Pioner: STALKER and Tarkov’s alien baby

Pioner was initially mentioned in 2017 as a game in development, however there were few information beyond various weapons types and locations. The game, which is being developed by GFA Games, now has its first real trailer and a potential release date of late-2021/early-2022.

The genre is a mash-up of MMORPGs and survival games and based on some of the concepts, Pioner’s main influences include Escape from Tarkov with a dash of STALKER. The premise appears to be heavily influenced by the classic science-fiction novel Roadside Picnic: a Soviet island separated by some type of man-made anomaly, into which you and other players explore for treasures, knowledge, and survival.

The game’s brief describes raids, friends, monsters, a home base that must be guarded against marauders, and, most intriguingly, the option to transform and customise your character’s anatomy. The trailer doesn’t reveal much about these changes, but it’s evident that physical fighting will play an important part alongside weapons. Of course, there’s a crafting system, and there’s a strong emphasis on customising and maintaining weaponry. While players can explore alone, some areas and adversaries will necessitate the collaboration of numerous people, and then there’s the PvP element on top of that.

The game has a Russian webpage, which yields some great treasures when translated by Google. “Perhaps the planet has already died, and the survivors, like maggots in a wound, are crawling on its remains.” Yes, indeed! “The old rules no longer apply. The new rule is simple: whomever is better equipped is correct.”

I, for one, am looking forward to installing the Soviet Union app on my retro-futuristic wristwatch.

The creators also sponsored a Q&A on the Russian social media platform VK, which offers some useful information. GFA revealed that there would be several places in the game and that Pioner’s world features dynamic weather and time of day system that may be altered by anomalies: “for example, from clear weather to pouring rain, furious wind, and hail in a second.”

The second part of Pioner’s video is where the exciting stuff is: a closer look at this strange, slightly alien terrain, as well as the world’s more science-fiction components. The painstakingly created retro Soviet-style is particularly noteworthy, with details such as the OS of your smartwatch’s lending it a distinct personality. Even the ominous Russian narration, I believe, adds something. Pioner will be subjected to a beta test before its official release, at which point we should be able to report back from the zone ourselves, comrades.

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