S.T.A.L.K.E.R. goes gold at last

THQ has announced that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has finally gone gold. The publisher has given the go-ahead to send the game off to duplication, and the title is on track to hit store shelves on March 20. As Shacknews points out, the title has been in development for more than five years (it was first announced in November 2001), and its graphics have evolved from this to this in the process.

If you haven't heard about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. before, its storyline goes something like this: a second explosion hits the fabled Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, causing mysterious changes to happen in the "zone" surrounding the plant. The player assumes the role of a "stalker" whose task is to explore the "zone" and collect artifacts while surviving among a variety of foes, some of which include gruesome mutants. Shacknews has had some quiet time with the game and has put together a two-page preview, which can be found here.

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