Posts Tagged ‘stalker’

O.L.D.E.R.: Alpha STALKER released for free

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2009.

Whatever will be will be. Whatever might have been can also be, it seems. Any glimpse into the creative process behind a game, especially one of some legend, is fascinating – for instance the design documents for Planescape Torment and Grim Fandango. This, however, is some kind of alterna-history motherlode.

GSC Gameworld have released an early build (from 2004, to be precise) of their acclaimed STALKER – from back before too long struggling through development limbo saw the game enjoy a major rethink and some not insubstantial tinkering from publisher THQ. With GSC’s blessing, we now to get to find out whether this kick up the bum was entirely necessary.
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Quicksave-Fail: The Agony and The Ecstacy

By Alec Meer on November 21st, 2008.

You know what I hate? Accidentally hitting quicksave when you meant to hit quickload, leaving yourself trapped in some ostensibly unwinnable situation and sobbing like a child about a terrible turn of events that you can blame no-one but yourself for.

You know what I love? Managing to win that unwinnable situation anyway: ultimate triumph in the face of self-made adversity.
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Clear Sky: The First Patch

By Alec Meer on September 3rd, 2008.

BE ADVISED!

We’ll be talking more about Clear Sky soon, once gamers have had a chance to actually play it rather than just shout conspiracy theories about the mixed-bag scores it’s been receiving. On the pre-eve of the game’s European release, however, there’s already a patch out. Notably, it addresses a few of the things Jim’s, Kieron’s and my respective reviews complained about, such as easing the penalties from bandit muggings (note to everyone in the world: the multiple random, avoidable bandit muggings and the single, cutscene-based, unavoidable bandit mugging that happens partway through the main quest are not the same thing), improving performance, increasing the cash won from missions and vague talk of balance improvements. I’ve stuck the complete patch notes beneath the cut, too.

Even if it’s as good as it sounds, I’m really not convinced it can lift the game to the level of its predecessor, but I’ll be glad to be proved wrong. I adore Stalker, and I had dearly hoped Clear Sky would be awesome. I’ll give the patch a spin tomorrow and see whether it takes the game any closer to my obscenely high standards.
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Stalker’s Sky Darkens

By Alec Meer on August 31st, 2008.

Bad news for Stalker: Clear Sky – it’s been recalled from stores. Well, only briefly – apparently the initial shipments didn’t contain CD keys, cleverly. So it’s been delayed a few days while some poor sod presumably prints out a load of stickers, meaning its September 5th release date in the US ain’t gonna happen.
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Interview: GSC on STALKER: Clear Sky

By Mathew Kumar on July 23rd, 2008.

Well, we’ve had more than a week of E3 coverage, and I’m sure you’re sick of it by now. So I’m finishing up! I checked my huge pile of notes, recordings and press materials and found I have only one thing left to write about – Stalker: Clear Sky.

This sequel/prequel/remake of the acclaimed, if divisive, FPS is an interesting one because it’s the only game anyone at RPS specifically asked me to check out at E3. Jim Rossignol all but demanded I find out if there was going to be “terrible new English voice acting and music” in the upcoming title, and so I obliged by chatting with GSC Game World’s Valentine Yeltyshev.
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Giganto-Spoiler: First 25 Minutes Of Clear Sky

By Jim Rossignol on July 12th, 2008.


Initially I couldn’t actually bring myself to watch this. Those that had assured me that it was “okay, I suppose”, “looking a bit better the first game,” and – ominously – “Jim, it’s a kill x rats mission.” I hoped that’s wasn’t true. I had to take a look.

Also: it’s almost sarcastically karmic. There was me moaning about trailers that had no game footage, and then along comes twenty-five minutes of a game that I didn’t want to spoil for myself by watching. Sigh.
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Uh-oh: “Take This, You Nazi!”

By Jim Rossignol on July 11th, 2008.

What. Okay, I think that this Clear Sky preview (new footage intermixed with the 1UP team waffling about what they’ve seen) shows that the incidental voice acting for Clear Sky is in atmosphere-shattering English, rather than Russian. There’s also some deeply shit music. GSC, noooo!

The new inventory looks good though.

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Clear Sky Environmental Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on July 4th, 2008.


GSC have released another trailer showing off some of the environmental details for Stalker prequel Clear Sky. We’ve seen some of the tech-demo stuff before, but the glimpses of the new regions are rather tantalising.
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Clear Sky Info Influx

By Jim Rossignol on June 16th, 2008.


The image above is from this gallery over at Strategy Informer, which is packed with similar lavish glimpses of the forthcoming Stalker prequel. It seems to be showing off some of the new areas, as well as suggesting a level of detail that will cause my graphics card to shudder and slowly die. Elsewhere, our Eurogamer chums have had a long chat with Oleg Yavorsky, the GSC team’s primary spokesman. He says a good deal about the new game, and also talks about the failings of the original game. He blames this in part on the reticence of the US audience in taking to the game, which he sees a fundamental cultural divide.

It seems that to appeal to North America you need really flashy, bright games, and you can see that every eastern European game is very dark. In the end, I guess this just comes down to our culture and history – we’re just different people, and that’s that.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is due out on 29th August.

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Ramble On Rambling: Exploration Games

By Jim Rossignol on June 3rd, 2008.


Certain game experiences seem to suggest other, older games, and leave me longing for them. Age Of Conan, which I’ve been playing a great deal for the PC Gamer review, somehow left me longing for Oblivion. There was something about the way that Age Of Conan tantalises you with elements of single player gaming that left me quite hungry for a proper RPG romp, and so I reinstalled the last Elder Scrolls game and plunged in.

To tell the truth, I’d been meaning to go back and play Oblivion a some point this year after being reminded of it in PC Gamer UK’s Top 100 meeting. Tom Francis had talked about the moment he’d be most fond of in replaying the game: coming out of the underground tutorial into the bright, beautiful gameworld. “You get this incredible feeling of freedom,” he said. “It’s wide open and it feels like anything is possible.” It’s a feeling that, in some ways, is only possible in a game of Oblivion’s calibre. That kind of feeling could be an antidote to the pressures of real life, and definitely an antidote to too many hours in a traditional MMO. I wanted to recapture that, although I had wondered whether Francis’ was simply being hyperbolic. Was Oblivion better than I remembered?
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R In The Realities

By John Walker on May 13th, 2008.

If you’re going to do cosplay, don’t dress up as some manga character with a purple sash – it’s too easy. If you’re going to do it, do it with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

stalker cosplay

Thanks to Isaiah who sent us a link to this Russian site not only of STALKER fans taking the game into the real world at Chernobyl, but also some really fantastic photography. It’s well worth a look.

If you want to get a bit more understanding of what’s going on (but not much), here’s the Google translation of the page. EDIT: And with even better translation from Xander77 in the comments below!

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Why I Still Play Stalker

By Jim Rossignol on May 1st, 2008.


A couple of months back I went to a dinner party. It was a modest, grown up affair, albeit it with a bout of arm-flailing Wii play dominating the evening. I didn’t know the host all that well and, as we found common ground, we got to discussing his game collection. We sat and picked out titles, as I imagine menfolk might have discussed a shelf full of books or vinyl records in previous decades. One of the games he had on there was Stalker, which he had played through once and not bothered with again. Too gloomy, he said. And there really wasn’t much to it.

Needless to say, my feelings were quite the opposite.
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Clear Sky Tech Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on April 22nd, 2008.


There’s a Clear Sky DX10 tech trailer over on GamersHell. Normally I’d embed it here, but I can’t get it to upload to GameTrailers, and our poor little server might not be happy about much heavier traffic than it’s getting already. Anyway, the video shows off some pretty spectacular DX10 technologies (realistic watery surfaces, realistic gas and smoke, etc) and makes me suspect that I might need to beef up my PC in the next couple of months. Definitely worth a download.

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