The development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has been full of ups and downs, and just when you were starting to feel reassured, it has taken a sad, not-entirely-unexpected turn. Developer GSC Game World was unable to reach an agreement with the rights owner of the brand and has since formed an independent studio called Vostok Games.
As a result of this, the long-awaited sequel is "frozen" indefinitely and the team is now working on a free-to-play MMOFPS dubbed Survarium. Yeah, I'm more than a little worried about how this will turn out too -- but not because of the premise. The setting itself sounds delightfully dark.
"The concept of Survarium is a next evolution step for the idea of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. we've been working on for the last ten years," writes Project Lead Ruslan Didenko. Survarium will go way further forcing mankind to fight for survival not only within the closed area of Chernobyl zone, but also far beyond."
Impassable woods advance onto cities from every side, maddened animals and birds attack industrial complexes, military structures, warehouses and power plants. Towns are cut off from each other, there are no water supplies, no electricity, gas, communication is lost. Countries collapse, anarchy spreads throughout the world. Now force dictates who to survive. In the meantime, new species of greenery and animals purposely destroy human civilization. Strange plants and mushrooms grow through concrete and steel. Scientists all over the world haplessly try to cope with the anomaly sprawling across the Earth with terrifying speed.
Conceptually, the game sounds promising and could surely turn out to be great in the right hands, but the scope of the project has me worried. And yes, the free-to-play part doesn't exactly help. Survarium isn't due out until late 2013, so hopefully Vostok will prove me wrong.