A spiritual successor to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series has made its way onto Kickstarter with the aim of raising at least $50,000. Areal is being crowd funded as the game was previously being funded through the savings of its employees, that money has now ran out and they are seeking outside help to finish development. Pledging $25 will get you a copy of the game on a choice of platform when it releases in September of next year.
While not a direct sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the team behind Areal are looking to bring across many of the gameplay elements and features that made the original title so unique. According to the Kickstarter page, the new game will have a familiar atmosphere to its spiritual predecessor but will also bring many new enhancements. Choices will have a bigger impact on how the story unfolds while the environment is varied and full of color, despite the post apocalyptic setting. The developer states that Areal is being created by many of the key people who worked on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series as part of GSC Game World. They are boosted by members who have also helped with the development of Metro: Last Night, suggesting that the team has lots of experience in creating horror themed first-person shooters. The new studio, called West Games, promises that their creative freedom will allow them to create the “ultimate post apocalyptic video game”.
Another spiritual successor to the original game, Survarium, is already in development by Vostok Games. The free-to-play shooter is currently in its beta stage with an expected release date of early 2015. Survarium is being made by the many of the original team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. who lost their job when the sequel was cancelled in 2011. Being primarily an online game though means that it shouldn’t be directly competing with Areal.