My conflict-o-tron is clicking like that time I discovered a ‘free kitten, smoosh child’ lever. I could have had a free kitten, but then there’s that child. Not even imagining the cutest kittens and the worst children could get me to pull it. Believe me, I tried. Survarium has me in that same sort of headspace: a game from a lot of the Stalker devs set in a zone of alienation! Hooray! But it’ll start out as a free-to-play shooter. There is some footage of a match below, and it looks lovely and lush, but doesn’t play anything like Stalker.
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Posts Tagged ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat’
If various apocalyptic games, books, and movies have taught me anything, it’s that you always side with the trees. Humans? Nah, they’re old hat. On the way out. This is largely evidenced by the fact that they always find some way to bomb, globally warm, or pandemic themselves to the brink of extinction. That’s not exactly the stuff of a winning team. Trees, though, they wither but never waver. Just a few stray seeds and they’re back in the game. So naturally, Survarium‘s Fringe faction worships them, because what else do you do with an unfeeling entity that doesn’t care if you live or die? See them in action – along with a new, impressively colossal map called Chemical Plant – below.
This career affords me the option to write about space chickens more often than you’d think, but still not as much as I’d like. It’s a real shame, but this – this right now – is a most eggcellent moment. And getting to namedrop STALKER in the same article? Well that’s just the finger lickin’ chicken’s most prized pickins’ (I’m from Texas, so I’m allowed to talk like that). But yes: Humans Must Answer, a shmup by former STALKER devs where you play as genocidal intergalactic avians, is now officially out. There’s a celebratory trailer that tastes remarkably like chicken right after the break.
The sun is beating the UK into sweaty submission. Flowers are blooming, there is blue where there’s usually grey, and lollypops are the staple food source. Summer has finally decided to show up and make the world brighter and sort of happier, so this weekend I closed the curtains and spent my off-time fiddling with Stalker. I decided I wanted to pretty up the original game: I wanted pitch black nights, livelier fauna, blowouts, lovely skies, and more interesting weather. Unfortunately I’d forgotten I’d already modded it, so I ended up with a broken mutant of a game. I’m reinstalling now. It wasn’t at total waste: on my hunt for the Shadow Of Chernobyl mods I discovered that the long-awaited Misery 2.0 for Call Of Pripyat is out this month. And it has a trailer.
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To this very day, I continue to be followed around by a gray little rain cloud that weeps heaving droplets over STALKER 2’s demise. I have named it Probably Clinical Depression – after my great grandfather, of course. But one can only linger on the past for so long. I know this. I am a mature adult with grownup feelings, coping mechanisms, and tastes in colorful breakfast cereals. So naturally, I’ve decided to pile all my hopes and desires on a thing that only vaguely resembles my loss, like any well-adjusted person would. Survarium‘s been unabashedly multiplayer since day one, and now it’s officially entered invite-only alpha. Does it at least capture STALKER’s spirit? I can only hope.
Update: GSC responded to our queries, pointing out two rather major items: 1) “BitComposer doesn’t have any rights as to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., except for distributing our game Call of Pripyat on some territories,” a rep clarified. “They may have purchased the rights for the game based on Roadside Picnic, but it has nothing to do with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or its universe.” 2) “GSC is seeking ways to continue the series, and we’re also considering selling out the brand to a decent developer or publisher.” Hear that? Somebody amazing, BUY STALKER.
Original: I always wanted to be able to tell people STALKER will never die, but I’m not sure I wanted it to be like this. First, German publisher bitComposer claimed to have obtained the rights to develop games about Chernobyl’s implausibly bad luck with nuclear power via a book-series-shaped backdoor. When doubt was cast upon the validity of their claim, they confirmed to Jim that the rights are theirs, but hesitated to comment any further as to what that could mean for the series or the sadly defunct STALKER 2. Now, though, the thought-to-be-corpsified remains of original STALKER dev GSC Game World have caught wind of the controversy, and they’re returning fire with fighting words.
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with bitComposer, who tell us that they DID acquire Stalker rights from the late Boris Strugatsky. Quite what this means for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise isn’t clear, as they can make no further comment at this time.
UPDATE 2: It seems we might be looking at STALKER for bitComposer and a separate franchise to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Confusing, eh?
Those of you who have been following the saga of the demise of GSC and the subsequent death of STALKER 2 might recall that the property was held by GSC owner Sergiy Grygorovich, while most of the original dev team went off to form Vostok and work on Survarium. Now, though, there’s been a new development, with this news from German publisher bitComposer: “bitComposer Entertainment AG has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights for future video game adaptations of the acclaimed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand from Boris Natanovich Strygatsky (sic). This is the second strong international license that the Eschborn-based company has acquired within the space of a few years, and this move ensures that the successful series will continue.”
More details will apparently appear “shortly”, although it’s not entirely clear what rights are held here – given that the Stalker brand held by the authors is different from that held by the game creators, and could be an error or mistranslation. (And this perhaps rubbishes previous rumours that Bethesda had acquired the rights.) Quite who will make this new game, though, will be the burning question. Thanks to the huge flashing array of IM windows which lit up to inform me of this news.
We’ve contacted bitComposer for comment.
Was my decision to write this story influenced strongly by the fact that I’d get to include the phrase “space chickens” in a headline? Future scholars will argue over the answer to that very question for generations, and they’ll be wasting their time because duh. But
eggstraterrestrials galaxy-faring coop-flyers are – believe it or not – only part of what makes Humans Must Answer intriguing. The other half of that equation, then, is the oh-so-silly shmup’s pedigree. Developer Sumom Games, you see, rose from STALKER 2’s irradiated ashes when GSC Game World ceased to be. So now the team’s making shmups starring “intelligent and dangerous chickens,” naturally. Apparently, though, the storyline – which sees said chickens encounter hostile humans – is “subtle and surprising.” I honestly can’t tell if they’re joking.
RussianUkrainian blogger and marketing man Sergey Galyonkin – who tipped off the closure of the STALKER 2 project earlier this year – has claimed that Bethesda now have the rights to make a publish a STALKER game. They apparently do not have rights to the extended universe. GSC owner Sergei Grigorovich has not sold the brand, but apparently Bethesda could now make a game based on the property with their own technology. We’ll report more on this as we get it.
We’ve contacted Bethesda for a statement. UPDATE: Currently they are saying “No comment.”
RPS Feature C**ematic
‘Cinematic’ should rightfully be a dirty word when discussing games and yet Max Payne 3’s marketing wears it proudly, like a sweat-stained vest or an inappropriately jaunty tie. A cutscene is cinematic, every detail and angle just so, no room for accident or deviation, but to aspire to a ‘cinematic’ experience during play is to ignore so much of what makes experiences within a game unique to the form. We run, gun and react in worlds that rely, for the enjoyment they bring, on the accidental and the curious as much as they require adherence to a plan. Here’s to the unexpected, the unplanned and the unforgettable.
I had a jolly good time with Crysis, mostly just watching things fall over and cooing with delight, but if I could have changed one thing about it I would have made it less about wearing a nanosuit and punching people through buildings and more about being STALKER. Nothing against Crysis, it’s just my way of looking at things. In my least impressive moments I’ll rabidly argue that Peggle should be more like STALKER. Turns out I’m not alone, on the Crysis front at least, as a group of Russian modders by the name OWL Game Studio have been working on a Zone-based anomaly-ridden bleakness of an experience called CryZone: Sector 23. The stabilisers are coming off and it’s going to be a standalone game.
RPS Feature Non-Player Carnagers
Over Christmas I drew up a list of little things about games that have always intrigued, interested, or appealed to me. I’ve been adding to it over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll be writing about these little nuances of gaming in the coming months. These are just idle musings, but I hope you’ll find them to be food for thought. Today’s is about the odd joy in seeing AI entities getting into a fight.
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GSC have announced their arrival at Good Old Games with a bundled package of some of their most fondly remembered titles. Yes, it’s the Cossacks Anthology, containing Cossacks: European Wars and its two expansion packs. Now, I do have very fond memories of Cossacks’ take on the historical RTS, throwing around thousands of units at once, but of course it’s the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games that most people know GSC for. Further titles will be appearing but I’m not even sure S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is old enough to be considered anything other than a GG. The Cossacks Anthology is available here, priced at $5.99. Maybe if everyone in the world buys it twice, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 appears immediately?