After the totally unexpected announcement of Stalker 2 – Heart of Chernobyl, the newest part of the legendary Stalker series, there is now more information available and even a release date! The release of Stalker 2is scheduled on 28.04.2022 for XBox and PC. The digital editions is available for pre-ordered on https://www.stalker2.com/. The retail versions are still to come. I made an overview of the published information here and I am already mega hyped for the game! I will play through the three predecessor parts in the Livestream until then and of course upload them to YouTube.
At the top of this page you can find the latest video of STALKER 2, a trailer that shows in-game clips, and I must say, the graphics and the atmosphere promise a lot! Turn on the subtitles to get an English translation of the video. Previously there was a 1. Dev Highlight on the channel of GSC Game World that showed the impressive graphics of the game. The renders look excellent and show very good quality. Shortly after the ingame trailer, there was the 2. Dev Highlight in which the developers give us more about the motion capture technology used as well as a few more insights into the game. At the end they even show us a little easteregg from the trailer.
Whats new in Heart of Chernobyl?
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will once again take place in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and we have already seen costumes from the two factions Duty and Freedom from the Dev Highlight. It is expected that the Military and the Thieves Factions will play a role again. In STALKER 2, according to the developers, the nuclear power plant blew up again in 2006, but the scenario we are in takes place a few years later, which means that we can expect to find more modern influences in the game. The game is playable as standalone, without knowing the previous parts. But the old friends from the Zone will find themselves in a familiar world and the trailer definitely conveys the dark and melancholic feeling of the previous Stalker Games!
The latest trailer also shows a few old acquaintances, such as a “Flesh” which is a mutated quadruped and the famous “Bloodsucker”, a humanoid tentacle monster that can become invisible and has already caused fear and terror in the previous Games of the series! However, the developers have already announced various sub-variants of the different monsters, as well as their artificial intelligence adapted in state of the art Technology. They will work in groups and perform less predictable actions, which of course benefits the creepy factor and difficulty level.
Old famous well known friends
Of course, anomalies and artifacts play a role in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 – Heart of Chernobyl again, the latter can equip the player with various powers and buffs. As always, anomalies will make your life in the zone difficult! So far only known anomalies are showing. It remains questionable whether there will be new ones, but that would not be surprising. In the trailer above, you can also see a new anomaly detector in use that bears the inscription Rinka 01. This could indicate that there are different versions of the detector similar to previous parts.
In Addition, the good old-fashioned screw comes to play again! All of this suggests that the Zone will continue to be an enormously dangerous place, and with the various mutants and factions, the anomalies will also make your life difficult. Nothing is free in the Zone! The unmistakable sound of the PDA is to hear in the ingame trailer. I am curious if there is also the possibility to use crafting.
Heart of Chernobyl – Open World with impressive graphics
The world of Stalker 2 – Heart of Chernobyl remains open world as usual known from the previous parts and is the largest of all Stalker worlds with 64 square kilometers. This time it should even be possible to move seamlessly without loading times in the huge area. Nevertheless, the factions and mutants will continue to pursue their activities, so that the zone as always develops a certain life of its own depending on which interactions you doing in the world. In the trailer you can see already known areas like Duga or the watchtower from Clear Sky in the swamps, but there will also be new areas and different environments. I am sure that we will be guests in Pripyat again.
The atmosphere of the game is also influenced by day and night changes as well as weather changes. A game mechanic that also worked well in Stalker – Call of Pripyat! The sheer size of the open world and the features that the game will offer are also reflects in the amount of hard drive space required and the general system requirements… 150 Gb of disk space is the minimum. The graphics card should have 8GB of RAM and the RAM shouldn’t be too tight with 16GB. That speaks for a next generation shooter of the extra class! The images of the demo already show an enormously high-quality graphics thanks to the Unreal Engine 4k, ray tracing, offers beautiful mirror and particle effects! Thanks to the already mentioned motion capture, the emotions of the characters are complex and well done. You can see more about this in the corresponding Dev Highlight.
Interesting story, mods, weapons and more!
About the story of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 – Heart of Chernobyl is only known that we slip into the role of “Skif”. A Loner who should investigate a mysterious energy source in the center of the zone… Let’s see if we will see old acquaintances and maybe even Strelok again… The story is not linear, which means that you can move freely in the open world. There will be many branching story lines! Of course, many side quests will again influence the course of the game in the short and long term. There will also be different endings. I’m especially happy about that because you can play through the game several times in this case!
In the trailer and the dev highlights were already some weapons to see! For example, the Gauss rifle that has an impressive reloading animation. In total there will be about 30 different weapons. These can be additionally enhanced with attachments and upgrades to heat up your opponents! There is aiming devices that can be equipped and changed without having to open the menu. In total, there should be over 100 different weapon variations through the various modifications. Speaking of modifications: Mod support is considered extremely important by the developers of the game. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. community is also very active in this regard, so it remains exciting what is still to come! Two expansions are already in planning by the developers, which is also good news!
Food already played a role in the previous parts of the Stalker series. It remains to be seen to what extent this will be continued in the new part of Stalker. Its interesting to see what will be introduced as an additional survival elements. All together, the trailer makes me hyped for more, promises a lot and the expectations sit high! But since GSC is the original developer of the series and they have already delivered good results in the previous Games I am confident about this!