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The Chernobog is a mobile missile launcher which needs to be stored in a Facility. And because the Facility is one of my favorite properties I didn't have to think hard when R* put a 40% discount on this thing; my Facility now contains all three Doomsday special vehicles. But how useful is this thing? Let's find out!
How quickly things can change ;) I had saved up approx. 5 million GTA$ because I wanted to buy the X80 prototype, but then R* had to 'spoil' the fun by adding a 40% discount on the Chernobog this week.
Now... I'm biased as heck because I really enjoy my Facility, I think it's a fun and cool property to have. For both useful and cosmetic ('roleplay') purposes... large areas to explore, free weapons and snacks to collect, some involved humor (listen to the broadcasts sometime) and of course a perfect place to store your militarized vehicles, especially if said vehicles can be modified in an Avenger.
Speaking of which... A Facility can store up to 7 (regular) personal vehicles, three militarized Doomsday vehicles (Khanjali tank, Thruster and the Chernobog) and finally one special service vehicle (which is the Avenger). Since I owned all but the Chernobog it shouldn't come as a big surprised that I really wanted this to complete my "Facility collection".
Honestly? I'm quite satisfied but at the same time also recognize that this vehicle probably isn't for everyone. I would definitely not recommend buying this full price if you don't have to because although I think it's quite cool to have it does have some quirks you need to be aware off.
First Impressions / Customization
The Chernobog gets stored on the ramp which overlooks the main entrance area, at the back right side of the Avenger (see screenshot). I think the location is well chosen because if you run up the ramp to get here you can immediately hop into the vehicle to drive it out.
There's not too much you can customize though. Basically it provides everything you'd expect from a regular vehicle (armor, engine, paint job, windows, license plate, etc.) and adds livery as an extra option. Maybe something to keep in mind: the second color of the paintjob will also determine the color of your wheels. You can only apply bulletproof tires but won't be able to further customize the wheels (which I suppose makes sense considering that this is somewhat of a special vehicle).
And in case you hadn't realized: customizing is done using the Facility workshop. So don't expect to drive this into the Avenger or something (as if that would fit....).
This thing has 'militarized' written all over it and I really appreciate that. As you can see you'd better not be claustrophobic if you plan on driving this thing because there's not much room here. Also don't expect to have a nice chat with your passengers during the ride because they are stationed in the back and there's some seriously heavy armor plating between you.
Here's a perfect example why I can appreciate this thing so much. Sure, this is purely cosmetic and doesn't really "do" anything, but I still think it's fitting that there's a targeting computer in there. As if you're going to be operating a whole missile battery using nothing more than a joystick? I think not....
And if this wasn't enough R* also paid attention to detail, even though I'm sure a majority of players will never be the wiser here. Look what happens when I turn on the engine:
That's right: now the computer suddenly turns on and is ready for usage. Like I said before this is purely cosmetic and doesn't mean much, but for me it really adds up to my overal impression of this thing. I can appreciate small details like this.
Handling / Firing
In my country (= the Netherlands) cycling is quite popular, many people use a bicycle to get them to places. Whether it's work, doing some shopping, etc. In many cities cyclists have their own place on the street but there are always situations where you're on the same road as cars.
Well... sometimes things can go horribly wrong when a cyclist parks right next to a (big) truck that is about to turn right. Or, this also often happens, when they don't want to bother with said truck because "I'm going straight so that truck needs to wait for me". That's all fine and well, but how sure are you that the truck driver can actually see you?!
Why I bring this up you wonder? Good question:
Because if you drive the Chernobog in first person view you will soon discover that it can be very tricky to make sure you don't bump into other cars (or motorbikes). Simply because your view on the road is severely obstructed. Just like it would be in a real truck in real life.
Next time you're on a bicycle and you see a truck in front of you you might want to keep this tidbit in mind before trying to pass it, it could honestly just save your life (I'm not kidding).
Four Wheel Steering
Driving this thing can be plain out tricky because steering doesn't go as fast as with regular vehicles (like the Insurgent or even the Phantom Wedge). That's because you're hauling a few tons worth of missiles on top which makes this truck seriously heavy. And the wheels on this thing were made to handle all that.
Therefor you steer with four wheels and it takes a small amount of time before those wheels turn. It really takes getting used to, but I seriously enjoy that R* added this small dose of realism into the game. For me it makes the Chernobog a bit more special to drive.
Be careful with bumping into other cars! Because if you do then chances are high that they'll immediately explode and that can damage the Chernobog.
Firing the Rockets
Before the passenger can operate the missile battery you first need to come to a complete stop, and then set the vehicle into "launch mode". This raises the whole thing, thus compensating for turning around the massive weight of the launcher installation. Once again I really think it all adds up. Sure; it makes using this thing a little more tricky, but ey...
Of course you can also use this solo if you want to. Simply get out once you enabled launch mode, then keep the 'enter vehicle' key pressed so that you'll hop into the back, now you'll automatically take control over the rockets.
By default the installation runs in free-aim mode, so you can simply point and shoot. If you keep the left trigger pressed then you'll enable auto aiming after which any potential targets get selected. These targets include regular civilians, so you can really wreck some havoc.
The Chernobog can quickly fire up to 5 missiles at once, after which it has a small cooldown before it can fire again. Keep the trigger pressed and all five shoot out quickly after one another, or you can simply fire with small bursts (or select another target of course).
While the auto-aim is decent enough it's also not exactly convincing. I've had the rockets miss a police helicopter several times and only because it was turning (not even seriously moving!). That's right: several missiles that had locked on still managed to miss a somewhat stationary flying target.
SO while there's definitely something to be said for firing up to 5 missiles at once it's also fair to say that a Chernobog on its own won't be the best way to defend yourself.
Another possible possible con... you can only use the rockets on this thing. If you're the driver then you won't be able to use your own weapons to back up the passenger (aka gunner) which I think is a shame.
Also be careful when dealing with the police! Because the Chernobog is a personal vehicle it will get impounded if the cops shoot you while you're near it. But because it's so large it apparently doesn't fit the impound yard and thus the cops will immediately destroy it, no questions asked. When this happened to me I had Mors Mutual replaced the vehicle for free, but even so you might want to be careful here.
If you want a cool looking mobile missile launcher which behaves in a somewhat realistic way and can quickly fire up to 5 missiles at once then this could be a good purchase. It doesn't drive fast but is quite robust, has decent armor and I think it's really fun to use.
On the down side though the effect of the missiles is limited. They are only effective against flying targets, or ground targets that are further away. So once the enemies start swarming you (like the police does) then you're a sitting duck.
However, I did discover one interesting detail but I haven't had a chance to check this out yet:
The Chernobog has a towing hook....
Maybe this means that you could hook up the anti aircraft trailer to the Chernobog and that could be just the thing you might need to provide some extra protection.
Of course this isn't something you can try on your own because both vehicles are personal vehicles, and you can only have one personal vehicle active at the same time.
So my friends Caped Crusader & Emiboss and me joined in a session and we tried it out. As you can see the towing hook is indeed real and the Chernobog can tow the AA trailer for even more firepower!
And there you have it...
Even though I really enjoy the Chernobog I wouldn't recommend buying this at its full price. It's a good vehicle to have I think, but it's also not that good; there are several cons which you need to keep in mind (slow driving speed, specific handling, limited use of missiles).
But if you already own a Khanjali and would like something extra then this can be a really nice addition. Especially if R* applies a nice discount like they did this week (= time of writing).