SoC - "OGSE 0.6.9.2 R2 " Mod Review
- At last, I've managed to play through the OGSE mod for STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl and honestly said, I had a hard time reviewing it. OGSE was playing with moods - sometimes it was fun, sometimes spooky, sometimes dull and sometimes downright weird.
- That said, OGSE is a compilation mod, which had a simple promise of adding content to the game and bit trickier promises like rich gameplay, high replayability., perfect stability and perfect image quality with no loss in game performance.
- Installation was quite tricky, as to achieve that "perfect image quality", you had to browse the web for Argus texture packs, but to my mind, it was worth it. The mod is fully configurable and everything, from spawns to psi-zones, is for the player to decide via the built-in configuration utility. OGSE pulls you right in from the start with the artifact hunting mission for Sidorovich. Apart from that, the main storyline stays untouched and allows the player to "freeroam" after the ending.
- OGSE achieved stellar image quality. Many graphical aspects (like DoF, textures, length of grass) could be customized by the player. Personally, I loved the new particle effects to bits. Fog and mist was introduced to many new areas, for example all underground areas and it certainly made the feel to those places a lot creepier.
- The creepy-aspect of OGSE doesn't actually end here. The general feel to the game was much more unreal, "Silent Hilly" and creepier. OGSE felt more "Zone". Some mutants had distorted human calls for help as their voices and I swear chimeras could turn invisible now. The Zone had new eerie inhabitants, such as (fucking creepy) kamikaze zombies, plague enemies causing you to bleed and even skeletons. There were places playing eerie Russian music. Most "off-putting, into-the-Zone experience" was probably a stash which required you to go out of the world. This could be simply a bug, but I like to think it was on purpose.
- Besides many freaky new mutants, OGSE added mine detectors, that could find teleporters, several new items, plenty of weapons, vehicles, zombification and turrets. Unfortunately, the turrets don't work for the players favor and were a rather obnoxious element. Speaking of obnoxious elements, electro chimeras and annoying controllers could be found in OGSE. The difficulty of the mod was normal. Things got a bit harder from Yantar, where the zombies were really accurate, skeletons were too strong and where the X16 timer was set to 1:20 minutes.
- OGSE did not have perfect stability, it was almost perfect. Sometimes you could be killed during cutscenes, sometimes there would be broken sidequests and sometimes items wouldn't work. OGSE never crashed though and loadtimes were normal!
- To sum it up, OGSE did not quite deliver on all its promises, but it certainly offered a different STALKER experience, than usual. OGSE had great visuals, great gameplay and many dynamic elements, that enhanced the gameplay even further. Although I'm not very keen on the "high replayability" promise, since you would have the same OGSE experience the second time you play it through. Not to worry, since a new OGSE version is not far away, which looks very promising!
- 8/10 - OGSE is a fun and bizarre rollercoaster ride through the Zone.
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