Happy Stalktober: Survarium’s First In-Game Footage

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. You know, aside from, um, the apocalypse.

STALKER 2 might be rifling through the belongings of irradiated angels, but now we’ve got Survarium to take its place. Or, well, I suppose it’s actually tearing STALKER’s place to tiny shreds, rearranging what’s left, and sprinkling in all sorts of shiny (read: dingy, dilapidated) new bits of its own – sort of like a collage that seems to be a familiar picture when you’re far away, but reveals its true colors as you get closer. So this is Survarium. At any rate, it continues to both intrigue and worry me – especially now that we have some snippets of actual in-game footage to work with. Take a side in my vicious internal conflict after the break.

Optimistic Nathan: It looks pretty nice! Nothing mindblowing, but STALKER with a fresh coat of paint is a-okay in my book. And I’m digging all the overgrown plant life. Go nature!

Pessimistic Nathan: But didn’t you hear the emotionally indifferent Russian man? He mentioned sniper nests, base captures, and other traditional FPS things! Where’s my three-or-four-person co-op STALKER-style action?

Self-Loathing Nathan: I hate both of you. And myself.

Pessimistic Nathan: Why did we invite him?

Optimistic Nathan: Well, because Absent-Minded Nathan fell down a well again (San Francisco does not have many wells; how does he keep finding them?) and Karate Chop Action Nathan is just an action figure. Oh, and Wistful Nostalgia Nathan was last seen wistfully gazing out the window of a time machine, so he’s now – in all likelihood – literally stuck in the past. Anyway, those delightful Vostokians also mentioned factions, trading, safe zones, and booze. Booze! Sound STALKER-y enough for you?

Pessimistic Nathan: No.

Optimistic Nathan: You didn’t even explain why. Are you really just going to–

Pessimistic Nathan: Yes.

Self-Loathing Nathan: I never got around to playing STALKER: Clear Sky. I just went straight from the first to Call of Pripyat. I don’t deserve Survarium. Also, I’m a burden on all of my friends.

Optimistic Nathan: Both of you are seriously the worst. But I mean that in a kind and uplifting way.


  1. yurusei says:

    You can play a game of Borderlands all by yourself, if only absent minded Nathan remembers where he put his game disc.

  2. John Connor says:

    Looks bad.


    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      i think it looks nice (as opposed to how it plays) – like a more overgrown, organic stalker aesthetic.

      • John Connor says:

        What I meant was it looks like it plays bad.

        • D-e-f- says:

          How can you even tell from that video?!

          • S Jay says:

            Probably because it is more Counter Strike than STALKER?

            (My opinion has a solid grounding, since I haven’t played BOTH of these games)

          • Inglourious Badger says:

            If he’s feeling like me it’s the “Oh, this is THAT sort of multiplayer FPS, not an MMO based in the Zone.” Massively disappointed to see the ‘maps’ with ‘corridors’ and set sniper positions and an anomoly that is being used as a goodie-drop rather than an atmospheric, reality bending exploration point.

            Hopefully something has been lost in translation and there is an open-world Stalker-like I can play with friends in there somewhere.

  3. merc-ai says:

    I think I lost my interest when they mentioned a map with two teams competing. I was expecting a more singleplayer-ish experience and there’s already enough good PvP games for me.

    • Spengbab says:

      This, really. I’m not sure when or where the developers went from “Oh, hey, look, people really enjoyed Stalker, let’s make Stalker 2” to “Mmm, what people REALLY liked about Stalker was the mutliplayer. Let’s add multiplayer! Bases! REGENERATING SHIELDS AND HEALTH! ”

      Anyway, I haven’t kept up with Survivormenramiumwhatever, nor will I start now – it was my understanding that it would be a spiritual successor kind of deal. Not a direct sequel nor in the same universe as Stalker, but with the same mechanics and style. Not goddamn multiplayer. I can already hear the Merrikan “brah”, “bro” and “faget” being shouted into headsets. Cherry on top will be a F2P model which lets you customize your Survivorman with hats, sunglasses and banners.


    • Stevostin says:

      Well actually Stalker maps were already heavily designed like that. I think most people dont realise how they fight areas of STALKER are well thought and how much it’s a part of the game’s success. FI remember in CoP, in Prypiat, the U shaped building where you intercept some mercenaries trade with the help of the army. That’s one of the best gun fight I ever played, and it’s because this space is allowing you to constantly shift between long, middle and short range, with a choice in circulation but some hot spots to make choices significant etc. Stalker is packed with those spots and I do trust this team more than any other to provide interesting places for gun fights. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re fighting bots or better than bot ie humans.

      Where I am with you is rather on the atmosphere. I pray that there will be no chat and no VoIP but I probably won’t get that. I’d love a STALKER where other players are just here to give more smartness in the fights with zero or close to zero social skills involved.

    • frightlever says:

      Well, Warface has about 2 million registered players in Russia, and there are a bunch of other MP-focussed shooters in the works, so there’s an element of bandwagon-hopping. AFAIK it’ll be f2p so it’s not going to cost anything to find out. In the unlikely event that they plan to charge for it then I wish them the best of luck but no thanks.

  4. coldvvvave says:

    >Russian man

    This is weird, normally if anyone mentions GSC, Vostok or 4A and calls them “Russians” someone in comments inevitabely screams “But they are Ukraians!” and thats ok, I got used to it. But in this video they call one of the ingame weapons a “Domestic production” while it is made in Izhmash which is obviously in Russia. I’m confused. Looks like they are confused too.

    • asshibbitty says:

      Are you saying that can’t be called Ukrainians cuz they got a soviet gun in the game? help me out here

      • CaspianRoach says:

        Tulsky Oruzheyniy Zavod (Tula Arms Plant) is located in russian city of Tula. It’s technically incorrect for an ukrainian to call its guns “domestic” (“местного производства”)

        • asshibbitty says:

          Maybe its set in alt reality where Izhevsk is the capital of Nepal and Tula is where the Nepalese black Mesa is you ever think of that huh

          • coldvvvave says:

            >Are you saying that can’t be called Ukrainians cuz they got a soviet gun in the game?

            Vityaz is a relatively “new” weapon and they do say it is new. Of course it’s pretty much a rechambered AKSU as far as I can tell, but it’s still made and designed in Russian Federation. Ukraine made few domestic weapons based on Soviet ones too, like Oplot and Bulat tanks, some AK variants. Those are not Russian. Poles(Beril), Finns(RK) and god knows who else made AK variants and no, those are not Russian or Soviet weapons.

          • asshibbitty says:

            I did think it was odd when he called Vityaz отечественным and subtitles said “Russian”, someone mustve caught it in post-production. Anyway dont be so pedantic

          • coldvvvave says:

            this whole topic reminds me of

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Nobody told the poor souls that the Soviet Union is no more. They must be working very hard…

      • Baardago says:

        Well, Lt. Hiroo Onoda (almost sure that’s the guy’s name), and some soldiers, ‘surrendered’ themselves some 27-29 years after Japan surrendered and WWII ended.

        They’d been living in the jungle of some remote philipine island, waiting to strike the hated Allied enemy all those years!

        People are crazy like that.

    • CobraLad says:

      Technicaly, he is right, since he says “otechestvennoe” and thats how we ukrainians and russians refer to everything made in ex-USSR countries.Yes, russians call ukrainian and Belarus video games like that and vice versa.
      Also, if you want to get technical, “Otechestvo” means Fatherland, but coined as word for all ex-USSR territories.

  5. rsanchez1 says:

    In Mother Russia, words and letters are unambiguous about their meaning. Only uneducated englishman thinks Russian is emotionally indifferent.

  6. Paul says:

    It looks great, but I wish it was singleplayer experience and I could just immerse myself and explore the world like I did in Stalker games. This multiplayer stuff just does not interest me at all.

    • Quarex says:

      Agreed, this has gone from “well, multiplayer focus, but surely I will find it sort of interesting anyway” to “oh good, so, Call of Duty but in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. world.” :( Hopefully it ends up being a lot more interesting than that … then again, apparently we people who love single-player games are just stupid old losers who need to get lost, so.

      • frightlever says:

        The vast majority of PC gaming, even excluding Facebook games and Minesweeper/Hearts, is single player. Always has been, probably always will be.

      • lijenstina says:

        Call of Duty in the Stalker world was already done. Everything past the bridge in Clear Sky.

    • Shuck says:

      Unfortunately PVP multiplayer is an easy, and therefore desirable way to generate content when the team doesn’t have a lot of resources. (If the game is free-to-play, it’s also provides easy ways of generating revenue.) Not a lot of devs can afford to create big open world games. Financial necessity drives the design and we end up getting a whole bunch of games that are identical (or very, very similar) in how they play.

  7. bitbot says:

    Is this going to be like Diablo 3, lag in single player? Or did they remove single player completely too? Either way, I won’t be playing.

  8. Tom De Roeck says:

    In Soviet Ukraine, You stalk stalker.

  9. izeedaor says:

    Dunnow, really dunnow what to think about this. Where is my stalkerish immersion boy? I dont give a ***** about some sophisticated capture the flag. Hope they’ll provide a solid SDK so the stalker community can enjoy the updated engine.

    • kud13 says:

      After the Eurogamer Expo dev vids, I’m thinking it’ll be found in Far Cry 3.

  10. felisc says:

    Well I’m fine with all that. Still pretty excited.

  11. Rahaks says:

    So basically, if I don’t lag, it is still possible for me to die in a place I was few seconds earlier.

    Sounds great, what are we waiting for.

    • Lev Astov says:

      Yeah, that was the one statement that worried me the most. BF3 does something similar and it is infuriating. I’ll see a guy before he sees me, dive around a corner to cover, then die.

      I suppose they’re doing this because a lot of Russian players still have very poor connections, but I really wish there was a more graceful way to do it.

  12. popej says:

    Not built for single player = not interested.

  13. Mr. Mister says:

    Where is Red Soviet Nathan?

  14. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    I’m going to need 64k internet to play this online??? :[ I guess that old 56k modem is finally going to need an upgrade.

  15. Muzman says:

    Looks like it might be alright (although a 34k upload speed kinda wrecks me, and most of Australia, at the moment). The scenery is interesting. No word on beasts and such. Or much about solitude.
    I think, even though they’ve been hit with unfortunate circumstances, they’ve been scooped by Day Z.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I’ve got a reasonably fast download speed as far as Australian internet goes (I usually download at 1 Mb/s), but I upload at around 3 kb/s. Sometimes it will get as high as 15 kb/s, but only very rarely. I’m dead serious (about this being good for where I am and about my horrible upload speed).

      • Lolmasaurus says:

        My internet sucks too waaaah. Hopefully the NBN will actually happen some time soon.

  16. StranaMente says:

    I’m gonna look stupid right now but, there was multiplayer in the past stalker games?
    That’s a serious question. I played call of pripyat not long after it came out and now I forgot.
    For me the atmosphere of that game looks better suited for sp.

  17. ffordesoon says:

    I have no idea if this game is something I want or not after watching that video.

    Also, where the hell were they conducting the interviews? An empty, abandoned warehouse? I suppose that’s fitting for a STALKER-like game, but man, it was rough on the ears.

  18. serioussgtstu says:

    I think one thing that people seem to be overlooking is the potential for reiteration in future games, and the community support which could come with any game related to the stalker universe. I’m not particularly excited about this project, but I am excited to see what community feedback will do for future development of the series.
    Ultimately though I’m hoping that Bethesda will hand over the Stalker franchise to the Obsidian guys, therein lies serious potential, granted far less Ukrainian in nature.

  19. Numerical says:

    Why couldn’t this just be single player….but no. Had to let 14 y/o johnny trigger finger play too.

  20. perfectheat says:

    My guess is that this is a safer bet from a new studio. Don’t think I would dare create a full single-player game as a first release. Let them establish the IP, polish the look and feel, and then build on that with a full single player campaign. I think this looks great.

  21. Shooop says:

    As soon as he mentioned two teams all hope for this game died. Which takes special effort because it was already killed when they said it was going to be online-based.

    The very essence of STALKER was it was just you versus an equal parts alien and vaguely familiar world. Now it’s basically a game of CoD domination.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No, it was a game with quite a few factions fighting over territory and trying to control artefacts etc, but with what you said too. There’s no reason you can’t replace the friendly and enemy AI with people, and it be amazing. It would make the world feel more alive, still allow for everything Stalker like, but without the singleplayer story part, which I always found the least interesting part of the game.

      • Secundus says:

        only clear sky had faction warfare and that never worked. You spend 95% of every stalker game on your lonesome and NPC characters don’t have access to nearly the same range of verbs that the player has. It’s single player.

      • Shooop says:

        Like Secundus said, we already had that game. It was called Clear Sky.

        And it was not very good.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        @Dr Gonzo – seriously? For you, the STALKER series was all about Clear Sky’s mulltiplayer? Thats like buying an awesome movie box set and then chucking away everything except the bloopers disc

  22. DrGonzo says:

    Finding the multiplayer worries absolutely bizarre. Stalker already was essentially a multiplayer game, just with rather stupid bots running around instead of humans. I don’t see why this will ruin the atmosphere one bit as long as there are still monsters running about and the night is pitch black. In fact I think it could add to it greatly.

    In my head I’m imagining a similar vibe to DayZ though, which can be played ‘singleplayer’ quite well, just with humans replacing the ai.

    • Muzman says:

      I don’t think we’ve heard anything about there being monsters at all, for one thing.
      You could be right, but they’re selling it so hard on clan combat at the moment. Solitary exploration and survival, despite some big names and interesting indies (and some that are both) jumping on it the last few years, is still a relative rarity in games. I don’t feel able to take it as read, even from these guys.

  23. groowagon says:

    MP only, huh? oh the disappointment. i still like the atmosphere, though, so i’m getting it if turns out to be worth playing.

  24. beema says:

    Does anyone else think this game looks too good to be an MMO?

    Was pretty interesting to hear them talk about anti-cheating plans. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a dev diary before.