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What is Radium all about, really? Hopefully this post, along with others in the following weeks, will clarify how Radium has evolved from humble origins.

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I've put off this news post for quite a while, since I wasn't quite sure what to write. When one of the team working on Radium said "What exactly is Radium about?" I figured I have some massive explaining to do.

So what is Radium, actually?

Well, initially it started off as Ultimate Weapon Renewal, a legacy still evident in our mod's URL. Since then it has somewhat evolved, to not just be about adding sexy means of hot lead injection, but also to be an overhaul of the Zone.

I've always loved the Stalker series. I think out of my entire steam library, all three games have had more combined time than every single other game I've played. That's quite a lot.

aek nv scope

While I've always recognized that Call of Pripyat is by far the most polished and technically superior of all three games, I also believe it is the most sterile and least Zone-like of all three games. It lacks the mystery of Shadow of Chernobyl and the pure anarchy of Clear Sky, and I've always wondered why that was. In the grand scheme of things, Call of Pripyat is set in a very turbulent time of the Zone's history: The Scorcher, a long standing means of keeping stalkers away, is no more, and an entirely new area of the Zone has been opened for the plundering of stalkers. Some more adventerous, and foolhardy, even got a taste of Pripyat itself, before it was once again locked down by a massive emission.

Radium is, at its heart, an attempt to make Call of Pripyat into the game it always had the potential to be, but sadly never was. GSC did an admirable job, but like many others I looked to the many influences and past builds of Stalker and dreamed of what could have been.

two voids

The main influence on Radium has been Roadside Picnic (among others, to a lesser extent, such as the Stalker movie and the old Stalker builds). I do not believe many people will ever be able to fully fathom the mystery of the Zone, and I suspect many don't even want to. It is a pervasive, alien place that defies every single truth people hold to be self evident. Even the very laws of the universe, as we understand them, do not apply.

So given that the premise is "We don't understand what is going on" the focus then shifts onto the people who inhabit the Zone: What motivates them? What are their goals and what terrible things will they do to achieve them?

Many of the Zone's factions will be given a significant overhaul. The Bandits, for example, underwent a very violent change in management where Borov, their previous leader, was removed from the picture by Sultan, an old-school Thief in Law, who sees the Zone as a prime location to build an empire.


Likewise, the way you interact with the Zone will change. Degtyarev is an outsider, part of an organization that has little to no friends in the Zone (with the possible exception of Duty), who must balance the outcome of his mission with the responsibilities that will be required to see it through. The SBU has provided some help, mainly with basic integration, but securing resources and building confidence is entirely on your head. Thankfully the SBU's standard Military Stalker contract provides amnesty for actions in the Zone, provided the terms are upheld, and full disclosure given.

Over the next few weeks I'll be expanding on some of the new concepts Radium brings to the Zone.

val vintorez sam61

(All the above screenshots were taken with the new DX11.3 renderer - how's that for content?!)


Well, it's like COP needed a good refreshment after all, and that's where Radium is sitting.

Also, the VAL and VSS are SAM61's right ? :D saw them floating few days ago.

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Somehow I think Monolith needs more love than any other factions. We don't need more answers, but more mysteries. Maybe we need better villains in CoP? Nemesis system?

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burguois Author

I've got big plans for the Monolith, rest assured.

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I enjoyed COP,but the game felt unfinished to me,there was no real pay off or resolution in the end.We never found out who or what was controlling the Monolith,maybe they intended to continue the story line in STALKER 2,but sadly I doubt that game will ever be made.

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So, what are some direct changes you are implementing to make CoP more like the previous games, to fix these empty-world problems? I read you are changing the Bandit faction and making the main character an outsider--how does this change the gameplay in practice?

The problem with CoP for me is that there is no life. No NPCs interact in an organic way, and the only gunfights I ever experience are during scripted missions where I am expected to shoot someone. Mutants are a bit better but are still very sparse and only seem to spawn in static areas, making them spectacles and nothing more.

Are we getting new levels? Are you redesigning the three levels we have? Will a-life be expanded and reworked to actually represent -life- or will it still be like a stale and static museum display?

Too often CoP mods are basically reskins with new weapons. The better mods are complete overhauls that try and recreate the design of previous Stalker games. I have not found a CoP mod that simply tries to fix the game-itself to be more living and to give players more to experience. SGM seems to the closest thing, but most of its content is bound by quests, and is still not an organic world.

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I'll say let them try. Openray has its potentials.

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