The STALKER. series of games by Ukranian developers GSC Game World have been centrepieces of the gaming collections of Johnny and I. Johnny has put hundreds of hours into the immersive and gritty series starting with 2007’s STALKER.: Shadow of Chernobyl, 2008’s Clear Sky and 2009’s Call of Pripyat. It’s hard to believe how GSC Game World has been continuously developing their latest iteration in the series, STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl, despite the horrors of war around them in present day real-world Ukraine. They have managed to press on and release a new trailer at the end of 2022 confirming the game will release on PC and Xbox Series X/S in 2023.
“Since the very start of Russia’s full-fledged war against our country, GSC Game World has been supporting Ukraine in all the ways we could. We dedicate this trailer to our fallen heroes: the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect Ukraine. We also want to take a moment to express gratitude for all the support we have been receiving from our players and partners during the past months. Even the basic words can do miracles when the situation is dire. Thank you so much for being with us during these uneasy times.”
The Chornobyl Exclusion Zone has changed dramatically after the second massive explosion in year 2006. Violent mutants, deadly anomalies, and warring factions have made the Zone a very tough place to survive. Nevertheless, artifacts of unbelievable value attracted many people called STALKERs, who entered the Zone for their own risk striving to make a fortune out of it or even to find the Truth concealed in the Heart of Chornobyl. Players will play as a lone stalker and explore a photorealistic seamless open world in a 64-km² radioactive zone with a variety of environments that reveal the post-apocalyptic atmosphere from different angles. Make your way through the Zone to define your destiny as you choose your paths within highly branching epic story.
The gameplay trailer shows a mix of cutscenes, and in-game sequences and looks to have maintained the gritty and dark vibes of the original games, only this time utilising the power of current PC and console technology. Players will be able to customize their character’s appearance, skills, and equipment. The game will have a first-person perspective and will feature a dynamic weather system, day-night cycle, and a full range of environmental dangers. There will also be a multiplayer component which we are excited about, however it will come sometime after the game’s initial release. We have seen when games do this that they miss the boat in terms of co-op campaign play, but we are happy to be proven wrong and to play a STALKER game in co-op would be worth the wait.