Despite the terrible war in Ukraine, the development of Stalker 2 continues. This is proven not least by a new and impressive gameplay trailer. Unfortunately, the title’s release has been postponed from December 2022 to somewhen this year.
The post-apocalyptic action-RPG shooter Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl (renaming Chernobyl in March 2022, read below) is scheduled to release in 2023 and will set completely new standards. We return to the Chornobyl exclusion zone and once again face the many dangers of the nuclear-contaminated area. In Stalker 2 you’ll once again be immersed in a dark open-world game with a captivating non-linear story, in which multiple endings are possible and every one of your decisions has consequences.
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New Stalker 2 gameplay trailer showcases impressive scenes and graphical power
That Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl will certainly be one of the most important next-gen games in 2023 is proven not only by a recently released gameplay trailer, which shows breathtaking scenes based on Unreal Engine 5. But the animations and sound design also make this FPS seem incredibly coherent and revolutionary. See for yourself.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chornobyl can already be pre-ordered on Steam in three different digital editions: The Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition, or Ultimate Edition. On the official site, you can also get the game in physical form and support Ukraine at the same time.
Delay of the release
Initially, the game was scheduled for release on April 28, 2022. However, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, GSC Game World was forced to postpone the release, as many developers had to participate in the war. Another date on December 8, 2022, could not be met for the same reasons, and the release now eroded to 2023.
Ukraine needs all the help it can get.
Special aid account to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. UA843000010000000047330992708
International Charitable Foundation "COME BACK ALIVE"
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— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 2, 2022
The facts about Stalker 2
The game not only includes a complex storyline, but it is also full of new content to discover. Below we have summarized the most important aspects of the game.
A true next-gen title
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 is developed on Unreal Engine 5 by GSC Game World, exploiting the full potential of the powerful engine. Using the latest technologies, such as motion capture or photogrammetry, the game will set completely new standards graphically and create an unforgettable immersion. The developers promise that the newest gameplay trailer (above) is graphically fully in line with the release.
Change of the subtitle
In March 2022, the developers decided to change the Subtitle of the new Stalker game from Heart of Chernobyl to Heart of Chornobyl. This was noticed by ResetEra users. So they changed the Russian spelling of the power plant to Ukrainian, presumably to signal respect and solidarity towards their country.
The setting of Stalker 2
As in the first installment, Stalker 2 takes place in the contaminated area of Chornobyl. You will return to the familiar locations of Pripyat and Cordon, but also to new places. The developers announced that there will be “hundreds of other familiar and new locations will be up for exploration.” Unlike the previous game, with quite limited areas, you will enter a completely open world with more than 60 square kilometers of geographic space, which the developers from GSC also say is “one of the biggest open worlds in video games to date” and “more than 100 hours of gameplay to explore its secrets.”
The game is a spectacular combination of first-person shooter and immersive simulation with a strong survival focus. In addition to the changing storyline, there will also be day-night cycles, including dynamic weather, so your environment will always be changing as well. Besides the story, you’ll have to ensure your survival by taking mechanisms such as bleeding, radiation, hunger, and even sleep into account, and react accordingly. In the contaminated area of Chornobyl, numerous different anomalies await you, which you might discover or better avoid.
A-Life 2.0 and new AI
According to GSC Game World, the monsters and human factions in Stalker 2 will interact with each other in a completely new way through the life simulation system A-Life 2.0. In previous games, life was limited to the player’s field of view. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, there will be a “holistic live environment”. According to this, the creatures and factions will conquer new places, fight each other or retreat, independently of the player, so that the path through the zone will always be a new experience.
On your journey through the zone, you will fight numerous mutants and hostile human NPCs. They also invade this area to find valuable artifacts, which they can sell for a lot of money. The battles will challenge you, as the developers promise an intuitively responsive, extremely aggressive AI. Engage in breathtakingly intense battles with over 30 different types of weapons, all of which you can modify, from silencers to scopes.
Stalker 2 platforms
The game is coming out for PC and Xbox Series X|S. On the day of release, you can purchase it on Steam, Epic Store, GOG, Microsoft Store, Xbox Store, and Game Pass. However, the developers emphasize that they would be extremely grateful if you ordered the game directly from www.stalker2.com. Certainly worth considering, given the current circumstances! The prices are identical, but the complete proceeds go to the developers, without having to give shares to Steam or Epic in the case of sales.
Stalker 2 multiplayer
Many gamers are naturally wondering whether this groundbreaking survival horror spectacle will be playable in multiplayer. At this point, we have happy news to report: The title comes out as a pure singleplayer title for now. However, the developers state that multiplayer will follow soon after the initial release in the form of a “free update”.
Stalker 2 system requirements (PC)
Since the new Stalker title uses the UE5 engine and will undoubtedly be a real benchmark among next-gen games, the ultra settings will certainly require a powerful computer. However, the minimum and recommended specs are quite modest after all. Here are the developer’s specifications:
Stalker 2 minimum system requirements
- OS Version: Windows 10 / Windows 11
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X / Intel Core i5-7600K
- Memory: 8 GB
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Disk space: 150 GB
Stalker 2 recommended system requirements
- OS Version: Windows 10 / Windows 11
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Intel Core i7-9700K
- Memory: 16 GB
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
- Disk space: 150 GB SSD
In case you missed the previous Stalker 2 gameplay trailer
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the developers had to stop work because of the war. However, an earlier trailer, which came out a year ago, proves that the game was already in a pretty solid state.
More post-apocalypse and wide worlds, please
If you are a fan of open game worlds in a post-apocalyptic setting, feel free to check out our rankings of best Open World Games for PC, and best Survival Games for PS4 & PS5.
The mutants in Stalker 2 have ignited your desire for more horror? Then take a look at our favorite Free Horror Games or Indie Horror Games.
For a special, exclusive horror experience, we recommend checking out the free remakes of the PT Game. Once a playable single-player teaser for a canceled Silent Hill game, this has been taken off the web. Fortunately, however, it was recreated by fans. Creepy as hell!
What aspects do you particularly like in Stalker 2? Is it the story, the open world, or
just the audiovisual realization? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below.