After the cancellation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, former GSC Game World developers formed Vostok Games and quickly announced Survarium, a free to play online shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world that retains many core elements found in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. The game is currently in a closed beta.
The world suffered an ecological crisis many years ago that caused trees to spread everywhere. The military was mobilized to fight back against the plague without much success. One day, scientists developed a "cure" that prevented the trees from spreading but all was not well. The trees eventually turned the cure against the human population, like a lethal allergy. Infected humans withered away within a day and thus a huge portion of the world's population was eradicated. Some survived and are not struggling to stay alive in this harsh, empty world without electricity or any other convenience.
So far, Vostok Games have talked about three game modes.
Playable in the first closed beta of the game, this appears to be the most traditional of all modes as players are split up into teams and have to retrieve boxes of radio parts and return it to their base and then guard them to keep them safe. Respawns are unlimited, and the maximum amount of radio parts on the map is 10. The team with most parts as the time limit draws the match to a close wins, and the match can end in a tie.
Players are joined either by friends or strangers to complete a set of multiple missions in succession right after one another. However, each mission is supposedly going to be much harder than the one before it and objectives and other details may even depend upon what or how players did in the previous mission.
In this mode, designed for 20-40 players at a time, the world is free to explore without preset rules other than survival. It currently appears to be the most like a online version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. gameplay as players can choose to travel completely on their own or ally themselves with other players and survive in the game world. The game also features a lot of RPG elements like experience points and stats that improve combat or healing abilities among others.
In the beginning of the game, the player has to choose between two factions:
Scavengers are a faction formed of survivors who banded together to form camps after the ecological catastrophe annihilated mankind. Their weapons include basic rifles, pistols and carbines. As the player climbs their ranks, they'll gain access to submachine guns and sniper rifles. Their consumable items are mostly designed to fight the radiation of anomalies and heal wounds.
Formed by former members of various bike gangs, Black Market is a dominant force in the world of Survarium. Their weaponry consists primarily of revolvers, shotguns, pump-action rifles, submachine guns and machine pistols. Their consumables are explosives and stimulants.
As Vostok Games continues to develop Survarium, two more factions will be added to the game; The Renaissance Army and The Fringe Settlers.
Artifacts and Anomalies
Much like in the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, in Survarium all maps have highly irradiated/environmentally toxic spots known as Anomalies, such as basements full of spores emitting deadly gas, holes that were created by dirty bombs, or eternally burning volcanic ground. If the player braves these lands, they can find and harvest from them items known as Artifacts, familiar to fans of Vostok Games' previous franchise. Using these artifacts gives the player unique physical or mental abilities, such as a significant speed boost, faster health regeneration, and lower recoil from firing weapons. These artifacts are one-use items and can't be carried over to the players inventory, making it the only sane choice to use them during the match they were discovered in.
Free to Play
Survarium is free to play, and as such, contains hooks familiar to fans of other games of the type. All players have inventories, to which they can purchase items using either in-game currency, rubles, or a separate currency that can be bough with real money, golden rubles. Items can also be awarded as post-match loot. Some items, such as weapons, can't be purchased with the golden rubles, evening the ground between those who pay and those who don't. The game also features deteriorating items that give penalties to their properties as deterioration occurs, forcing the player to repair them on a regular basis. Items can be repaired either with rubles, golden rubles or repair kits, which can be awarded as loot after matches or bought with golden rubles. The latter two fix the equipment in question immediately, whereas using only the play to earn currency will take significantly more time, upwards of six minutes. The game has to be running for this time to pass.