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

5 years ago

Green Hell Zone: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha Out Now

Although Survarium shares some DNA with the magnificent, terrifying ecosystem of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the Lost Alpha standalone mod is the closest thing to a new game in the series we're probably going to see for a good while. What began as an attempt to restore content cut from the original release of Shadow of Chernobyl has become a total overhaul of the game, with sections redesigned…

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Survarium Entering Open Beta… For One Day

Do you want post-apocalyptic Russian survival shooting to fill the irradiated void left behind by STALKER 2's cancellation? Well, the handsomely molded ashes of GSC Game World, aka Vostok Games, have something in store for you, even if it doesn't exactly play like STALKER just yet. Survarium is currently in closed beta, but it's going fully, completely open for, er, 24 hours this Friday. After that…

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Found: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha Mod Coming This Month

Like old Stalker tales told around the campfire, a lot of strange and wonderful things were once said to be in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, from naked green dwarves to driveable vehicles and a whole extra city. Several mods have restored various bits of cut content, based on leftover files and leaked dev builds, but Lost Alpha is one of the more ambitious. What began…

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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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Survarium Getting New Areas, Quests, Anomalies ‘Soon’

I imagine that it'd feel terribly awkward to be Survarium. Yes, there are the obvious reasons - having such a silly nametag chained to your chest can't be fun; also, existing as the first sentient videogame or whatever - but imagine all the guilt. Survarium isn't STALKER 2 and it never will be, but longtime fans can't let go that easily. Survarium-You would walk into rooms,…

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6 years ago

Cloned Zone: Survarium Footage

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…

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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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A Stalk In The Park: Survarium’s Big Map, Plantiest Faction

If various apocalyptic games, books, and movies have taught me anything, it's that you always side with the trees. Humans? Nah, they're old hat. On the way out. This is largely evidenced by the fact that they always find some way to bomb, globally warm, or pandemic themselves to the brink of extinction. That's not exactly the stuff of a winning team. Trees, though, they…

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Cluck You: Humans Must Answer Out Now

This career affords me the option to write about space chickens more often than you'd think, but still not as much as I'd like. It's a real shame, but this - this right now - is a most eggcellent moment. And getting to namedrop STALKER in the same article? Well that's just the finger lickin' chicken's most prized pickins' (I'm from Texas, so I'm allowed…

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. MISERY 2.0 Will Make Summer Grimmer

The sun is beating the UK into sweaty submission. Flowers are blooming, there is blue where there's usually grey, and lollypops are the staple food source. Summer has finally decided to show up and make the world brighter and sort of happier, so this weekend I closed the curtains and spent my off-time fiddling with Stalker. I decided I wanted to pretty up the original…

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Stalk This Way: Survarium Alpha

The first players invited to Survarium's alpha have been playing for a while now but a tweet from the team suggests that they are almost ready to open the gateway to their apocalyptic doomscapes, in which it is currently possible to engage in a team-based PVP mode. If you'd like to shoot people in the remnants of civilisation, or would just like to see how…

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Survarium Enters Alpha, Will Expand Over Time

To this very day, I continue to be followed around by a gray little rain cloud that weeps heaving droplets over STALKER 2's demise. I have named it Probably Clinical Depression - after my great grandfather, of course. But one can only linger on the past for so long. I know this. I am a mature adult with grownup feelings, coping mechanisms, and tastes in…

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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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Surviving: Vostok Delves Deeper Into Survarium

Vostok, the Ukrainian devs who once worked on STALKER and now work on Survarium, have released another dev-diary to describe a but more about what they're up to. Some of it is familiar territory, some not. Key, perhaps, is that this will be multiplayer, which is going to have all kinds of implications for our stalking of Survarium's haunting ruins. This new diary discusses the…

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GSC: We Remain The Owner Of The STALKER Brand

Update: GSC responded to our queries, pointing out two rather major items: 1) "BitComposer doesn't have any rights as to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., except for distributing our game Call of Pripyat on some territories," a rep clarified. "They may have purchased the rights for the game based on Roadside Picnic, but it has nothing to do with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or its universe." 2) "GSC is seeking ways to continue the series,…

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BitComposer Acquire S.T.A.L.K.E.R. From “Strygatsky”?

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with bitComposer, who tell us that they DID acquire Stalker rights from the late Boris Strugatsky. Quite what this means for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise isn't clear, as they can make no further comment at this time. UPDATE 2: It seems we might be looking at STALKER for bitComposer and a separate franchise to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Confusing, eh? Those of you…

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7 years ago

Of Space Chickens And Men: Humans Must Answer

Was my decision to write this story influenced strongly by the fact that I'd get to include the phrase "space chickens" in a headline? Future scholars will argue over the answer to that very question for generations, and they'll be wasting their time because duh. But eggstraterrestrials galaxy-faring coop-flyers are - believe it or not - only part of what makes Humans Must Answer intriguing. The other half…

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