STALKER 2 got a new trailer during the extended Xbox Games Showcase today, taking you into the Zones. The Zone, in which you’ll experience the game, is an open environment teeming with mutants, anomalies, artifacts, and enemy factions. It’s probably not a place you’d like to casually drive around in a truck. And yet, that’s what we see a man doing in the trailer as narration clues us into the story of STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl. The trailer also confirms a new release window of 2023.
In any game, film, or show in which there’s a disaster or threat of one, I always feel cautious when someone says everything is fine. Because that usually means everything is not fine, so far. The narration during the ‘Enter the Zone’ trailer for STALKER 2 throws out such red flags. Two unseen parties discuss the perimeter of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The doctor assures his asker that, yes, “the zone has remained stable for years.”
However, the asker clearly expressed some doubts with the question. I have a feeling that the perimeter surrounding the area, unstable with radiation and anomalies, will be just fine. Yes, just fine.
Hey, you’re awake. Welcome to Hell
However, as we see in the STALKER 2 trailer, not all is fine in the zone. We watch as a truck drives along a road, angry orange clouds roaring just above. As the person in the back begins stirring to consciousness, the truck begins to lose power. Shortly after, an anomaly bursts into existence, and the driver veers off the road. Everything is okay. I’m assuming we witnessed an early scene of the game. The person in the back could be the player character as they’re being carted into the zone. It makes sense, as the introduction in the trailer is close to how the original game began.
The trailer followed a short developer diary. In it, members of the Ukrainian developer of STALKER, GSC Game World, discuss the challenges of creating a game amid the Russian attack on their country. Despite the fact that the war hasn’t been dominating headlines as much lately, it is ongoing. The team describes what it’s like to try and make STALKER 2 while also performing humanitarian duties like volunteer work. It’s a tough watch, but an important one. After a delay, development of the game was paused back in March, but started again not long ago.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl‘s launch has been moved to 2023, according to the trailer.