After six years of waiting, it's finally here. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha
is the latest and greatest game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise. Like the others, Lost Alpha is a PC exclusive sandbox survival shooter, with light RPG elements. It was developed by dez0wave group, a mod team who made Priboi Story
mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
. They worked alongside GSC, the developers of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy, to make the ultimate S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.
Here's a history lesson: the first game in the series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl by GSC, released in 2007. It was first announced in 2001, and underwent many conceptual changes between 2001 and 2007. When first shown in 2001, it wasn't even called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl: instead it was referred to as Oblivion Lost
. It was also a completely different game; instead it was a team-based, fast-paced Sci-Fi time-travelling FPS that resembled Quake with a hint of Serious Sam.
In 2002, Oblivion Lost became something totally different. They previewed a multiplayer demo, which took place in a location that would actually appear in the final release.
GSC is a Ukrainian developer, and they realized that they'd rather make a game closer to home. Oblivion Lost went from that aforementioned Sci-Fi FPS to a totally new concept: an atmospheric, story-driven survival shooter with light RPG elements. It became known as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Oblivion Lost (later renamed to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl), and took place in the Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. This site is known for the explosion and disaster that occurred there on April 26, 1986.
This is the concept that stuck. This is what was teased in 2002, 2003, and 2004. It was highly anticipated by PC gamers, but unfortunately, it didn't materialize during the expected time frame. It became known as vaporware for years, until it reappeared in 2006-2007. New trailers were popping up, and although excitement was revived, the trailers revealed what looked like vastly scaled down areas and less ambition. The game was released in 2007 and gained a cult following, but those suspicions of the game being rushed with lots of removed content turned out to be true.