Stalker 2 is coming. The long-awaited follow-up to the Stalker sequence, dearly beloved despite its jankiness, will return gamers to The Zone of Alienation, a closely contaminated and very harmful space between the borders of Ukraine and Belarus.

The first-person survival shooter sequence is understood for its bleak environment, terrifying monsters and mutants, and very unforgiving fight. Fans (together with myself) have been ready for over a decade for a sequel initially introduced all the way in which again in 2010.

Here’s all the pieces we find out about Stalker 2.

What is Stalker 2’s launch date?

The Stalker 2 launch date is December 8, 2022, in line with an announcement from GSC Game World in January, which defined that it was being delayed from its earlier April date so the builders might “fulfill our vision”. However, that was earlier than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which pressured GSC Game World to droop work. Though improvement has now resumed, it appears probably the discharge date will have to be pushed again once more.

Will Stalker 2 be on PC?

Yes! The Stalker sequence has all the time been on PC, however Stalker 2 can be a “console launch exclusive” on Xbox. That’s a complicated phrase, nevertheless it does not imply PC gamers must wait. It simply means PlayStation homeowners will likely be out of luck. Stalker 2’s official site states the PC model will launch concurrently with the Xbox model.

How has Stalker 2 been affected by the conflict? 

GSC Game World is predicated in Kyiv, the capital metropolis of Ukraine. When Russia declared conflict on February 24, it was one of many first game improvement studios to talk out, with an announcement that learn, partially: “Our country woke up with the sounds of explosions and weapons fire, but is ready to defend its freedom and independence, for it remains strong and ready for anything. The future is unknown, but we hope for the best, are ever sure of our armed forces and our belief in Ukraine.”

In March, with town underneath heavy bombardment and Russian troops massing outdoors it, GSC Game World paused improvement on Stalker 2. A video that had been meant to showcase the studio’s mocap work as an alternative grew to become a robust assertion, exhibiting how priorities had shifted. “Now we are striving to help our employees and their families to survive”, it declared. “The game development shifted to the sidelines.”

During the next pause, the spelling of Stalker 2’s subtitled was modified to Heart of Chornobyl, reflecting the Ukrainian fairly than the Russian spelling of Chornobyl.

In late May, group consultant Mol1t defined that improvement had resumed, saying on Discord that “it continues” and “the work is in progress.” No assertion has been made on on whether or not the discharge will have to be additional delayed as a result of pause.

Let’s watch some Stalker 2 trailers

Above you’ll be able to level your keen anomaly detectors (your eyes, I imply) on the Stalker 2 trailer proven at E3. It begins, as all the pieces Stalker-related ought to, with a bunch of mercenaries sitting round a fireplace whereas somebody performs the guitar. Then we get a have a look at some gunplay as a Stalker, named Skif, raids a camp. It’s a bit extra Call of Duty than we would count on from Stalker fight, which usually includes being actual cautious and never speeding headlong into a bunch of enemies. 

We additionally see some on-the-fly weapon modding, some fairly nice-looking explosions, and an encounter with a bloodsucker—a monster seasoned Stalker gamers are fairly accustomed to.

Then there’s an expedition right into a bleak-looking swamp to search out an artifact. It positively seems to be very Stalker-y, as we see a headcrab-esque monster get sucked into an anomaly, and Skif makes use of a brand new detector and a few thrown bolts to keep away from one other, adopted by the acquisition of a treasured artifact.

If you wish to get a blow-by-blow rationalization from the devs themselves, you may also watch highlights from the identical trailer with some commentary under, where we study there is a small element that hints at a brand new (probably army) faction. There’s additionally a cameo on the finish from Sergiy Grygorovych, founding father of GSC Game World.

If you wish to see some earlier footage from Stalker 2, there was additionally a teaser again in 2020 that “demonstrates the level of graphics and atmosphere we are aiming to achieve on release” in addition to an in-engine teaser.

Will Stalker 2 critically have NFTs?

Well sure, however then no, and now hopefully it continues to be no. On December 15, GSC Game World introduced a tie-in with NFTs—a type of blockchain public sale for gamers to have the ability to get themselves scanned onto the faces of NPCs, or have entry to “unique” gadgets. 

This didn’t final very lengthy. The following day NFT involvement with Stalker 2 was retracted, proving that the reply to ‘what are ya promoting?’ was not, certainly, NFTs.

So for now, it seems Stalker 2 will likely be secure from the scourge of the non-fungible token development working amok on the web.

(Image credit score: GSC Game World)

What engine is Stalker 2 working on?

Though beforehand Stalker 2 was being developed for Unreal 4, it is now shifted to the hotly anticipated Unreal 5. A change in engine could also be a part of the rationale for the preliminary delay that pushed its launch into 2022

With this engine change comes a bevy of enhancements, together with some fairly fairly characters and weapons. Now we are able to count on to see each the whites of their eyes and the not-so-whites of their enamel when confronting enemies within the Zone.

There’s a real open world this time

The maps within the earlier Stalker video games had been huge, however they weren’t totally open worlds. While sizable, they had been damaged up into chunks and also you had been funneled via a number of particular entry factors to journey between them.

Stalker 2 will formally be a seamless open world game. “For the first time in the series, the Zone will be yours to explore as a post-apocalyptic open-world—one of the biggest ones to date,” says GSC Game World.

(Image credit score: GSC Game World)

A-Life has been upgraded

There’s loads of simulation occurring in Stalker video games. Members of the varied human factions wander the Zone, similar as you, and there are all kinds of mutants and creatures creeping round on the market too. 

These completely different entities conflict and work together, even if you’re not round to see it. In the earlier video games, a system known as A-Life simulated the world and its inhabitants, and now an upgraded A-Life 2.0 will do the identical in Stalker 2.

What is Stalker 2 about?

Not a lot in regards to the story has been revealed, however the situation sounds much like that of the earlier video games. “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.”

The story will likely be non-linear, and GSC says, “Your choices will influence both short-term consequences and global outcomes.”

(Image credit score: GSC Gameworld)

Ray tracing and determination

GSC has confirmed RTX help for Stalker 2 on the Xbox Series X and Series S, and 4k decision for the Series X, which suggests we are able to safely assume the identical options will come to PC. Expect to see loads of reflections in these radioactive puddles.

Do I’ve to play the opposite Stalker video games earlier than I play Stalker 2?

Yes, you do. That’s not official, that is simply my private directive to you as a result of two of the Stalker video games (Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat) are glorious.

If you need a second opinion, GSC Game World has its personal reply to that query: Yes, you do.

“Stalker 2 is a standalone project that can be enjoyed on its own,” it mentioned on GSC’s site. “At the same time, we recommend to complete the previous games for the maximum level of immersion.”

So, sure. You do. You’d higher get began!

Will Stalker 2 help modding?

The unique Stalker sequence is stored contemporary by a passionate and devoted modding group. And GSC plans to help modders with Stalker 2 as nicely. “We’re fully committed to make modding as simple as possible on day one.”

Hey, what does S.T.A.L.Ok.E.R. stand for once more?

Yep, the game is definitely S.T.A.L.Ok.E.R. 2, which is far peskier to kind than Stalker 2. And the letters (supposedly, as a result of the story is a bit difficult) stand for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers, and Robbers.

Which one will you be? Probably the entire above.