GSC gameworld announced a sequel to the 4 million+ selling S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series over the weekend, breaking the news to console gamers that this would be a multi-platform game with brand new engine technology. So here’s 5 reasons why S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is going to put your 360 to the test:
1) It’s too pretty
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series has always been a bastion of cutting-edge PC technology, championing the latest version of DirectX with each new game and wearing its high-end system specifications like a breast pocket bar full of military medals. Shadow Of Chernobyl would have challenged the 360 back in 2007, so a second S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is going cook and eat that Xenos GPU for breakfast.
2) It’s too brainy
Shadow Of Chernobyl had ambitions way beyond the means, or at the very least, the resources of the Kiev-based GSC team. In fact, the original concept for the A-Life system would have made HAL-9000’s creators blanch. What we got, though relatively gimped, was still a sophisticated and organic open-world. If GSC aims to trump this with its new engine technology, then the 360’s tri-core CPU is going to have to work overtime.
3) It’s too broken
GSC has released three brilliant but buggy games so far, although Call Of Pripyat was a huge improvement over the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. release. Miracles of console optimization aside, we fear that will an all-new engine might see a return of a frustratingly beautiful game that’s all but unplayable without a month or so of intense patching.
4) It’s two men down
Two important cogs in the development machine that helped build S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s X-Ray engine – Oles Shiskovtsov and Aleksandr Maksimchuk – are no longer with GSC Game World having moved to 4A Games (creator of Metro 2033). Time will tell what proportion of the combined team talent they took with them.
5) It’s too late
2012? We scoff at that. As talented as GSC Game world clearly is, it enjoys setting itself big challenges – and a worthy S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sequel is just such a challenge. The original was announced in 2001, planned for release in 2003 but didn’t see fruition until 2007, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that by the time S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is ready for launch, the successor to the 360 will already be in production.