In 2011, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. originators GSC Game World were dissolved like limestone in acid rain. Subsets of its staff went on to make games like Metro 2033 and Survarium, but would never again all work together under the same roof.
It was a surprise, then, when GSC reopened publicly over Christmas. It transpires a team there have been working to bring back the studio’s other series of note: Cossacks.
GSC have been building the game in secret for a year and a half, and expect to release it before the end of the year on Windows, Mac and Linux.
We’re told to expect construction systems, resource production, and 10,000 units on the map at once. There’ll be five single player campaigns, and 12 national factions.
Screenshots look... well, they look like the ‘90s - with a welcome dose of Eastern Orthodox architecture.
In the years since GSC’s closure, a few attempts have been made to pick up S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s gas mask and carry on - the most dubious, Areal, recently reemerged with the unambiguous title STALKER Apocalypse.
But the most convincing claim has always come from Vostok, legitimised both by the sheer number of GSC alumni working there, and by how much Survarium feels like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. even as a barebones deathmatch shooter.
Were you ever a cossack?