Lead designer from S.T.A.L.K.E.R joins Areal

Areal, a post-apocalyptic game described as a spiritual successor to the cult hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, has had a somewhat troubled Kickstarter campaign. However, developer West-Games has revealed that they have hired Alexey Sytyanov who will serve as producer for the game. Sytyanov was previously part of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. design team according to a post on the Kickstarter page for the project, and has also worked as the lead game designer of Survarium. Speaking in a video posted by West-Games, Sytyanov said: “I see a lot of promise with this project and offered the guys from West-Games a couple of innovations that would give Areal something that was missing from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Survarium. For example, a combination of multiplayer with a deep story.”

The confirmation that Sytyanov is working on Areal has given the project some much needed credibility. Soon after Areal was first announced on Kickstarter concerns began to mount that it may not have been a genuine project. Several sites raised points ranging from the fact that the team may not have worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the fact that there was no video footage of the game and that it was only looking to raise $50,000, a tiny budget for such a large title. The developer has since gone on to refute all these claims in a number of updates on the official Kickstarter page. In the updates, West-Games aims to clarify their position and calm any fears backers may have.

Areal was originally described as a spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. rather than a direct sequel. West-Games were hoping to incorporate many of the gameplay features and settings used in the series in their new game. The plot is based on Areal, a book by noted Russian author Sergey Tarmashev, although it will have its “own scenario and our own distinct style”. Areal is not the only spiritual successor to the cult first-person shooter currently in development. Survarium is a free-to-play post-apocalyptic shooter due to release next year.