To my partner's enduring frustration, I never got around to Stalker. What I have instead is a photo book of Soviet Bus Stops and an enduring love of massive, decaying concrete monstrosities. Thus, while I might not have the frame to judge Chernobylite, a singleplayer survival shooter from The Farm 51 as a worthy successor to Stalker, there are certainly enough brutalist oddities to pique my interest.
While it might not have well-considered public rest-stops, Chernobylite is dropping us back into the exclusion zone for some supernatural gunfights, launching into early access today.
Previously on Chernobylite, we got a tense glimpse of The Farm 51's painstaking rendition of Pripyat. This time around, though, everything's gone a little green. In this climate, I'll take it.
There's no shortage of games where you skulk around the 20th century's most infamous peacetime nuclear disaster, of course. But The Farm 51's take looks quite a bit more polished than most, with sharp environments scanned in from Pripyat proper. The trailers we've seen so far all seem to push a story-driven experience, and the devs are touting eight hours of non-linear storytelling, survival, and shooting wobbly ghost dudes.
You'll also be able to team up with the various strangers kicking about the area, though they'll be a drain on your resources and make it harder to skulk around. It's all very emergent and that, and should make for an interesting - if more directed - sandbox.
The Farm 51 successfully crowdfunded Chernobylite earlier this year, raking in over double their target. They've previously made wonky games like Get Even (wot Alec liked) and 2001 horror schlock Necrovision (wot Sin liked). But then, Stalker itself is a broken mess requiring spreadsheets of mods to really "get into", so maybe this is just the team to carry on that legacy.
Chernobylite can be picked up today on Steam and GOG for £24/€25/$30. The Farm 51 hope to release the full thing in late 2020, and plan on adding regular new locations, characters, and kit over the course of the game's early access excursion.