get used to the harsh conditions of Misery. You need tuna to walk, hoard every bullet you find, because the bullets have also been made pretty rare. Every time you find some of that NATO ammo, you feel like you have been blessed. It might seem to others that Misery has been made unrealistically difficult, but it isn't so. It is modestly realistic and moderately difficult. It also seemed to me that radiation has been either nerfed or the small "You are radiated" icon is sitting there uselessly. I only used the anti-radiation drugs 3-4 times throughout the game. The enemy AI was also made smarter. NPC-s used grenades at times where I would use them, NPC-s shot accurately, but not I-am-using-hacksingly accurately. It was however a bit funny how the NPC-s hoarded items like crazy. I found a mercenary in the game who had enough weapons and ammo in his inventory, that he could stock a weapon trader and I found these kind of hoarder bodies about 2-3 times. Note: I was not looting the bodies of traders. The game also added lots of new stashes including the new weapons the mod added. To be honest, I had no idea where would I found out where the new stashes were. The game didn't give out any hints, so I had to use the mighty help of /vg/ copypastas. All the weapons were nicely customized, nothing overpowered and they looked beautiful. Sadly, you couldn't upgrade the new weapons. That was a bit of a letdown. There were also some flaws with the quests and with the quest rewards. You were promised an X amount of money for completing the quest, but at the end, instead of the X you'd get an Y amount of money, which is a considerable amount lower. Sometimes the amount is chopped down to half of the amount. That happened with the documents given to Ecologists, Trapper mutant quests and some other quests.
  4. After going to the Jupiter area, I noticed a huge change that the mod made - mutant optimizations. All of the mutants were made much, much stronger. Tushkanas or mutant rodents could kill you in 2-3 hits and if a horde is coming at you - you need to have your weapons accurately ready. Scary chimeras were made even scarier and pseudogiants? Well, its better off buying an RPG and rocketing that son of a gun, instead of wasting all that shotgun ammo at that freak. All of these mutant changes, well, maybe not the tushkanas were logical, but the biggest flaw with the mutant optimization was with zombies. Zombies are usual stalkers with fried brains and fried body. They should be weak, they already have a gun and travel in packs, so zombies shouldn't have any changes. Sadly, MISERY screwed zombies up by transforming them into moving and shooting bullet sponges. They literally take bullets like sponges. They should die in a headshot, but as I tested, MISERY zombies can take about 2-3 SVD headshots, 2-3 Mosin Nagant shots, several SIG shots and 4-5 shotgun shots up close. I will repeat here, that I was shooting these zombies on the Master difficulty. MASTER difficulty! Which makes people take more damage. Zombie optimization is possibly the biggest flaw with this mod. If Misery made zombies a bit faster, more frequent and most important - melee-only, then zombies would be perfect in any way possible. With this flaw, you can imagine that the Kopachy village and Volkhov AA complex was a nightmare. All the mutant sounds were also made scarier and better. Although tushkana sounds were a bit loud. You could hear them screaming underground 100 meters away. All sounds were atmospheric. Speaking of atmosphere, when going to Pripyat, you have to go through a tunnel. Somehow, that tunnel was given a serious Metro 2033 atmosphere, which I adored. The tunnel area wasn't made that difficult, but modestly difficult. It really made you think your every move to keep your partners alive and as soon as you enter Pripyat, even when opening the hatch to Pripyat. You can feel that dead city atmosphere. I can't put it into words, let me put it this way - I know that I am gonna get stepped on when I say this, but do you know the movie Chernobyl Diaries? Yes, it indeed was a crappy movie, but Misery took some of that movie Pripyat feeling and made you feel like you really were a foreigner wandering around in Pripyat. With a foggy weather, the atmosphere in Pripyat was amazing. The game also made you feel like John McClane from the movie Die Hard in many points of the game. Whilst fighting close quarters with the Monolith at the service center and seeing a trail of bullets going up and through the Monolith fighter, whilst fighting with bandits and at the Jupiter plant getting rid of the bloody mercs.
  5. Sadly, not everything about "miserable" Zone was amazing. There was also a quest-breaking bug that happened in my gameplay in Pripyat. You get two missions at once - to get in contact with the military sentry and to go to X8. I went to X8 first (which was pretty hard, because when you shoot at one of the zombies at the service center, you get the entire horde of bullet sponges coming after you), I even got all the documents, but then I noticed that the Sentry mission waypoint had gone missing and when I went to
  6. the waypoint, there were no sentrys shooting, which meant that the storyline was broken and I had to reload a save way before the X8 and complete the sentry mission first. So keep it in mind, that you HAVE to do the sentry mission first before going to X8!!! Pretty bad bug, since I lost about an hour of gameplay. There was another tiny bug. Before the ending mission, you get a small cutscene of you talking with the HQ. Since the audio is russian, you depend on the subtitles. In that cutscene, the subtitles were missing. I even checked the options just in case and all the subtitles were enabled, but considering that it isn't your first time completing CoP, it shouldn't be a big problem. So, after all of this adventure through the Zone, you get the ending mission. SPOILER ALERT!!! This is probably one of my favorite parts of the game and even this mod. The action in that mission was so tense, so great and maybe even realistic, that it could very easily be compared to ARMA 2. The way you have to get rid of the oncoming hordes of zombies coming at you from every corner was so Die-Hardish, so great. The cherry on top of the cake could've been "28 Weeks Later" theme music while you, Strelok and the squad are fighting at the docks. After the end, I am sorry to say that, I could've almost shed a tear, because this mod really put you in the Zone, put YOU in the boots of Major Degtyarev and made you experience the anomalies, mutants, mercs, bandits, monolith, bullet-sponged zombies and seeking for stashes in pure ecstasy. Every rubla and bullet you find meant the entire world with this mod. It was a great experience to play this mod.
  8. 9.2/10 - Startling and difficult at first, but when you slowly slide into the misery, you get an amazing and realistic gameplay that leaves you hooked to the game all the way until the end credits.
  9. If only the zombies and a few bugs were fixed, this mod would have a perfect score.
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