GSC Game World announcing a comeback was a nice treat for the end of 2014, but even if they were working on another S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (they haven't said they are, and I suspect they're not) it'd be ages before we got to play it. Perhaps the closest we'll get any time soon is Survarium, a free-to-play FPS made by a studio formed by folks who banded together following GSC's collapse.
Vostok Games today launched Survarium's PvP side into open beta for the rest of Europe with an English client. This brings it one step closer to release, which brings developers Vostok Games one step closer to adding the PvE mode that sounds far more S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-y and interesting.
Survarium's set in a post-apocalyptic world brimming with mutants and weirdness and strange objects - y'know, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - but while the grand goal is to have a multiplayer stalking side, right now it's only got competitive man-shooting. Two modes are on offer right now, straight team deathmatch and one where teams need to find and secure precious batteries.
Vostok say, "We'd also like to note that the transition of the game to the stage of Open-Beta in Europe does not mean the end of project development; on the contrary, we plan to further develop Survarium and introduce lots of new features, including the long-awaited FreePlay (PvE) mode." Good-o! Along with the FreePlay survival mode, Vostok have planned co-op missions too.
Sign up to play over on the official site. Vostok note that their holiday sale on microtransaction guff is still on. I have no idea how much this impacts the game, but I do hope Vostok get the F2P stuff right; it's far too easy to make a game unpleasant with wonky monetisation.