In context: It's been over a decade since the last time fans of survival horror series STALKER received a new game to salivate over. The "latest" Stalker game, Stalker: Call of Pripyat, came out way back in 2009, and for a long time, it appeared as if the franchise was dead.
Fortunately, that wasn't the case, after all. In 2018, Stalker 2 was finally announced, though very few details about the game were given, and the project went dark for another couple of years. The silence was broken yet again earlier this year, when Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World released the first screenshots for the game and a message advising fans to stay tuned for more information later this year.
Today, that information finally arrived during Microsoft's Xbox Series X Games Showcase. At the event, Stalker 2 got its first-ever trailer, which gives us an idea of the tone and atmosphere that the game will possess when it finally launches.
In the trailer, grim music plays over footage of various creepy environments, including an abandoned schoolhouse, a run-down forest hamlet with a few NPCs milling about, an all-but-destroyed playground, among others. The trailer is fully cinematic, so don't expect to see any gameplay, but the graphics -- which appear to be in-engine -- look quite beautiful nonetheless. The lighting is especially impressive, which is perhaps unsurprising since that's one of the major improvements next-gen consoles hope to bring to the table.
Since the trailer is a bit light on gameplay details, GSC Game World has created a small FAQ on the official Stalker 2 website to shed some light on its latest project. According to the dev, Stalker 2 will be a "unique blend" of FPS, immersive sim, and horror, much like its predecessors. However, Stalker 2 will stand out with one of the "biggest open-worlds to date," along with an "epic branching story" boasting multiple endings.
Stalker 2 does not have a release date yet, but GSC Game World has confirmed that it will be a timed Xbox Series X exclusive on launch. That does not, of course, mean that it will only be available on Microsoft's console -- it will release simultaneously across Xbox Game Pass, the Series X, and PC on day one, giving players plenty of options to get their hands on the title.
We'll be sure to keep you in the loop as more information about Stalker 2 comes to light, but for now, it's just nice to see signs of life in this decade-old franchise.