>>1708>redpill me on stalker
you just made my day, anon
it does atmosphere better than any other first person game. Depending on your taste gunplay is either garbage or the half-life bastard child you didn't know you needed. the dynamic a-life system means that AI stalker, mutants, and in some mods anomalies are constantly moving dynamically in a logical fashion (pathfinding sometimes excepted). In fact the a-life is so intelligent that supposedly the devs had to gimp it to stop random stalkers from beating the game. The game is unrepentently Ukrainian and its stubborn insistence on authenticity towards its setting reinforces that atmosphere all the more. Oh yeah, did I mention they toured the exclusion zone extensively to ensure they were doing it right? It's so well done let me hit you with a brief greentext story.>SOC had tons of cut content>in final game spend maybe 5 min sprinting through the exterior of Chernobyl NPP>playing mod that lets you wander around that map>the whole thing is several km large and quite detailed but it's mostly ignored by the spawns and A-life>spend an hour wandering around the empty exterior of the NPP>it's comfy AF and still a fond vidya memory years later
Mods are very much to taste but the subjectively right ones can improve the entire experience immeasurably, and the games are replayable enough that going through the game again with a fresh coat of paint is enough to revitalize the entire experience.
The most important thing imo is the aforementioned gunplay. Either play vanilla or get the /v/ starter pack off the cuckchan thread on /vg/ (the games are also there if you need them) for improved pretty and nonessential bugfixes then play through that on master because the guns are all airsoft on lower difficulties, and if you're not having fun by the first lab either x16 or x18 then find a mod that looks good and give that a try. For release order you'll want to start with SOC then either do CS or COP. COP > CS but CS can be fun for its faction war system and was earlier in release chronology if that matters to you. The games are basically SOC is the loved one with crowded maps, lots of gunfights, and tons of cool mods, CS is the wacky one with its faction wars and heavily scripted missions, and COP is the authentic one with large, mostly peaceful maps that feel closest to the proper STALKAN atmosphere but vanilla is also derided as a "zone theme park" because lots of threats have been removed ie really dangerous mutants rarely spawn and bandits don't attack unless you antagonize them.
I had a similar experience to you the first time I played. I made it halfway through the cordon, couldn't understand what people saw in the game and hated the shooting from having mostly played proper tactical shooters like Rogue Spear and gg'd until an old /v/ friend started telling me his greentext stories. I tried LURK 1.1 (the pink and bloom one old/v/ (F ;_;) loved to hate) and fell in love with more authentic shooting, rich shaders, and minimalist, uninstrusive hud. My point is that the game should eventually "click", and if that's not happening it's worth it to start experimenting with mods. Mods are monolithic so they're easy to install and should rarely fuck reliability. Shortlist of good SOC mods to check on your second playthrough: AMK, LURK, Autumn Aurora 2, OGSE, Doom's Mod Merge: Anon Edition (if you want freeplay).
Oh, and: crosshair is for pussies, Lost Alpha and Misery are maymays, vanilla's stable, there's an ini edit if you want to prone, default hud is bad, contacts menu in the pda is wallhack, save rarely for a challenge, play on master difficulty, duty are fascists, and AS VAL is best grill
if you come up with any questions post em