Developer GSC Game World released the first official screenshot of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (STALKER 2) on its Twitter account earlier today. The picture showcases an abandoned picnic area in a decayed forest. Most interesting is the inclusion of one of the series’s anomalies, which are dangerous black holes.
Here is your first glimpse at S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: pic.twitter.com/HGOixm11M7
— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 23, 2020
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl originally released back in 2007, and the entire series has taken place in an alternate history where a second explosion occurs at the Chernobyl power plant in Russia. Two other titles were released shortly afterward, a prequel called Clear Sky in 2008 and a sequel called Call of Pripyat in 2009. However, the attempt at a sequel had largely been in development hell.
Originally announced in 2010, development on the first attempt at a sequel was delayed in 2011 and officially cancelled in 2012. To the surprise of fans, the first-person shooter was announced to be back in development in May 2018 with the studio aiming for a 2021 release date. Earlier this year, the Ukrainian developer confirmed that this iteration of STALKER 2 is entirely original and not looking to pick up where the previous attempt, which later leaked online in a playable state, left off.
Shadow of Chernobyl was praised upon release due to its depth and heavily detailed post-apocalyptic setting. However, the ambitious title was also criticized for having a number of bugs upon release. The franchise shares many similarities with 4A Games’ Metro series of shooters as former GSC Game World employees Andrew Prokhorov, Oles Shyshkovtsov, and Alexander Maximchuk left the company in 2006 to form their own studio.