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Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor

This tweet from Sergey Galyonkin, marketing director at 1C Multimedia and this blog post have sparked rumors that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is in development at Bethesda Softworks after development of the first-person shooter sequel was frozen following trouble at developer GSC Game World. The Steam Forums (thanks PlayStation Universe) has a translation:

The following info is from a reliable source but isn't official, keep that in mind.

Sergey Grigorovich didn't sell the brand name "STALKER".

Bethesda is going to publish a STALKER game and has all the rights to it.

The game is multiplatform(consoles+PC) and is based on Bethesda technology.

It's being made by a studio familiar with that technology(possibly Obisidian or the Fallout 3 team from Bethesda, but no facts as of yet). It is almost 100% guaranteed that it's not a Ukrainian studio.

Bethesda will be able to buy the brand name from Grigorovich later, but for now all the misc. merchandise is his responsibility.

Release date, engine, detailes - TBA.

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55. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Aug 1, 2012, 08:54 theyarecomingforyou
 
Raptor wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 04:28:
Also as a huge Stalker fan you should know that the game is meant to be bland, lifeless & harsh rather than colourful, full of rainbows and bloom.
Lifeless and harsh certainly, but it wasn't trying to be bland. Many of the visual flaws were related to technical issues, from low resolution textures and sprites to buildings that were little more than hollow shells. So while they are obviously different games with different themes I still feel that the STALKER games had below average visuals, with the exception of Clear Sky which I thought had decent effects for the time (though it came out before Far Cry 2 upped the ante) but performance was terrible.

Raptor wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 04:28:
theyarecomingforyou wrote:
Skyrim was a "huge mess" and have "a vision"? Ermmm... okay? Haha? Anxious But that is in stark contrast to most people's experience.

Most people is also the same majority that watch all those big and awful Hollywood productions and praise how fantastic they were, while you nod your head at them in disgust and wish they saw a proper movie for once and stopped financing those awful brainfarts.
Yah, that's not a group I hope that this game is made for, because if you cater for everyone you're going to end up with exactly why I screamed NO! in the first place and while I'm here arguing against it.

So just like the bland Hollywood action movie - it has the visuals, bang and some kind of a story somewhere, but if you go deeper into it you'll notice that the facade is not very thick at all.
I wasn't arguing that the majority opinion is always right but to call Skyrim a "huge mess" without "a vision" just doesn't have any credibility. Especially the latter. Of all the things to attack Skyrim for the last I would pick is a lack of "vision".
 
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54. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Aug 1, 2012, 04:28 Raptor
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote:
The comparison I showed was of both games on maximum settings, at the same resolution and taken to be representative of the graphics in-game. Your screenshots were deliberately low resolution and still did a poor job of making Pripyat look good.

Sorry, I didn't want to say that Stalker looked better visually, but that the choice of screenshots can affect the outcome depending on what the subject is.
Also as a huge Stalker fan you should know that the game is meant to be bland, lifeless & harsh rather than colourful, full of rainbows and bloom.
It's like comparing a unicorn to a snake.
For me - the looks did the job they were meant to do in both games and I wouldn't complain about the visuals in Stalker - they did exactly what they were set out to do and portrayed a more realistic look.
In case you haven't seen the Andrei Tarkovsky film by the same name then they took a lot of visual hints from there. And the film looked like this

theyarecomingforyou wrote:
Skyrim was a "huge mess" and have "a vision"? Ermmm... okay? Haha? Anxious But that is in stark contrast to most people's experience.

Most people is also the same majority that watch all those big and awful Hollywood productions and praise how fantastic they were, while you nod your head at them in disgust and wish they saw a proper movie for once and stopped financing those awful brainfarts.
Yah, that's not a group I hope that this game is made for, because if you cater for everyone you're going to end up with exactly why I screamed NO! in the first place and while I'm here arguing against it.

So just like the bland Hollywood action movie - it has the visuals, bang and some kind of a story somewhere, but if you go deeper into it you'll notice that the facade is not very thick at all.
 
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53. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 22:49 Jerykk
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 17:25:
Mad Max RW wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 16:50:
The Stalker engine is nearly as fucked up as the Gamebryo mess. The only major difference is GSC created better gameplay than Bethesda.
I'm a huge fan of the STALKER series but it certainly didn't have better gameplay than Skyrim. Better tension? Yeah. Better atmosphere? Probably. Better setting? Depends on what you're into. But Bethesda games are better made in nearly every way. As long as they make it a proper shooter and not a stat based shooter like Fallout 3 then it should be fine.

But yeah, the STALKER engine is a mess and even the Skyrim engine would be a massive step forward technically. Here's a screenshot of each, each on maximum settings and taken to be representative of the visuals (though both have wildly varying visual themes based upon location).

Skyrim
STALKER: Call Of Pripyat

Even for the time STALKER had pretty poor visuals and environments that were largely empty and tedious to explore. STALKER had so much squandered potential and I'm happy to see somebody else have a go. At least it won't be yet another rehash of the same game.

Bethesda has always been good at creating impressive outdoor environments. STALKER's don't fare nearly as well, thought I'd argue that it had better interiors (due to fully dynamic lighting and shadows).

As for Bethesda making a new STALKER game, I'm not sure how that would work. STALKER was pretty unforgiving and decidedly hardcore. Bethesda's games are the exact opposite of that. Also, if it's a multiplatform game, the UI will be designed for consoles and ported straight over to PC unchanged.
 
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52. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 22:43 Bumpy
 
If this occurs, we all know where its going.

Like Syndicate, Jagged Alliance, Rainbow6, MS Flight, etc.; the game name will try to capitalize on as many fans as possible with a game that is ultimately much less or too different than its predecessor.

Heart and sole of core games are dying, this will be just another to add to the grave pile.
 
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51. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 21:09 RollinThundr
 
Shineyguy wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:26:
Prez wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:12:
I can think of far worse ways for the series to go (like the way of the dodo for one), so I am pretty happy with this if it turns out to be true. Fallout New Vegas is a brilliant game, though admittedly Bethesda doesn't have the track record with FPS's that they do with RPG's.

Given how crappy RAGE ran on PC, (Jesus that pop-in!!! Those blurry textures!!!! ARGH... my EYES!!!), I would rather Gamebryo be used given a choice between the two, though some heavy tweaking would be in order.

Too bad New Vegas wasn't developed by Bethesda huh? That was an Obsidian game, and oddly enough many of the original team members from Fallout 1 and 2 work at Obsidian currently.

Rage's issues have more to do with JC living in the past with openGL.
 
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50. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 21:01 theyarecomingforyou
 
Raptor wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:50:
I also did a random picture search and found this image from Skyrim:
Skyrim
Compare to Pripyat:
Pripyat1
or
Pripyat2
I'm sure you'd pick Stalker as the better and far more interesting looking setting from these.
The comparison I showed was of both games on maximum settings, at the same resolution and taken to be representative of the graphics in-game. Your screenshots were deliberately low resolution and still did a poor job of making Pripyat look good.

Raptor wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:50:
Re: Theyarecomingforyou

Wow - comparing Call of Pripyat (2009 btw) to Skyrim (2011)
Hence why I said it didn't have good graphics for the time but I accept it wasn't a good comparison and my intention wasn't to mislead, so here are a couple of images from Far Cry 2 (2008):

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2

STALKER just doesn't come close to that, let alone perform as well.

jimnms wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:24:
Only Clear Sky used/uses TAGES, and I wouldn't say that is worse than Ubisoft's DRM. At least with TAGES, after activation you can play your game whenever you want even if your internet connection goes down, and you don't get booted from the game if there's a disruption in connection or their noPlay servers go down.
The difference is that I haven't had any problem with Ubisoft's DRM, whereas I was locked out of Clear Sky and had to email support in order to activate the game.

Raptor wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:50:
The gameplay was solid and challenging and except for Skyrim I didn't have bugs in Pripyat (maybe I was lucky), whereas Skyrim was a huge mess for me.
Sorry, I know that Skyrim was all critically acclaimed and all that and I quite enjoyed it for the beginning part and till there were some challenges, but design wise it's inferiour to anything with a vision.
Skyrim was a "huge mess" and have "a vision"? Ermmm... okay? Haha? Anxious But that is in stark contrast to most people's experience.
 
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49. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 20:42 Porn-O-Matic
 
Yeah, I have issue with Bethesda picking up the Stalker franchise because of several issues, one being just knowing how they will take a game that was a labor of love by a small Ukrainian group and turn it into a mass produced generic shooter with nothing new to offer over anything else Bethesda has done in the past.

The second thing I fear is that it will suffer the horribly inexcusable bullshit I like to call "consolitis", where the PC version carries the foul remnants of dumbed-down (yeah, I fucking said it) game control, akward menu systems, and virtually nonexistent support after being ported over from whatever brainless console system they actually develop it for.

And, last but certainly not least, because of the consoles, Bethesda will undoubtably use a "console friendly" game engine, which will suck, because the simple truth is that Bethesda's "technology" is VASTLY INFERIOR to the X-Ray Engine in every possible way. Bethesda's pathetically lame attempt at a realistic lighting engine in Skyrim, for example, is fucking SHIT by comparison, plain and simple. Bethesda couldn't even produce halfway realistic shadows or colored lighting, for God's sake.

If Bethesda cannot pull off the same (or better) look and feel of the original Stalker (and they won't), then anything they produce with the Stalker name on it is not going to be worth a bucketful of day-old dog piss in my book. (It will probably end up being labeled as Fallout 4, more or less.)

I see this sort of thing as an insult to the Stalker franchise, it's fans, and to the original developers, and will go down much the same way Codemasters completely fucked over F1 racing sim fans with thier botched "F1 20xx" games.
 
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48. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 19:33 HorrorScope
 
Raptor wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:50:
Also a well selected picture comparison there.

I also did a random picture search and found this image from Skyrim:
Skyrim
Compare to Pripyat:
Pripyat1
or
Pripyat2
I'm sure you'd pick Stalker as the better and far more interesting looking setting from these.

That's Fox News quality. There are a lot of amazing screenies you can pull out of Skyrim, that would be better comparing to the other. The one thing with Pripyat it looks like FOV is set at 120 or something.
 
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47. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 19:05 Prez
 
Shineyguy wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:26:
Prez wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:12:
I can think of far worse ways for the series to go (like the way of the dodo for one), so I am pretty happy with this if it turns out to be true. Fallout New Vegas is a brilliant game, though admittedly Bethesda doesn't have the track record with FPS's that they do with RPG's.

Given how crappy RAGE ran on PC, (Jesus that pop-in!!! Those blurry textures!!!! ARGH... my EYES!!!), I would rather Gamebryo be used given a choice between the two, though some heavy tweaking would be in order.

Too bad New Vegas wasn't developed by Bethesda huh? That was an Obsidian game, and oddly enough many of the original team members from Fallout 1 and 2 work at Obsidian currently.

D'oh! My bad. Embarassed
 
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46. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 18:50 Raptor
 
Re: Theyarecomingforyou

Wow - comparing Call of Pripyat (2009 btw) to Skyrim (2011)
Two different games with different budgets (not a small difference)
And I could argue for the opposite - That STALKER actually had a beginning, middle game and an end, as well as an actual story and plot.
The gameplay was solid and challenging and except for Skyrim I didn't have bugs in Pripyat (maybe I was lucky), whereas Skyrim was a huge mess for me.
Sorry, I know that Skyrim was all critically acclaimed and all that and I quite enjoyed it for the beginning part and till there were some challenges, but design wise it's inferiour to anything with a vision.
Bethesda is excellent at setting up a world and filling it with locations and sometimes even characters, but what comes after should be left to someone else.

Here's an example of what happened the last time an eastern title was picked up by a western company.
Operation Flashpoint and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.
Sorry, but I do not want that to happen again.


Also a well selected picture comparison there.

I also did a random picture search and found this image from Skyrim:
Skyrim
Compare to Pripyat:
Pripyat1
or
Pripyat2
I'm sure you'd pick Stalker as the better and far more interesting looking setting from these.
 
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45. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 18:24 jimnms
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:54:
Still, I'd have rather seen Ubisoft pick them up and implement STALKER using the Dunia (Far Cry 2 /3) engine. Now THAT would be awesome. And before people complain about Ubisoft's DRM you have to remember that STALKER's DRM was actually much worse (it used TAGES limited activations)!

Only Clear Sky used/uses TAGES, and I wouldn't say that is worse than Ubisoft's DRM. At least with TAGES, after activation you can play your game whenever you want even if your internet connection goes down, and you don't get booted from the game if there's a disruption in connection or their noPlay servers go down.
 
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44. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 18:07 Silicon Avatar
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 17:35:
What's funny is the Bethesda engine has actually been a ton more stable due to Skyrim patches, gets fantastic performance, great visuals, large open area's, modable, wonderful story line branch mechanics and then many treat it like complete trash. Their games in several ways are so far ahead then others... it's sort of amazing how many cannot see it.

I think Skyrim is solid. It's pretty and I hardly ever have technical problems with it. It could use more enemy diversity and better enemy AI but the engine seems pretty solid now. The only engine problem I've experienced (that hasn't been fixed by a patch) is z-fighting of mountain textures in the background of certain areas - and I think that is due to a mod.


 
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43. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:56 Dades
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 17:25:
I'm a huge fan of the STALKER series but it certainly didn't have better gameplay than Skyrim.

Apples and oranges, flawed comparison. The only thing they have in common is an open world setting.

I'd like to see a western development company take on the Stalker series but it's hard to imagine them getting the setting as close as GSC did. I hope the engine means Rage because that game had many faults but the combat was really taut and fun.
 
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42. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:53 MajorD
 

Someone here had posted the link to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete mod, but I can not remember who it was at this point (sorry). If you're not familiar with it, it does squash a lot of the bugs inherent to the game series and improves visual & sound quality. It wasn't until I installed the mod that I played through both SOC and CS; CoP is still waiting for me. Anyway, I highly recommend it as well if you’re not familiar with and/or haven’t tried it.

Enjoy!

 
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41. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:35 HorrorScope
 
What's funny is the Bethesda engine has actually been a ton more stable due to Skyrim patches, gets fantastic performance, great visuals, large open area's, modable, wonderful story line branch mechanics and then many treat it like complete trash. Their games in several ways are so far ahead then others... it's sort of amazing how many cannot see it.  
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40. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:25 theyarecomingforyou
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 16:50:
The Stalker engine is nearly as fucked up as the Gamebryo mess. The only major difference is GSC created better gameplay than Bethesda.
I'm a huge fan of the STALKER series but it certainly didn't have better gameplay than Skyrim. Better tension? Yeah. Better atmosphere? Probably. Better setting? Depends on what you're into. But Bethesda games are better made in nearly every way. As long as they make it a proper shooter and not a stat based shooter like Fallout 3 then it should be fine.

But yeah, the STALKER engine is a mess and even the Skyrim engine would be a massive step forward technically. Here's a screenshot of each, each on maximum settings and taken to be representative of the visuals (though both have wildly varying visual themes based upon location).

Skyrim
STALKER: Call Of Pripyat

Even for the time STALKER had pretty poor visuals and environments that were largely empty and tedious to explore. STALKER had so much squandered potential and I'm happy to see somebody else have a go. At least it won't be yet another rehash of the same game.
 
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39. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:14 Matshock
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 16:50:
Everyone must be sharing the same prescription of rose-tinted glasses. The Stalker engine is nearly as fucked up as the Gamebryo mess. The only major difference is GSC created better gameplay than Bethesda. Both are saved by their mod communities.

Meh- xray has the unfortunate circumstance of coming out in that time frame when multicore processors were considered high end. They -could- do some excellent visuals on xray, but it lacked good enough multicore support to pump a good frame rate.

Then they wanted to capitalize on the franchise instead of take time to really overhaul the engine and the rest is history.

Crawling out of the hell underneath Pripyat and seeing then sun, then remembering I'm in the hell of Pripyat is one of my top 10 gaming moments ever.

Then from the first game- after barley surviving the entry into Pripyat, running away from from a lost battle and hiding until I healed up I took some shaky steps outside, spotted a black figure and decided I had just died- it turned out to be a stalker that followed in after the first wave. I was never so happy to see a NPC in my life.

The only franchises that were that memorable for me were System Shock, Half Life and XCOM if that tells you how highly I regard STALKER.

 
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38. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 17:10 Hump
 
former eastern block studios have a completely different way of making games. While much of it comes off as amateurish, they are much less beholden to the bean-counters and tend to go with cool ideas and worry about the logistics later. Obviously this way of making a game is what caused GSC's trouble with getting the game onto the market, but its hard to argue with the results.

I'm sure Bethesda will make a decent product, but I seriously doubt they could ever capture what made the original games special.
 
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37. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 16:50 Mad Max RW
 
Everyone must be sharing the same prescription of rose-tinted glasses. The Stalker engine is nearly as fucked up as the Gamebryo mess. The only major difference is GSC created better gameplay than Bethesda. Both are saved by their mod communities.  
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36. Re: Bethesda S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Rumor Jul 31, 2012, 15:40 Cutter
 
Verno wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 10:55:
Man I'd be concerned about the level of jank (technical and combat engine related) in a Stalker meets Bethesda scenario. It would be interesting as hell though, shame to see that series fall by the wayside.

My sentiments exactly. STALKER is definitely up there for one of my fave all time FPS', so I'd hate to see it change too much. Sill I'm curious to see what Bethsoft will do with it.
 
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