S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - All News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - "Frozen", MMOFPS Instead
I'm not sure why we had to jump through these hoops to get to the truth but it appears S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (and GSC Gameworld) is indeed dead and former staffers have gone on to found Vostok Games and are working on a MMOFPS.
This starts with the following tweet:
Despite no official continuation of Stalker 2. it looks like the ideas and spirit will live on in the team's new game - Survarium.
The home page for Vostok Games says:
Our company appeared in March 2012 in Kiev. Ten years earlier, when at GSC Game World we started developing the renowned S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series and continued working on it until December 2011 when the studio was unexpectedly shut down and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 project - frozen," it reads.
"We did not reach agreement with the rights owner regarding the use of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand, that's why we made the decision to move forward as an independent studio with a new project. That day became our starting point for Vostok Games.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - Animations Video
The odd communication for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 continues with a tweet pointing out a video showing several animations.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - Development Continues #2
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has news of a tweet from the "official Twitter account of the STALKER franchise" (although there seems to be some debate about that) that once again claims development continues:
There are legal reasons why we have not made an "official" statement. But Stalker 2 development continues
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Lost Alpha Mod
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has news of a mod that returns cut content to the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R., including cut locations. Head over for details of Lost Alpha and a trailer.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - Development Continues
Blue's notes a new entry on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Facebook page that indicates development on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will continue. Time will tell if there are any caveats but here's the post:
The Stalker team is extremely happy! Why? Because we are continuing work on Stalker 2 after the holidays.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - Cancelled, GSC Closed?
It seems GSC Gameworld has closed and, by extension, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is cancelled. There are a variety of sources for this but Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a clear timeline of the story unfolding. It all started with Ukrainian news site UkraNews reporting the closure and after some confusion with tweets, GSC's social media manager announced he is looking for a job. 1C Ukraine's (and former journalist) Sergey Galenkin then blogged about it, which seems solid confirmation.
The reasons are unclear but a failed console publishing deal seems to be at the centre.
Thanks to Frozen Fireball for the tip.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Narodnaya Solyanka
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Jim Rossignol writes about a Russian "mega-mod" compilation of Russian mods for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - or Narodnaya Solyanka - that has been "roughly translated into English by enthusiastic bi-lingual Stalker-fans". It all sounds a bit rough for me but real S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fans might want to read about Jim's early experience in getting this thing up and running.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - Facebook Q&A
There's a very short S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 community Q&A on their Facebook page. A sample:
Q: What will be the biggest difference between S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and the previous games, if any?
A: In brief, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will offer new story, new set characters (with some good old ones) and, of course, the new engine powering it.
Q: Will there be more of a survival element to STALKER 2?
Q:What features have been removed/compromised in the PC version due to the multiplatform release?
A:Since we develop primarily on PC, you won't see any compromises in the PC version. The key difference between the PC and console versions will be the beauty of graphics (meaning PC will offer more of visual effects).
Q:Will there be any new kinds of interaction with NPCs?
A: How do you mean? It's difficult to answer this one.
Q:Will Sidorovich be in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2?
A:I will refrain from answering this one for now.
Q:Will the faction wars return?
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - PC version won't be compromised
GSC Gameworld has told Facebook fans the PC version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 won't be compromised by the announced console versions because they develop primarily on PC. From Neoseeker:
"Since we develop primarily on PC, you won't see any compromises in the PC version," they explain. "The key difference between the PC and console versions will be the beauty of graphics (meaning PC will offer more visual effects)."
They also say UI elements like the inventory and map will not suffer at all, and as with Call of Pripyat, DirectX 11 will be supported (hopefully with more love this time).
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - TV Show Pilot
As we have some Stalker fans here I thought you might be interested to know that Kotaku reports that there was a pilot made for TV based on the game. It's being funded by STALKER developers GSC Game World. You can watch part of the pilot over at Kotaku. Here is some more info:
Cult favourite PC shooter series STALKER is trying to earn itself a TV series deal, with the game's developers paying for the production of a pilot episode.
The show has been put together by a media outfit called Transvision, and as you'll see in the clip below, is doing a pretty good job of capturing the whole "sad men with guns hanging out in a desolate wasteland" thing the game series does so well.
STALKER developers GSC Game World tell Kotaku production of the pilot episode (from which all the footage in the preview clip below has been taken) has been entirely self-funded by the studio. Negotiations are currently underway with Russian and Ukrainian TV networks for a series deal, which if successful would see a full series produced and broadcast across the markets of the former Soviet Union. And if it's successful there? GSC say "we are interested in licensing the distribution rights to other territories, such as Western Europe, North America etc."
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Officially Announced
GSC Game World has a short newsbit at their site officially unveiling S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 for 2012:
GSC Game World announces S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - the official sequel to best-selling game series - in development now. A completely new multi-platform technology developed by GSC will make the core of the game.
"After the official sales of the series exceeded 4 million copies worldwide, we had no doubts left to start creating a new big game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe. This will be the next chapter of the mega-popular game players expect from us" - said Sergiy Grygorovych, CEO of GSC Game World.
The game is scheduled for release in 2012.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Pripyat Euro Dates
Koch Media has announced the release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call to Pripyat for the UK, Italy and Nordic markets as February 5th, in line with the NA release:
Koch Media Announces Distribution Agreement for S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Call of Pripyat in UK, Nordic and Italy
UK Street Date confirmed as 5th February 2010
Koch Media, a leading distributor and publisher of video games today announced their partnership with bitComposer Games to distribute the forthcoming title S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Call of Pripyat in the UK, Nordic and Italian markets, while also confirming that the game will be available to buy in those territories on February 5th 2010.
“After the distribution success we saw with S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our involvement with the franchise through bitComposer and Call of Pripyat” states Craig McNicol, Managing Director, Koch Media UK.
“We look forward to working with Koch Media and anticipate a very successful release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat”, says Wolfgang Duhr, Director of bitComposer Games.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat takes PC gamers once again into the deadly area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion of 1986. Cordoned off by the military, this highly contaminated "Zone" is scoured by treasure hunters known as STALKERS, who search the wasted lands for unique artifacts. In the role of Agent Alexander Degtyarev, players must go undercover as a S.T.A.L.K.E.R., to investigate the mysterious disappearance of five military helicopters while facing off against various S.T.A.L.K.E.R. factions.
Using the time-tested X-Ray graphic engine developed by GSC, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat skillfully combines first-person shooter action with role-playing elements in a realistic post-atomic world now with DirectX11 support. The grim realities of this deadly environment are underscored by the many desolate industrial ruins, reproduced using aerial pictures and the developers' own photographs. Mutants, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. groups, and lethal anomalies are everywhere, posing a constant threat to the player. The thrilling story is advanced through numerous quests, taking gamers through such diverse areas as a secret military base, the Jupiter factory site, and the city of Pripyat. The player decides how far to explore and which tasks they undertake – freedom determines the game play. Other S.T.A.L.K.E.R. groups respond to the player in a friendly or hostile manner, depending on the group to which they belong. In this ever-dangerous world, the player is supported by various weapon systems and upgrades, as well as several types of equipment.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Screens
A handful of new Call of Pripyat screens can be found at GameInfoWire.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat for February
New to me is bitComposer, who have announced February 2010 as the international release date for Call of Pripyat:
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is coming in February 2010
bitComposer Games announces international release date for the first person shooter
Eschborn/Frankfurt, Germany, December 10th 2009: The dark first person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat will be internationally released in February 2010. The game is published by bitComposer Games and was created by the Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is the follow-up to the highly successful S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. The successful S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and the newest episode seamlessly connects to Shadow of Chernobyl. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is one of the first PC games supporting the new DirectX®11 technology.
The release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat for Windows PC is scheduled for February 2010 in English, French, Italian and Spanish language. For more info on bitComposer Games products, visit www.bit-composer.com
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Benchmark Demo
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat site is offering a non-interactive benchmark demo. It won't let you actually play but you'll see a snippet of the game and get to test the performance on your machine. The site was overloaded for me but check your favourite mirror site.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Review @ Gbase.ch
Swiss site Gbase.ch dropped us a line to point out their German review of Call of Pripyat. They say it is the best S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game in general so far but after 15 hours of relatively bugfree play, hit a showstopper. Final score 7.5/10. Hopefully these things will be ironed out by the time we see an English release.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Gold in Russia
Blues announces S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call to Pripyat has gone Gold in Russia, although the English publisher's site says Q1 2010, so don't expect a quick release in English. Here are the sys reqs:
OS: Windows® XP
2.0GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ 2200+
128 MB RAM DirectX® 8.0 compatible Card e.g. GeForce 5700 or Radeon 9600
OS: Windows® Vista®
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 or AMD 64 X2 5600+
512 MB RAM DirectX® 9 or 10 compatible Card e.g. GeForce 9800GTX or Radeon HD4850
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat and DX11
According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Call of Pripyat will support DX11, with a new trailer on offer to presumably show that off.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Preview @ Hooked Gamers
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat has been previewed in what appears to be a hands-off article at Hooked Gamers:
In this new incarnation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the player won't be allowed to join a faction as he could in the previous two games because he is a government agent. However, you can accept missions from the factions and this will gain you experience and a bevy of artifacts that are needed to advance in the game. The game's plot is again non-linear, and there are around seventy new side missions that have been added for your gaming pleasure. These new side missions are more detailed than the ones in previous S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. In addition to this, the developers have seen fit to add an open sand box style, free play mode at the completion of the story. This has the potential to allow the fun to continue after all of the work of solving the mystery has been completed.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Gets a Publisher
GSC Gameworld has picked up German publisher bitComposer Games for the third installment in their S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, Call of Pripyat. Gamershell has the press release here, and a few new screens here. You can find similar information at Worthplaying and Blues News.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Screens
Five new Call of Pripyat screens at Worthyplaying.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Screens
Both Blues News and Worthplaying have posted the four latest screenshots for the 3rd entry in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, Call of Pripyat. Here's the links to Blues, and to Worthplaying, which includes the usual game info as well, including a Fall 2009 estimated release date.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call to Pripyat Interview @ RPS
GSC’s Oleg Yavorsky answers questions from Rock, Paper, Shotgun on the recently announced Call of Pripyat expansion. On lessons learned:
RPS: Do you think you learned any important lessons from the release of Clear Sky? Has that shaped how you’ve approached work on Call Of Pripyat?
Yavorsky: Clear Sky has been a good lesson for us indeed, primarily in the aspect of game stability and playability. There were a lot of changes both in technology and gameplay that we did for Clear Sky, but we had no time to polish and fix everything as proper before the release. With Call of Pripyat now we are taking a safer route by, firstly, building the game on the technology we’ve been polishing since Clear Sky, secondly, getting rid of some features which did not work out well – such as global war of factions, for example; and thirdly, by taking more serious approach to testing the game.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call to Pripyat Screens, Sys Reqs
Worthplaying has four screens from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call to Pripyat and also the system requirements:
Minimum System Requirements
- Intel Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz / AMD XP 2200+
- 512 MB RAM
- 128 MB DirectX 8.0 compatible card / nVIDIA GeForce 5700 / ATI Radeon 9600
Recommended System Requirements
- Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 / AMD 64 X2 5600+
- 2 GB RAM 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card / nVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 4850
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Sequel and Addon?
Blue's is reporting a possible addon to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. titled Call of Pripyat as well as a fully fledged sequel, based on rough translations of a Russian chat found on the TTLG forums and elsewhere.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Retrospective @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has posted some discussion with GSC's Oleg Yavorsky which for some reason they've broken up into two articles. The first, about some issues with the long development cycle can be found in this article, First S.T.A.L.K.E.R. hamstrung by over-ambition:
"...there was just this ambitious concept: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was to be the ultimate game, with a mix of pretty much everything - shooter, RPG, survival horror, driving.
"We were inexperienced and took on too much," added Yavorsky. Obviously there's a bit more experience floating around now though, because prequel Clear Sky has only taken a year and a half and will be out on 29th August.
and the second piece concerning it's North American reception is here in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. misunderstood in US:
"We've never had problems with getting Europeans to understand our games, and we have had problems with North America and Asia," said Yavorsky...
"Also, we've always created hardcore games, and the mass-market audience is now pretty much casual. Big companies always want you to make your game as easy as possible, so that any really non-intellectual person can play it. They want all sorts of tutorials to guide the player through, and this is something we've always been very resistant to.
"But then, everything, even up to the colour spectrum and how bright your game is, can be an issue. It seems that to appeal to North America you need really flashy, bright games, and you can see that every Eastern European game is very dark," added Yavorsky.
To round out the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage, Rock, Paper, Shotgun is pointing out some new Clear Sky screens over at Strategy Informer.
Source: Blues News
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - MMO a Possibility @ VideoGamer
GSC's PR head Oleg Yavorsky has said that the team are thinking of turning the francise into an MMO.
Speaking to VideoGamer.com at a press event for the upcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl prequel, Clear Sky, GSC Game World's Oleg Yavorsky said that the team is currently "considering different options", including pairing with a developer that has MMO experience, but "hasn't started anything there yet".
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - V 1.0006 Patch Available
GSC Game World has a new patch available for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., taking the game to version 1.0006. The patch addresses some multiplayer bugs and is compatible with 1.0005 saves. You can get the download and read the changelist at The Patches Scrolls and FileShack. The patch is also mirrored on GamersHell.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Review @ Twenty Sided
We don't do full S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage but this review at blog Twenty Sided takes a bit of an RPG-related view, so I thought we'd take a look:
The RPG comparison is understandable. The game begins with a dialog with an NPC, who gives you some inventory items. These are things that normally only happen inside of a roleplaying game. The gritty world of decay and radioactive ruins looks and feels like the classic Fallout, which I still cherish as a brilliant example of what a good RPG should be. It looks like an RPG, it feels a bit like an RPG, and for the first few hours of the game I kept wondering why it didn’t play like an RPG.
Here is how it happened with me: STALKER put on a sexy little outfit and suggested we should go out and have some fun. I doused myself in cologne and made sure I was wearing my “I roll twenties” boxer shorts. Then halfway through dinner STALKER starts talking about how we’re just friends and that I shouldn’t be getting any funny ideas. Excuse me? Okay, I admit that STALKER never explicitly promised roleplaying, and maybe I was just a little overeager. But still, I think STALKER owes me an apology for sending out some seriously mixed signals here.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - v1.0005 Patch Released
The latest patch for GSC Gameworld's post-apocalyptic title, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl will bring the game to version 1.0005. It's available for download in various languages at The Patches Scrolls, GamersHell and FileFront, while the English language version can be downloaded at Strategy Informer and Action Trip.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - v1.0004 Patch Released
After considerable discussion over time, the v1.0004 patch for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is actually available for download. Oblivion-Lost.de has the patch notes and you can grab the file from them and usual mirrors such as Internode (US, International) and Gamer's Hell (US, International)
Thanks, Dark Savant.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky Officially Announced
Here's the official announcement:
GSC Game World announces S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky for PC, the official prequel to the most atmospheric game of 2007 – Survival FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
The story of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky brings the players one year prior to the events of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game in 2011.
A group of stalkers has for the first time reached the very heart of the Zone – Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and brings about a cataclysm on the brink of a catastrophe. An immense blowout of anomalous energy changes the Zone. There are no more reliable and relatively safe roads. The entire levels vanish in the outbursts of anomalies. Stalkers and even expeditions die or end up sealed on the lost territories. New areas, which remained unknown since the time of the Zone emergence, appear on the Zone map. The Zone continues to shake with blowouts. The Zone is unstable. The anomalous activity is at its maximum.
Changes of the Zone map known to stalkers shake the fragile balance of forces in the Zone. Among the groupings, there flare up hostilities for the new territories, artifact fields and spheres of influence. There are no more old enemies or friends – now everyone is for himself. The Factions War has started between the groupings.
The protagonist is a mercenary who appeared at the edge of the opposition between stalker factions, Strelok and even the Zone itself. The main character will have to play the key role in the events, which led to creation of the Zone up to the point from which the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game begins.
What’s waiting for stalkers in the opened depths of the Zone? Which new challenges bear in the new territories? Why blowouts continue shaking the Zone? Why did the Zone change? How to remove its instability? Which faction will take the upper hand in the clan opposition? Why did Strelok end up in the death truck? What happened to Strelok prior to that? Was there any other choice to make? These and many other questions will get answered in the official prequel S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky.
Experienced stalkers and newbies! Get ready for the new challenges in the exclusion zone in Q1 2008.
• Atmosphere of the Exclusion Zone
• Research of new depths of the Zone – Red Forest, Limansk, Pripyat Undergrounds and more.
• A-Life-driven War of the Factions
• Possibility to play and lead any faction to victory
• Advanced A-Life system
• Varied behaviour of NPC stalkers in the A-Life world
• Advanced spectacular storyline scenes
• Improved AI of computer-controlled characters
• Skirting around dynamic obstacles by NPCs
• Use of grenades by NPCs
• Fast Travel
• Improved concept of detectors, artifacts and anomalies
• New system of upgrades for weapons and armor
• Weapons and armor repair
• Reworked HUD and PDA
• New version of the game engine - X-Ray 1.5.
• DirectX 10 renderer
• Improved DirectX 9 renderer - parallax bump, soft particles, depth of field, motion blur, eye adaptation effect.
• Cutting-edge and detailed game graphics (normal map)
• Inverse kinematics
• New animation engine
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky Revealed @ CVG
THQ and GSC have revealed the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. follow-up, titled Clear Sky. It looks like they've done an exclusive deal in the UK with PC Zone, so the overview comes via CVG:
PC Zone explains that Clear Sky's game world consists for 50 percent new territory and 50 percent twisted renditions of what you've played before.
Sitting comfortably with the main storyline is an AI-driven stalker war. Players will be able to ally themselves with any of eight factions and work with them to seize control of important locations and ultimately assault enemy faction bases.
Even though you may think you're a stalker god, the factions think otherwise until you prove your worth. So, you start out as a rookie and have to climb up the ranks. At the top of the ladder you'll be handed missions more intrinsic to winning the war.
It's explained that players are not forced into joining factions, but apparently the destruction of one of the primary groups is necessary to open up the main 'path' to the heart of Clear Sky's main event.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Gameplay Update Coming
CVG has news that GSC is working on a "big" update for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. that will include a new gameplay mode:
In an interview which we'll be publishing shortly, Anton Bolshakov, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. project lead, explained, "We're preparing a big update with a new game mode - Freeplay, with no story tasks, including only the A-life driven ones, where the goal is to gain ranks, climb up in rankings, so as to become the best S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in the Zone."
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - More Games from GSC
Blue's has news GSC Gameworld will unveil "several" followup games to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. at next month's mini E3, although there are no other details at present. Shack interprets this to mean new games in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe, apparently based on this quote from GSC Game World's Sergiy Grygorovych:
"We are very happy of the players' positive reaction to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. all over the world. This fills us with confidence the team is on the right track and adds us strength to go for next exciting accomplishments. It will be very soon that we present our new interesting ideas and solutions."
RPGWatch Feature: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Review
No, it's not an RPG but S.T.A.L.K.E.R. packs an open-ended structure and enough atmosphere to appeal to many action-oriented RPGers. Mike "txa1265" Anderson takes a trip into the wasteland with a review in an After Action Report format:
If you have ever been to Chernobyl then you are either dead or I know you. Let's face it - nobody comes here now. They will let you in, but they sometimes fail to mention that you aren't allowed to leave. There is no more place for cameras and microphones and special interest groups looking to trumpet their latest political cause on the backs of our dead; now this is a place for the dead and the nearly dead and some other unspeakable things. When you look into the eyes of the people you can see their desperation and mistrust. You cannot walk anywhere without feeling their eyes on your back. Everyone is armed pretty heavily, but there are still rules. You don't walk around villages with your weapon out unless you are a perimeter guard or want to end up dead - we've all seen too many go crazy from the stress, depression and radiation poisoning.