Eurogamer

Apparently STALKER 2 is happening and will be released in 2021.

That's according to Sergiy Grygorovych, owner of STALKER developer GSC, who shared on Facebook: "Today 15.05.2018 I officially declare: GSC GAME WORLD DEVELOPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2."

His post linked to a STALKER 2 website displaying the project's logo and the number "2021", which is presumably the planned release date.

Read more…

Eurogamer

How about a STALKER battle royale game? There's one in development. It's called Fear the Wolves and it's made by Vostok Games, the studio formed from the ashes of STALKER developer GSC.

Fear the Wolves takes place, like STALKER, in the creepy radiation-blasted wasteland of Chernobyl. It's a 100-player deathmatch where you can play lone wolf or in squads - but players won't be the only enemy. Deadly anomalies constantly threaten your health, mitigated somewhat by protective gear found while exploring. Of more pressing danger, however, will be the mutated forms lurking in the shadows...

Fear the Wolves will be released at some point this year on PC and consoles - presumably much later this year. There'll be an early access phase on PC beforehand.

Read more…

PC Gamer
PC Gamer
Stalker


Like a lot of you (I'm guessing), I've never even tried the multiplayer modes in the terrific Stalker series, but it's good to know that I'll be able to if I ever get the itch. GSC Gameworld's post-apocalyptic horror shooter games are the latest to be rescued from GameSpy oblivion, via automagical Steam patches, or if you don't own the games on Steam, one equally magical manual multi-patch for all three games. This will switch the multiplayer servers over from GameSpy to GSC Gameworld's own, slightly less risky ones (it's not entirely clear who's running them, as GSC was dissolved in 2011).

If you've accrued an impressive set of statistics in Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky or Call of Pripyat, those won't be saved, but if the post-apocalypse (and more destructively, the decline of GameSpy) has taught us anything, it's that nothing lasts forever, not even your kill-death ratio.

Previously on GameSpyWatch: Dawn of War, Battlefield 2/1942, Halo: Combat Evolved, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and various Civs and Borderlandses' multiplayer modes have all been saved. Crysis and Crysis 2's multiplayer shenanigans have not.

Have a read of Ian Birnbaum's recent GameSpy article to see the full scale of the problem, and to meet the players fighting to keep the games alive.

The GameSpy servers were shut down yesterday.

Ta, PCGamesN.
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
Microsoft is rolling ahead with its plan to discontinue the Games for Windows Live service. This, of course, stands to affect a number of games, including Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition. Capcom has prepared for the GFWL service's inevitable downfall and has detailed a formal transition to Steamworks.
Shacknews - Robert Workman
Machinima is no stranger to premiering programming that caters to video game fans, including last year's second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Today, the site is at it again, giving us another video game-oriented series to gaze upon with Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist.
PC Gamer
world-of-pc-gaming


One of the pleasant parts of writing about games is just meeting the people who share your weird career. I went to a media dinner at PAX East this year and had the chance to get to know some editors that I hadn t met before. The guy sitting next to me happened to be primarily a console gamer, but that actually ended up being a neat opportunity for us to have a kind of cultural exchange. I got to learn about the state of Kinect games and Halo, and he got to hear me explain the appeal of Arma, a game that inspired me to memorize the NATO alphabet.

I took his business card and emailed him a few of my favorite Arma videos by Dslyecxi and CHKilroy later that night, hoping they would give him a sense of the beautiful coordination that s possible in a systems-driven, moddable, massive-scale multiplayer game. A few days after PAX East, I got a wonderful reply our conversation and the videos I d passed along had inspired him to build his first PC in 15 years.

I love being a PC evangelist. With my colleague s note, though, came a tough question: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play?

Daunting, right? These are the games I recommended, pasted verbatim from our email exchange:

//

From: Evan Lahti
Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2014 4:01 PM
To: James Videogames
Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS

Hey James,

Late follow-up here, but whoa, how exciting! Let me know if you need a hand with the build. Happy to pitch in or mail along one of our PC building issues.

Glad to hear you re willing to dig through some of PC gaming s wondrous past. Give GOG.com a gander for most of that. Fallout 2 is a must; building a grounded, variously amoral character in that setting holds up well. Deus Ex demands a bit of modding to make comfortably modern, though there are some great guides out there. TLJ is a wonder.

But man, this is a dream question. It s the gaming editor s equivalent of being visited by an alien, then asked to provide the three products of humanity they re most proud of. The approach I ve taken here is to suggest three games that are deeply representative of what there is to love about PC gaming as it exists right now. I don t know if I can say that these are absolutely, individually the best games ever made and I remember you mentioning not being particularly interested in MOBAs, so I ll omit those but as a group I think that these games form some good kindling for what ll hopefully be a passionate relationship with PC gaming going forward.

Play these games:


Civilization V
Civ is two things to me: the best board game in the world (that you can happen to play alone) and history, reverently presented in an elegant, entertaining form. The care with which Firaxis animates its tiny, tiled Earth and digital figurines does so much to make its subject matter vibrant. Beyond that, it s a wonderfully arranged set of rules that sets up meaningful decisions around how you develop your civilization. You have to zero-in on short-term and long-term goals while bumping up against the cultural, political, and territorial ambitions of the other civs in your world; it s one of the few experiences where I can drop a dozen-some hours into a game, lose, and enthusiastically start a new game the next second, certain in my new, improved plan to achieve a science victory.

My best advice, if you aren t big on history, would be to dig up a mod for whatever your favorite fandom might be LOTR, Game of Thrones, The Elder Scrolls Avatar: The Last Airbender? A weird amalgamation of Blizzard properties? My Little Pony? I don t know what you want. Perhaps your lifelong dream was to found a civilization dedicated to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Play as the Geth for all I care.


Papers, Please
A lot of the publishing friction that used to exist for individual and small game creators has been removed over the past few years, and it s a trend that s invited more weird, thoughtful, emotional narrative and systems-driven games. Papers, Please is my favorite from the past year; Lucas Pope takes a depressing setting (a fictionalized stand-in for a post-USSR Europe) and an uncomfortable subject (poverty and totalitarianism) and molds it into dystopian Oregon Trail told through rubber stamps and passport photos.

You play an immigration checkpoint officer, reporting into work each day to check over documents for errors. Each person processed correctly earns you money that goes towards maintaining the survival of your family (expressed as an end-of-day score screen where you pay to heat your squalid apartment, for example), but there s only so much time in each day to earn this money, so there s a real pressure to analyze quickly. Without spoiling anything the mundanity of all that is undercut by a series of moral decisions you have to make; in my review, I described it as the intersection of efficiency and intrigue. The need to focus on paperwork to detect forgeries while weighing your conscience and the need to collect your meager paycheck to support your family. The confluence of all that is brilliant. Another quote: A paperwork sim might sound mundane, but spotting a mislabeled gender or a forged stamp produces real pride, and Papers, Please keeps boredom at bay by gradually introducing incentives for bending or breaking the rules.

When you re done, do Kentucky Route Zero, The Castle Doctrine, The Stanley Parable, Gone Home, and The Swapper.



S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat + the CoP Complete mod
Despite being our designated shooter guy, I made the mistake of waiting years to try STALKER. Pripyat is the third expansion, and the Complete mod dials up the production quality of the game s skyboxes, textures, and other assets to modern standards without altering the story or gameplay. Complete is what I d recommend for a first playthrough, but feel free to give Misery a look if you re feeling especially masochistic.

Other than Arma, and with FEAR as a close second, the most memorable firefights I ve had in video games have been in STALKER. Imagine fighting on open terrain, in the dark, with limited ammo, against an unknown number of bandits that are crawling around in some beat-up, abandoned factory. Pripyat prompts you to play with a ton of spontaneity, and that scrappy quality of its firefights distinguishes it from anything else in gaming. The closest approximation might be clearing out a dangerous, random bandit camp in Skyrim, but that s always felt more like an exercise in picking apart an outpost at my own pace rather than being forced to fight on the fly.

STALKER isn't afraid to leave itself unexplained, and you realize how rare the experience of encountering enemies with zero introduction to how they operate is in modern gaming. In other words, without the heavy-handed explanation and focus-tested tutorialization you d get from many Western shooters. That doesn t mean STALKER is tough per se I d describe it more as a game that trusts you enough to feel around in its (haunted, radioactive) world with your arms extended, make mistakes, and learn through that experience. This approach to design is also part of the DNA of DayZ and Arma. Have fun fighting invisible radioactive monstrosities in swamps during a lightning storm!

Mechanically, too, STALKER mixes fidelity with playability in some nice ways; guns degrade and require specific types of ammunition, but every rifle and pistol feels as comfortable as a Call of Duty weapon.

Also:

FTL, the pinnacle of the current roguelike craze. I suppose it s out on iPad, too.

Skyrim + mods, most of which are single-click installs these days through Steam Workshop (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/browse/?appid=72850&browsesort=toprated)

Something like Skyrim Unbound is especially good for a second playthrough, as it makes how you enter the world selectable from the outset. You can cut the Dragonborn aspect of the game out completely I wanted to play as a completely martial, magicless atheist, so this was especially helpful.
http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/10/27/mod-of-the-week-skyrim-unbound/

Video games,

Evan Lahti
Editor-in-Chief, PC GAMER
evan@pcgamer.com
twitter.com/elahti

//

From: James Videogames
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:01 AM
To: Evan Lahti
Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS

Heya Evan,

Great catching dinner with you too, man. It's a rare treat to pick someone's brain who's deeply ensconced in granular PC gaming. I know folks who experiment with ArmA and EVE Online, etc. but no one who plays seriously. These videos are fascinating especially the half hour one. I don't necessarily know if I'm tempted to play now, but it's certainly reinforced my fascination.

Your selection of highlights did, however, inspire me to purchase components to build my very first PC since ye olde Packard Bell I had back in '97. Pretty excited about it to be honest. My question for you: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play? Archaic mechanics and aesthetics don't frighten me, so don't hold back. Fallout 2, The Longest Journey, and Deus Ex are already at the top of my list.

Best,
James

//

On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Evan Lahti wrote:
Hey! Great having dinner with you. Here's a few Arma videos that'll give you a sense of why folks get into it:

Some gritty, tough, guerrilla-style PvP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7fxwy0Llo

A sizzle reel of moments
http://youtu.be/iylW68mwYIg

A longer video that shows a large-scale infantry battle with a bunch of new (but relatively experienced) players, basically like a training mission for recruits against AI
http://youtu.be/BguGRjPqCtM?t=5m6s
PC Gamer
Misery


Around seven months after the release of Misery 2.0, its team are back with a new update. Misery 2.1 might not be a big change numerically, but the STALKER: Call of Pripyat mod has received some major revisions to AI, weapons, gear, economy, interface and difficulty. It's such a dramatic overhaul that the creators now consider it to be "a completed modding project", and, as such, are moving on to something else.

That something else is a Kickstarter project for The Seed: a post-apocalyptic interactive novel set in Eastern Europe. They're looking for 15,000 to finish their 2D psychological story.

For Misery, the team have produced a typically gloomy trailer.



You can see the full mod patch list over at the Misery site, and download version 2.1 at ModDB. And, if you want to know more about The Seed, head over to the team's Kickstarter page.
Community Announcements - AndersCM
bitComposer turns 5 and celebrates with a huge discount on the Air Conflicts series. If you haven’t played AC: Pacific Carriers or AC: Vietnam, this is your chance. Save 75% on the entire series and join the fight!

Check out the bitComposer anniversary sale for more deals on a great selection of titles!
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Community Announcements - AndersCM
bitComposer is turning 5 this week! No need to lose your grip – hold on to something, a buddy maybe? Over the next 3 days, we will have a discount of 80% on Cargo! - The Quest for Gravity.

Check out the bitComposer anniversary sale for more deals on a great selection of titles!
http://store.steampowered.com/sale/bitcomposersale
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