Stalker Anomaly Succeeds Where Escape From Tarkov Failed

If you’re a fan of tactical shooters and survival horror, you’ll love this mod of the beloved franchise.

Story Highlights

  • Stalker is an open-world FPS franchise from the Ukrainian developer GSC World.
  • Stalker Anomaly is a community-made mod that significantly enhances the overall experience.
  • Brutal gunplay and survival elements are present however the mod is customizable to your preference.

These days I’ve found myself craving games similar to realistic military shooters and survival horror, but I find my options rather limited. Escape from Tarkov is pay-to-win, I can only play so much Arma 3 or Day-Z, and Arena Breakout: Infinite is yet to be released.

Most importantly I feel frustrated by the permadeath aspect shared by these games and the vicious cycle of grinding, dying, and having to repeat the whole ordeal from scratch.

How do you deal with tarkov frustration?
byu/DaWafflman inEscapefromTarkov

Wanting a break from this, I discovered the Stalker series and subsequently a mod titled Anomaly that helped me scratch the itch for military simulators and survival shooters without the added stress of permadeath.

Before I talk about Stalker Anomaly, I should first go through the parent games that started it all and briefly summarize the game’s history and relevance to other FPS titles sharing the same aesthetic.

A Brief History Of Stalker

Stalker is a game series endeared by many as one of the most atmospheric shooters of its time. It is also one of the first to adopt the post-soviet sci-fi aesthetic, complete with brutalist architecture, dreary weather, anomalous entities, and a general atmosphere of loneliness. It is the reason we have the legendary Metro series and many other games such as Escape from Tarkov, Chernobylite, etc…

The 3 Stalker Games
The 3 Stalker Games

Although, beloved to many, the sands of time have not been very kind to the games. They suffer from dated graphics, a bug-ridden engine, and a distinct lack of replayability, as the games can only be replayed so much by fans. I remember when I first started to play Shadow of Chernobyl and enjoyed the game despite its aged appearance yet I got quickly bored after the 1st playthrough. 

Luckily I learnt of a mod that would spark my interest in the games as if it were my first playthrough.

Stalker Anomaly

Where am I leading with this? In 2018, a standalone mod Stalker Anomaly released, quickly garnering the attention and adoration of the Stalker community. Anomaly links all maps of all 3 Stalker games into an open-world sandbox FPS military simulator with unforgiving survival elements.

What’s your opinion on Stalker Anomaly?
byu/SvobodnyyAlfiq instalker

It fixed 2 of the 3 problems I mentioned which is a passing grade. It was a breath of fresh air for veterans and rookies alike, as this was a total conversion mod for Call of Pripyat: Upscaled graphics, new & improved game mechanics, and insane replayability.

Bugs still plague the game but that is a problem due to the game’s outdated engine, which the mod team has tirelessly worked around. Seriously praise to the numerous modders that worked together to create Anomaly, as the X-Ray Engine is said to be a nightmare to work on.

Anomaly And Its Features

Players are thrust into the unforgiving & melancholic “Zone,” a 60km exclusion zone that surrounds the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the 1986 tragedy. What sets Anomaly apart from previous Stalker games is the sheer amount of new game mechanics introduced and the harsh difficulty spike.

Managing Hunger, First-Aid and other Survival Elements is Key Source: Youtube - OperatorDrewski
Managing Hunger, First-Aid and Other Survival Elements is Key | Source: YouTube (OperatorDrewski)

Stalker is regarded as one of the most difficult titles to date, but in reality, it’s simple, rather only the combat aspect could be considered somewhat difficult.

Anomaly, however, is not only brutal in its combat but also in its survival mechanics. This includes realistic first-aid applications, an intricate weapon & armor repair/modification system, a dynamic environment actively trying to kill you, complex inventory management, and a day/night cycle that shifts the gameplay approach for many. It is very immersive, to say the least.

Inventory Management in Stalker Anomaly Source: Youtube - OperatorDrewski
Inventory Management in Stalker Anomaly | Source: YouTube (OperatorDrewski)

Fans of Escape from Tarkov, Day-Z, Arma, and other titles can easily be seen investing hundreds of hours into this mod and helping scratch that itch until the next big title or update comes for their respective games.

Before You Begin Your Adventure

All this being said and done, the 3 original games provide a much-needed background for the mod that I and many others think is essential to enjoy Anomaly to its fullest. I’d highly recommend going through the original trilogy. If you only have time for one game, play Call of Pripyat. The games can be found dirt cheap during Steam sales.

Review Statistics From Anomaly Forums Source: ModDB
Review Statistics From Anomaly Forums | Source: ModDB

Don’t take my word for it go ahead and check the reviews for the Mod yourself. 

My final thoughts: Play Stalker Anomaly. Once you’re tired of that, install G.A.M.M.A which is a recent modpack for Anomaly that introduces a new level of difficulty and mechanics with deep & rewarding mechanics. If the game is too hard, remember Anomaly is a mod that can be catered to your preference of gameplay.

And with that, good hunting Stalkers. I’ll see you in the zone.

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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