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Platform: PC

Genre: FPS/RPG

Publisher: THQ

Developer: GSC Gameworld

ETA: Q3 2004

 

Related Links:

Review: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Spearhead (PC)

Review: Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (PC)

Review: Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (PC)

 

 

 

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

 

Post-holocaust games, like other post-apocalyptic literature, are often compelling.  There is something about traveling around a desolate wasteland encountering deformed and vicious mutants that really appeals to the survivalist in many of us.  S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost from GSC (the people behind the Cossacks franchise) is a real-time RPG in the mode of Morrowind that makes use of an original yet familiar apocalyptic environment.

 

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The game takes place in a place called, predictably, The Zone—a twenty square kilometer area surrounding the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power facility.  As often seems to happen after these fictional disasters, Zombies and other mutant beasties are on the loose.

Players control a “Stalker”, a kind of glorified scavenger who braves The Zone to recover artifacts to sell to scientists, collectors, and military representatives in the outside world.  Of course, since said artifacts are valuable, conflicts between other stalkers is inevitable.  Between battles with zombified humans who are seemingly controlled by some kind of overmind and stalkers with hidden agendas, The Zone seems like a pretty dangerous place to vacation.

 

The setting of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is definitely interesting, and the game engine seems fully capable of rendering the environments in 

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an attractive way.  The game is presented from a first-person point of view, which, combined with the wide-open, go anywhere game play, should make the game feel a bit like a sci-fi version of Morrowind.  The available screenshots and movies look impressive and I can’t wait to get my hands on a demo or beta copy to see just how excited I should be. 

 

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R isn’t due for nearly a year, but Armchair Empire will get keeping an eye on this promising title and we’ll update this as soon as more information is available.

 

- Tolen Dante

(December 4, 2003)