Three months ago, when Vostok Games released their fifth developer’s diary with news of the “Renaissance Army” faction for their flagship game Survarium, there were inevitable comparisons to the STALKER series, a franchise Vostok Games helped develop when they were under the GSC label, and speculation as to what the presumably fourth and final faction would look like based on comparisons to STALKER. Now, Vostok Games have recently announced the last faction, the Fringe Settlers.
In Survarium, the world has ended in a mysterious “green apocalypse.” Nature itself had mutated into a bizarre entity known as The Forest, animals and plants came together in a calamity that is one part “The Birds” and one part “Day of the Triffids.” The game takes place somewhere in the former Sov Bloc territories. Every faction has their own theory about what caused the end of the world, if they even have the time to care at all.
The Fringe Settlers take their name from the location of their territory, at the absolute edge separating The Forest from safe territories. Fringe Settlers are a group of survivors devoted to studying and coexisting peacefully with The Forest. As the collapse of civilization became complete and their research and preparation allowed them to escape reasonably unscathed, they came to believe that their attitudes were correct.
For fans drawing comparisons to Vostok’s previous work, the Settlers are best described as a combination of the Freedom and Ecologists factions from STALKER, with a touch of spiritualism thrown in for flavor. Like Freedom’s view of The Zone, they believe The Forest represents an opportunity for humanity. Like the Ecologists, they’re scholars living in a dangerous environment in order to to catalog and understand it. Stat wise their gear is reputed to be similar to the Ecologists, low on ballistic defense but high on protection from anomalous energies (like the STALKER universe, the Survarium world is peppered with strange and inexplicable environmental hazards that cause everything from electrical discharges to violent changes in temperature.) Much of their technology incorporates either the anomalies or artifacts charged with anomalous energy.
While the new faction was the highlight of the diary, it wasn’t the only item touched. A new level, the Chemical Plant, and alpha testing were discussed at length. A chemical factory used originally to manufacture fertilizer and charged with creating the herbicide that was supposed to destroy The Forest. Naturally, the plan failed and the herbicide never left the complex, leaving behind a relic of old USSR industrial might (Lenin’s face is a billboard on one of the buildings) and one of the larger maps revealed so far. A 10v10 map, the Chemical Plant is describe as a fairly open level, with lots of outdoor train yards and open production floors that make it favorable for snipers. It also gives viewers a rough idea what to expect in terms of scale. If 150 meters (164 yards for us empirical users) is considered a “long shot for a sniper” in Survarium then most of the maps are going to be small, congested affairs like apartment buildings or the “School” mentioned in Developer Diary 4.
Alpha testing was the last topic touched upon and for the most part, the developers discussed what an alpha test is for people who haven’t heard of the concept before. To summarize, the game is its alpha version with all the bugs and system crashes that entails, testers will be invited in waves, and at the time of writing they have all the testers they need. For more information on Survarium, turn your browser to the official site or their Youtube channel.