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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

3 weeks ago

Feature: There's something behind you

The eeriest places in games are the ones where the environment is the monster

Whilst raw forms of horror work through shock and disgust, the eerie is felt more as a threat. Perhaps something seems to hover over or follow you -- there’s a rustling just behind you, or a shimmering in your peripheral vision. Usually eeriness pertains to places rather than people. Places that seem to move, shift or even act when they really should lie still. This…

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4 years ago

Feature: Get to da choppagh

MISERY Diary: Playing Stalker’s Hardest Mod

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we'll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself. Honour is for better folk than I. Honour is for the…

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Feature: You Will Survive

How To Make STALKER: Call of Pripyat A Survival Game

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we'll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself. Evil is nothing if not thorough. Usually I prefer to hone…

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5 years ago

Feature: Scanning For Anomalies

In the Zone: How Gamers Experience The Real Chernobyl

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…

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Feature: Stalk this way

Impressions: Stalker: Lost Alpha

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…

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Feature:

I Am Overencumbered: Why Game Inventories Matter

Rob Sherman, author of interactive fiction project Black Crown, asked if he could write about videogame inventories. We were powerless against the result, which pairs a personal journey through the English countryside with the a treatise on the power of possessions and the reasons videogames must do better in representing them. There was once, and still is, a boy and a man called me, and…

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Feature: Stalk To Me

Hands On: Survarium

The first part of Vostok's grand post-apocalyptic shooter plan, Survarium, has now started inviting batches of sign ups to their beta. It's the multiplayer FPS portion of the game, and as such basically a test of the shooting, running about, and weapon unlocking game systems. It's an experience that will be familiar to anyone who spent time playing first-person games online in the past decade,…

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Feature: Who stalks the Stalkers?

Zoned Out: Eyes On With Survarium

Last week I finally got a chance to meet two heroes of the Stalker years, Joe Mullin and Oleg Yavorsky, who are now working hard as Vostok on the free-to-play shooter, Survarium. There's an immediate tension when you mention the F word, and I think the legacy that resides in Survarium means that Vostok have to go that extra mile to prove themselves. Good looking…

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Feature: "good-old post apocalypse areas"

Zoning Out: Vostok On Survarium Alpha Progress

Of all the spin off studios that materialised after the disintegration of STALKER 2, it was Vostok who remained most faithful to the vision. This time, though, they're taking quite a different angle. Survarium will be a journey into a zone of alienation with other people along for the ride. It will be co-operative and competitive and very bleak indeed. I spoke to Oleg Yavorsky…

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6 years ago

Feature: Vostok Interview

Surviving The Future: Vostok Talk Survarium

When GSC collapsed and seemed to take STALKER 2 with it, there was immediately a ray of light: Vostok, a team consisting of a large section of the original Stalker development team, now making their own game, Survarium. While the art style and atmosphere look astonishingly similar to that classic open-world shooter, what we're looking at here is a free-to-play MMOFPS. Quite a different proposition…

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7 years ago

Feature: Between Accident And Animation

Stop Making Scenes: Against Cinema In Games

'Cinematic' should rightfully be a dirty word when discussing games and yet Max Payne 3's marketing wears it proudly, like a sweat-stained vest or an inappropriately jaunty tie. A cutscene is cinematic, every detail and angle just so, no room for accident or deviation, but to aspire to a ‘cinematic’ experience during play is to ignore so much of what makes experiences within a game…

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Crysis, Meet STALKER: CryZone – Sector 23

I had a jolly good time with Crysis, mostly just watching things fall over and cooing with delight, but if I could have changed one thing about it I would have made it less about wearing a nanosuit and punching people through buildings and more about being STALKER. Nothing against Crysis, it's just my way of looking at things. In my least impressive moments I'll…

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Hmm: Survarium’s Not What We Expected, Better?

So Survarium - the pre-apocalpytic project that's emerged from the ruins of STALKER 2 - is an MMOFPS. In spite of that, Vostok Games told us that it's the STALKER franchise's "next evolutionary step." The results of a recent Twitter Q&A session, however, have me wondering if fans will soon be cursing evolution in much the same way I do every time I remember that…

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Feature: Don't Just Stand There

Survarium Is “STALKER Idea’s Next Evolutionary Step”

Yesterday, we all poured one out and strummed our acoustic guitars in the irradiated rain for STALKER 2. From its ashes, however, Survarium has risen. Be warned, though: this isn't STALKER 2.5. It's a brave new MMOFPS world, and the newly christened Vostok Games has no intention of treading water. So then, will it be different? Probably. Will it be excellent? Hopefully. And will it…

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Stalker 2 Dead (Again), But Now There’s Survarium

The GSC veterans have sent word that they are forming a new studio, Vostock Games, and will be making a game called Survarium, which is apparently a Stalker-like MMOFPS. Stalker 2 itself is "frozen" and the team will be focusing on the new game. They have tweeted: "All those asking about funding etc. That is not the issue. We were unable to secure the IP…

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GSC: “Stalker 2 is currently in development”

A tweet from the usually rather quiet GSC Stalker Twitter account has assured us that the game is still being worked on. It's the first word we've had on the development of game since January, when we heard that they were seeking funding for the project following the studio's collapse. That they've lasted until now, and that they're speaking positively, is encouraging, but I don't…

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Feature: Non-Player Carnagers

Idle Musing: Watching The AI Fight

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…

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GSC Enter The Good Old Games Zone

GSC have announced their arrival at Good Old Games with a bundled package of some of their most fondly remembered titles. Yes, it's the Cossacks Anthology, containing Cossacks: European Wars and its two expansion packs. Now, I do have very fond memories of Cossacks' take on the historical RTS, throwing around thousands of units at once, but of course it's the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games that most…

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Premature Irradiation: STALKER Lost Alpha

Lost Alpha is an ambitious mod for Shadow of Chernobyl that aims to recreate all the content that was cut from the game between alpha and release. New (old) areas and new (old) mutants are the main additions, with the bulk of the mod being recreations of the cut locations. The team are aiming to stick as close to the original versions of the cut…

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