Free if you already own SoC, I hope?
|Originally announced in November 2001 for a 2003 release, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (or S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost as it was known then) was renowned for its long development cycle and frequent delays.|
Whilst in development, numerous video clips and hundreds of screenshots were circulated showcasing the game's X-ray graphics engine which featured HDR rendering, parallax and normal mapping, soft shadows, motion blur, widescreen support, weather effects and day/night cycles.
The game was also hailed for its proprietary ALife artificial intelligence engine, where NPCs would accomplish tasks, combat, rest, feed and sleep. The non-scripted and innovative nature of the characters meant that there were an unlimited number of random quests.
However, when S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl was finally released in March 2007, much of what was promised had been cut or changed, such as using vehicles, monsters and many of the role-playing elements.
Now GSC Game World has released a build from 2004 which utilised a completely different physics engine than the one used in the final retail version. This build is fully playable and contains all of the original levels as well as those that were cut such as Dead City, Swamp and Generators.
This version is not so much a demo or mod, but more of an insight into the game's development. Curious fans of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will find this both fascinating and intriguing although may wonder why some elements were removed from the retail release.
GSC Game World have issued a disclaimer where they cannot guarantee stability, so bugs and crashes will occur. They have also said that they will not provide technical assistance.
Download the files from one of the links below and extract them to a new folder
Delete the 'savedgames' folder
Run the game with run_alife_s.bat
Download and extract these files to the build folder for better visual effects
Further information, which we recommend reading thoroughly, can be found on the GSC Game World forums.