S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action
Developer: GSC Game World
Release Date: 2023

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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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14. 'S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl' (XSX/PC)

by Judy on Jan. 18, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

The explosive combination of first-person shooter, immersive sim and horror is back in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, unprecedented in scale, advanced graphics, freedom of choices and the thickest atmosphere of a deadly adventure.

Redmond Carolipio: If we're going to be talking about games people have been waiting a long time for, the discussion has to involve this game, which would be the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game in more than a decade. I'm anticipating this mainly because of the passage of time and how the setting of alternate-world Chernobyl will translate onto consoles. I look at the series as a precursor to the awesome Metro games, which were a fusion of FPS and pure survival, with a touch of terror mixed in.

Tony "OUberLord" Mitera: I've always been unapologetically in love with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise. It's something about the game's dour setting, immersive gameplay, and a world that feels like it goes on without revolving around your actions. Now the fourth game in the franchise, it will be interesting to see how the title manages to make things feel fresh given it is dealing with the same exclusion zone that all the previous offerings have explored in their own ways. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has the most to live up to in my list of anticipated games this year.

Rainier Van Autrijve: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was a revolutionary game in many respects, and it was critically acclaimed even though it was plagued by bugs. Developer GSC Game World announced the sequel S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in 2010, and that's where things went sideways. The follow-up was canceled, revived, and canceled again in 2012 when GSC Game World shut down. The developer resurfaced in 2018 to say that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was back on. It has clearly benefitted from all the new technology that has been developed in the past decade. While S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is set in the same location, in-game time has moved on, and The Zone has evolved. Some areas have devolved further, while others seem to have recovered with new fauna and flora. New abilities, anomalies and enemies have to be dealt with in a much larger world. While the game was scheduled for April 2022, it has recently delayed to Dec. 8, 2022. Let's hope this is not an omen ....



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