SoC - RMA (Old Storyline Restoration) Mod Review
- This time, I've taken a small trip to the older, stable builds of STALKER, refurbished and cleaned by modders. Zubr14's mod "RMA", restores most of the build 1935-2205 storyline, including missions, characters etc. It also restores 4 fully functional levels, including the Dead City, the Generators, the Warlab and another secret lab.
- To be honest, i didn't really know what to expect from this mod. At first glance, I imagined vanilla with 2 sidequests added and some unstable map areas. What I actually got, was vanilla with a huge twist.
- These types of "restoring" mods need to have one certain element in order for the mod to work - to catch the atmosphere of ye olde' STALKER..
- As always, you start at Sidorovich, but now have to find an artifact for him. After that, you'll end up in tons and tons of sidequests. The game pulled you in right from the start. I loved that.
- Graphics were very similar to vanilla, but somehow much more crisp and detailed. Much more trees and bushes seemed to be in the Zone now. Vanilla HUD elements stayed in place, no need to change what is perfect.
- All of the unused soundtracks back in SoC and CS time were now used in all the areas. (Even my favourite "Radwind pt.2 was used. Yay!) Some dialogue was changed into Ukrainian, but mostly all the speech was in English.
- The most important of all was of course the gameplay and may I say that it "rocked my boots off". The gameplay felt like I was playing STALKER: SoC through the very first time. The new missions and sidequests and NPC-s really made me look forward for what will happen next, what am I going to shoot now, how many bullets I'm gonna spend there. The content was added to this mod very precisely as not to overdose it and ruin the original immersion that the older STALKER builds had and RMA pulled this off perfectly. The cut mutants were inserted back into the game very precisely. Rats and tushkana were only underground, zombies were at X16, etc.
- I can't spoil much, but let me say that the readded quests were pretty much perfect, too. It did drift off a little at Dead City and at War Lab (both of which had full AI, woohoo). I loved the little transfer area from Dark Valley to Cordon, too, which was an adorable little action scene, yet still seemed STALKER-ish. The Dead City scene was like Die Hard 5, in a good way.
- If we talked about the difficulty of the mod, I'd say it's great for somebody with at least 1-2 playthroughs. It's pretty much vanilla difficulty with only the endgame turning on the heat with the anomaly ass at the Generators.
- The stability of the mod was near perfect. The game never crashed with the only exception at the Swamps area (which is complete bullshit as the game never actually lead to the area anyway). The loadtimes were very quick, too!
- Summing it all up, I'd say it's a perfect mod for those who want to play the older STALKER builds, who want to know what was cut and who also want stability.
- 9.3 / 10 - I can proudly name RMA "STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl - Extended Cut"
- The mod can be downloaded from the Anon's Almost Complete Mod Repository.
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