Yet more Stalker Anomaly, because it is quite fascinating.
I started a new game yesterday, this time without god mode, so I cowered in the rookie village while what sounded like a few wars were going on on all sides. Once that had died down, I nervously walked up to the road outside and the moment I stuck my head over the crest of the ridge, a soldier started shooting at me and nearly killed me even though I sprinted back down the moment I saw him.
So I spent some more time cowering, until I heard firing close by and ran out to find a dead soldier near the entrance to the village. I looted him and promptly got so overloaded I couldn’t move, so obviously that was the moment another soldier showed up. Somehow, looting the soldier had placed a grenade in my hand, so I threw it in a panic and managed to kill the new soldier.
Then I found out I had looted a proto-exoskeleton, which meant that I could suddenly carry 130kg rather than 60 (which also explained how the soldier had carried so much stuff that I got completely overburdened).
Good start, although even a military exoskeleton doesn’t really help all that much; you still get shredded by everything. I had a fight with some bandits who only had totally broken down gear and only wore leather jackets and they very nearly killed me, especially the guy who was using a pistol with no health left. I doubt it would have fired at all if I’d been using it. That’s a bit annoying (gear quality does affect companions, their weapons jam and such, so I would think it also affects normal NPCs. Maybe the guy just got lucky).
IIRC, there was always a problem in the Stalker games with the lowest difficulty, as it actually makes enemies tougher in some respects. I’m kind of wondering if that happens in Anomaly too (hard to judge, because the lowest difficulty certainly doesn’t mean ‘easy’ in any sense of the word).
The ‘online’ chat is rather nice. It’s just sort of news where other stalkers (the NPCs, that is) announce if they’ve heard or seen something (actual in-game happenings, not just fake messages) or call for help and such, but once in a while there are some nice emergent stories developing.
There was a Clear Sky stalker who bragged that he had just found a rare artifact and someone else from his faction told him not to announce it on the open channel. A few minutes later a bandit announced that he’d just found the artifact on the body of someone he’d killed (and if you knew where the bandit was, you could then go kill him and find the artifact on him).
I have an idea of making a unique roaming stalker and just let them loose on the world and see if they pop up in the chat channel from time to time. It could be interesting (and also a major headache to mod, as far as I can tell).
After my first, overly exciting, venture to the Garbage, I made it back to the rookie village in Cordon thinking I’d relax in a safe place for a bit (while grumbling about the village veterans just sitting there being lazy), only to find five dead soldiers and three dead Stalkers in the village…
Sometimes the Zone does feel alive.
Still trying to mod things so they’re more enjoyable for me, because some things really don’t feel balanced, but it’s such a labyrinth of files that it’s hard to find the stuff I need. I’m starting to wonder if any of the SDKs work for the Anomaly engine (as far as I can tell, it doesn’t use OpenXR or the Call of Chernobyl engines). Perhaps that would help.