A Quick Call Out For Pripyat

By Jim Rossignol on August 29th, 2010 at 4:18 pm.


I’ve just started a second playthrough of Call Of Pripyat, which impressed me a great deal earlier in the year. Since a few people had been asking me about mods for the game I thought I’d link to the mods I am using this time around. I’ve merged the installs for Atmosphere 2, TGS EZ (pictured) and RCOM. The resulting mixture seems to retain the audio and weather cleverness from Atmosphere, while adding the colour palette and textures from the TGS mod, which introduces a much more washed out, bleak aesthetic. In the first area at least, I think is a considerable improvement on the vanilla version, and hides some of vegetation/texturing problems of the aging game engine. RCOM is a weapon balancing and AI mod, which introduces a bunch of changes, making weapons more powerful, and making it much nastier to get shot. This means that long range single shots from an assault rifle will generally drop an enemy, but it means the AI can give you a beating from range too. Overall this mod mix makes the game slightly prettier and considerably tougher. I’m enjoying it.

Any other suggestions?

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85 Comments »

  1. Dyst says:

    It’s not out yet, but Call of Pripyat Complete should be coming fairly soon. It’s been announced at least.

    With the quality of SoC Complete and Clear Sky Complete, I imagine it should be pretty amazing.

  2. tomeoftom says:

    Is the headline picture a screenshot using that mod grouping? Maybe I’ve just forgotten what CoP looks like, but the shot is beautifully harsh.

    Also, I may as well get it out of the way early:

    CoP: Complete. Why can’t we have it NOW? WAAAH!!

  3. BruceCampbell87 says:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/call-of-pripyat-redux Wait for this, 31 august

  4. bob says:

    Is there a mod that removes all the monsters? I like Clear Sky with the faction wars mod a whole lot more than any of the other stalker games. I just prefer shooting humans.

    • mlaskus says:

      I second that. The monsters are not scary at all, they are just tedious and for me, the game would be much more appealing without them.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I don’t mind the dogs. And I had an awesome encounter with the chimera in Pripyat itself.

    • Unaco says:

      I hate Snorks… Bloodsuckers, Controllers, Burers, all no problem for me. But Snorks! I hate Snorks… just like Snag I think the guys name is. I hate Snorks.

    • mlaskus says:

      Yeah, the mutated animals are fine, I’m not a big fan of them, but they don’t ruin the game for me like the other monsters.

      I have tried modifying some of the files myself, but making the monsters immediately starve to death upon spawn didn’t work. Any ideas on how to remove some type of enemies without having to delete them from the spawn lists and scripted events?

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      I almost agree, Snorks were pretty pointless (and annoying) and the fact that they made no sense in the fiction (where did all these ww1 gas mask wearing sailors come from, and why was turning into a psychotic flying monkey something unique to these individuals?) was bad for immersion. It would have been better to have all monsters as scripted ‘boss events’ As jim said, the chimera led to some really interesting encounters in COP. And for me at least the first encounter of both the controller and the pseudo-giant worked really well in SOC. (bloodsuckers could also have been handled a little better)

      With any luck GSC will combine all the best elements for next year

    • Muzman says:

      Tetra: They’re not WW1 gasmasks. They’re a design of gas mask that was very common at the time of the Chernobyl disaster and are still found all over the city.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/73155136@N00/518804002/#

      (this has to be the first time I’ve seen people say they want less monsters and more people. Although it was bound to happen eventually.)

  5. NukeLord says:

    Thanks for this, just finished CoP recently and was looking for some mods to go through a second time round :)

  6. Kelron says:

    I recently started a second playthrough, with Atmosfear. Hadn’t seen any other mods that looked interesting, although I might try out those other two you’re using.

  7. Navagon says:

    Thanks! I already had AtmosFear 2 but I’ve been looking for a good texture and weapons mod. So I’ll give this mod mix a try. It seems Pripyat Complete is going to have its work cut out by the time it’s released.

  8. mcnostril says:

    I am enjoying Ceano’s mod, Call From Pripyat.
    http://privat.bahnhof.se/wb220832/stalker/ceanos.download.html

    It’s got a pretty big changelist, but it doesn’t feel unfamiliar if you’ve played Oblivion Lost or stuff like that before. The stuff with the most impact are probably the changes to the economy; it’s harder to make money, quest rewards are halved and things generally cost more. You’ll still end up making tons of money, but you’ve got to be very conservative with your gear.
    The combat is tougher, sort of like in RCOM (perhaps a bit more forgiving depending on the weapons used) and mutants are pretty nightmarish. Chimeras ruin your day, and bloodsuckers have this horrible tendency of swiping away your weapon before sucking on your face.

    Only thing I felt needed changing in there is the flashlight, but I’ve always hated that in any mod, with the way the engine makes everything bright glow like the heavens.

    I can’t decide if I want to try TGZ yet.
    I kind of like the contrast of having this beautiful greenery in places where there’s nothing but horrible death. It does make the vegetation look a million times better though.
    Perhaps for another playthrough…

    Also, I believe CoP: Redux 1.0 should be out in a few days, and that is looking mighty fine.

    • Cael says:

      I’ve read the changelist and this sounds like a good mod, definitely going to check it out.

    • mcnostril says:

      For additional awesomeness, there’s also the Variation mod that was made compatible for it.
      This is the compatibility patch for CfP http://www.mediafire.com/?o5hkhfcw5hxkxka (direct linked because the GSC forums are weird and I don’t know how to get a thread link in there)
      You need the actual mod files first though, which are here http://stalker.filefront.com/file/COP_Variation_Mod;111761

      It adds more texture variety to the NPCs, and the textures are all pretty decent.

    • Corbeau says:

      Had a technical hiccup or two at first, but man, Call From Pripyat really enhances the atmosphere. The game feels very gritty without all the pointers and magic radar, combat is deadly and visceral, and it’s a lot harder to ignore the economy of survival. Great mod.

  9. Phil says:

    Hiya, I was thinking about getting into the Stalker series, and was wondering which one I should purchase first. Should I start at the beginning with Shadow of Chernobyl, or can I get away with just playing CoP ?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Chernobyl is still the best, I think. I’d play that with the Complete mod and possibly one of the weapon rebalances, and then CoP.

    • pistolhamster says:

      Chernobyl, the first from 2007, is by far the best if you mod her up properly. The atmosphere is intense and scary, and you just walk away from the game impressed and changed. I watched Stalker (by Tarkovskij) before having played the game and was thrilled at how inspired the game was in its approach to the aesthetics of waste and ruin. Game and movie have not a lot in common, no, read “Roadside picnic” by brothers Strugatskij (or Strugatsky in your crazy anglaise transliteration tradition), then play SoC :)

      Clear Sky is annoying, a mechanical game that has not the same soul as SoC. Pripyat I save for when I can afford a Dx11-card!

  10. W Main says:

    I quite enjoyed Pripyat. I thought it was a very polished version of STALKER and was quite fun to play.

    My only complaint about it though was that, compared to the original STALKER, I didn’t find Pripyat particularly scary. I’m not if this is because I knew what to expect in the game, or whether it’s because the game wasn’t as scary as the original.

    I really dreaded going into the vaults in the original game, but in Call of Pripyat this dread was lost on me for some reason. :(

    Did anyone else find this?

    • Peanut says:

      Same, I found CoP a lot less frightening than SoC. The lab in CoP is a walk in the park compared to the things you see in the first STALKER game.

      However I must say, really scary games put me off a little bit, so either GSC thought it would be better to make it more accessible to those who are light of heart or they were just losing their touch in the horror/thriller department.

    • Langman says:

      In terms of scares, SoC has more of them. But CoP is the better game.

    • Vandelay says:

      I really never found the original that scary. Whereas night time in CoP is nerve racking, particularly in the early game when two or three dogs can rip you to shreds in seconds, if you let them get close.

      That mission where you have to kill the bloodsuckers for the hunter resulted in one of the most intense fights I’ve ever had in a game. It lasted about 10 minutes and was terrifying every time one of the suddenly appeared a foot away from me.

    • RedFred says:

      Man, my save for SoC was just sitting on that first vault part for ages! Freaked the bejezuz outa me!

      Side note: Worth playing Prypyat vanilla or start with mods?

    • Chris says:

      nth-ing what everybody says about the labs in SoC. One of the most intense experiences I have was in the Yantar lab – running around in the dark, out of ammo and trying to knife zombies in the face whilst frantically searching for the off switch before my brain got fried by the scorcher.

      Having said that CoP was very satisfying and authentic STALKER experience.

  11. SAeN says:

    I dived back into the game recently, finally realized how to make money and bought my SEVA suit. Night-time still scares the crap out of me though.

  12. Pesforozo says:

    I’ve just started it after the steam sale last week, and having a great time. I can’t find it now, but I have an integrated texture pack thingy, which borrows from 3 different packs.

    It gives you a choice of Spring, Summer and Autumn look, which I thought was a nice touch. I seem to remember the Atmosfear team mentioned they used it for screenshots.

  13. Secone says:

    I definitely suggest SGM mod. It’s a mod made in Russia/Germany/something like that, and it adds tons of quests, changes, pretty much everything. It even alters the storyline quests a bit which is pretty sweet. There are translations for the mod that are pretty well made (they’re at least better than google translate).

  14. BIG D 101 says:

    Quick question but will these mods work with a Steam version of the game?

    • Unaco says:

      Yes. I picked up the STEAM version in the sale/offer. Mods work fine… although someone mentioned you might want to avoid having STEAM verify game files after you’ve put mods on.

  15. Jimbo says:

    I’ve tried SoC a few times now, most recently with the Complete mod. I enjoyed playing it well enough and got close to the end this time (I think), but it still didn’t really grab my interest enough to finish it. I didn’t really care about the main storyline at any point, and felt like I was kinda fumbling my way through it most of the time.

    Is it still worth giving CoP a go, or is it just more of the same?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Similar, but structurally different. It’s three much bigger areas instead of the dozen smaller ones of SoC.

    • Cael says:

      The story IMO isn’t any better than SoC’s but the gameplay has improved greatly. Honestly though, the endings for SoC were amazing and you probably finish it.

  16. Jetsetlemming says:

    Definitely recommend SGM mod. I’ve been playing that the last few days and really, really dig the additions. It also has the really cool feature of a mod options menu in the main menu that you can go in and dynamically toggle some features on and off, like extra mutant spawning, or double vision when your health is low, or NPCs using grenades.

  17. Pupsikaso says:

    Get that voice over mod from fileplanet that changes voice overs back to native Russian language. The localized English voice overs are hilariously horrible. I mean, a Russian guy with a /fake/ mexican accent? This simple change goes far to improve your experience of playing the game.

  18. Casimir's Blake says:

    Absolutely nothing in this list interests me. So why am I posting?

    Because I am genuinely saddened at the lack of add-on MAPS for the Stalker series. The Lost Alpha team released an empty one to muck around in, and obviously their mod adds a lot of new and “old-newly refurbished” maps and spaces to trudge around. But it seems few modders of this series can be bothered to go any further than texture, weapon, music and sound effects mods.

    Thankfully though, SMRTER Pripyat will have an 0.45 release soon – hopefully – which adds the usual Oblivion Lost-style tweakage and some extra maps. Then I shall bother to bring the game out again.

    I realise that mapping is hard work – I’ve tried it, I have trouble completing a map for Doom let alone a proper 3D engine – but this is a series that is now nearly half-a-decade old. And it’s becoming just a touch tiresome playing the same old areas over and over again.

    • chills says:

      There’s a mod floating about somewhere that adds pretty much all of the maps form every game to CoP. Or it could be SoC, not sure. It’s all in russian anyway as far as I know. AMK Soljanka, that’s it!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Ooh, I shall have a look at that.

    • DXN says:

      From what I understand, due to various technical reasons and a lack of documentation and a proper SDK, making new maps for the STALKER engine is an especially convoluted and difficult process.

  19. Kab says:

    I played SoC when it first came out (on the hardest setting) and loved it – one of the best (and bastardly hardest) games I had played (and I loved it for that unforgiving hardness… and I loved it for the realistic ballistic physics and the weapons.. the Russian take on the SA80 was my fav. weapon!!) … I bought the sequel and loaded it as soon as my sweaty paws allowed but was bitterly disappointed… the sequel (Clear Sky) was ‘meh’ at best and I never finished it…

    ….Is Call of Pripyat better fun (I did not play either of the previous with mods but am very happy to improve my experience with them…)?

    If CoP was close to SoC in experience with the added extra of making it better with mods I’d be in… but if it was more of Clear Sky.. well panda would probably remain sad…

    • Stenl says:

      CoP is by far the best STALKER game gameplay wise. SoC is more atmospheric though.

    • Unaco says:

      I didn’t play Clear Sky, but did play (most) of SoC, without mods. From what I’ve gathered, Clear Sky took a different route to SoC… and it didn’t really work. CoP is firmly back on the SoC route. I haven’t played enough to judge yet… but people have said CoP is a more stable, better looking, less buggy SoC.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Like the first time taking ecstasy, SOC was a once in a lifetime experience.
      Clearsky had some nice idea but a miserably flawed execution. COP should really should have been the pinnacle, but for some reason it didn’t quite reach the giddy highs of the original.

  20. Tim Ward says:

    The Redux mod is looking fairly promising, and should be getting a V1.0 release in a few days.

  21. HoopleHead says:

    I’m kinda surprised no one has mentioned the p.r.i.p.y.a.t.a.n gold mod. I’ve been playing with it and have been having a blast. Adds new guns, new textures for NPCs, chemical fallout, satisfying combat, makes the beginning of the game way friggin’ harder, and a whole lot else. I can’t explain it but the feeling the mod gives you when you make it back alive from another day of artefact hunting is fantastic. If your looking for a challenge go to STALKER Files and give it a shot.

  22. Kelron says:

    The biggest problem with Stalker mods is that there doesn’t seem to be any single place you can find most of them. I was searching for mods the other week and 90% of the ones mentioned never showed up. Makes it difficult to find out which ones are good or popular.

    • HoopleHead says:

      stalker.filefront.com and moddb.com are the two main places, also the GSC forums are a good place to browse as well.

  23. FunkyBadger says:

    Do RPS stand fully against GSC and condemn them for repeatedly shipping games in unfinished condition?

    • Nick says:

      Nice try, only SoC was in so much better a state on release than Elemental that its not even funny. CoP was in great shape for a modern release.

    • Tim Ward says:

      Well, it had been out for something like 6 months in Russia before the English release, so it’s hardly surprising it was in decent shape by then. Dunno what state it was in initially.

    • Nick says:

      And Elemental had been in a paid beta for quite a while and still managed to ship unplayably broken.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, and we criticised the games accordingly. Our treatment of Clear Sky, particularly, left GSC fans up in arms, until they played it and realised it was bugged, broken, and badly designed.

      Call Of Pripyat, the game we are talking about here, has not needed patching – day 0 or otherwise – for its English language release. (The reason being, as Tim points out, that the Russian and German releases had at least two patches, one of them fairly substantial as I understand it. I waited for the English release, because we are an English-speaking site. Our critical judgment is based on that experience.)

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Jim: thanks for the response.

  24. Tim Ward says:

    I think we can all agree that unfinished releases are a bad thing.

  25. BruceCampbell87 says:

    Clear Sky is a fantastic game.

    • Nick says:

      That mght be stretching the term fantastic rather a lot.

    • jaheira says:

      It might even be stretching the term “game” a little bit.

    • Brumisator says:

      I for one don’t dare to disagree with Bruce Campbell himself.

  26. Jerkstore says:

    Hey, I made the Russian audio mods. As most people point out, it gets pretty difficult playing through the game when mission audio is in Russian. The version on Filefront replaces ALL spoken audio, but I also made a “light” version that only replaces audio that isn’t specific to missions or unique NPCs.

    Light: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=926U46Z0
    Full: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SEJOMTO6

    Unfortunately I never had the time to figure out if I could subtitle the entire game, but that would’ve been too time consuming for me to handle myself. :(

  27. puked says:

    Stenl got it right – SoC really plays up the horror aspect, while on the other hand CoP is more of a survival game with better gameplay. It’s just as good though.

    Only part I thought was bad was the last level, which felt really unfinished, but they might have patched it up since I played the russian release.

    • Ghost of Grey Cap says:

      A lot of people feel that Pripyat itself is a bit disappointing. Some mods try to fix that (adding duty and freedom or whatever), but I think it was meant to be emptier than the rest of the Zone- story-wise, Pripyat wouldn’t work as a sprawling hub of artifact hunters.

  28. Moridin says:

    Redux is being uploaded presently.

  29. Fathom says:

    Redux looks absolutely incredible, can’t wait to play it.

  30. Lobiency says:

    Having already played SoC (Complete 2009) and CoP (vanilla), I recently started playing Clear Sky while using the Complete mod and so far I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I’m about seven hours in and working my way through Garbage but have yet to run into anything game-breaking or frustratingly designed. I admit that I feel aimless but I recall having the same feeling with SoC (unlike CoP, where I always understood what I was doing and why). Due to all the hostility toward CS I’m holding my breath but I really hope most issues were negated with CS Complete.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Between GSC’s own patches and the mods Clear Sky is actually in a pretty good state now. It wasn’t when it came out, however, and I think a couple of the really breaky bugs remain.

    • kenoxite says:

      I spent most time in CS vanilla than in the other STALKER games combined, and I still think it’s the worst. It’s one of those weird things where a broken game can still be fun.

      The firefights in CS are simply epic, if you manage to work around the laser guided hand grenades and utterly broken reinforcement system of vanilla.

      An excellent broken game, it is.

  31. BruceCampbell87 says:

    Jim, I think you’ve to wait this http://www.moddb.com/mods/call-of-pripyat-redux

  32. Sean says:

    I completely agree with this, Clear Sky really got me into the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. It has a better start than SoC. I played it up to the very last boss (where the game style changes). It has less mutants and more human interactions. The upgrade system was excellent.

    That’s not to say it’s necessarily the best, but it’s the game that I’ve personally enjoyed the most.

  33. yhancik says:

    I’m always a bit cautious with installing mods that seem to change 2000 things and seem to make the game more tough (is that really necessary?)

    I was playing (still am, actually, I’m a slow, episodical player) SoC only with a couple of focused mods.
    - aLive (or something like that) was making the a-life more free – which really made the game more rich and unpredictable. From what I’ve heard, vanilla CoP already does that ?
    - a mod similar to the Variation Mod mentioned above (but more simple)
    - a mod to allow trading with other Stalkers

    Are they any recommendations for that kind of mods in CoP? making the game more rich and surprising, not more difficult :p

  34. ChaK_ says:

    Hmm, I’m going ti finish COP vanilla first, I’m close to the end I guess, I’m in pripyat.

    Anyway when I’m done I’ll play my 3rd play of SoC.

    I played the first vanilla, the second with the complete mod and the 3RD…

    Any idea? Oblivion lost? anything else? :)

    • Machinehead says:

      Oblivion Lost is a good mod but one thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s a substantial change from the vanilla experience. It’s also quite difficult.

  35. Justin says:

    I’ve been playing the LURK mod for Shadow of Chernobyl. It’s great in terms of sound and underground presentation.

    I haven’t tried the SGM or Soljanka mods yet; they have such a convoluted install, picked up through forum posts, that I’m never sure how well it will work out. I’d like more underground and more widespread anomalies in Call of Pripyat, but those are quibbles for an otherwise excellent game.

    If ever there was a game that could reliably sell expansion map packs, the STALKER series is it. Seriously, all they need to do for STALKER 2 is make it expandable, and they’d be able to reach right in my wallet and start pulling out money.

  36. Dima says:

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