STALKER 2 Heart Of Chernobyl - Open World, Advanced AI & Mutants!
The next official chapter of the open-world, first-person shooter, action-survival game coming directly from Ukraine both literally and story-wise; S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (written as СТАЛКЕР in Cyrillic alphabet) is expected to arrive with loads of improvements and one-of-a-kind gameplay mechanics to further expand the universe of the franchise. It has been quite some time from the original predecessors that came out more than 10 years ago; but with such an incredible track record, atmosphere and tone, a live community of over 5 million active members and captivating story it is surely a hit in the genre. Our team is certainly excited to go through the entirety of known up to now information about this Stalker 2 game title and offer you a review of things to come.
So let’s start exploring into the upcoming events from within the Exclusion zone.
Bumpy development of Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl and release date
As you may know the Stalker 2 release date was initially announced in 2010 and the title was set for a 2012 release, but got cancelled out of nowhere that very same year. It later got revived due to the huge and active fan base that cherishes the series and the numerous mods in between of the official titles. The game is expected to get published for Xbox series S/X and the PC gaming realms but the announced date for 2021 also got re-scheduled for late April in 2022. What we know for certain about the new Stalker game by the GSC Game studio based in Kyiv is officially named; S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl .
Currently the Chernobyl game is in its PRE-ORDER stage, coming in three different Editions (STANDARD/ DELUXE/ ULTIMATE) with various bonuses that include Costumes & Weapon skins, the Official Soundtrack and even extra Story Expansions. The recommended system requirements are quite hefty in order to represent the much more detailed terrain as well as to apply the planned and advanced visual effects in the graphics on everything you encounter into this post-apocalyptic world of ruin and unknown dangers. The title was recently confirmed to run on Unreal Engine 5 technology, as it was announced in the middle of this year, on a special anniversary event, so we should get some really serious level of quality work and a neat build from day one.
The devs have made it clear to implement an array of new and exciting options as well as upcoming multiplayer and mod support right after release, because the modding scene has been one of the main reasons for the game’s relevance for more than a decade now and the tradition seems to be kept as a philosophy by the studio. Our advice is to make sure you set a reminder for a Stalker game order in the coming weeks, you will thank us later! Now let’s dive into more details regarding the upcoming title.
The grim setting and amazing world building
The story follows the events from the previous games and as we continue our dark adventure in the depths of the radiation-filled lands around the city of Pripyat and the Chernobyl power plant, that have suffered a series of major disasters, causing different atrocious anomalies to occur and be experienced all around. The zone we got introduced to in the first installments of the series had time collapses and surges of different matter distortions and breaks in reality, as well as mutated inhabitants and mysteriously bent, to a very twisted degree, laws of physics that we could easily describe as highly worrisome.
Quite frankly, radiation and pollution are the least of your problems, when you are roaming the abolished streets of the notorious city with it’s “stuck in time” look and pass by some of the more iconic and famous local landmarks that have been overtaken over by nature, debris and despair equally. As a Stalker you set on a quest in the danger zones to get the opportunity to discover anomalous artifacts scattered in different locations across the maps.
These items could be useful in many ways to boost your character’s stats and to be able to adapt to the harsh conditions you are facing all throughout this desolate world. Stalker 2 Trailers have shown some in-game footage that impressed us with a great level of detail and we are going to discuss some of the main features in the following paragraphs.
The synopsis of Stalker Heart of Chernobyl, characters and protagonis
You get a new highly customizable hero in this chapter. We walk in the shoes of Skif who is a Stalker by trade, going through the exclusion zone with a very good success rate and streak of artifact findings. After years on the job he has some extraordinary stories to tell, as shown on the trailer as other mercenaries and bandits admire his courage to go deeper into the Zone’s perimeter, and stand witness to the incredible hazards that lurk in there. Since few return to tell about it, he is revered as a skillful and highly capable Stalker.
The basic and primal instincts for survival in this title should be trained in order to manage and not become a mutant wandering in this volatile place yourself. You are going to meet some new people and understand better their personal tragic or messed up stories, but also familiar characters and fractions like “the Group” and “the Monolith” as well as creepy enemy types such as the emblematic for the series; bloodsuckers, but there is also going to be a new guild introduced in the Heart of Chernobyl that has just been hinted for by the developers, so we do not have a lot of information about their origin or story at this stage.
The company might decide to keep them completely surrounded in mystery up to the very release, or give further hints at a later point in promoting the title to bring even more hype from the already impatient community. So grab your detectors now and let’s go explore the vast world together.
Level of realism and lifelike dialogue
The game’s dynamic is fluid and with realistic environments and weather conditions that are perfectly synchronized in order to make you feel as if you are personally brooding in the murky waters or polluted underground tunnels. The engine supports amazing element physics that just offer huge immersion potential. All the storms, rain, fires and meteorological phenomena seem to be very realistically represented and with impressive sound scapes so that the simulation is complete and brings you in on the horrific and cruel scenery that the game’s levels are set in.
This entry in the revolving around Chernobyl game series has gone to great lengths to implement motion capture technology for most of the NPCs in order for them to look, talk and behave in an ultra-realistic manner during the dialogues and in the interaction you have with them. All speech has been captured and performed by real actors and this just shows how involved in the production level the team is since each character has a unique set of teeth. There is even a cameo by the game’s creator at one of the campfire scenes!
Another thing to point out about the environment is the decay that shows the years of corrosion and exposure to the forces which have taken their toil on the rustic structures and concrete blocks from the past. Nature tried to regain this place, but seems to struggle to do so, remaining a bit constricted to regain this land of lost hopes and destroyed urban infrastructure from a long-gone period in history. The Exclusion zone has a life of its own and a vivid vision for things to happen in a certain way and speaking of great and interesting features here is the next one on our review list.
Weapon assembly and equipment
The system to build your own modifications in-game has gotten an upgrade as well and hardcore fans would enjoy their newly equipped gadgets, since as per usual the game retains its formula of strikingly early increasing difficulty and resource management requirements from the player that is so typical for the fight or flee principle we all know too well. You would have to be careful with your inventory and stay relatively light to advance and traverse the dangerous swamps or hills in the barren lands or manage to escape an unnecessary fight that could potentially save you precious ammo on your adventure through the radiation zone’s hostile surroundings. You are going to have to prove yourself skilled enough with the little resources you get and be creative in your ways to avoid confrontation when and as often as possible. Specific details about the array of weapons have not been yet given out, but in the Stalker trailersso far we spotted some of the expected rifles and grenades we should use to go through the areas and futuristic looking weaponry that surely packs an impressive punch, but should be used scarcely and with caution. Featured again are your trusty anomaly detection tools that you rely on at all times to identify danger and risky stunts to find and gain artifacts or monsters to battle with.
Region accurate and localization
The new Stalker game takes place in the familiar settings of historically and geographically accurate models for the region in Ukraine. The accuracy level of the frontiers and nature as well as composition of building models resemble the originals quite a bit and have a high level of representation to the real place, supported by the facts the studio is set in the same country that has had the real-life incident and the people behind the title have been doing field trips to map out the grounds even for the previous titles in the series.
Another feature to point out here is that Stalker 2 could be played in multiple languages. There are going to be three voiced versions of the game including English, Ukrainian and Russian languages, getting expressed in a great detail and level of accuracy for the official translation. What’s more are the numerous subtitle packs in 10 more languages available in the settings so that it could be internationally appreciated and accessible for players from all around the world. There have been multiple discussions about Stalker in reddit for years now, so we are happy to see such care for the fans from the team behind the franchise. The community has grown so much that there has been not just a single Stalker game meme thrown around over the years. This brings us to the last very important aspect of the game on our list:
What about the multiplayer mode and official mod support of Stalker 2?
With such a vibrant community supporting the project and an active modding scene keeping the franchise relevant to this day, it is surely going to attract huge attention among players everywhere. There is a sure promise for a series of multiplayer modes coming after the official release as a free feature and update to the non-linear next-gen game. We are sure the game is going to be well-populated with many Stalkers in no time.
The game has full controller support for each of its versions, leaving just one question boggles us still, is there going to be a Stalker 2 PS5 release hitting the video game store at this point? It does seem unlikely because the announcements have mainly been confirming and gravitating around the PC and Xbox series S/X releases, but a consequential cross-platform release might not be completely out of the question on a later stage. We are going to keep our eyes and ears open about this one and would cover it if it gets any official addressing since nowadays exclusive titles are a bit of a rarity.
In case you decide to pre-purchase S.T.A.K.E.R 2 and you would need to decide which game version to go for in the online gaming shop, they all come with an 18+ rating and at a different price, but we should point out the Ultimate edition offers early access to large-scale expansions, that other players get at a later stage, a season pass and all types of digital content you might have to have a look at the official website of the game. So keep your patience a bit longer and maybe book for a pre order of Stalker 2 game key. During this time get your best Stalker game up in preparation and on par and as much as you possibly can, since this entry will not go down lightly.