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Survarium brings the world of STALKER online, but it's far from finished

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Survarium, the multiplayer shooter from developer Vostok Games, is attempting to bring the post-apocalyptic world of STALKER to life in an online game — a noble goal, but one that's going to take some time to achieve.

During a hands-on Gamescom 2013 demo, we got a a chance to try our hand at scavenging the Ukranian wasteland in a private player vs. player match. The level we competed in looked and felt like the large, ruined world of the STALKER series, with massive fields and looming, rust-consumed buildings. It was peppered with the series' trademark anomalies; hazardous zones hiding worthy rewards, at the cost of radiation poisoning or other detrimental effects.

Survarium may have looked like the STALKER franchise, but the build just isn't far enough along in development to tell whether or not it feels like it. Animations were primitive, balance was way out of whack and certain basic features just haven't been implemented yet — at one point, I tried to climb a ladder before being informed that ladders aren't fully operational quite yet.

Vostok Games has had to start from scratch with Survarium. Its founders weren't able to bring its engine, its code or even the STALKER license with them following their exodus from GSC Game World — and it shows. Survarium needs more time in the oven, which hopefully it will be able to get; Vostok PR and marketing director Oleg Yavorsky told us the game will need another year to year-and-a-half before it's feature complete.

For more on why and how Vostok is adapting the world of STALKER to the online space, check out our full video interview with Yavorsky above.