“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?
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.
- GSC Game World re-opens.
- Some of the developers open a smaller company, they finish the game.
- The community gets involved, manages to get their hands on the engine and finishes the game.
- A publisher buys the IP of the game, hires a dev that makes it (from scratch).
- The said publisher hires a developer that makes the game perfectly, in accordance to the atmosphere, gameplay and history of previous Stalker games.
- I become a millionaire and fund the project myself.
- 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.