Brothers, sisters, it is time to lament.

If the games we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Developers close, games are canceled, but real love is forever.”

"Strong men also cry... strong men, also cry." - Jeffery Lebowski

GSC Game World, you may have known it due to Cossacks, a game that both myself and my uncle enjoyed a great deal (my uncle still does). Most of us have learned of its existence because of a phenomenal FPS game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl. I hope that by now you've realized i was using the past participle of know. That's because...

Shit just got real

I completely missed this piece of information, somewhat due to my obligations, but mostly Skyrim. GSC closed down, the future of Stalker 2 bleak at best. I know I'm late to the party, but i kinda wish i never got to said party.

The way I found my way to this info was by re-reading Roadside Picnic, and deciding to check how the sequel, to that great game, that's based on this amazing novel is doing. In hindsight, i wish i had no internet connection (which is partially true, shitty provider), I also wish that i couldn't read. Unfortunately, here i am, writing this grief (perhaps too strong a word), rage inspired blog. So, here's to the damnation of the internet, news, my ability to read and the closing of developers and canceling of games.

The "I-don't-know-where-the-f***-I-am-right-now" feeling

We all know how you feel amigo, perhaps not to that extent, but we do. Just to be on the safe side, I'd call the exorcist.

Usually when it's announced that a game is canceled or a developer is closed, it's sad, but nothing life changing. GSC closing isn't either, but i feel more strongly about them then say Team Bondi. It is, i suppose, shock coupled with anger and a bit of sadness. It's like getting shot, minus the fear, and it's not nearly as severe, but still a good analogy. The last time i felt like this i was 9, and i found out that Black Isle Studios was closing. That, was not a good day, and neither is this. Earlier this month i was checking for new information about the game, and now i find that it's gone.

Sure I'll be right as rain in a few days, but right now It's not so great. Many awesome games came out, DE:HR, Skyrim, Witcher 2, Batman AC, Saints Row The Third just to name a few. With a lot more coming, Diablo III, Torchlight II, Fallout 4 (yes, quite a bit time off, but still). Apart from Skyrim and Fallout 4, Stalker 2 was the game i was eagerly anticipating. I even started filling in the pre-release info on the Stalker 2 page. So much for me looking at every corner of the game and updating the Giantbomb page.

Why so serious?

Good times were had.

Because if you played it, you'd know that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wasn't just some simple, completely linear FPS game with a paper thin story. It wasn't some military shooter clone.

Time for a bit of history.

In 1972, the Strugatsky brothers released a novel called Roadside Picnic, in five years, said novel was released in English. In another two the brilliant Andrei Tarkovsky directed the breath-taking, you guessed it, Stalker. Now, having read the novel, and having watched the movie, i can tell you that the game, apart from the Zone and the Stalkers themselves has little to do with either. But the atmosphere, the incredible atmosphere was captured perfectly.

And that, is why Stalker is the greatest FPS to ever be created...in my honest, humble and worthless opinion. It was a first person shooter with sublime shooting, arguably the best seen in a game, but more than that. It had a great story, combined with an eerie and bleak atmosphere and post apocalyptic setting in the Zone. Add to that an open world, some RPG elements and my dear sirs and ladies, you have a breath-taking game. If you've played it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't played Stalker, go buy it and play it. In any case it doesn't really matter now, seeing as how the sequel is more or less dead.

I could go on and on and on...and on about the greatness of Stalker, both the game, the movie and the book. Unfortunately i don't have the will required to write too much, and you don't have the attention span to read too much, so lets move on shall we?

It truly is sad, and lament worthy, that the sequel to such a game gets canceled, and yet people still recycle their games and release them each year (pretty much the same) to the ecstasy and admiration of the fanboys. Now i have nothing against CoD, I've played it, and I can see why the multiplayer is great, and addictive. But it really isn't my cup of tea. That being said, if i did love CoD I'd be pissed to see the same game over and over again. Also, it may be the anger part that's talking now. In any case, this whole situation is f***ed up.

Conclusions...they don't matter.

Seeing as how the developer is closing its doors, and the sequel, like i mentioned, is more or less dead. There are i think, several outcomes, apart from two most of them have a very small chance of playing out.

  1. GSC Game World re-opens.
  2. Some of the developers open a smaller company, they finish the game.
  3. The community gets involved, manages to get their hands on the engine and finishes the game.
  4. A publisher buys the IP of the game, hires a dev that makes it (from scratch).
  5. The said publisher hires a developer that makes the game perfectly, in accordance to the atmosphere, gameplay and history of previous Stalker games.
  6. I become a millionaire and fund the project myself.
  7. GSC Game World remains closed, Stalker 2, never to see the light of day.

As you can see, all of those are pretty far fetched, except maybe #4 and #7. Number 4 of course, is no good because, well, see the transition between Fallout 2 to Fallout 3. I think that all Fallout games are awesome. But there are a lot of people who loved the first two, and hated the rest, and i can definitely understand them. Number 7, well, that just simply not good.

So, to finish this grief/rage inspired blog, i ask the community. What do you think will happen. And if you think that Stalker 2 is never going to get released, how do you feel about it?

And with that my dear reader, The Dude shall leave you with this.

I wish we weren't such assholes towards Stalker, i wish we hadn't told him to get out of here.

20 Comments
21 Comments
Edited by TheDudeOfGaming

If the games we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Developers close, games are canceled, but real love is forever.”

"Strong men also cry... strong men, also cry." - Jeffery Lebowski

GSC Game World, you may have known it due to Cossacks, a game that both myself and my uncle enjoyed a great deal (my uncle still does). Most of us have learned of its existence because of a phenomenal FPS game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl. I hope that by now you've realized i was using the past participle of know. That's because...

Shit just got real

I completely missed this piece of information, somewhat due to my obligations, but mostly Skyrim. GSC closed down, the future of Stalker 2 bleak at best. I know I'm late to the party, but i kinda wish i never got to said party.

The way I found my way to this info was by re-reading Roadside Picnic, and deciding to check how the sequel, to that great game, that's based on this amazing novel is doing. In hindsight, i wish i had no internet connection (which is partially true, shitty provider), I also wish that i couldn't read. Unfortunately, here i am, writing this grief (perhaps too strong a word), rage inspired blog. So, here's to the damnation of the internet, news, my ability to read and the closing of developers and canceling of games.

The "I-don't-know-where-the-f***-I-am-right-now" feeling

We all know how you feel amigo, perhaps not to that extent, but we do. Just to be on the safe side, I'd call the exorcist.

Usually when it's announced that a game is canceled or a developer is closed, it's sad, but nothing life changing. GSC closing isn't either, but i feel more strongly about them then say Team Bondi. It is, i suppose, shock coupled with anger and a bit of sadness. It's like getting shot, minus the fear, and it's not nearly as severe, but still a good analogy. The last time i felt like this i was 9, and i found out that Black Isle Studios was closing. That, was not a good day, and neither is this. Earlier this month i was checking for new information about the game, and now i find that it's gone.

Sure I'll be right as rain in a few days, but right now It's not so great. Many awesome games came out, DE:HR, Skyrim, Witcher 2, Batman AC, Saints Row The Third just to name a few. With a lot more coming, Diablo III, Torchlight II, Fallout 4 (yes, quite a bit time off, but still). Apart from Skyrim and Fallout 4, Stalker 2 was the game i was eagerly anticipating. I even started filling in the pre-release info on the Stalker 2 page. So much for me looking at every corner of the game and updating the Giantbomb page.

Why so serious?

Good times were had.

Because if you played it, you'd know that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wasn't just some simple, completely linear FPS game with a paper thin story. It wasn't some military shooter clone.

Time for a bit of history.

In 1972, the Strugatsky brothers released a novel called Roadside Picnic, in five years, said novel was released in English. In another two the brilliant Andrei Tarkovsky directed the breath-taking, you guessed it, Stalker. Now, having read the novel, and having watched the movie, i can tell you that the game, apart from the Zone and the Stalkers themselves has little to do with either. But the atmosphere, the incredible atmosphere was captured perfectly.

And that, is why Stalker is the greatest FPS to ever be created...in my honest, humble and worthless opinion. It was a first person shooter with sublime shooting, arguably the best seen in a game, but more than that. It had a great story, combined with an eerie and bleak atmosphere and post apocalyptic setting in the Zone. Add to that an open world, some RPG elements and my dear sirs and ladies, you have a breath-taking game. If you've played it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't played Stalker, go buy it and play it. In any case it doesn't really matter now, seeing as how the sequel is more or less dead.

I could go on and on and on...and on about the greatness of Stalker, both the game, the movie and the book. Unfortunately i don't have the will required to write too much, and you don't have the attention span to read too much, so lets move on shall we?

It truly is sad, and lament worthy, that the sequel to such a game gets canceled, and yet people still recycle their games and release them each year (pretty much the same) to the ecstasy and admiration of the fanboys. Now i have nothing against CoD, I've played it, and I can see why the multiplayer is great, and addictive. But it really isn't my cup of tea. That being said, if i did love CoD I'd be pissed to see the same game over and over again. Also, it may be the anger part that's talking now. In any case, this whole situation is f***ed up.

Conclusions...they don't matter.

Seeing as how the developer is closing its doors, and the sequel, like i mentioned, is more or less dead. There are i think, several outcomes, apart from two most of them have a very small chance of playing out.

  1. GSC Game World re-opens.
  2. Some of the developers open a smaller company, they finish the game.
  3. The community gets involved, manages to get their hands on the engine and finishes the game.
  4. A publisher buys the IP of the game, hires a dev that makes it (from scratch).
  5. The said publisher hires a developer that makes the game perfectly, in accordance to the atmosphere, gameplay and history of previous Stalker games.
  6. I become a millionaire and fund the project myself.
  7. GSC Game World remains closed, Stalker 2, never to see the light of day.

As you can see, all of those are pretty far fetched, except maybe #4 and #7. Number 4 of course, is no good because, well, see the transition between Fallout 2 to Fallout 3. I think that all Fallout games are awesome. But there are a lot of people who loved the first two, and hated the rest, and i can definitely understand them. Number 7, well, that just simply not good.

So, to finish this grief/rage inspired blog, i ask the community. What do you think will happen. And if you think that Stalker 2 is never going to get released, how do you feel about it?

And with that my dear reader, The Dude shall leave you with this.

I wish we weren't such assholes towards Stalker, i wish we hadn't told him to get out of here.

Posted by Liber

Cossacks was great.

Posted by jking47

I was really bummed when I saw the news. STALKER has been pretty fucking amazing, and there is nothing out there quite like it.

Really shitty to see it get canceled and then see MW3's sales numbers.

Posted by Klei

It won't change my love for the series, and I'm going to boot another playthrough of it soon.
Edited by AhmadMetallic

This was a very grim read, so fuck you and thank you for the moving words. 
 

So, to finish this grief/rage inspired blog, i ask the community. What do you think will happen. And if you think that Stalker 2 is never going to get released, how do you feel about it?

I don't know what will happen, and I feel S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 is gone forever. 
 
How I feel about that is... mixed. I've more or less struggled to enjoy Shadow of Chernobyl for years, getting put off over and over by just how vast, atmospheric, open-ended and RPG-ish it is. Then this year my gaming mentality evolved and I came to embrace and enjoy such games, and boom, I beat Shadow of Chernobyl in two weeks of sickening addiction. 
 
Now, while I only enjoyed and beat it recently, I've known it and fiddled with it for years, so I don't consider myself a STALKER newb. However, I haven't ever played Clear Sky, and I'm currently playing Call of Pripyat, and while I see how great and true to the original game CoP is, I can't seem to enjoy it the way I did SoC. 
 
So, I guess, had STALKER 2 been a glorified CoP, I wouldn't have wanted it. It had to have been a tremendous sequel to SoC and SoC only, for me to consider it worthy.  
Either way I would've bought it day 1 because whoever created the work of genius that is Shadow of Chernobyl deserves all the money in the world.
Posted by Mikemcn

Call of Pripyat was very cool! Amazing atmosphere and some fantastic moments. (Quietly check out this downed helicopter, turn around and, AHHHHHH!!!!!!)

Posted by Claude
Posted by PeasantAbuse

Wow, is that kid going to explode? That was terrifying.

Edited by TheDudeOfGaming

@Liber: It sure was, i still remember having my winged hussars run over the ottoman infantry. I still have the game installed, and i play it from time to time. I'd actually consider it to be better than Empire Total War Also fun history fact, hussars were actually Serbian light cavalry that immigrated from Serbia to Poland some time after the invasion of the Ottomans.

@jking47: Isn't it though? I understand you love a game, and why mess up a good thing. But come on, the almost same, identical game for the last few games? It's not just about games though. I remember learning that Scott Pilgrim vs The World didn't even make enough money to even out the budget. And then we have shit that's made by Aaron Friedberg & Jason Seltzer. Also Twilight. Where the **** is this world going?!

@Klei: It shouldn't, and you should, because it really is an amazing game. That being said, you can't just continue playing the same game over and over again, no matter how great. It'd be nice if we could switch between the original and sequel when we're replaying games.

@AhmadMetallic: I completely agree sir. And i think the reason of why Call of Pripyat wasn't as good as Shadow of Chernobyl is because of the story. SoC was more or less an all around amazing game. CoP had the gameplay and some minor improvements, along with the atmosphere, but even that wasn't quite as good as in SoC. The story on the other hand was much weaker, especially compared to the original game.

Hi I'm a dude from the Ukrainian army, i have to go see why some choppers went down. Oh shit, i have to go through some sort of tunnel to check out the final chopper in Pripyat. Here comes Strelok, anomalies actually move between blackouts, the end. That being said, I'm pretty sure that GSC would have busted their ass when working on the story of Stalker 2.

@Claude: Nice try Claude, usually I'd laugh...but not this time.

Posted by Claude
@TheDudeOfGaming: I ain't laughing. It seems sad. But I have my games and my memory.
Posted by mylifeforAiur

Yeah, Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl is easily one of my favourite PC games to date. No other shooter has as deftly crafted a suffocatingly oppressive atmosphere as that game; it was bleak, harsh, and thrilling. Also, in regard to showing our sadness: "...let them be like helpless children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. Hardness and strength are Death's companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win."

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@AhmadMetallic: I completely agree sir. And i think the reason of why Call of Pripyat wasn't as good as Shadow of Chernobyl is because of the story. SoC was more or less and all around amazing game. CoP had the gameplay and some minor improvements, along with the atmosphere, but even that wasn't quite as good as in SoC. The story on the other hand was much weaker, especially compared to the original game.

Hi I'm a dude from the Ukrainian army, i have to go see why some choppers went down. Oh shit, i have to go through some sort of tunnel to check out the final chopper in Pripyat. Here comes Strelok, anomalies actually move between blackouts, the end.

I thought Call of Pripyat was as acclaimed as SoC, if not more.. 
 
SO IT'S NOT JUST ME?? Good to know! Great gameplay, no story to compliment it and motivate me.
Edited by Animasta

@AhmadMetallic: side quests are much better though, and there are way better mods for it. SGM is probably the best mod I've played for any game, and if base CoP isn't grabbin ya than I'd recommend you try that with that mod (translations even worse than the base game, but man it's super fun) admittedly I liked CoP way more, so who knows!

http://blackbyte.org/sgm/

Posted by captain_max707

I've had $60 dollars put aside for a few years so that when the next game in my all-time favorite franchise came out, I could get it as soon as possible. Needless to say, I was stricken with sadness when I learned about GSC. I hope that somehow they can finish the project. I'd rather it go down with them, as nobody else could do it the way they did. 

Posted by McGhee

I understand that there's a lot of love for these games. There were some great ideas, but the implementation? I tried to play the first STALKER and it crashed so much that I just quit.

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@McGhee said:

I understand that there's a lot of love for these games. There were some great ideas, but the implementation? I tried to play the first STALKER and it crashed so much that I just quit.

With greatness comes trouble. You don't quit when a PC game crashes, you search for fixes. You don't give up if the design is flawed, you look for mods. The end result will blow your mind.
Posted by McGhee

@AhmadMetallic said:

@McGhee said:

I understand that there's a lot of love for these games. There were some great ideas, but the implementation? I tried to play the first STALKER and it crashed so much that I just quit.

With greatness comes trouble. You don't quit when a PC game crashes, you search for fixes. You don't give up if the design is flawed, you look for mods. The end result will blow your mind.

And this is why I mostly play on consoles. I don't have patience for that kind of shit.

Posted by Bruce

I almost bought STALKER about five times on Steam in the past year. Something about the creepiness. . .I don't know, I just can't play it. :(

Posted by MrKlorox
@McGhee: You should try Call of Pripyat. Not only is it the Stalker that needs the least work, it's also the most stable of the bunch.
Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

@Bruce said:

I almost bought STALKER about five times on Steam in the past year. Something about the creepiness. . .I don't know, I just can't play it. :(

You my dear sir have no clue what you're missing out on. Screw the creepiness, it's not that scary (unless you're in tunnels). Even so, not playing this game just because it might get scary is insanity! Just get the game, you'll thank me later.

Posted by HisDudeness

Dude I really loved Stalker, defintely the best FPS ever (tied with Half Life 2).