Cloned Zone: Survarium Footage

Pretty. So very pretty.
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.

I do want to play it, if only to encourage the team to carry on with their grand plan of turning out a co-op and mmo-ish Stalker, which was always the next step that I wanted from the series. But it is a little bit sad to see that lovely world design being overrun by some running and gunning.

There are some moments: the patched up roof offering scant protection on a loot hunt at least brings some sort of dilemma to the match, and the sniper using the muzzle flash to pin-point a slightly hidden enemy was nice. The level was also nice and big. I’m still optimistic after reading Jim’s piece on Vostok’s plans for the game, but after modding up Stalker and returning to the zone a few months back I guess I just miss the dark nights drawing in as I cautiously limp around anomalies.

The alpha should be out in Europe sometime in 2013.


  1. toastie says:

    360 no scope, tovarish’!

  2. thebluemonkey81 says:

    for me “free-to-play” is on par with seeing a girl smoking, no matter how hot she is, I just can’t find her attractive.

    It’s a shame because I’m sure I’m missing out on some great free to play games :(

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Yes, burns victims are not that attractive, especially ones that have just been put out!

    • MajorManiac says:

      Its like a delicious cake with a (free-to-play) pubic-hair sitting rudely ontop.

      Bring on the analogy thread.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        It’s like 10k spoons when all you need is a knife.

        No, wait..

        • povu says:

          No, that’s irony.

          No wait, it’s not, it’s a simile.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            No, it’s an opportunity. Sell the spoons for a pittance apiece, and you can buy a knife the likes of which can barely be comprehended by your average knife-owner.

      • Lemming says:

        It’s like being offered a frosty and lovely-looking pint only to be told that someone may have put their cock in it for a laugh.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Yes, for me “free to play” is like a really nice summer afternoon spent in the company of friends, perhaps out at the movies, or a park, or somewhere that’s not too cold where we can relax and have a good conversation that… umm… what?

      • DestructibleEnvironments says:

        It’s like dating a really pretty girl, then finding out that her entire back is covered in thick black hair and boils. Oh and the back smells like an old used bandage.

        I don’t even know.

    • Baines says:

      Free-to-play does mean that you can often still find people playing online months after release.

      Being a standard competitive deathmatch shooter is more annoying/disappointing, because what computer gaming really needed was another deathmatch shooter. I wonder if Survarium will live long enough to seriously attempt its more ambitious ideas, whether the devs will even care about those ideas by that point (or get caught up instead in the competitive shooter aspect), and whether players will care by the time it happens.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        “Free-to-play does mean that you can often still find people playing online months after release.”
        So do dedicated servers. Guess what all the failed F2P and non F2P multiplayer games all have in common.
        No dedicated servers.

        • Makaze says:

          I think you mean failed F2P generic man shooters. There are lots of successful F2P games without dedicated servers. I am far more upset with the fact that this is turning out to be Generic Man Shoot 17: Russian Edition than I am about it being F2P.

  3. airmikee99 says:

    Looks absolutely stunning and gorgeous, I may play it even though I’m not much of a fan of first person shooters.

  4. Vivi says:

    There are just too many STALKER mods in the works for this to worth a look. Even STALKER by itself is still ahead of this. I realize that STALKER’s A-Life and a F2P shooter have nothing in common, but why do you dump your most unique feature for some Team Deathmatch (Yes, I know A-Life is technically not theirs anymore, but still)? And I still don’t understand why the feature with the most potential (freeroam) is currently slated to be the last released. By the time this game is all that the devs want it to be, there won’t be anyone left to play it.

    • Talksintext says:

      Other than Lost Alpha, what STALKER mods are creating entire new games/worlds for us? It’s very likely I’ve missed something new in that community, but last I checked it was just LA adding new terrains, etc. After playing well over a hundred hours on the series, I just can’t be excited by a rehashing of the same old maps…

      That said, this new gameplay is garbage and disappointing in the extreme. The level of detail is nice, though when are you ever going to be able to appreciate it while you’re run-n-gunning all over the place constantly?

  5. Kelron says:

    I found multiplayer Stalker to be surprisingly good fun. It was never very high profile, but it’s always been present in the series, and manages to retain a lot of the tension and stealth involved in single player gun battles. It suffered the usual issues of a small community and a lack of decent servers, and it was also unfortunately easy to cheat by playing with your monitor settings. Why bother giving yourself away with a torch if you can turn your gamma up and crawl through dark tunnels.

  6. CelticPixel says:

    Really disappointed that this (and Elder Scrolls Online) went the MMO route instead of Co-op which I feel is what a lot of people wanted really.

  7. Jake says:

    The kitten/child lever sounds like a win/win to me.

  8. DatonKallandor says:

    “I do want to play it, if only to encourage the team to carry on with their grand plan of turning out a co-op and mmo-ish Stalker, which was always the next step that I wanted from the series.”
    I’d rather punish them for making the stupid decision to NOT make the open world Stalker by not playing than play the thing nobody wants in the faint hope that maybe they’ll give us the GOOD version of multiplayer Stalker later.

    Remember how well “I’ll play it to encourge them to make the game we actually want” worked out for Mechwarrior Online?

    It’s like someone who’s against pre-order bonuses pre-ordering everything because “maybe next time they won’t need to hand out pre-order bonuses”. It’s dumb.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Haha, now I’m sad about two of my favourite franchises of games at the same time!

      Thanks for bringing that up. :[

  9. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    Those Russians run funny, funny Russians!

    Looks good I might dip the old toe in and I only have played Arma 2 as an online shooter!

    As for the ‘I’m not going to play it because I want the final rollout’, well I don’t think a developer who has gone bust is going to develop the bit you wanted, BRAVO!

  10. Aaarrrggghhh says:

    I cant totally dig a cooperative Stalker-ish game/world. But the “competitive” shooter part of the game? No thank you.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      You mean The Zone as it would be in reality, no wonky AI, just real opponents. If they implement this properly it could end up being epic!

      • scatterbrainless says:

        Most of the enemies in the Zone were environmental, not human. Most people whom you met had a far greater range of possible interactions than “shoot in headface”. Including players to replace AI should expand, not contract, the possible interactions, such as co-operative combat, trading, having experienced players guiding new stalkers through anomaly fields, etc.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I think this is just part of what they intend to basically be a full MP STALKER. There’s another RPS article around here, so if you look for it, I remember the devs saying that they are implementing everything bit by bit, so that at first it’s just an MP shooter to define which areas of the Zone belong to whom (or something like that), and then adding in the survival elements, to ultimately add an open world. I’m probably wrong on the order and purpose of that list, but you just need to do a quick search for it here.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        I’m guessing most people read that and, given the vagaries of game development, filed it either under Hopelessly Idealistic Dream or Cynical Ploy to Bank on the Future in Order to Sell an Unimpressive Game in the Here and Now. Both of these files are great in girth and smell of mildew and broken dreams. Many of Molyneux’s games have duplicate entries in both files, due to an inability to discern intentionality within any of his statements.

  11. Aspvr says:

    Not even Call Of Stalker, more like Counter Stalker.


    • Talksintext says:

      If STALKER’s going to go the MP route, they need to do DayS. Anything else is a huge step backwards for the franchise. This is not in any way a spiritual successor to the trilogy – Raindrop, on the other hand…

      • Aspvr says:

        Exited about Raindrop, but from the little we have seen
        its missing guns, so I don’t know if it will be able to fill the void

  12. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I was watching Chernobyl documentaries and learning about RBMK Reactors and their place in the Soviet order the other day. All that stuff is just dripping with potential for games and story. I’m keeping an eye out for Raindrop, but good lord how I would love another single player experience that uses the fantastical yet technologically macabre mythology of the Soviet nuclear legacy as a fulcrum.

  13. BreadBitten says:

    Wonky animation aside, this looks gorgeous.

  14. Shooop says:

    If they’d have made a STALKER with limited co-op elements I’d have practically shit myself in anticipation. Whatever this is, it’s not very good at all.

  15. LTK says:

    This is the most boring trailer they could possibly make for a potentially interesting game.

  16. Synesthesia says:

    Boy, that was boring. Nothing about stalker in there.

  17. Scandalon says:

    Looks wonderful (aside from a glowy flashy box), until you see the people…

  18. strangeloup says:

    My experience with STALKER seems to be primarily exploring a spooky ruined world for a brief amount of time, and then getting shot in the head by someone I didn’t even see. I can imagine, given that the latter happens to me roughly all the time in Counter-Strike et al., that Survarium will provide a similar experience.

    On a completely unrelated note, I should probably find some mods or something that changes the difficulty of STALKER to something other than ‘hard as nails’.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      Sorry mate, but most of the mods are geared towards increasing difficulty. If it’s your first time through I would recommend the Complete mods, and just try to stick with it for a bit. The early difficulty is mostly just unfamiliarity , rather than in-built unfairness.

  19. damius says:

    What I don’t really understand about their decision to go the p2p route with this game is that it almost seems like the developer is trying to evolve their previous work into something that most people actually seem to dislike when all along most people just want more of their previous work. I understand they can’t make more “stalker” but they could make the spiritual successor to a cult classic instead of treading the shark-infested waters of this p2p model which has little or no ties to what put these guys on the map. For a newly formed developer it would seem like a no brainer to give the people what they actually want.

    Survarium is a pass for me, as I find myself more and more disinterested with every new update.

  20. drvoke says:

    Ohhhh those Russians…

  21. scatterlogical says:

    Well, that was…. disappointing.

  22. Yosharian says:

    Hahhaahaha nope.