My preview of STALKER: Clear Sky, penned jointly with Tim Edwards of PC Gamer, has been posted on computerandvideogames.com. In it we talk to Anton Bolshakov about how the original game came to be, before moving on to the nature of the new beast:
Central to that is what GSC are doing with the various factions that inhabit the zone. While there were a large number of factions in the original game (Freedom, Duty, the military, the mercenaries, the scientists, the neutral stalkers and the servants of the monolith) you were only really able to follow three paths: Neutrality, Freedom, or Duty. In Clear Sky you'll be able to join up with seven different factions, work with them, fight them, and ultimately lead your chosen side to victory.
"It's a global war of factions within the zone," says Bolshakov. "Now each faction has a fully fledged main camp with a number of key characters in there, like a trader, a mechanic, a leader, a barman, and all of those perform specific roles."