Stalker 2 is only slightly overdue. The first-person shooter survival horror title was originally announced back in 2010, the title has been cursed by a number of issues beginning with GSC Game World’s initial dissolution in 2011. The project was officially scrapped in 2012, but in 2014, GSC Game World came back from the dead, and Stalker 2 was officially announced at E3 2018. At this year’s E3 showing, fans got to see the first full gameplay trailer during the Microsoft/Bethesda conference, with the release date finally set as April 28, 2022. Thinking back to 2007’s Stalker, there was plenty of action and slaughter to be had–but it looks like the sequel will allow players to utilize more stealth tactics. If you’d prefer to tiptoe your way into enemy territory rather than announce yourself with the echo of gunfire, you’re in luck.
Players in Stalker 2 will be placed in an absolutely gigantic 64 square kilometer expanse within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Radiation issues aside, players will need to look out for bandits, mutants, and all manner of strangeness as they progress through the area. It looks like noisy assasults won’t be the only way to accomplish certain missions, as the team has already mentioned that being sneaky will have it’s benefits this time around. If you’re not looking to absolutely murder everything in your path on the way to victory, you won’t need to.
Other games in the Stalker series, like Shadow of Chernobyl or Call of Pripyat, probably wouldn’t be so fun when trying out the same level of stealthy gameplay. Being older titles, the AI and general clunkiness would lead to more frustration than fun, so we wouldn’t reccomend it.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl is scheduled to release on April 28, 2022, on PC and Xbox Series X/S. It will arrive on other platforms later. If the stealthy stuff doesn’t have you fired up, don’t forget about the incredibly bizarre addition of fully customizable teeth for NPCs. Really.