If you think I’m busting my keyboard writing S.T.A.L.K.E.R for this post, then you can get on out of here. Anyway! STALKER was a revelation when it was released way back in the day, taking the moody storytelling that first-person games had always been capable of and setting the player up in that spooky zone of seclusion that was the irradiated crater where Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant used to be. Unmatched at the time, the legacy of STALKER was upheld by spiritual sequels in the form of the Metro Exodus trilogy.
As for a proper sequel to STALKER? That game appears to have been lingering in development for many a year now, having first been announced in August 2010. After many delays and plenty of radio silence, STALKER 2 is finally coming, retaining all of the elements that made the original game and its two expansions so popular. Like the spooky section of Chernobyl that has been the hallmark of the series.
“The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise was always about the Zone. We see it as a standalone — and hugely important — character of the series,” GSC Game World’s Zakhar Bocharov explained.
In the world we created, the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 wasn’t the only one to occur. The second explosion hit the reactor in 2006, creating The Zone as we know it. It’s a dangerous place, filled with mutated creatures, deadly radiation, and a strange, anomalous energy. However, it’s not just an isolated place that’s dangerous by itself, but rather a threat to all of mankind. Still, there is no stopping for the explorers.
Bounty hunters delve deep into the Zone, driven by its treasures and mysteries. Some of them are running from their past, others are blinded by money, and some are obsessed with finding the truth behind all the mysteries. No matter what makes their hearts pump, these people are known as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s.
You are one of them.
According to GSC, STALKER 2’s world won’t just be massive, it’ll be shaped by your your decisions that will have consequences both in the short and the long-term. “This is our most immersive world yet, and we are crafting it with the love and passion this setting deserves. Using our most advanced technology to date, the Zone has never been this gorgeous. And it’s yours to conquer — or to be lost in forever,” Bocharov said.
Both monsters and factions that inhabit the Zone are constantly interacting with each other. The previous S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games introduced A-Life — a living world simulating system. The reimagined version of this system, which we call A-Life 2.0, will control the state of the world and the behavior of characters and mutants, making the Zone ever-changing and truly alive. Countless events and encounters will happen every moment — even if you are not around to witness them with your own eyes.
We are crafting an epic, branching story culminating in lots of different endings. You’ll have to make tough choices regularly — and be brave enough to face the consequences.
STALKER 2 will finally arrive in 2021 on Xbox Series X, as well as PC. By then, wearing a full facial covering so that you can avoid having your organs ravaged by hostile airborne elements, should be seen as the new normal.
Last Updated: July 24, 2020