It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a new STALKER, which is a bitter pill to swallow. However, the progenitor, Shadow of Chernobyl is getting some new life thanks to Lost Alpha: a standalone mod designed to put cut content back in the game as well as overhaul other areas.
The mod, which doesn’t need STALKER to run, was developed using a 2004 build GSC released in 2009, allowing the team to recreate the version of STALKER that never saw the light of day.
“We were amazed by GSC's work when they released the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. screenshots in 2002,” mod developer Dez0wave says. “The old design, and atmosphere was stunning and we couldn't believe our eyes. Later in 2005 things has changed. They redesigned almost all old levels. Some of them became smaller, simpler (still nice, but different), and some levels were removed.
“After the release in 2007 we played the game a lot, and quickly noticed that some areas are missing. We opened forums, and talked countless nights about those for almost a year. Nowdays we could say, we have a full vision about GSC's old levels, due to the collected materials, videos and forgotten screenshots. We decided to remake those stunning areas, maybe they won't be the same, but we will try everything to make them look really nice, as we always wanted to see them.”
The mod is available through ModDB and there’s a torrent. It has been released earlier than the developer would have liked, however. Apparently some tester leaked a build from last year, earlier this month. That version was not ready for public consumption, so developer Dez0wave opted to put a closer to release version. “It looks awesome, it plays just fine, but somehow its still not perfect,” the developer said.