Just as the noise from the H-L 2 beta release and of the methods used to procure it are dying down, a new early version has come to shock game developers.
Just before 2004 stumbled in, a Pre-Alpha version of STALKER surfaced on various P2P networks. Unlike the Half-Life 2 pre-release, this one, it is rumoured, is very playable and only needs some basic messing around with configuration files in order to work.
We were sent a screenshot from this release which does seem to be in full working order. It is certain that this build (1096) does not carry the full feature set of the game and that it definitely lacks the graphics and audio refinement which will grace the release version of STALKER.
It is however, important to mention that most Megagames readers who have contacted us, claim that the Pre-Alpha plays extremely well, with high frame rates and excellent quality on a wide range of, even the most basic, systems.
If the hype wasn't enough, this leak may prove an excellent PR weapon for the game's creators since it seems to be carrying out the job of a good demo. Let's hope the finished product will be just as good.