Sometimes a very dedicated person likes a game very much and decides to save it from age, oblivion, and decrepitude. So it is with STALKER: Call of Pripyat’s Remake mod and its creator, who goes by Dante. This is a big one, but it’s a big one that doesn’t mess with the game’s core magic: Just updates its visuals to 2019 standards: Ultra HD textures, new shaders, new models for near-everything—the works. Posted on ModDB, this year’s version is “Remake 3” and follows up the 2.1 release from May of last year, and a teaser last October.
The result is frankly pretty incredible, with an 11-year-old game pushed to what must be its absolute limits. Frankly, it makes me a bit emotional seeing the capstone of one of my favorite game series getting the remaster it’ll never officially receive. Developer GSC Game World shuttered mid-development on STALKER 2, which may or may not ever exist despite seemingly-annual announcements and rumors around its development by the revived company.
The STALKER series casts you as the eponymous trespassers in the mysterious Zone, a place of radioactivity and impossible physics anomalies caused by secret experiments at a facility within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine. It’s a shooter which—in modern terms, at least—falls somewhere between survival horror and military sim.
It takes a little bit of technical wrangling to get the mod working, but I think it’s worth it.