Ok. So there I was. Bored on the weekend. Bored with other games. Just not excited about any new games enough to spend money. So I reloaded STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl.
Then I started playing.
It was a totally different game. How did this happen? When?
The new game:
1. Does away with all the mechanics who repair gear (for a price).
2. Does away with most of the camp communities where you can buy and sell stuff. The buildings are still there because the map is there. But the inside stuff is all different. EVERYWHERE.
3. major factions are moved so that you don’t run into them at awkward times. There used to be a major FREEDOM base in the east and now it’s just bandits.
4. Significant plot changes. Still hunting Stralock, but differently.
5. Because there are no mechanics, you can’t upgrade your armor or weapons other than by finding or buying weapons that have the upgrades.
6. Many of the artifacts have altered abilities. I can’t find any that have the “carry more stuff” ability. And there are no more anomaly detectors. The artifacts are laying out in the open, easy to see. Even some of your killed people have artifacts on them to pick up.
In effect, it seems like a very different game and indicates a substantial amount of work by some people. I don’t understand the economics of doing this for a game that was released in 2008 and the company that developed it closed three years ago. it seems like all that development capital could have been better spent creating a new title that could be sold for fresh money instead of giving it away for free to customers who may or may not even want it. I like the new game, but I would have been perfectly happy playing the old game again.
I feel like I am being gas lighted.