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Highly anticipated: In celebration of the 14th anniversary of the original game Stalker, studio GSC Game World released a developer diary to show its current progress with the sequel Stalker 2. The game is due out sometime this year but still has not gotten a specific release date or launch window.
After two cancelations and a six-year hiatus, GSC Game World is well aware that fans are getting anxious to play Stalker 2. So the studio thought Friday would be a good day to update players on how the game is coming along. The video (above) teased character models, weapons, and teeth. Teeth? Yes. Teeth.
First off, the models look amazing. The attention to detail is phenomenal. Backpacks show scuff marks and wear, clothing looks old with stray threads protruding here and there, and the textures are close to photorealistic. Despite how great the models look so far, GSC's Zak Bocharov says they are still "a work in progress." If these are the unfinished details, it's hard to imagine what else the devs will do with them.
Likewise, the weapons are just as detailed. These aren't pristine guns straight from the factory. Metal shows rust and pitting, wood shows wear and fade spots, and some have jury-rigged repairs made with duct tape. There are also various intricate details in the weapon textures. For example, the shotgun has an ornate etching on the jointing depicting a duck-hunting scene (below).
The game will have over 30 different weapons. Firearms are modular, so different attachments like grenade launchers, laser sights, and flashlights can be placed on the base models. Bocharov didn't go so far as to say weapons would be modifiable by the player, but that would not be an unreasonable assumption.
Now, what is this thing about teeth? Apparently, the team is so obsessed with the smallest of details that they created a unique "teeth tool."
"We worked a lot to fill the world with a decent amount of memorable details," explained Bocharov. "And sometimes it takes us to completely unexpected realms. Literally, every human in Stalker 2 has a one-of-a-kind smile."
The teeth tool allows character designers to remove teeth, make them crooked, or replace them with dental crowns. Just as in real life, no two people have the same dental pattern, neither do they in Stalker 2. Players are not going to pay much attention to this minutiae when the bullets are flying. Still, this obsessive attention to detail shows how the team is dedicated to making the game graphically spectacular.
Bocharov didn't have any updates on a release date. Last we heard, Stalker 2 releases sometime this year as an Xbox Series X|S and PC exclusive.However, it will likely only be a timed exclusive because GSC spent much effort creating a new multi-platform game engine, which it probably does not want to see go to waste. So hang in there if you've been waiting. It shouldn't be too much longer.