S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl Gets New Trailer and Playtime Revealed

Heart of Chornobyl

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl received a new story trailer this week, alongside a reveal of the playtime to expect for the title.

GSC Game World released a new trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, the long-awaited new title in their hallmark franchise. The developers released the video to celebrate winning the title of the most wanted game at the PC Gaming Show, beating over 130 other games.

The video mostly focuses on a returning NPC from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat named Strider. Strider delivers an emotional speech, hearkening back to the last time you met. “You asked me about my good luck charm, remember?” he says, tears welling in his eyes. “Suddenly, the voice of Monolith was gone. I felt as if I was awakening from a years-long coma”, he announces, making clear that something has radically changed in the zone since our last visit to the zone.

While the trailer’s story implications are mostly fodder for wild debate, the technical prowess showcased in this video is not. You seldom see NPCs cry, and certainly not tears that seem this convincing. The performance capture used for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 appears to be cutting-edge and at least on par with recent performance heavyweight Alan Wake 2. Facial motion and especially the animation of the entire mouth section are excellent, delivering the severity and urgency in the characters’ voices very effectively. The attention to detail continues in the shaders for cloth, how clothing animates, deforms, and behaves, as well as a most impressively detailed animation of a person disassembling an AK-style gun.

Heart of Chornobyl

We also learned the approximate time you will have to schedule to fit in a visit to the zone. According to an interview by Chinese magazine Gamersky, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2‘s main story will take about 40 hours to complete. However, players will apparently be able to play for hundreds of hours if they want to finish everything. The game will have four distinct endings, which is not unexpected given that Shadow of Chernobyl had seven endings. Additionally, some side quests will offer multiple possible endings that can impact the player’s overall experience.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl has had more than a troubled development story with GSC Game World being based in Kyiv. However, the title is still scheduled for release in Q1 of 2024. It will be available on Xbox Series S|X (including Gamepass) and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG.

Check out the full Strider trailer here:

YouTube video

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