Stalker 2: Ukrainian studio G.S.C. Game World is hard at work on the sequel to their survival horror first-person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R., titled S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl. It will be the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game since 2009’s Call of Pripyat to be released on consoles, the fourth game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, and it will be available for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox Series X/S.
It was announced after Call of Pripyat came out and was scheduled for release in 2012, it was scrapped that same year. Later, in 2018, development was restarted on the game using Unreal Engine 5.
It was supposed to come out on December 8, 2022, but production was halted because of the conflict in Ukraine. Later, though, the team announced on their official Discord server that they are still hard at work on it and that a 2023 release date has been set.
Stalker 2 Release Date
The anticipated release date for Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is 2023. There’s no exact release date yet, but its Steam page lists a release window of December 2023.
Initially, the sequel was set to release in April 2022 before a delay into December. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, G.S.C. Game World could continue developing. Even though work has resumed on the game, the ongoing conflict has slowed progress.
Will there be a P.C. version of Stalker 2?
Yes! Even though previous entries in the Stalker series were only available on PC, Stalker 2 is a “console launch exclusive” for Xbox. That’s a bit chaotic phrase, but it doesn’t mean P.C. players will have to wait. It’s bad news for PlayStation fans who were hoping for a solution.
The official website for Stalker 2 announces that it will be available for P.C. simultaneously with the Xbox 360 version.
Does the war have any effect on Stalker 2?
The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is home to G.S.C. Game World. In the wake of Russia’s declaration of war on February 24, it was one of the first game studios to issue a statement, which read in part: “Our nation awoke to the sounds of gunfire and explosions, but it is still well-prepared to defend its freedom and independence.
While we can only speculate about what lies ahead, rest assured that Ukraine’s armed forces and our faith in them remain rock solid.” While Russian troops bombarded the city in March, G.S.C. Game World put the sequel on hold.
A promotional video meant to highlight the studio’s mocap work instead became a political statement. Declaring, “Now we are striving to help our employees and their families survive,” the report emphasized the company’s dedication to its workers. The progress on the game was put on hold.
While Stalker 2 was put on hold in March, reports indicate that G.S.C. Game World is relocating its development headquarters to Prague. During that time, the subtitle for Stalker 2 was changed from Chornobyl to Heart of Chornobyl to reflect the Ukrainian rather than the Russian spelling of the city.
Late in May, a community representative named Mol1t announced on Discord that development had resumed, stating that “it continues” and “the work is in progress.” Due to the ongoing disruption caused by the invasion, a postponement until 2023 was announced soon after.
In June, G.S.C. Game World released a dev diary video that discussed the effects of the war on the studio’s day-to-day operations in Ukraine. The video features G.S.C. developers discussing their makeshift offices, the frequent disruptions from air raid sirens or the need to evacuate to bomb shelters, and their efforts as community volunteers and enlisted members of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Pre-orders of Stalker 2 were refunded in September due to a change in Microsoft policy, and the game was removed from the Xbox store. A GSC representative responded to the rumors by denying any further delays to the release of Stalker 2.
STALKER 2 is getting a new gameplay trailer tomorrow.
“Enjoy the first new gameplay trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in nearly six months as its Ukrainian developers show us their progress on the upcoming FPS.”https://t.co/f8Lximp8cU pic.twitter.com/HzyVU8ecMF
— Okami Games (@Okami13_) December 28, 2022
Is the inclusion of NFTs in Stalker 2?
The answer was initially yes, but later changed to no; at this point, I’m crossing my fingers that the answer remains no. On December 15, G.S.C. Game World announced its partnership with NFTs, a blockchain-based auction system allowing players to have their faces superimposed onto N.P.C.s or gain access to “unique” items.
Not for long, though. The next day, NFT’s involvement with Stalker 2 was retracted, proving that NFTs were not the answer to “what are ya selling?” As things stand, it seems like Stalker 2 won’t be affected by the non-fungible token fad sweeping the internet.
The Zone will not let the stalkers be giftless. On New Year’s Eve especially! So iron your SEVA suits, open up ration cans and tune the receivers to #IGN waves.
New S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl trailer incoming tomorrow at 21:00 EET!https://t.co/erzct68quM pic.twitter.com/1rZZ0B6g2K
— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) December 28, 2022
What game engine does Stalker 2 use?
Stalker 2 has moved from the Unreal four engine to the much-anticipated Unreal five engine. The initial delay that forced the release into 2022 may have been caused, in part, by a switch in engines.
As a result of the switch in engines, many alterations have been made, including the addition of visually appealing new characters and weapons. Now when we face off against our enemies in the Zone, we won’t just see the whites of their eyes but also the not-so-whites of their teeth.
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