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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - All News

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Box Art

Tuesday - August 31, 2010

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: CS - Diamond in the Rough

by Dhruin, 20:56

GameSetWatch has a feature on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky called Diamond in the Rough, with author Tom Cross arguing the game is a sort of first-person survival tower-defence game:

Stalkers and mercenaries populate the next zone, and an army base guards the only path to safety from the passage between zones. It’s a cruel, relentless sprint from the entry point to safety among the Stalker faction, the military hounding you every step of the way. I died many times here, cut down by a heavy machine gun I couldn’t see. Immediately following my escape, I was enlisted by the Stalkers to help them take several enemy locations. Again, the new weapons and increased numbers of my foes lead to my death, again and again.

It’s in these situations that Clear Sky looks to be a brilliant mixture of tower defense and classic Stalker survival horror shooter. Locations borrowed from the first game are chock-full of deadly new enemies. New items and weapons are no match for the ever-ready forces of the zone, but if I help the Stalkers kill enough military units and mutants, I might be able to buy new items, weapons, and armor. Maybe then I’ll be able to join up with Freedom or Duty, make some real money, and participate in the huge battles that are the highlights of the late game in Clear Sky.

Thursday - January 08, 2009

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - 1.5.08 Patch

by Dhruin, 21:39

There's a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky patch taking the game to v1.5.08 available from the official download page.  This mostly addresses MP anti-cheat measures.

Source: Blues News

Saturday - December 13, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Re-Review @ bit-tech

by Dhruin, 22:19

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky received mixed initial reviews, so bit-tech has returned to examine the game after all the patching and a little distance.  The score is 7/10 and they still have issues with game design choices:

The reality of the bleeding system though is that you end up carrying around a stupid amount of bandages, which completely overrides this sense of realism. You have to wrap a new bandage on after every scrape, no matter how little damage you took. There’s nothing on this earth capable of simultaneously wearing away our will to live and keyboards like having to tap ‘C’ every five seconds in a gunfight.

What really begins to grate though is that the bleeding system isn’t very consistent, proving to have more holes in it than Amy Winehouse's elbows. For some reason medkits in the Zone don’t include any type of bandages, so if you take a shotgun blast to the face in a fight then you’ll need to use a medkit, put a bandage on, dodge the next shot and return fire all at the same time. Why do medkits instantly restore your health but not stop you bleeding at all?

Wednesday - October 29, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - 1.5.06 Patch

by Dhruin, 21:23

Worthplaying is pointing out a v1.5.06 patch for STALKER: Clear Sky (55Mb).  Head over for the download link and changelog.

Wednesday - October 01, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - 1.5.0.5 Patch

by Dhruin, 00:15

A v1.5.0.5 patch has been released for STALKER: Clear Sky - the changes are too long for here, so head over to Worthplaying for the full notes and the 55Mb file.

Saturday - September 27, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ CrispyGamer

by Dhruin, 02:09

Another middling result for STALKER: Clear Sky with CrispyGamer's review recommending "Try" rather than "Buy".  Technical issues are the main culprit:

While the improved AI adds to the game's believability, it's also plagued with technical bugs that take away from it. Clipping and collision detection problems mean that a character might walk through another or through a wall, or slowly push another character across the ground as he walks into him. Characters will walk in thin air, about a half-foot above the stairs they're supposed to walk on. You can get stuck in odd crevices with no way to get loose.

But before you download the 56 MB patch to repair some of these graphic glitches, be forewarned: Installing this sucker will delete your saved games (I found out the hard way). This is too bad, because the game's DirectX 10-supported graphics are one of its strongest merits until you see someone with half a leg stuck in a rock or doorway. Therefore, take heed and install the patch before you begin to play the game.

Sunday - September 21, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ RealGamer

by Dhruin, 00:23

Another good score for STALKER: Clear Sky with RealGamer's review awarding 8.2/10, despite the majority of paragraphs listing a litany of design issues and problems.  At the end of the day, the author enjoyed the atmosphere and the game not "playing fair".  On the random factional fights:

But as a gameplay mechanic, it's disappointingly one-dimensional. Instead of opening doors for all manner of tactical thinking and careful strategies, it creates a rather tedious and repetitive 'obvious route' to victory. That is, to sit for a while away from your current objective, and wait for the inevitable support to arrive, letting the friendly AI do most of the shooting and allowing you to conserve resources. Admittedly, you're likely to be picked off by a sniper or mauled by a wild boar on a few occasions while using this tactic, but it's a hell of a lot more forgiving than the fiendishly difficult fire-fights in Clear Sky. Enemy AI is hugely impressive, but even on the easiest of difficulty settings, each close-quarters battle is likely to require a few goes and a huge amount of quick saves to end in success. It's not even a case of trial and error, due to the semi-random nature of the game.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - September 18, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ 1UP

by Magerette, 17:07

1Up reviews GSC Gameworld's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky, and gives it a grade of "B" :

Clear Sky is a great game and a worthy successor to Shadow of Chernobyl, despite the identity crisis. Clear Sky's concern is the human struggle to control, contain, and exploit the Zone -- which is itself presented as a conscious character to a far greater extent than in Shadow of Chernobyl...

What Clear Sky doesn't deliver is the abject, adjust-your-gamma terror of its predecessor. Certainly, the tattletale PDA doesn't help, but the more important difference is that Clear Sky is prehistory: This dystopian-but-densely populated Zone is the "before" snapshot to Shadow of Chernobyl's hellish "after." Here, guns, ammo, and -- by extension -- rubles flow like water thanks to the constant (and vastly improved) combat. My inner coward couldn't be happier.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 13:11

One of the more positive Clear Sky reviews around can be found at Games Radar, who have repackaged the article from PC Gamer US.  The score is 8/10 (78% in the print mag) and here's a grab:

Clear Sky’s biggest innovation is the artificial intelligence system that controls the NPCs and factions that inhabit the aforementioned districts. The ongoing dynamic faction war is displayed in your PDA menu, which shows each faction’s personnel strength and territory holdings. As you meet new factions, you’re given the opportunity to support their cause by assisting in raids and defending against assaults. I’m disappointed that these optional missions don’t have any effect on the main story, but I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity of the skirmishes. Randomly happening upon two (or sometimes more) groups engaged in a firefight added life and believability to the world, and being able to turn the tide of each battle and earn some loot in the process was very rewarding. The only aspect of the faction war I found annoying was the presence of Bandits, a group of seemingly unkillable hooligans that occasionally mugged me for all of my hard-earned weapons and cash, leaving me to start again from scratch. I’d prefer they just killed me.

Sunday - September 14, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ Bit-tech

by Dhruin, 01:42

Bit-tech found STALKER: Clear Sky a middling game plagued with technical issues.  The score is 3/10 and here's the problem:

It crashes, it blue screens, it devours system resources, it uses outdated forms of bug submission which just don’t work, it doesn’t have great translation of the dialogue, there are many quests which can’t be completed and even if you avoid all this then elements of the game itself are shockingly designed. Why the hell can’t we see how much stamina we have without looking in the inventory?

Quite simply, the game itself may be OK (though not exceptional) but the actual experience you are buying is just awful. It doesn’t work and if we’d have paid for it instead of just getting a review sample then we’d feel angry, cheated and disappointed.

 

Source: Blues News

Friday - September 12, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - v1.5.04 Patch

by Dhruin, 00:29

 A new patch is out for STALKER : Clear Sky, taking the game to v1.5.04.  You can grab it from Deep Silver here and read the notes here.  There's a warning that previous save games aren't compatible, I'm afraid.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - September 09, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ StrategyInformer

by Magerette, 18:13

Strategy Informer  is next in line with a review for Clear Sky, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel from GSC Gameworlds and Deep Silver, giving it a score of 7.3/10:

What was worrying is, while it improves on the graphics, it loses on its atmosphere. The original title was genuinely unnerving, worrying and frightening simultaneously. You felt alone, without help for miles. It was you versus the world. Sustain a wound and out of bandages? You’re toast. The game was difficult enough; balanced perfectly. Then along comes Clear Sky.

It quickly becomes obvious that Clear Sky is all about the combat. There’s little occasion where you’re sitting at your PC, trembling in your radiation suit. The only time you’ll feel slightly on edge in Clear Sky is when it’s night time. The echoes of dog barking. The gentle whisper of the trees. The sound of nuclear silence. Then you turn on your flashlight, keep an eye on the radar and remember you’re just playing a game...

Monday - September 08, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ IGN

by Magerette, 17:16

IGN already has  their review up for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and they give it a 7.3/10 score, with a lot of positive points but their main problem being bugs.

Here's the conclusion:

...The first game presented a very unique experience and, by and large, Clear Sky sticks close to that model. So if you liked the first game because it was big and dense and scary, then you'll like Clear Sky for the same reasons. And if you like the original but wish that it offered more GRAW-style action, then Clear Sky is even better.

Not everything works, of course. The faction fights seem too easy, which is balanced out, we suppose, by the ridiculously accurate grenade throws. The story doesn't offer much of a foundation for the action, either. The real shame of it all is that the game was let out the door with so many bugs, some that merely slowed our progress and dampened our enjoyment, and one that actually stopped us cold. Many of these issues are bound to be addressed in upcoming patches but we'd wait until the game has at least a few under its belt before trying to tackle it again.

Source: Voodoo Extreme

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Final Hands On @ Gamespot

by Magerette, 16:52

Gamespot does one last hands on preview prior to the forthcoming release of GSC Gameworld's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel Clear Sky, promising a review for next week:

Clear Sky is a shooter, pure and simple, but also throws in elements of role-playing and survival horror games. Weapons are rated in strength, accuracy, rate of fire, and overall condition, which all deteriorate over time. Luckily for you, enemies tend to drop their own weapons when they, you know, die, and you can grab low-level replacements at any time. There are also a number of parts like scopes and larger ammunition clips that can be combined with firearms to increase their respective attributes. Early on we can already say how fun it is to pimp out your gun with items earned in the heat of battle. Although there is no custom creation tool for your looks, the combinations of weapons and armor at your disposal are endless.

Their final thoughts:

At this point, it's fair to say that fans of the original Stalker will enjoy Clear Sky as well. It's not without its foibles--cheesy dialogue, punishing difficulty, unfriendly checkpoint system--but the customization and open world offer a unique experience in an engaging universe.

 

Wednesday - September 03, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - 1.01 Patch

by Dhruin, 23:51

A v1.01 patch for STALKER: Clear Sky has been released. Word is "The patch optimizes the performance of Clear Sky approximately 5 %. In addition to that the patch improves the overall stability of the game and fixes potential load/save issues. Further the balancing of the multiplayer mode has been changed."

Grab it from Deep Silver's Clear Sky download page (approx 57Mb, different retail and download versions).

In related news, IncGamers has a Clear Sky interview with GSG Game World's Oleg Yavorsky:

How is The Zone in Clear Sky different from that in SOC? How do these differences affect gameplay?

Some aspects of the gameplay were changed very much. For example artifact search.  In Clear Sky some anomalies are completely invisible and the artifacts in them also.  You need to use some sort of detector to find a safe route inside the anomaly fields and got the artifact. So a two handed HUD was added when you carry a detector in one hand and a bolt or one-handed weapon in another. At this time negative powers of anomaly field affects you and you are a good target for enemy stalkers, so you will need good protective suits and equipment for that.

We added the possibility of upgrading weapons so you could improve the weapon you like in many characteristics like accuracy, distance, magazine capacity etc. You can also repair your weapon and protective suit.

Source: Blues News

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ CVG

by Dhruin, 12:05

CVG has a review of STALKER: Clear Sky, written by Jim Rossignol for PC Gamer UK.  The score is 6.8/10 and the game's difficulty is again raised, as well as this complaint:

The main problem for Clear Sky is that the faction warfare is simply no fun. There are a number of reasons for this: one is the way that it is presented. The fact that this is quite clearly a game, with stats and points of interest marked out on your PDA map, removes any mystery the Zone might have held. Rather than hiding the mechanisms of how your battle is progressing, or what a particular faction thinks of you - as the original game did - it's all laid out so that you can see it failing to work. This objectification - game-ification, if you will - does Clear Sky no favours. It shatters the atmosphere, and dissolves the idea that you are in some kind of uncharted wilderness. Hell, it even marks 'mutants' on your PDA, as if the anomalous horrors of the Zone were just another tick-list attraction to be marked off and then killed on your ballistic tour of the area.

Tuesday - September 02, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 12:13

Balance and difficulty concerns hold back Kieron Gillen's opinion of STALKER: Clear Sky in the first review we've seen.  The score is 7/10 and here's a sample:

The problem is simply a string of design and balancing issues. In practice, after I received my first artifact in the training sequence, I didn't get a second for at least ten hours of play. That's "get", not "find", by the way. In some cases I was in the right spot - or, at least as close as I was when I managed to get hold of one - but completely failed to make the thing appear. In most cases, however, the area I was lead to was toxic above what I could survive for long enough to locate the tricky blighter without burning medkits. So I mostly just ignored it and carried on.

Monday - September 01, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - NA Release Delayed

by Magerette, 17:01

Shack News has posted a confirmation from Deep Silver that the Clear Sky prequel has been recalled from NA shelves following an alleged CD key mix-up. European release is unaffected:

The North American release of GSC Game World's S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (PC) has been delayed "a few days" past the promised September 5 date, a representative from publisher Deep Silver confirmed with Shacknews today.

The slip stems from a manufacturing issue specific to the North American edition, with Deep Silver forced to recall all copies that have already shipped to stores. The issue is apparently a printing error that saw the game distributed without CD keys...

A new release date for North America is not yet available, though several online retailers have the title tentatively slated for September 15.

 

Source: Blues News

Monday - August 18, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Gold!

by Dhruin, 22:36

Deep Silver and GSG Gameworld announce S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is Gold and will hit stores on September 5th:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Goes Gold!

Highly anticipated prequel will release worldwide on September 5

Hermosa Beach, Calif. - Aug 18, 2008 - GSC Game World, computer games developer, its publishing subdivision GSC World Publishing and Deep Silver, the games label of Koch Media, a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, today announce that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky has gone gold. The international release date of the game has been set to September 5th of 2008.

More information about the game is available on the official S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/stalkerofficial
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is a survival FPS game for PC based on a 'what-if' scenario of the second Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. The game is created as a warning to mankind against mindless play with technologies. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is the official prequel to the renowned S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game by the Ukraine-based GSC Game World studio. The game is set in 2011and brings forth the events to have preceded the third campaign of Strelok to the Zone center. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky introduces an alternative look onto the events of the original game and offers the player to try himself out as a mercenary s.t.a.l.k.e.r. in search of his own path in the world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Official game site: www.stalker-game.com

Monday - August 04, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Developer Diary #2 @ IGN

by Magerette, 17:32

IGN posts their second developer diary entry for GSC Gameworld's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky. This one focuses on the game technology: 

...The technology improvements didn't just span graphics either. Taking into account the feedback and ideas from fans, we paid every effort to improve the opponent's combat AI and the A-Life system. Now the NPCs are intelligent enough to wisely use cover, throw grenades and avoid obstacles dynamically. They now understand what is a window or a rift in the wall and how to interact with them. For the AI we meticulously placed 'hints' so they know how to use cover properly, so they know where to stand to fire through a window or where they can shoot while looking out from behind the wall. Indeed, we did our best to teach them how to think and use all the objects available, so that NPCs would have a greater influence on what the players does next.

Saturday - August 02, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Sys Reqs

by Dhruin, 01:07

Deep Silver's new S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky site has the sys reqs for the upcoming game.  It took me a minute to figure out why the "minimum" and "recommended" looked the same, before I realised they have accidentally cut-and-pasted the "recommended" into the former:

On our Website you get the information about the hardware requirements. The requirements for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky are:

MINIMAL

  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000(SP4)/XP/Vista (SP1)
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz / AMD XP 2200+
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard disc space
  • 128 MB DirectX® 8.0 compatible card / nVIDIA® GeForce™ 5700 / ATI Radeon® 9600
  • Keyboard, Mouse
  • LAN / Internet for Multiplayer
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista (SP1)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 / AMD 64 X2 4200+
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard disc space
  • 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible card / nVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GT / ATI Radeon® HD 2900 XT
  • Keyboard, Mouse
  • LAN / Internet for Multiplayer

RECOMMENDED

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista (SP1)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 / AMD 64 X2 4200+
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard disc space
  • 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible card / nVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GT / ATI Radeon® HD 2900 XT
  • Keyboard, Mouse
  • LAN / Internet for Multiplayer

Source: Blues News

Thursday - July 31, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Trailer @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:47

Also at Worthplaying is a new trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (53Mb).

Wednesday - July 30, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Official Site Launched

by Dhruin, 00:10

Deep Silver and GSC Gameworld have kicked off an official site for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky.  Not a heck of a lot there at the moment - a link to a Youtube channel and E3 material, in the main.

Monday - July 28, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Developer Diary #1 @ IGN

by Magerette, 16:42

IGN U.K. is doing a developer diary series on GSC Gameworld's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel Clear Sky, and has the first installment up: 

As before, the artists and art designers packed their bags to spend time in the Chernobyl exclusion zone to get a good idea of what it's like. Not only did they bring back tons of photos from corners of the zone previously unexplored, they also returned with emotional feelings too – what it actually feels like to be there. We also undertook expeditions in to the marshland area, where some took examples of local flora that we then used to create the marsh level in the game. In the area surrounding Kiev we took loads of reference photos of old buildings that we[re] constructed by German prisoners after WWII and these pictures helped us to create the city of Limansk.

 

Saturday - July 26, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Three New Trailers

by Magerette, 18:09

GSC Gameworld has release three new interview trailers for their prequel, Clear Sky which explain the premises of the game from the ground up, as well as running some gameplay footage by your eyeballs. You can locate them here  at GamersHell.

Thursday - July 24, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Interview @ RPS

by Dhruin, 22:55

Rock, Paper, Shotgun chats with GSC Game World's Valentine Yeltyshev about Clear Sky:

Great. And there’s all the new stuff with Factions, right?

VY: Yeah. We’ve got a new storyline with two layers. On one you can be completely free. You can join any faction that you want, do whatever you want, and progress through the main story however you see fit. But on another layer there is the completely unscripted story of the zone. The factions, using AI, will be battling across the zone to capture territory or engaging in skirmishes – it’s completely unique to your game and you can take part, or not, as you wish. You’ll have complete freedom in the game to do whatever you want to do – you could even just join a roving group of bandits.

Tuesday - July 22, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - E3 Preview @ Gamespot

by Magerette, 18:25

This appears to be one E3 preview we haven't got around to yet. Gamespot does a hands-on with the Clear Sky prequel from GSC Gameworld :

There are several factions in the Clear Sky universe, and allying yourself with one (or more) will open up squad support during hairy missions. On a dark street, Scar[the player character] stumbled upon a renegade, and our squad held him at gunpoint. The rogue said he had information that would be valuable on the road ahead, and he would gladly give it in exchange for a medkit. Since our faction isn't one to give in to such demands, this rogue was unceremoniously gunned down in the street. There are plenty of choices like this in Clear Sky, and deciding who lives or dies will alter your story experience in this dynamic world...

Friday - July 11, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview Video @ 1UP

by Woges, 21:15

 Game footage with 3 of the 1UP editors talking about a viewing of Clear Sky.

Sunday - July 06, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Atmosphere Trailer @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 18:25

A very nice 5.15 minute trailer from GSC GameWorld for their S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky, is up over at GamersHell, showing the transition from concept art, photos, character models, etc  to video and actual game shots. It is, indeed, atmospheric. You can stream it here

You may already have caught this in curiously undead's thread in the Non-RPG forum. Thanks, c.u. 

Friday - June 27, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Details

by Dhruin, 13:12

Deep Silver sent out this press release on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Skies but at the end of a long day, I confess what exactly is new in this release escapes me:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky - New Details Revealed
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky:Welcome back to the Zone!

GSC Game World and Deep Silver release new details about the prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Hermosa Beach- Jun 26, 2008 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl was one of the best-selling first-person shooters of 2007. In late August 2008, the Ukrainian developers from GSC Game World and the publisher Deep Silver will invite gamers to join them on a new foray into the nuclear zone: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky is set one year before the events of part 1 - at a time when the Zone is changed forever by a huge anomalous eruption of energy.

War of factions
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, the player assumes the role of Scar, a mercenary s.t.a.l.k.e.r. In a unique mixture of first-person shooter and complex role- playing game, Scar fights for survival within the Zone and its hostile sectors. The new Zone territories are explored by s.t.a.l.k.e.r.s scattered in groups - and these individual factions soon engage in relentless battle. As a mercenary, Scar quickly finds himself in the middle of a war of factions over territory, artifacts, and power. It is up to the player to find out on whose side Scar has the greatest chance of prevailing.

Clever adversaries, luscious graphics
Just like its predecessor, Clear Sky perfectly captures the sinister atmosphere within the death Zone. DirectX 10 support enables spectacular graphics, including dynamic transitions between day and night with absolutely realistic light effects, as well as very detailed landscapes and lifelike animations. At the same time, the developers saw to it that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky also works with DirectX 8 and DirectX 9.

Special attention was given to realistic, independent thinking and actions of the NPCs. The artificial intelligence from the predecessor game was strongly improved, so that foes and allies now make their own situation-based decisions that impact the further course of the game. For instance, the outcome of battles is not predetermined. Only in the last few levels is the player guided towards a given end of the story, which leads to the events described in Shadow of Chernobyl.

Key features
• Unique mix of action-laden first-person shooter and complex role-playing game
• Gigantic scope: many new levels are available, plus some completely overhauled levels from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl and many side quests with motivating rewards
• Realistic simulation of the extensive S.T.A.L.K.E.R. world: enemy factions fight each other, mutants hunt of their own accord.
• Intermediate movie-quality cut scenes complement the thrilling back-story leading up to the events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
• Numerous new in game features, such as fast travel, or extensive modification and repairing armor and weapons
• Greatly improved artificial intelligence
• Complete DirectX 10 support for state-of- the-art graphic effects (God rays, soft particles, SSAO, dynamic volumetric smoke, dynamically wetting surface (rain effect) etc.)
• Dynamic transitions between day and night with realistic weather effects
• Detailed graphics, including an all-new animation engine
• Hugely expanded multiplayer part with many varied game modes and up to 32 players online or over LAN.

Thursday - June 26, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens

by Magerette, 16:05

 More new screens up over at the official site for Clear Sky, showing some gadgets and a guitar-strumming npc. GamersHell and Worthplaying also have them. 

Friday - June 20, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ Strategy Informer

by Magerette, 18:24

Strategy Informer posts a preview of GSC's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel Clear Sky, with emphasis on the gameplay:

The player’s role in Clear Skies isn’t too dissimilar from the main character in the first game, only this time you won’t be spending so much time fighting by yourself. There’s a new emphasis placed on squad-based combat, and many missions will see you joined by a band of NPC mercenaries who you’re able to order around, though they seem fairly adept at looking after themselves if you haven’t got the patience for keeping an eye on them during a firefight. These temporary squad-mates aren’t the only mercenaries knocking around in the Zone – the player’s character is somewhat of a freelancer too, and you’re welcome to take missions from a variety of factions, though you have to be mindful of how this will affect your relationships with the other factions every time you help a certain faction out. Luckily, this is relatively easy to manage due to the game’s faction relationship screen, which gives you a summary of who’s friends with who, or who’s likely to try and shoot your face off if you take that next mission you’ve got your eye on. 

Source: Blues News

Saturday - June 14, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens @ Worthplaying

by Magerette, 17:08

 Worthplaying posts four new screenshots to their Clear Sky gallery. You can view them here.

Sunday - June 08, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Progress Report @ IGN

by Woges, 13:21

IGN on Clear Sky here.

Overall it seems Clear Sky will be more of the game GSC envisioned with Shadow of Chernobyl, with more emphasis on interactions with squads of NPCs, more developed role-playing and customization aspects, and, ideally, less bugs. The game shifts the setting one year behind the events of Shadow of Chernobyl and brings into the fold a slew of new characters, including a new protagonist. You'll be playing as a Stalker mercenary working against Strelok from the original game. Yavorsky said some of the story will focus on making sense of the first game's universe. "While there were many new thing introduced with the original game like Stalkers, anomalies, and artifacts, we felt like giving some other story which would explain those ideas better before doing a full-fledged sequel." Yavorsky went on to explain that Clear Sky would illuminate more of what happened to the first game's protagonist, including why he started out in the back of a death truck. So it seems, at least from what we've been told, that this game will fill in the gaps and provide a welcome sort of continuity to the strange and dangerous events surrounding the Exclusion Zone. Because this game will hook directly into the beginning of Shadow of Chernobyl, there'll only be a single ending.

Friday - June 06, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ 1Up, Eurogamer, GameSpot

by Dhruin, 12:47

A trio of major sites have posted previews for Clear Skies.  Here's a grab from Eurogamer:

Sitting down to watch S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky being played reveals that new idea is to play up the role of the factions. Present in the first game, and part of the much-vaunted ALife artificial intelligence system, originally designed to create a believable ecology of NPCs who would travel through the zone independently of the player, the factions stuck out as promising ideas awaiting the correct implementation. This time, they're centre-stage, and the aim, at least for the majority of the game, seems to be choosing between them before getting involved in their battle for supremacy.

Simplistically, this means that each faction has its own base somewhere in the exclusion zone, which acts as a hub for missions and side-quests. But on a wider level, the faction mechanic plays out almost like a ground-level RTS, as different groups fight for control points, giving them a greater grip on resources, territories and scientific information.

...and here are links for 1Up and GameSpot

Source: Blues News

Thursday - June 05, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens @ Worthplaying

by Magerette, 19:41

Worthplaying has added 16 new screens for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky. You can check them out here.

Tuesday - June 03, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - On View @ E3

by Magerette, 17:40

While E3 has lost some of it's pre-eminence in the game convention world, it soldiers on again this year. IGN has the word out that Clear Sky, Deep Silver's prequel to it's popular S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl, is confirmed for the show next month:

June 2, 2008 - European publisher Deep Silver has confirmed that it will showcase S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, the follow-up to last year's atmospheric first-person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. This makes it one of the very first games that IGN has been able to confirm for the industry's key US trade show.

Like its predecessor, Clear Sky is being developed by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. However, Clear Sky marks a change of publisher for the franchise, as the original game in the series was published by THQ.

Clear Sky has been billed as a prequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, as it will explain some of the events that lead up to that game...

Thursday - May 29, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Interview @ PC Igre

by Dhruin, 23:20

GSG's PR manager Valentine Yettyshev has been interviewed at PC Igre about Clear Sky:

3. Which of the ideas, originally planned for Shadow of Chernobyl, that did not come to life, do you intend to implement in Clear Sky?

The main thing occurs to me is a group AI. This type of AI controls the actions of the factions, their interests according to the current situation in the Zone. That thing made the war of factions possible. We didn’t want to make some scripted events, we wanted to give the player complete freedom inside the complete AI world. Factions are fighting for territory, science and other spots that give the faction some advantages. Faction could send detachments to attack or fight the spot back, decide which spot is the most interesting at the moment and actually act as a real faction. And if we add the Smart Cover system implemented in Clear Sky it makes the actions in the Zone very realistic and the further development of situations completely unpredictable with hundreds of possible variants.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Deep Silver Signs for NA

by Dhruin, 01:08

Deep Silver sent out a press release, announcing their foray into NA already has a decent signing:

Hermosa Beach, Calif. - May 06, 2008 - Deep Silver, Inc, a publisher of interactive entertainment for PC and consoles, today announced they will publish the highly anticipated PC title S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky in North America. The game is expected to be available worldwide on August 29, 2008 and is developed by GSC Game World, a leading computer games developer.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is the prequel to last year's critically acclaimed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a game IGN called "a fascinating achievement." GameSpot commented, "this first-person survival game is at times amazing and engrossing and on par with such classics as Deus Ex and System Shock."
"The buzz surrounding this game is phenomenal," said Cathy Tische, vice president of sales and marketing for Deep Silver. "We're excited to let people know that it'll be available here at the same time as the rest of the world."

Tuesday - April 29, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 18:15

GamersHell has added seven new DirectX10 screens for the Clear Sky prequel to their gallery. You can view them here.

Monday - April 21, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Trailer

by Magerette, 17:05

A new 36 MB trailer designed to showcase the latest DirectX10 graphics effects is out from GSC Gameworld for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky prequel, due out this August. You can catch it at File Front, GamersHell, and  Computergames.ro.

Monday - March 31, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens @ Worthplaying

by Magerette, 17:02

Worthplaying has posted a page of 30 screenshots for GSC Games' S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky. You can view them, along with a brief synopsis of the game,  here.

Thursday - March 27, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - August Release Confirmed

by Magerette, 18:26

ShackNews and Worthplaying, among others, have posted word from GSC Game World confirming an August release date for the Clear Sky prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl. The game is planned for a smultaneous worldwide release:

"The topic of the release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky has created a lot of interest among gamers, press and fans. We're pleased to announce an exact date for this highly anticipated game now," said Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, Managing Director of Koch Media.

"Our intention to deliver the game simultaneously worldwide is both a challenge and big responsibility to the many fans of the game around the globe. We are looking forward to achieve this ambitious goal in August." - said Sergiy Grygorovych, GSC World Publishing CEO. "

Monday - March 24, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Release For August?

by Magerette, 16:43

Action Trip and Worthplaying are both posting a link to this Russian Blog comment from Kiev's International Fantasy Assembly “Portal-2008″ that the prequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, is slated for release August 31, 2008.

GSC Game World isn't confirming at this time, but states that an announcement will be made this week.

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 22:53

With considerable input from GSC's Anton Bolshakov, CVG has a meaty preview of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky that includes some history on the original project-

Indeed, as those who followed the Stalker story will recall, the game was always touted as being a little more freeform than the final release proved to be. Clear Sky, it seems, will be returning to the more open-ended inspirations.

"Most of the features in Clear Sky were from the original concept that we were working on but were not included in Stalker," says Bolshakov. "We picked some and we're now integrating them into this new game. What we're making is more complete and polished."

Central to that is what GSC are doing with the various factions that inhabit the zone. While there were a large number of factions in the original game (Freedom, Duty, the military, the mercenaries, the scientists, the neutral stalkers and the servants of the monolith) you were only really able to follow three paths: Neutrality, Freedom, or Duty. In Clear Sky you'll be able to join up with seven different factions, work with them, fight them, and ultimately lead your chosen side to victory.

Monday - March 03, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 21:14
Also at Worthplaying, a dozen hopefully new screens from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky are on offer.

Friday - February 29, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - In May?

by Dhruin, 23:28

Steam's page for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky has been updated to show a May release date.  There's no official announcement but it's likely to be accurate, since Steam is their primary release partner.

May is looking like a busy month... 

Friday - February 15, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ GamesRadar

by Magerette, 17:02

GamesRadar has posted another in their series of previews for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel, Clear Sky from GSC, which includes comments from Anton Bolshakov, project lead. Here's a snip:

“There’s more diverse behaviour with STALKERs in the game,” explained Bolshakov. “We’re expanding the concept of searching for artifacts and anomalies, just to name a few things.” Whereas in the original game the artifacts were little more than a saleable power-up system, they’re going to be providing motivation for your actions in Clear Sky. The concept of the Zone as an alien, anomalous place is coming to the forefront...

Of all the reasons to be excited about Clear Sky, one of the most significant is that, to a great extent, GSC are going it alone. While they have signed up Koch to publish the game upon its planned release this spring, and it’ll be sold via Steam online, it’s a far cry from THQ’s integral involvement in the original game’s completion. With this bold move, GSC could rapidly become one of the most important PC-focused studios in the world.

Saturday - February 02, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ RPS

by Dhruin, 12:09

One of the latest in Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Games for 2008 features is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. Here's a taste:

But these are not just Stalker’s old areas with a coat of DX10 paint. 50% of the game’s environments are brand new, while returning places are redesigned. Again, there’s an in-game reason for that – the Zone is recovering from a recent Blowout, a radioactive explosion of enough force to close off paths, open up new ones and generate deadly anomalies over familiar terrain. This is set before Stalker, remember – the first game took place during a period of relative clemency for the Zone. Here, it’s still recovering from fresh wounds. Wounds exacerbated by the rival factions battling for control of its secrets.

Thursday - January 31, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Deep Silver Picks Up Publishing Rights

by Magerette, 17:15

GamersHell has posted a press release from Koch Media stating the upcoming Clear Sky prequel already announced for digital distribution on Steam, will be published in most countries worldwide by Deep Silver:

Basingstoke, England – 31st of January – GSC Game World, computer games developer, its publishing subdivision GSC World Publishing and Koch Media, a leading marketer of games and application software, today announced the conclusion of a publishing agreement concerning the title S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. Under the terms of this contract, Koch Media is guaranteed worldwide publishing rights - with the exception of the territories Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky will be published by the games labels Deep Silver and GSC World Publishing.

Source: GamersHell

Thursday - January 24, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Coming to Steam

by Dhruin, 21:11

GSC Gameworld and Valve have announced that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky will be simultaneously released on Steam and retail (you'll recall GSC split with THQ, so their retail plans aren't clear), although no date is clear.  Blue's contacted GSC Gameworld to clarify the original Q1 release date but didn't receive a reply.

You can also grab five new screens at the official site.

Monday - January 07, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - New Screens @ Voodoo Extreme

by Magerette, 19:35

For the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. players among us, Voodoo Extreme has  posted nine new screenshots for the Clear Sky prequel slated for 2008 release. You can see them here.

Wednesday - October 10, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Q&A @ CVG

by Dhruin, 00:47

A new interview with GSC's Anton Bolshakov on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is up at CVG.  Here's a partial snip on new features:

You're introducing a number of new gameplay features in Clear Sky. What's the biggest or most important, and why choose that?

Bolshakov:
To me the biggest new gameplay introduction is the global war of factions, totally controlled by A-life, factions being much more developed and self-sustaining organizations.

Each faction has a main camp, their leader, trader, mechanic etc. Other faction members perform certain roles too (such as artifact miners, guards etc.). We're also giving factions more individual character, such as providing special mini-games, unique animations etc.

Factions fight for a number of points, such as territories, resources and scientific locations, each trying to establish its domination in the Zone. Capturing territorial points allows a faction to ensure its presence on such important areas as crossing between levels, watch towers and so on.

When capturing resources (artifacts), the faction becomes richer and can attract new and higher-profile members to its ranks. [more]

Wednesday - September 26, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Q&A @ PCGH

by Dhruin, 23:08

PC Games Hardware Extreme has a "technical" interview on Clear Sky with Lead Graphics Programmer Igor Lobanchikov:

PCGH: First announcements promise a polished up visual presentation. Can you give concrete examples? How has the renderer to be reprogrammed to realize these improved visuals? What new rendering techniques where integrated with the new iteration of the engine?

One year is quite a big time period for the game industry. Graphics technology evolves, as well as hardware becomes more powerful. New rendering techniques appear. Since our game is well known for it’s realistic picture we have chosen techniques that add even more realism to what you see on screen. Sun shafts (which are also known as “God rays”) were added. Depth of field and screen space ambient occlusion add even more depth to the picture. Particles and water were enhanced: we did our best to remove hard, unnaturally looking edges between particles/water and solid objects. Most of the changes were made to better utilize deferred shading technology benefits.

Sunday - August 26, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - GC: 2007 Preview @ IGN

by Magerette, 18:12

IGN takes a look at the demo presented at GC 2007 to see what's changed since E3 in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. prequel. As usual these days there's a strong emphasis on graphics, but they also examine some game design and AI details, including where to spend your in-game cash:

 ...The Ai knows when to rush and when to sneak, when to hide and when to break cover.We saw the AI using cover very effectively in the first firefight. When you see your friendly units and the enemy units doing it together as they shoot it out, you'll really feel like you've dropped down into the midst of a battle...

...The team has also changed a few world design elements. Now, for example, you actually have something to spend all those thosands of rubles on. There are now places where you can buy guns, weapon upgrades and repairs, and even new suits. Having a chance to take a bit more of a commercial approach to your gear will definitely give you a bit more flexibility.

Source: IGN

Thursday - August 02, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Trailer @ VoodooExtreme

by Dhruin, 00:24

VoodooExtreme has the first trailer for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. followup, Clear Sky.

Saturday - July 14, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 13:29

Eurogamer is next along with a look at Clear Sky:

As we trundle into a busted up hospital that's subsiding as much as it's crumbling, our guide points out the heavy use of parallax mapping to give volume to brick surfaces, rusting metal and cracking tiles (the DX10 version will do superior displacement mapping instead), and says the game's done away with light-maps completely, so everything's dynamic. As we stare into a large hall with most of the roof blown out and balconies running around the walls about halfway up, gunfire from the opposing forces camped on either side pings off a rusting lamp, which swings back and forth from its lengthy cable fixture in response. The light from the muzzle flares strobe the enclosed upper levels for the duration of each clip, while the punctures in the ivy-clad rafters above sprinkle shadows across the surface of the dying metal as it swings. It all contributes to the atmosphere - a facet of Stalker we liked so much that we put it in italics about 18 times in our review of the first one.

Friday - July 13, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 12:22

Interestingly, this preview of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky says no publisher has yet been named for the followup, despite the apparent success THQ has experienced with the original title...or did the delays sour them?  Anyway, here's an early snip from IGN's look:

One of the reasons GSC decided to move towards a prequel rather than a simple expansion pack is their desire to clear up some of the story a bit and explain the area around Chernobyl and the factions inhabiting it a bit better. As Strelok, you'll have access to eight factions total, with one new one in the mix. The story really gets going when Strelok finds the passage into the inner areas of the Zone. When the defenders there get wind of this, they begin pushing new anomalies out into the rest of the Zone, totally screwing with the current hierarchy of the Zone. This throws everything into disarray causing fights between all of them as they try to move around and settle themselves in the area.

Information about

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

Developer: GSC Game World

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-apoc
Genre: Non-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-09-15
· Publisher: Deep Silver

Internet
· Released on Steam
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-09-15
· Publisher: GSC Game World