Back in 2018, GSC Gameworld announced the long-awaited game STALKER 2, a decade-in-the-making new entry in the open-world STALKER series. Set in a suped-up version of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, GSC game director Evgeniy Grygorovych has a lot to say (in PC Gamer Magazine) about what all might have changed from previous games in the series, such as how the Exclusion Zone has aged.
“…locations and environments have become even more obsolete and abandoned, as a significant time has passed in this frozen world. This is why the contrast between technology and abandonment feels even stronger.”
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in STALKER is a place that is crawling with mutants, radiation, bandits, and anomalies that can not only destroy your gear, but your character if you’re not careful. These threats all make the Zone an extremely dangerous place, especially with the reveal of new threats, such as when Grygorovych revealed the existence of the Fire Whirlwind anomaly. This makes things more difficult, considering your mission in STALKER 2 is to collect artifacts to sell outside the Zone. However, Grygorovych also implies there are ways around these various threats to complete your mission.
“The temperature is too high and the artifact from the center cannot be retrieved. We don’t want to spoil the solution, but there is a way to fetch the artifact.”
Along with the collapse of most of Chernobyl’s buildings and the creation of a variety of new anomalies that have been caused by the Zone and everything in it, the game’s faction systems have also gone through a change. While there are a few factions that are familiar, such as the Zone-worshipping Monolith cult, there are also a number of new factions, such as the Ward faction that runs the Zone like they’re its police. But, according to Grygorovych, even in the same faction, characters can have different aims.
“Several characters of conflicting ideologies can even be found in the same faction. Even within the [GSC Gameworld], I see people argue about the choices [their characters] have made.”
With all of this in mind, and a whole new story for players to go through as they travel the Zone, STALKER 2 promises to be a big adventure full of horrifying things for you to discover. So many, in fact, that Grygorovych is confident you won’t find everything in one playthrough. The game is set to release April 28 of 2022, exclusively for the Xbox Series X and PC.