Posts Tagged ‘gsc-gameworld’

Murky, Moody Footage Of Call Of Pripyat


Many things worry the tiny minds of the RPS team, but one of the most oft-concerning thoughts is whether Stalker: Call Of Pripyat, the third (possibly final?) instance of the games of the zone, will ultimately be the best . Can GSC make up for the misstep of Clear Sky and land a game that has the atmosphere and precision of the original, while still being different enough to be worth playing?

If nothing else, the new areas that will feature in Call Of Pripyat should give us plenty of scope for exploration: the clogged, radiation-pooled river valley, a buried and abandoned village, and finally a district of the city of Pripyat itself. All these can be glimpsed in the new trailer (I particularly like the anomaly coming out of the side of a building) which largely consists of fly-through sequences of the new environments. Go check out the spooky new bloodsucker effects.
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Interview: GSC On Call Of Pripyat


The announcement of a new Stalker game, Call Of Pripyat, offers an intriguing prospect. It’s a trilogy-completing work – with Clear Sky acting as prequel – and it proports to show what took place in the zone after the events of Shadow Of Chernobyl. The initial announcement seemed to promise a great deal: enhanced A-Life, more freedom, and more survival conditions to consider. But what else is in there? And what did the Ukrainian company learn from Clear Sky? GSC’s Oleg Yavorsky took some time out to answer our questions, and to reveal a bit more about Call Of Pripyat. Foolishly, I forgot to ask about the mystery of the bread. (The images in this article can be clicked on for their full-size.)
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Official: Call Of Pripyat


We’ve known about this for a while, but the official announcement has only just turned up. The third Stalker game is due for release this Autumn, and covers the events immediately following the end of Shadow Of Chernobyl. “Having discovered about the open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a large-scale military “Fairway” operation aimed to take the CNPP under control.” Needs to say, things go awry. It falls to the player, as a Ukrainian security agent, to figure out what went wrong. Full details after the jump.
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Stalker: The Mods, Return To Clear Sky


The past week of my gaming time has been dominated by Stalker mods: downloading, testing, crashing, deleting, reinstalling, and even a few hours of playing. For Shadow Of Chernobyl there’s pretty much a one-stop shop for changes, which is the extraordinary Oblivion Lost mod. It’s a comprehensive, colossal piece of compilation modding, much of it done by the author, and the rest factored in from across the community. It isn’t to everyone’s taste, especially since the list of changes is immense, but it includes drivable vehicles, sleep, alcoholism, and reworked NPC behaviour. (And that means grenades, annoyingly.) Oblivion Lost is, given the difficulty of combining and over-writing various Stalker mods, a worthwhile download – but it also completes Shadow Of Chernobyl on a profound level. This is modding at its finest. The problem for me, however, was that the Stalker I wanted to return to wasn’t an augmented Shadow of Chernobyl, but a fixed Clear Sky, which I hadn’t played since the pre-release review version. Could it be time to go back?
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M.O.R.E. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.


Via VG247: a GSC fansite is reporting that there’s a “new” expansion (the first presumably being standalone Clear Sky) as well as a full new game from the company in the works.

In an online conference earlier this week, [GSC president, Sergey] Grigorovitch was asked whether the April 2009 calendar featuring the words ‘Call of Pripyat’ in Russian was an April Fools’ joke.

He replied that this was not a joke and would be the name of the second expansion. He added that this new expansion will be released later this year. Furthermore, a full S.T.A.L.K.E.R. title is also in development, although there’s currently no information on when we will hear more about this.

Stalker’s Sky Darkens

Bad news for Stalker: Clear Sky – it’s been recalled from stores. Well, only briefly – apparently the initial shipments didn’t contain CD keys, cleverly. So it’s been delayed a few days while some poor sod presumably prints out a load of stickers, meaning its September 5th release date in the US ain’t gonna happen.
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Giganto-Spoiler: First 25 Minutes Of Clear Sky


Initially I couldn’t actually bring myself to watch this. Those that had assured me that it was “okay, I suppose”, “looking a bit better the first game,” and – ominously – “Jim, it’s a kill x rats mission.” I hoped that’s wasn’t true. I had to take a look.

Also: it’s almost sarcastically karmic. There was me moaning about trailers that had no game footage, and then along comes twenty-five minutes of a game that I didn’t want to spoil for myself by watching. Sigh.
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Uh-oh: “Take This, You Nazi!”

What. Okay, I think that this Clear Sky preview (new footage intermixed with the 1UP team waffling about what they’ve seen) shows that the incidental voice acting for Clear Sky is in atmosphere-shattering English, rather than Russian. There’s also some deeply shit music. GSC, noooo!

The new inventory looks good though.

Why I Still Play Stalker


A couple of months back I went to a dinner party. It was a modest, grown up affair, albeit it with a bout of arm-flailing Wii play dominating the evening. I didn’t know the host all that well and, as we found common ground, we got to discussing his game collection. We sat and picked out titles, as I imagine menfolk might have discussed a shelf full of books or vinyl records in previous decades. One of the games he had on there was Stalker, which he had played through once and not bothered with again. Too gloomy, he said. And there really wasn’t much to it.

Needless to say, my feelings were quite the opposite.
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Clear Sky Tech Trailer


There’s a Clear Sky DX10 tech trailer over on GamersHell. Normally I’d embed it here, but I can’t get it to upload to GameTrailers, and our poor little server might not be happy about much heavier traffic than it’s getting already. Anyway, the video shows off some pretty spectacular DX10 technologies (realistic watery surfaces, realistic gas and smoke, etc) and makes me suspect that I might need to beef up my PC in the next couple of months. Definitely worth a download.

Clear Sky Preview


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.”

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.

This interview with Anton Bolshakov of GSC Gameworld looks at this history of the company, the inspirations for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the nature and mythology of Chernobyl, and the development of the “A-Life” living world system found in the game.

I originally conducted this interview earlier this year as research for a feature on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. commissioned by PC Gamer UK (click through to read it in full). Although I was pleased with the final, published draft, little of the material from the interview was used, and so I’m republishing it in full here.
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