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

A thread to post about and discuss the wonderful S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. With its fairly recent resurrection, we might finally get S2 (if not this year, then hopefully the next).

How did you get into the series? What is your favourite game/moment/character/faction/loadout/location/etc.? And what about the book or film?

Sit down by the campfire, get your guitar ready, prep some salami and vodka, and get ready to hear some анекдoты. Discuss away Stalkers! Cheeki breeki!

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I remember I saw articles about Shadow of Chernobyl in a gaming magazine in 2004-2005 and judging the renders and screens they chose to show in the article, I hated it.


Fast forward to 2007 I actually tried it myself to check what the fuss was all about and again I hated it since at that time I wasn’t taking video games too serious and didn’t bother to even finish them. I just activated cheats / trainers and caused mayhem. I also didn’t have a powerful PC enough to run the game decently even on Static Lighting (DX8) so that didn’t help.

Even around the time that Clear Sky was in development, I was bashing the game for whatever stupid reason but around 2009 when Call of Pripyat was released, I decided to give SoC another try and for whatever reason it clicked. Just like that. And the rest is history :stuck_out_tongue:

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I just recently got into the Stalker series at the end of 2020, haven’t touched SoC since H3 came out but I’ll get back to it one of these days.

I don’t remember how I first learned about it, I hear about popular games that have been out for the last 3+ years and then don’t try them until five years later :sweat_smile:

I forgot to mention, for what I did play, I’m loving it so far.

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Ah, I newcomer into our fold :smiley:

If you want to try SoC, I recommend the Zone Reclamation Project which is sort of an unofficial patch for the game. The series is known for it’s jank :grin:
As for gameplay tips, I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that since this is a semi-RPG with no skills / level ups, there’s no need to start up shootouts with every enemy you see in sight. Best sneak by if you can and save the ammo / medkits.

Also, explore as much as you want even when the game says that you should push forward and do a mission. By doing that you can find better gear that can be a life saver in some of the earlier missions which are pretty brutal for rookies that don’t stray from the path and simply do the main missions only.
There is no hurry, main missions don’t have a time limit and with the ZRP, neither do the side missions :stuck_out_tongue:

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Speaking of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, here are a few new pieces of concept art




The last one is interesting because it’s from a familiar location. Can anyone guess from where it is? :stuck_out_tongue:

Also on their VK page there are a few pieces of artwork

The car park at the Cordon


Abandoned church in the Swamps

Pripyat / Jupiter underground
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I have a hunch that the devs are hinting at a time and space anomaly. There was something similar in both Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. :thinking:

Also I’m glad they are sticking close to what we were used in the first games when it comes to the design of the factions.

Duty and Freedom in SoC / CS / CoP


Duty and Freedom in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2


Duty in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (canceled 2012 version)

Was not a fan of the 2012 version really :slight_smile:

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ZRP is basically a must, though the janky vanilla brings back memories (mainly of relevant NPCs spawning in a fire barrel and dying lol). Same goes for the Sky Reclamation Project for Clear Sky.

Gotta say I completely ignored the series back in the day when SoC was supposed to come out. I remember my friends talking about it and looking forward to it, as it was an immensely hyped game, but for me zombies and Chernobyl were as uninteresting as the could possibly be.

It wasn’t until some 6-7 years back when I suddenly felt - for whatever reason - to play some game with a thick and preferably bleak atmosphere. And nothing works best for that than a desolate Eastern European setting. Suddenly, Stalker felt like an ideal choice and the moment I got out of Sidorovich’s bunker, I was hooked. The rest, as you say @EvilGeniusRo , is history.

Btw, Evil, have you ever tried Misery or Lost Alpha? My old laptop wasn’t good enough to run them properly, and I haven’t gotten around to try them on my current one yet due to all of the games I’ve been catching up with.

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I did try Lost Alpha, multiple release versions, multiple time and I’m sad to say that it’s not good. The head head honcho of the dez0wave team, dezodor, said that everyone in the team that worked on the game, wanted to put their own ideas into it. Some wanted to keep it close to SoC where it was mostly exploration with combat sprinkled here and there and some wanted it to be a full action packed game like CS.

They also bit more than they could chew when they decided to include in-game cutscenes, especially since they didn’t have a decent animator for most of development. You can see some of the abomination in this video

The original releases were filled with trash like these but most got removed in the Director’s Cut.

As for the worst offender of them all, the game was straight up broken. From the version that got leaked all the way to the last version before DC got released, it was a miracle if you could play the game more than 10 minutes without crashing, let alone finish the game.

In the end, dezodor outsourced the development of the DC version to the Russian community of the game and they tried their best to fix it. There are even repackages of the DC + community fixes and enhances but it’s still fundamentally flawed, with some serious issues still in there so I say skip it. :frowning:

Fun fact, dezodor actually had talks with owner of GSC, Sergiy, to have the game part of the main series and actually sell it commercially but the leak happened and the plans got scrapped. Really wish it had ended up as good as Black Mesa :frowning:

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Damn. Really sad to hear that… I followed LA pretty closely back when it was in development, and was pretty pissed off about the leak and its impact (didn’t download it though, waited for the proper release), but was still hoping the mod would eventually come out in a decent form.

Since it ran like crap on my previous laptop, I kinda stopped monitoring it, but noticed every now and then that a new version is getting released. Which wasn’t really good news, since I thought they had a pretty clear idea from the start of what they want it to be, and this sounded like too many changes are being made for the worse… Which apparently was the case then…

Now this sucks big time… Incredible shame :frowning: Still might give the DC version a go some day… Would at least like to see Dead City and the other resurrected areas…

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If you’ll ever get the chance to try Lost Alpha, I suggest you also use a compilation of fixes / tweaks made by one of the developers and actually the only English dev that still tried to give out a helping hand :slight_smile:

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If anyone’s interesting in reading a bit on what went behind the scenes during the development of SoC

And also a video with footage from a couple of old builds of the games :smiley:

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Just read the info that one of the voice actors named possible release time for STALKER 2.
Allegedly the game is about to hit the stores in late 2021.
Still, it’s not the official words from developers, but at least it pictures the possible time frames of the release.
And yet, it might be untrue as you might’ve guessed

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2021 was the year teased in their announcement teaser so it could be right and if not, early 2022 which I don’t mind since I can bet all the dosh in the world it will be Epic exclusive for a year so I’ll have to wait :pensive:

Still, I hope S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be a worth the wait :smiley:

From the article
voice actor Aleksandr Vilkov, who recently began his work on the project, revealed the upcoming sequel may be arriving sooner than many expect.

From IMDb
Aleksandr Vilkov was born on June 18, 1955 as Aleksandr Borisovitch Vilkov. He was an actor, known for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007), S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (2009) and Reportazh (1995). He died on October 7, 2014.

WAT?!

That’s a huge coincidence :grin:

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Last year (I think) S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 (2011) got leaked and sold to the highest bidder and today all those files were uploaded for the public.

From the documentation (this is translated from Russian through Google translate)

  • New X-Ray 2.0 engine
  • The game was planned to be released on PC and XBox 360, possibly PS3
  • Ability to gather and lead your own group of stalkers.
  • Multiplayer for 32 people.
  • The plot is designed for ~ 10 hours of passage.
    It will take ~ 30 hours to complete all side missions and fully explore the game.
  • A-Life 2.0 system.
  • In the initial version of the plot, Strelok died at the very beginning of the game, and a new protagonist was blamed for his death.
  • A single game world without loadings.
  • Input of female characters, skeletal facial animation and lip sync are implemented.

A video that showcased the build (in Russian).

All this is outdated content that is not used in the current version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and GSC, like always were pretty chill about the leak.

A spokesman for GSC Game World commented on this situation as follows:
- Our position has not changed: these are archives from 10 years ago, which have nothing to do with the current game. If you have interest and desire to consider - enjoy!

Guess things never change when it comes to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. leaks. For those that are unfamiliar, there are about 82 early builds (more or less functional) leaked for Shadow of Chernobyl alone though only one or two got leaked during the game’s development :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Devs gives some slight info about some of the things from the trailer

  • weapon add-ons can such as silencers and scopes can be mounted on the go, similar to Crysis maybe?
  • the swamp section in the trailer is the same swamp location from Clear Sky
  • the new artifact detector is called Gilka which is Ukrainian for a branch
  • The new blue artifact is named Jelly and it restores stamina
  • The “dancing man” scene takes place in Chernobyl-2
  • The man at the end of the trailer that tells you Good hunting, stalker! is actually Sergiy Grygorovych, creator of the series and owner of GSC

Here are a few things I noticed or things that I want to point out so take it with a pinch of salt :smiley:

  • On the “dancing man’s” table you can see an Echo artifact detector from Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat :grin:
  • The “roof scene” guy is wearing a SEVA suit
  • I " believe " this guy is part of the Freedom / Svaboda faction because of his dialogue. The faction has their own unique colors for the SEVA suit but maybe the devs don’t want to give away too much information
  • I have a hunch that the assassinated guy he is referring to is Strelok.
  • In the Duga scene, you can see two Monolith soldiers getting fried but at the start of the video during the shootout scene, the dev mentioned of a “new” faction being shown. I’m not sure what he means by that. New as in new to the series or new as shown for the first time in this game?
    The only faction I can think of that has similar suits as the Monolith is the cut faction from Clear Sky, the International Scientific Group but I doubt it

Monolith soldier in Clear Sky and cut ISG member

That’s pretty much it, if you have noticed something, please share :grin:

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Chernobylite is (finally) out of the “in development” status…