Posts Tagged ‘gsc-gameworld’

Further New Dawns For Clear Sky

A few people have mailed us over the past few weeks suggesting that we take a look at the Total Faction War mod v1.8 by PhoenixHeart, Darkenneko and Smoq2. I finally got around to doing that this week, and I’ve written up some thoughts below. Long term readers will recall that I previously attempted to mod the errant son of the Stalker dysnasty into a place in my heart last year, with mixed results. This is the first mod I’ve had installed that comes close to fixing what was otherwise the weakest aspect of Clear Sky, even after modding: the factional warfare.
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Stalker, The Zone, And Borrowed Architecture

I’ve been doing some guest blogging for splendid architecture site BLDGBLOG. You can see my previous offerings here and here, as well as an interview here. The latest piece – here! – delves deeper into my obsession with GSC Gameworld’s Stalker games, and the wider fiction – and reality – surrounding them. Go have a read of the rest of BLDGBLOG, too. It will surprise you.

Wot I Think: Call Of Pripyat

The third Stalker game, Call Of Pripyat, has been out in Europe and Russia for quite some time, but it has only just made the leap to English-language release. The UK version due on Friday. I’ve recently completed that edition of the game and my account of that experience follows.
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Pripyat Precipitates Feb 5th

Koch Media have confirmed February 5 as the release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Call of Pripyat in the UK, Italy, and “Nordic”, although which countries that stands for isn’t quite clear. Russia, Germany and the rest of Europe have had their versions of the game for a while now, and all feedback points to good. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with the early English-language version myself, and wrote up impressions here. In short: strong stuff, especially in the direction of open-endedness, but I have a few reservations. I’ll be playing the hell out of it when the full version arrives too, obviously. There’s no news about what’s happening with a US version, but presumably it’ll find its way to digital download before long.

Call Of Pripyat: Pripyat Itself

Looks like we’re all going to need some cheering up after that last item, so how about some bleak Ukrainian apocalypse to give your day a bit of buoyancy? This new trailer for Call Of Pripyat flies through Pripyat itself – so I suppose it’s a kind of spoiler – but it gives you some idea of how large the new maps in this game actually are. I’ve yet to get there in my own playthrough of the game, which I talked about here, but last night I did discover a neat “looped” dungeon, which uses some kind of portalling to always bring you back to the same place – a kind of Escher level. Which is odd, because it’s exactly the kind of design I’d been looking to find in games recently, and here it pops up in a minor side-quest in Call Of Pripyat. Interesting stuff.
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Hands On With Call Of Pripyat

This week I’ve been playing the English-language version of Stalker: Call of Pripyat. While the game is already out in Russia and Germany, the English version isn’t coming out until January. The version I am playing is therefore a preview build, and incomplete in a number of ways, mostly in UI English and some bits and pieces of presentation. What does seem to be complete, however, is the new and transformed zone, and its surly denizens. My impressions of this, the third Stalker game, follow.
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Incredi-bargain! STALKER! Incredi-bargain!

We normally reserve talk of discounted games for Saturday’s Bargain Bucket post, but this one’s too good to leave for then. STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl is a title that instantly flickers into the forebrain of both myself and Jim whenever the question of the last few years’ best/most important PC games is raised. It is not a perfect game, but it realises a world, a place, an atmosphere, a dream of what games can and should be that pretty much nothing else even tries to come close to. And it’s £3.50 on Steam (not sure of US price – presumably around $5?) until Monday. I find that almost insulting. On the other hand, it means there’s essentially no excuse to not buy the thing if you haven’t already. What else could you spend that £3.50 on? If you do invest in it, I strongly advise you apply the STALKER Complete 2009 mod compilation for maximum post-apocalyptic prettiness.

Cry Some More: CryENGINE 3, STALKER 2?

Soon they will look more real than real beaches and we'll demand real life upgrades.

Crytek last night announced the latest incarnation of their engine, CryENGINE 3 is now available to be licensed. Now that may not affect you or me (unless you’re a games developer of course), but there’s some interesting implications of this latest tech. Of course, it first of all means games are going to be prettier – these are the people who keep bowling us over with each new engine as it creates vivid beaches and jungles. But it’s also looking to streamline development across multiple platforms – letting programmers see how the game will appear in PC, 360 and PS3 on the fly. And rumours abound that it may be the engine of choice for STALKER 2.

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Don’t Just Stand There: Stalkerfest

Sergey Galyonkin sends word that he’s posted pictures from the heavily-attended Stalkerfest 2009 over on Flickr. You can check out the mass of cosplayers (reportedly around 500) and also see GSC’s developer band getting up on stage top strut their stuff. For those of you down with the local language, there’s also a blog account of the event here.

When Lighting Attacks: Call Of Pripyat Trailer

So it seems that DirectX 11 will be supported by Call Of Pripyat, although it’s not clear what difference that will make to the visual fidelity of the game. This new video (below) shows off lots of lovely real-time shadows and stuff, but I was under the impression that Stalker did that in DirectX 9 anyway… (There’s a slightly bizarre comparison of DX9 and DX10 versions of the game here, in which I’m not sure whether one mode could identifiably called “better” than the other from the stills on display.) The trailer, fortunately, also features an encounter with a monstrous psychic dwarf (above), just for good measure.
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