Eurogamer

In a restaurant somewhere in sunny Los Angeles County, 13 years ago, two old friends were having lunch. Wine and conversation were flowing. They remembered how they'd met at LucasArts in the 90s. They weren't there to talk business but they did because video games were their bread and butter. One of the men, Jack Sorensen, was reeling-off job opportunities he knew of - he being executive vice president of worldwide studios at games publisher THQ. "THQ Australia?" he enquired. But the other man, Dean Sharpe, didn't seem interested. He had closed his own studio Big Ape Productions a couple of years earlier, dropped off the radar and taken a break, and now he was ready for something new. But Sharpe wanted a challenge.

Sorensen dangled the bait. "It was somewhere during the second bottle of wine he mentioned he had this crazy thing in Ukraine," Dean Sharpe tells me over Skype now (he never did get fully back on the radar and he's a hard man to find). "Wow Ukraine," he thought to himself, "that sounds interesting."

Sorensen outlined his problem: THQ had a team making a fascinating game in Ukraine called Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. The game was dark and massive, set around the twisted disaster zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It was part shooter, part role-playing game, part eerie open-world sandbox adventure. But Stalker was overdue, long overdue, and Sorensen needed someone on the ground out there to finish it - someone in Ukraine to be THQ personified, day in day out, doing whatever it took to get the game done.

Read more…

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Dead Air

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is still years away so here’s a banquet of irradiated exploration and scavenging to tide you over. Dead Air is a standalone mega-mod (no purchase necessary) for bleak FPS sandbox series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Built on top of the fan-upgraded OpenXRay engine and using Call of Chernobyl‘s massive world map, it offers an uncompromising but accessible survival sandbox that looks good and runs better than any similarly huge S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod out there.

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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…

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Good news for fans of uncompromisingly bleak and incomparably atmospheric Eastern European sandbox shooters: an official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sequel is on the way, original devs GSC Game World have confirmed.

The less-good news is that we re all going to have to continue playing mods for the original games for a while yet. According to the announcement, the game isn t due until 2021. And for those itching to pass the time with the similarly-themed Metro Exodus, that s slipped to next year, according to a THQ financial report. (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…

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

STALKER: Lost Alpha

We’ve previously covered Lost Alpha, a massive labor-of-love project to rebuild the original Shadow of Chernobyl from the ground up, reinstating concepts and content that never quite made the final cut. While the first release of Lost Alpha suffered nearly as badly from a messy development cycle as the original game, the updates have continued, and the massive patch released this week makes it a far more tempting prospect, whether or not you’ve played a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game before.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha [ModDB page], the fantastic free standalone mod inspired by bits of Shadow of Chernobyl that appeared in alpha versions but were cut for the final release, is now properly out. Craig adored the version released in 2014, so a big update is fantastic news. You might remember Dezowave reluctantly released 2014’s unfinished (but still great) version after scamps leaked a rough development build. Now they’ve launched what they’re calling the Developer’s Cut of Lost Alpha, fixing bugs and making it even bigger. Have a look: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Back in the days of STALKER and its two sequels, I felt like I was the only games hack who didn’t get sent on a tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat. Those who did visit came back with reports of rain and health worries and mystery meats, then shared photographs of them smiling in front of a decaying Ferris wheel or looking sombre in a Marie Celeste classroom. Perhaps it is best that I never went myself. What a strange thing to be a tourist to. Is any possible response appropriate?

The Chernobyl VR Project, essentially finished but for the time being only available for Oculus Rift, with a more refined version due for both that and Vive a little later, gives me my chance to be a tourist, without the background anxiety about background radiation. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Don’t stand there, I said come in. … [visit site to read more]

Jun 21, 2016
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

35MM is a less fantastical, more sedate STALKER. It is tempting to call it Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture meets Russian post-apocalyptic fiction, but it is not a walking simulator: it has action and horror and much more besides. I beseech you to play it. … [visit site to read more]

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