E3: New Stalker game uncovered

Prequel in early 2008.

GSC Game World has whipped the radioactive cover off its expansion to the sprawling first-person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

It's dubbed Clear Sky and will take place one year before the original story, back-filling the iconic character Strelok's history and the emergence of the Zone. With plenty of new nuclear beasties to say hello to.

Clear Sky will also include belated support for DirectX 10 and improved performance from the DirectX9 renderer. The AI has been bumped up, too, on top of a new animation engine and game engine.

As you explore the Zone you'll become part of the war between the different factions, and be able to join and lead any of them to victory. You'll also be treated to a new upgrade system for weapons and armour, enjoy a worked HUD and PDA, and be given the benefits of Fast Travel. Phew.

It looks like it will be a polished-up and improved addition to what we claimed to be one of the scariest and ambitious games on the PC this year. All that and Clear Sky is promised for release in the first quarter of 2008 - which we hope it sticks to.

Head over to our S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky gallery for the first screenshots.

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