Posts Tagged ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’

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 rabidly argue that Peggle should be more like STALKER. Turns out I’m not alone, on the Crysis front at least, as a group of Russian modders by the name OWL Game Studio have been working on a Zone-based anomaly-ridden bleakness of an experience called CryZone: Sector 23. The stabilisers are coming off and it’s going to be a standalone game.

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

Merchandise idea: nuclear contacts.
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 I don’t have wings, eagle vision, or every power conferred to honey badgers. Don’t get me wrong: a lot of this stuff sounds incredibly interesting and – at least, in my eyes – goes quite a way toward putting the ghost of STALKER at peace. There are, however, some major structural changes that you might find tough to swallow.

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Survarium Is “STALKER Idea’s Next Evolutionary Step”

This is currently the only piece of visual media related to Survarium in existence, so um, you'll probably be seeing a whole lot more of it.
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 be interesting? Absolutely. Excited, but also a bit hesitant, I mined Vostok’s Oleg Yavorsky for as much info as I could before he had to run off and continue, you know, launching a brand new game company.

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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 rights to continue with the Stalker franchise.” There will be a Q&A session with Oleg Yavorsky and Joe Willburn tomorrow on Twitter to explain the Survarium project in detail.

The new studio have also circulated a video about their plans, which you can see below.
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GSC: “Stalker 2 is currently in development”

Still alive
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 doubt that it’ll be a struggle to get the game out the door: the first game was a massive struggle with publisher support. I wonder if crowd-finding an AAA game the size of Stalker 2 is possible? If only Kickstarter would allow non-US funding, they could have all my money.

They point out that there’s no release date, which made me giggle.

Via VG247.

Idle Musing: Watching The AI Fight

Dead!

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 the odd joy in seeing AI entities getting into a fight.

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GSC Enter The Good Old Games Zone

That's no 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 people know GSC for. Further titles will be appearing but I’m not even sure S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is old enough to be considered anything other than a GG. The Cossacks Anthology is available here, priced at $5.99. Maybe if everyone in the world buys it twice, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 appears immediately?

Premature Irradiation: STALKER Lost Alpha

A brown place in the zone

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 content as they can based on known info and it’s all looking mighty impressive. After a long time in development, release is closer than ever, which has of course been true every minute since it was first announced. We should have a date in February. In the meantime, here’s a trailer and a FAQ.

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The Skies Clear for STALKER 2

The screenshot-based 'light in the darkness' metaphors will continue unabated

The Stalker team is extremely happy! Why? Because we are continuing work on Stalker 2 after the holidays.” That makes me extremely happy too. That’s the official line from GSC, although it’s not quite as simple as that. Speaking to Edge, the studio’s Oleg Yavorsky reveals that “We are still in the process of seeking funding to back up the project. We are hopeful things turn out well eventually.” Which still sounds pretty precarious, but given the situation last month was that the studio and the game were flat-out closing down, it’s still a good day for Stalker fans.

Let’s hope they find a funder in time. Anyone got a few million bucks to spare? Notch, are you reading this? Alternatively, have I got any long-lost billionaire uncles who’ve been waiting for an excuse to get in touch with me?

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Still Happening, Apparently


According to this Facebook page update posted last niught, Stalker 2 will continue to be developed. It reads: “The Stalker team is extremely happy! Why? Because we are continuing work on Stalker 2 after the holidays.” This is in spite of news before Christmas saying it was all over. Phew!

We’ve contacted GSC to see if we can find out a bit more about what’s been happening.

STALKER: “There Is Cause For Hope”

What light from yonder Ukraine breaks?

A surprise Christmas present from GSC, at which there appears to remain some life despite the awful news that they (and with them Stalker 2) had apparently been shut down earlier this month:

“Dear Stalkers: We will not be releasing any official news until around mid January. However there is cause for hope! Good hunting!”

That is all. But that is something. And it’s the second claim that all might not yet be lost in as many weeks, meaning the rescue operation is hopefully bearing fruit. Good luck, brave Ukrainians.

Stalker 2: A Light In The Wasteland

The sudden apparent closure of GSC GameWorld and death of Stalker 2 is, for me, the saddest gaming news of this year, and a whole lot of other years to boot. Jim eloquently summed up why over the weekend. The waters of explanation remain deeply muddied however, so all we can do is hope that some glimmer of life emerges from the ruins. We got a small hint of that earlier, with the GSC Twitter account suddenly offering “We will do our best to continue. However, at this moment, nothing is certain.”
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On The Importance Of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

With the news that iconoclastic Ukrainian developer GSC Gameworld has closed its doors, putting the future of the Stalker series in jeopardy, thoughts turned to the games they had made, and the hopes we’d held for a sequel. There are a few reasons why the Stalker series is so important in the greater scheme of gaming, and as of 2011 those reasons seem more pressing than ever.

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This Could Be Leaked Stalker 2 Art


There was a bunch of art posted here yesterday (thread deleted) from a source which purported to be a former artist at GSC. The images appear to be a couple of environmental scenes and a bunch of concept art. It might make for decent wallpaper which you can gaze at, thinking about what could have been…

Full gallery below. Click for full size.
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Get Out Of Here: GSC Closure “Confirmed”

Noooo.
LATEST UPDATE: GSC’s twitter this morning announced there will be an official statement on Monday.

1c Ukraine’s Sergey Galenkin has blogged about the closure of GSC. He states: “GSC is closed, a fact confirmed by all. The team is almost completely dissolved, the state has only a few people.” Galenkin blames the cost of developing a PC only shooter for a European audience, and a failed console publishing deal, for the collapse of the developer.

The rest of the story, as it happened, below.
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GSC Respond On Stalker 2 DRM Issue


Following yesterday’s DRM-alarm going off, GSC have now said that using an always-on solution is for them “a possibility, not a choice.” We also received this statement:

“The idea of implementing DRM came in as a possible anti-piracy solution. You know the severe level of commercial piracy we have here in ex-USSR region. This said however, there is no firm decision to go for DRM with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 as of now. Be assured, we do realize how uncomfortable this solution is for the players, so we’ll continue looking for most effective, yet acceptable for all, way of protecting the game by the time of its release.”

“Permanent Internet Access” For STALKER 2


Kotaku Australia are reporting this Ukrainian publication’s interview with GSC’s Studio Director Sergey Grigorovich. In it it he answers a huge number of questions, revealing little about the sequel apart from question one about “security” for the forthcoming game:

“Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason… Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection.”

I’ve contacted GSC for a statement.

“Stalker Soup”, Narodnaya Solyanka

Happy holidays!
So I’ve finally got around to installing the Shadow Of Chernobyl “mega-mod”, Narodnaya Solyanka. It’s a tangled compilation of Russian-language add-ons, put together by a Russian team, which has been roughly translated into English by enthusiastic bi-lingual Stalker-fans. The translation is interesting. Overall, though, Narodnaya Solyanka provides us with a vast amount additional content, including new maps, maps pulled in from the other games, and a daunting radioactive salad of minor Stalker mods. It hugely expands the size of the zone, and reportedly adds another several hundred hours of missing-driven content. It is also a bizarre and off-putting experience, as my initial dabblings have discovered. “It all gets better after the cave,” is the mantra that appears across various Stalker forums. And they’re right. Because the cave is a horrible mess. What lies beyond, however, is intriguing…

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Mod News: The End

Sniff

This is it. The end. This column you are about to read will be the last ever Mod News. Sniff. It’s been a pleasure, guys.

But no, really, it has. Over the past year, I’ve had a fantastic time as RPS’ mods guy, and it’s been a real honour to write this column every week – even if it is essentially just a roundup of all the latest happenings on a particular gaming scene. I can assure you that the end of Mod News coincides with the Hivemind’s bigger and better plans for mod coverage in the months ahead. You’re being left in very safe hands.

So, folks, would you join me for one more dance? Here’s the last and final week in mod news, including stuff for Half-Life 2, Neverwinter Nights, Oblivion, Morrowind and Stalker.
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Mod News: Clever Girl

Quite a lot of mod news this week, apparently, even though there’s very little for you to actually play. There’s a long-awaited update from Jurrassic Life, as well as plenty of other gubbins related to Half-Life 2, Crysis, Stalker: Clear Sky, Portal 2 and Dirt 3. That’s a lot of games! Read on to find out what’s what.
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