Author Topic: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Ready For A New Trip in The Zone Yet?  (Read 1045 times)

Offline Starfox

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Well it may have taken about 7 years to the guys at GSC Gameworld to come out with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl but it appears that it won't be that long for the follow-up S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. Yep another S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is on the rails as announced by GSC Gameworld during the E3.

Branding S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky as a new game would be a technical error though since it is truly a standalone add-on, meaning a game that shares the same features and engine than its parent but that you can play even if you don't have the first one.

As a matter of fact, STALKER: Clear Sky (to Hell with all the dots) will run on the same engine, with apparently the same gameplay system (which means that unfortunately we should keep the crappy shooting). The big principles of the Zone are still there and the "freedom of action" too. The factions will be the same albeit with a few twists. However a lot of other things won't be the same.

Obviously, the story first. The events in Clear Sky occur before those described in Shadow Of Chernobyl. So what we have here is a prequel with the recurrent big baddy Strelok, and you in the role of a mercenary instead of a Stalker (which is... well, that doesn't change a lot). If all goes well, Clear Sky should explain what happened up to the point of the intro video of Shadow Of Chernobyl.

Then there is the playground. That will be a completely new part of the Zone that you didn't get to see in the first game. GSC is talking about 15 new places to visit for your dying pleasure. These new environments should be however completed by 5 "old" ones that won't have exactly the same look but that those who played the game should be able to recognize immediately. The faction, although the same, won't have the same power. For example the bandits that you encounter in so many places should be restricted to the Garbage. The player reputation system should be revised too to include a bit more flexibility (your actions should this time have an impact -- good or bad -- on ALL the factions affected).

Regarding the missions management, inventory and interface in general, GSC talks about a complete overhaul that should be hopefully for the best. Although GSC didn't say anything more, the big problems of the original game regarding the usability of the interface should be addressed.

It is also question of a new way to use the artifacts, of new system to upgrade weapons and armor and also (that will please some gamer) of a system to travel faster through the zone. However GSC didn't talk about vehicles (that were taken out from the first game) and just said that they would be kind of a pain in the ass to implement, at least in the single-player part of the game.

What GSC has been much more talkative about is the extensive use of the latest DX9 techniques (notably HDR, motion blur and parallax bump mapping) so that Clear Sky looks more beautiful than Shadow Of Chernobyl and the inclusion in this new standalone/add-on of DX10.

Well that's about all in term of news for now so I let you with the first screens and I just tell you that the expected date of arrival for Clear Sky is the first quarter 2008.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein