STALKER spiritual successor Areal hits Kickstarter

Written by David Hing

June 25, 2014 // 10:46 a.m.

Tags: #areal #kickstarter #metro-last-light #open-world #stalker #survival-horror #west-games

The developers behind harsh post-apocalyptic open world first person shooter STALKER have unveiled Areal, a spiritual successor to the series.

West Games, a studio formed of many of the developers responsible for both the STALKER series and Metro: Last Light, have a pitch live on Kickstarter and are looking for a modest $50,000 and the project launched yesterday, meaning they have 29 days left on the clock. At time of writing, the project has already sailed past the halfway mark.

Described in the pitch video as 'a love letter to fans of the horror and post apocalyptic genre', Areal will be an open world title set in a post apocalyptic setting with survival horror elements. The game will take a non linear approach with players being able to choose how to advance. Choices will affect the world around the player although the pitch does stress that there is no morality system in the game.

The game’s world will feature hostile creatures that have been mutated by ‘Metamorphite’, a mineral that is destroying the world as a result of a meteor strike and Areal boasts an AI system that will make more challenging enemies smarter and more cunning and lead to emergent gameplay that adapts to the player’s style.

Involved in the project are former GSC Game World and 4A Games senior staffers, including the lead animator, developer and designer of the STALKER series. The Kickstarter pitch does however remind backers that Areal will not simply be another STALKER title.

Anyone with a rough idea of just how much video games cost to make will likely raise an eyebrow at the $50,000 target, but West Games explains that the goal is so small because the studio has already invested a lot of time and money into the project. This statement does appear to be supported as a fair amount of in-game footage and world building beyond basic concept art does feature in the Kickstarter pitch video.

West Games also comments that Kickstarter will help them take the project further now that their own funding has run dry and they expect a successful crowdfunding campaign will open up more financial doors for them.

Areal is being developed for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Linux PC, Mac and Wii U using an in-house proprietary game engine.

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