STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is probably one of the most anticipated single-player games of 2024. 15 years later STALKER: Call of Pripyat, released in 2009, GSC Game World is close to completing this long-awaited sequel. This is unexpected, as the development of the Ukrainian game has gone through so many setbacks.
Despite several delays, the first-person shooter looks promising. The ambitious recipe of its predecessors is still in the program: a vast open world, customizable weapons to take down horrible mutants, surprising anomalies… so many things we can’t wait to rediscover, with the possibilities offered by the technology of 2024.
If you want to know everything about the game, below you will find a summary of all the information available on the STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobylwhich we will update regularly.
📅 When is the STALKER 2 Heart of Chornobyl release date?
STALKER 2 was first announced in 2010, for release in 2012. A false start, as the game was quickly canceled in December 2011, officially due to disputes between investors, developers and the intellectual property rights holder.
The current version was announced in May 2018, aiming for a 2021 release. Very ambitious: GSC Game World has finally announced April 22, 2022 as the first release date. The game then suffered a first delay that pushed the date back to December February 7, 2022 This was when the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place in February 2022 plunges STALKER 2 developers into a daily life punctuated by bombingspausing development until further notice.
Once the situation has stabilized and the studio has opened offices in Prague, development can resume after several months of uncertainty. In the process, the “Chernobyl”The Russification of the caption was changed to“Chornobyl“, to better reflect the Ukrainian spelling of the name. A name change that then causes the anger of Russian hackers, who are trying to blackmail GSC Game World. Unsuccessfully.
A first release date is first mentioned for December 2023. Finally, during Gamescom 2023, GSC Game World announces that the launch of STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is set to “1st quarter of 2024“. Bad luck for fans, the deadline is still missed by the developers.
On January 16th, the studio published a long message on X (Twitter) to explain that the release date is postponed again. GSC Game World justifies the delay with the need for refinement and optimization following feedback from players at the Gamescom presentation. The developers announce that release date of “definitive”from STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is now set for September 5, 2024.
What platforms will STALKER 2 be available on?
GSC Game World works hand in hand with Microsoft and During Gamescom 2023, a demo of the game could be played at the Xbox booth. Thus, STALKER 2 is announced for Xbox Series X/S and PC, where it can be pre-ordered on Steam, the Epic Games Store, the Microsoft Store and GOG. On both platforms, will be available on launch day on Xbox Game Passin the same way as Star field In September.
On PlayStation, you’ll have to show a little patience. In fact, confidential Microsoft documents published as part of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic show that the Xbox exclusivity window is only expected to last three months. The release of STALKER 2 on PS5 at the end of this period is therefore entirely plausible. Furthermore, GSC Game World claims to do “Do our best to ensure an equal level of gaming experience and immersion regardless of gaming platform“.
What gameplay can you expect from STALKER 2?
During Gamescom 2023, a brief 15-minute demo of STALKER 2 was playable, consisting of a concentrate of the elements that made its predecessors a success.
The player woke up in a field of anomalies, having had his leg bitten by a mutant dog. After getting rid of the animal, the objective was to leave this hostile place, launching the eternal darts that allowed the detection of invisible anomalies. The protagonist then heads towards a lake that turns out to be dangerously radioactive, which leads him to change his path to talk to an NPC who gives him a mission.
Notable change, the game will now feature a compass and an indicator to follow to complete the missions. A sign that he may be more accessibility than its predecessors, which required careful reading of the quest log and regular consultation of the map.
Resources will be scarce in the Zone and ammunition will have to be used sparingly. Thus, the demo required going from corpse to corpse to collect the magazines needed to eliminate the bad guys. Likewise, the weapons will be demanding, with strong recoil. To improve them it will be possible to customize them with accessories and mods, in the same way as in Call of Pripyat.
STALKER 2 will include a day-night cycle AND dynamic weather. Emissions, radioactive phenomena similar to storms resulting from excess energy in the center of the Zone, will return. At this point, you will have to find shelter as quickly as possible, otherwise you will die in excruciating pain. Survival mechanisms such as hunger, sleep, bleeding, the effects of radiation will also be present.
A multiplayer mode is also planned. GSC Game World has not yet given precise details about its terms, whether it will allow cooperative play or not, but the studio has confirmed that “multiplayer mode will be added to the game through a free update” after launch. Previous games offered this mod, however this is not the main selling point of STALKER, which remains above all an adventure to be experienced alone.
What is the story of the Heart of Chornobyl?
We don’t know much about the story of Heart of Chornobyl, except that we’ll play a stalker named Skif. On December 1st, the developers revealed a trailer for STALKER 2. We could see the return of Strider, a character from Call of Pripyat, veteran of the Monolith faction. This addresses the protagonist saying “Us”: In all likelihood, Skif will also be a former member of this failed faction.
The trailer makes several references to previous episodes. A man stands out, dressed in a suit and tie, an unusual outfit for the region. This one says: “We had a simple choice: sit back and wait for a great broadcast or take a chance and control this energy not normal“. A reference to the government’s attempt to Call of Pripyat to reach the center of the Zone.
Component Fans staging of STALKER will be delighted, the official GSC Gameworld website describes a game where choices will have a great influence on the story:
Know that all your choices and actions will have their own consequences, sometimes far from obvious. You can become a savior and a faithful friend, whose legends are sung around the stalker’s campfire. Or you can undertake difficult but lucrative missions on behalf of those who control the Zone – you are free to be whoever you want, including yourself.
What will the Zone be like in Heart of Chornobyl?
PC Gamer who was able to try the game demo describes a game “Irresistibly dark and disturbing, even more so than previous games, thanks to the much higher quality graphics and atmospheric lighting.” In fact, STALKER 2 Heart of Chornobyl will be animated by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. As mentioned previously, this will enable the management of a beautiful dynamic climate system.
The Zone this time will consist of a completely open world for the first time in the franchise’s history. In previous games, play areas were separated by specific access points. The developers claim it is “lone of the biggest open worlds in video games to date“, with more than 60 explorable square kilometers, which will require “over 100 hours of gameplay to explore its secrets“.
The A-Life 2.0 system will simulate life in the Zone in the most realistic way possible. The studio promises that the world will evolve beyond the player’s field of vision. Thus, factions and mutants will fight for “living space, they will migrate, occupy new places or retreat to safer areas”: the Zone will evolve throughout the game, ensuring greater replayability.