Recently formed studio West Games yesterday announced their first project, Areal, via a draft Kickstarter page. Described as “the definitive spiritual successor to the cult hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series”, the company is looking to gauge reactions and source feedback prior to going live with their campaign.
The game follows many of the traditions of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series while looking to expand beyond them in subtle ways. The affected area is now the entire world, not just Chernobyl. The cause is a meteor. Mutations are caused by something called “metamorphite”, which doubles as artifacts. The world is a little more colourful with a number of tropical-flavoured fauna and flora on display in the concept art.
Areal appears to be within good hands with West Games. The team is made up of ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers, concept artists, and employees — the only niggling concerns are the very modest posted budget for the game (currently sitting at $50,000) and the campaign’s emphasis on multiplayer stretch goals.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. irradiated my heart a long time ago (I went as far as to declare S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat one of my top games of the previous generation), so my excitement is currently at emission level. You can check out some of the concept art and more details regarding the world of Areal on their Kickstarter draft page or their rather sparse home page.