SoC - "Priboi Story" Mod Review

Jul 10th, 2012
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  1. There are few mods for STALKER games that modify the storyline into a whole new thing. Priboi Story is one of those mods. It is a mod for STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl, that gives the game a new storyline, new items and many other things. I was interested to review it, since people have told it to be one of the best storyline-changing mods for SoC. Let's see, if this is true.
  2. In Priboi Story, you play as Lt. Priboi. There was a secret organization, called UHSF, and they were responsible for the incident in '86. They had a base at Dead City, but the mercenaries wiped them out in the late 80's. The organization fell apart, and the last living members disappeared until today. Somehow this story is connected to the Marked One's story, and you'll eventually find out how. Over 20 important classified documents were hidden in the zone and you will need to find them to complete the puzzle. You will need to be "Sherlock Holmes" and dig deeper in the zone then you have ever done before. The events in this game are set a year after SoC story. The story reminds me of the story in CoP. I liked the concept of not needing to listen to your PDA to advance in the storyline, but actually read the documents you get and figure out where you have to go.
  3. Before starting the game, you need to install the mod manually, by moving the folder and tweaking settings in your STALKER savegame folders. It might be a bit confusing for a newcomer to tweak some settings, but I'm sure that true stalkers won't be disappointed by the lack of an installer.
  4. I was seriously impressed and pleased how well the menu-music was chosen - Radwinds PT.2. It is nice to hear this piece somewhere else than Clear Sky. Once you start the game, you spawn behind the military outpost in Cordon. You are automatically friendly with all Military and Duty soldiers once you start the game, but enemies with Freedom. You spawn next to a car, which you can drive. There were many drivable vehicles, but the obstacles in the Zone make driving uncomfortable and useless. Dialogue in the game consisted of many "comical expressions" like "Hmm...", "Whoa!!", "OUCH!.." and so on. These expressions dumbed down some bits of the new dialogue and you couldn't take the NPC talking very seriously.
  5. Graphically, the game was mediocre. Some bits of the game looked great, but some didn't at all. The overgrown nature in Yantar was too overgrown and made that area look annoying, but some areas were too bland and dull. Nights were very bright and blowouts were made VERY grainy and ugly. Storms, however, looked really great and gave the game some atmosphere. The lightning and thunder given by this mod were great!
  6. The biggest part of the game that had been changed and that had been counted on was the story and sadly It wasn't very good. In the game all you had to do was run from one place to another and keep your eyes stuck on the screen, because the documents could be everywhere. Even finding the documents was bad. The first 5-6 documents I found on my own, but when all the codes lead me to X18, I found that the codes given didn't work and I was stuck. Luckily, you can download a strategy guide showing where all the documents are and what to do, but if the developers make a professional strategy guide, then they knew that people playing it could very easily get stuck, because most of the time, you couldn't even read the documents. You just got a summary thought of the document by Lt. Priboi with added comical expressions and the whole "Sherlock Holmes" element is lost, because he takes the interesting parts out already. Finding the documents was annoying as well as difficult, since you had to run to CNPP already early in the game and get a document leading you all the way back to X18 and then back to CNPP. Run-and-gun was the rule in the entire game. The gameplay was more relaxed than in SoC, but maybe too easy, since economy was made much easier for you. In the first minutes of the game, you could loot all the weapons and sell them to make your first 20k-30k and I'm speaking that in the first minutes of the game you get that money just by looting weapons. Artifacts were made too cheap and too common and the backpack limit was whopping 85kg. Priboi sure had a hard time training for the Zone in Kiev if he can run with 85kg of items. Mutants were too weak and sometimes didn't attack humans.
  7. On the good side, weapons felt really powerful with this mod, since the sounds were made realistic and optimized to be realistic. The added Nugget (Mosin Nagant) looked really awesome with this mod. Masterly beautiful. The AI was smart and you could even think out some strategies while having battles. Battles were awesome, well-thought and humans didn't always fight with enemy humans, but also arranged huge battles with mutants. Some parts of the game were even creepy. Be sure to pack with ammo and courage before traveling into X10 under Red Forest. The mod also had a great moment. The huge monolith rock - the Wish Granter, had been violently escorted from CNPP to the Garbage by the Military. It was nice to actually see that huge rock at the Garbage and not see it in the reactor. Visiting the place where the rock was in SoC crashes the game, though.
  8. On the technical side, I could say that the game was stable. Sure, there were some crashes and floating cars, but the loadtimes were ridiculously fast! Hellishly fast and there weren't many bugs.
  9. My biggest complaint with this mod is the ending. I am not going to spoil the ending, but I will say that the ending is just a row of text with the doctor speaking in the background. The speech has no connection to the ending text and the way the game ends is just filled with cliches and has all the elements of a bad ending. It made you look like you busted your nuts while running up and down in the Zone for absolutely nothing, but somehow you knew the ending coming already. The ending was downright horrible.
  10. In conclusion, I have to say that with this mod, you have to think more and shoot less, but the thinking element will be lost in the center of the lunacy of blatantly running around and aimlessly trimming the area of documents while hordes of enemies spawn to stop you from getting them, but if you like to solve mysteries then Priboi Story is for you!
  12. 8.5 / 10 - It's a nice mod with a really original concept, but running around from place to place will get a bit tedious and the ending could've been better.
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