View Full Version : Vanilla or Complete 2009?

03-29-2010, 07:16 PM
I know that this could've been posted (and probably has been posted) in the STALKER Complete 2009 thread, but I figured that I'd create a new topic and save myself the time spent reading through a million pages. Anyways:

I'm finally freeing up some time so that I can play through Stalker: SoC and (hopefully later) Clear Sky. I've just recently started SoC and remembered that I had read about STALKER: Complete 2009 when I was going to start playing it earlier this past year.

So, honest question: how much does the mod change the game? Should I play through the game vanilla or with Complete 2009 installed? Does Complete 2009 change the game drastically in a way that the developers would not have liked?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

marie pavie
03-29-2010, 07:36 PM
I'm a big fan of never starting off with mods, but feel that Complete 2009 would be just peachy.
ninja edit
You could play through Cordon, then restart with complete. See what you think.

03-29-2010, 07:58 PM
I just started playing SOC with Complete a few days ago. From what I read online, the mod leaves vanilla's gameplay pretty much intact. Also, the overall consensus seems to be that Complete improves the game in many ways: the graphics are better, it fixes errors, it adds the ability to repair weapons, and many, many more things.

To answer your question, play the game with Complete 2009, unless your computer can't handle it. The game has infinite replayability, so I'm sure you can always go back to vanilla at some point in the future.

03-30-2010, 01:45 AM
The mod isn't considered Vanilla 2.0 for no reason. You will love it! I don't think there's any feature that you would consider worse than original, everything is there only to enhance your experiencee. Not to mention the bug fixes that would annoy you if you played without it.

My suggestion (if you're into it) - go read the pdf readme, if you haven't yet. I think you'll be amazed.

03-30-2010, 04:56 AM
First of all, let me say that I think that there’s every possibility that you’ll thoroughly enjoy your journeys and adventures in the Zone. Shadow of Chernobyl is one of the most subtly complex and intriguing games that I’ve ever come across during my ten plus years of gaming. It’s a world absolutely packed full of possibilities.

Regarding your question, in my opinion, I would begin with completely vanilla SoC and use it as your training ground to become familiar with life in the Zone and in order to get the experience of what the developers had originally created. Then play through a second time with Complete and more fully appreciate the quality of what the mod team has produced as well as take those steps forward in game play. Although as arroyjose pointed out Complete does leave the game play relatively intact and does improve a number of things, but there are some noticeable differences in the ‘feel’ between the two. For me the ability to repair weapons drastically changed a basic dynamic present in vanilla, especially on deep forays into the Zone (most especially for trips into any of the underground complexes). When I had the ability to repair my weapons I didn’t feel quite the same level of tension, the same need to make every shot count as when my weapon was steadily degrading with no way to fix it. But that’s entirely a matter of personal preference. Some of the other additions also change some of the intangible ‘feel’ aspects of the game as well, but I’ll let you find those for yourself.

As I stated above, Shadow of Chernobyl is subtly complex and as such rewards patience and persistence. With that in mind I have a few tips for approaching this game (regardless of which version you choose) and the others in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series:

1. Don’t just stick to the main storyline. There’s a ton of stuff to do and the more you do the more you get a feel for the Zone and the more intriguing it can become.

2. Explore, explore and explore. Great things can be found in the unlikeliest of places. If you see a small opening, peak your head inside. See some overhead pipes that look inviting, find a way onto them. Even if you don’t find a way onto the pipes you’ll likely encounter something else as your looking.

3. More so in this game than any other I’ve played, keeping your eyes open and being observant pays off. For example, when you find an anomaly field don’t just rush through to the next interesting looking point on the horizon. Instead take some time and observe it. Watch how some of the anomalies act differently during different times of the day, you just may be rewarded. This also means be vigilant. On my initial play through, when I acquired my first scoped weapon I felt like ‘King of the Zone’. But that notion was quickly squashed as I was mauled from behind by a bloodsucker while arrogantly dispatching a group of military in an underground area. Also, just sitting back to watch blind dogs get a meal is highly entertaining, in a slightly perverse kind of way.

4. Experiment with weapons, armor and artifacts. Three dimensional thinking just may bring you some surprises and rewards.

5. If you choose to play vanilla do not go to Chernobyl NPP until you’ve done everything that you want to do. Crossing from Pripyat to the power plant is the point of no return.

Have fun and welcome to the Zone.


Forward Area
03-30-2010, 05:12 AM
IMO I would go Vanilla first then with mods after... up to you though.

03-30-2010, 07:30 AM
Excellent first post, UxmalTrekker.

03-30-2010, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone!

I'm going to take a quick read through the readme.pdf and see what all it's willing to tell me. However, I think I am going to play through Vanilla for the first time. The simple reason being that it's what the developers intended.

But, I am certainly looking forward to playing through later with Complete!

03-30-2010, 09:23 AM
Absolutely nothing wrong with the vanilla game, so if that's what you want to do, go ahead! Complete 2009 is mostly only improvements over vanilla but there are a few changed things I kind of missed. Nothing major though. ;)

03-31-2010, 02:53 AM
Excellent first post, UxmalTrekker.

Thanks, lordfrikk. I appreciate the sentiment. See you around the Zone.