STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl - still alive

If you'd have asked us a month ago what we thought had finally become of the esoteric role-playing shooter STALKER, we might have hung our heads and admitted that it has likely gone the way of stillborn Duke Nukem Forever.

But as it turns out, we'd be wrong - dead wrong - if we said that. STALKER is not only still breathing - but is nearly ready to come out kicking, screaming and clawing its way onto your computer, early next year.

Above: If you are this close to reactor #4 without a hazard suit, sunburn is the least of your worries.

We can't spill all the beans just yet, but we can say that we've gotten extensive playtime with the glorious single and multiplayer STALKER modes. But not only that - we actually traveled to Chernobyl, Ukraine and went deep inside the 30km Exclusion Zone. Why would we do such a crazy thing? We wanted to bring you back photographic evidence that this game will possess an incredible amount of authenticity to the horrific nuclear wasteland that it is based upon.

Our exclusive STALKER coverage begins later this month.

Prepare to be profoundly disturbed.

November 2, 2006