Posts Tagged ‘Stalker: Shadow Of Chernobyl’

In the Zone: How Gamers Experience The Real Chernobyl

By Nick Rush-Cooper on May 14th, 2014.

I am standing in the middle of Pripyat in what was intended to be the site of the 1986 May Day festivities. Now an expanse of cracked concrete, the iconic rusting ferris wheel stands behind me. No one else is in sight, as I’ve been left here alone to get on with some measurements. Looking down at the Geiger counter in my hand I slowly make my way back and forth across the area, taking readings at regular intervals. This is my last research trip to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the end of six months spent tagging along with tour groups and later helping as a tour guide.

I should be used to this space now, but I feel uneasy. Occasionally I anxiously look up and scan the thick line of trees and shrubs that border this area and break line of sight with the nearby ruined buildings. I try to rationalise my way out of this fear – I tell myself the worst thing that’s likely to happen is the embarrassment of trying to cobble together an explanation in Russian for what I’m doing if Pripyat’s police guard wanders by.

But there’s more to my unease than this. It’s not that I’m alone, it’s that I’ve been alone here before. Only the last time was whilst playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl.

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Impressions: Stalker: Lost Alpha

By Craig Pearson on May 12th, 2014.

Stalker: Lost Alpha is out, but it’s not finished. Typical Stalker, really. The game, a fan-fronted effort to reconnect all the elements that were cut from Shadow of Chernobyl, was leaked during development. The developers have chosen to release it earlier than planned, and I decided to try it out. It’s still Stalker, still based on the first game, but at the same time it’s not. It’s as close to a remix as I’ve ever come across in gaming, bringing in new elements, but still reminding me of the original. It’s all different, but if you loved the first Stalker, instead of reinstalling the original and modding it, when this is fixed it’ll be your next install. I guarantee it.

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Green Hell Zone: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha Out Now

By Adam Smith on April 28th, 2014.

Although Survarium shares some DNA with the magnificent, terrifying ecosystem of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the Lost Alpha standalone mod is the closest thing to a new game in the series we’re probably going to see for a good while. What began as an attempt to restore content cut from the original release of Shadow of Chernobyl has become a total overhaul of the game, with sections redesigned and reintegrated, and changes to elements other than maps. It’s been in development for five years and is now available, slightly earlier than originally planned. There are download links (including an official torrent) over at Moddb and you won’t need to have the original game installed to play. I want to spend my day in the Zone.

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Found: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha Mod Coming This Month

By Alice O'Connor on April 15th, 2014.

Who hasn't longed to see this little chap waddling around?

Like old Stalker tales told around the campfire, a lot of strange and wonderful things were once said to be in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, from naked green dwarves to driveable vehicles and a whole extra city. Several mods have restored various bits of cut content, based on leftover files and leaked dev builds, but Lost Alpha is one of the more ambitious. What began as a project to remake and reintegrate these leftovers has blown up into a new parallel story which includes (new) old content and a bits of the creators’ own design too.

In response to some ruffian leaking a scrappy old build from November, developers Dezowave Group have decided to release Lost Alpha earlier than planned then keep working on it. It’ll arrive on April 26, the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster which started all this.

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Idle Musing: Watching The AI Fight

By Jim Rossignol on March 2nd, 2012.

Dead!
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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Stalker 2: A Light In The Wasteland

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011.

The sudden apparent closure of GSC GameWorld and death of Stalker 2 is, for me, the saddest gaming news of this year, and a whole lot of other years to boot. Jim eloquently summed up why over the weekend. The waters of explanation remain deeply muddied however, so all we can do is hope that some glimmer of life emerges from the ruins. We got a small hint of that earlier, with the GSC Twitter account suddenly offering “We will do our best to continue. However, at this moment, nothing is certain.”
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On The Importance Of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

By Jim Rossignol on December 10th, 2011.


With the news that iconoclastic Ukrainian developer GSC Gameworld has closed its doors, putting the future of the Stalker series in jeopardy, thoughts turned to the games they had made, and the hopes we’d held for a sequel. There are a few reasons why the Stalker series is so important in the greater scheme of gaming, and as of 2011 those reasons seem more pressing than ever.

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“Stalker Soup”, Narodnaya Solyanka

By Jim Rossignol on July 26th, 2011.

Happy holidays!
So I’ve finally got around to installing the Shadow Of Chernobyl “mega-mod”, Narodnaya Solyanka. It’s a tangled compilation of Russian-language add-ons, put together by a Russian team, which has been roughly translated into English by enthusiastic bi-lingual Stalker-fans. The translation is interesting. Overall, though, Narodnaya Solyanka provides us with a vast amount additional content, including new maps, maps pulled in from the other games, and a daunting radioactive salad of minor Stalker mods. It hugely expands the size of the zone, and reportedly adds another several hundred hours of missing-driven content. It is also a bizarre and off-putting experience, as my initial dabblings have discovered. “It all gets better after the cave,” is the mantra that appears across various Stalker forums. And they’re right. Because the cave is a horrible mess. What lies beyond, however, is intriguing…

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Saving Of Chernobyl: Stalker, 75p/99c

By Alec Meer on December 6th, 2010.

The jury is, as far as I can tell, still somewhat out on the Games For Windows do-ever, but Microsoft’s Steam rival has certainly been offering a few tempting mega-discounts lately. This time (as LewieP tips us off to) it’s the original STALKER (Shadow of Chernobyl) for less than a pound/dollar. Only lasts for today, so get a wriggle on if you want it and aren’t one of those chaps claiming a moral objection to GFW.

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Stalker, The Zone, And Borrowed Architecture

By Jim Rossignol on May 17th, 2010.


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.

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STALKER For Free (Not The Rubbish One)

By Alec Meer on May 18th, 2009.

Via the strange magics of download service Gametap, the original STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl (not its deflating sequel Clear Sky) can now be played for precisely zero pennies. No region restriction (apparently), and it joins a freebie roster that also contains the stalwart likes of Deus Ex, Hitman: Blood Money, Psychonauts and – yes! – Hotdog King.
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Stalker: The Mods, Return To Clear Sky

By Jim Rossignol on April 27th, 2009.


The past week of my gaming time has been dominated by Stalker mods: downloading, testing, crashing, deleting, reinstalling, and even a few hours of playing. For Shadow Of Chernobyl there’s pretty much a one-stop shop for changes, which is the extraordinary Oblivion Lost mod. It’s a comprehensive, colossal piece of compilation modding, much of it done by the author, and the rest factored in from across the community. It isn’t to everyone’s taste, especially since the list of changes is immense, but it includes drivable vehicles, sleep, alcoholism, and reworked NPC behaviour. (And that means grenades, annoyingly.) Oblivion Lost is, given the difficulty of combining and over-writing various Stalker mods, a worthwhile download – but it also completes Shadow Of Chernobyl on a profound level. This is modding at its finest. The problem for me, however, was that the Stalker I wanted to return to wasn’t an augmented Shadow of Chernobyl, but a fixed Clear Sky, which I hadn’t played since the pre-release review version. Could it be time to go back?
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