STALKER featured in our Biggest Games Of 2004 feature a year ago, and is now surrounded by nearly as much conjecture as fact. In an effort to get a definitive handle on what's going on, we spoke to Oleg Yavorsky of GSC Game World to see what the Ukrainian team have been getting up to.
"STALKER is open-ended and provides complete freedom of movement," explains Yavorsky. "We are talking about a huge world of 30 square kilometres. The only restriction will be your poor equipment and armaments early on. Although you're free to pick up and accomplish quests as you go, we felt it necessary to designate a certain path, so we implemented a string of key quests. By following these, you'll progress in the story to finally solve the puzzle of the Zone."
The setting may have submitted to the call of science fiction, but the weapons and vehicles have been based on real-life counterparts from the old Soviet Union, and Western guns such as the LR300 rifle. They'll also be modifiable, compatible with different types of ammo, and will even wear out with too much use. With multiplayer, we got to dabble with the deathmatch (which will support up to 32 players), and new modes such as Artefact Hunt (where two teams have to fight it out to get control of the Zone's treasures) are promised. GSC's shooter can definitely talk the talk, but can it stalk the stalk?