Unbelievable, but true: despite a fair amount of skepticism in the gaming environment and teasing about the now-meme-rendered loaf, STALKER 2 development is progressing at full speed. To the delight of fans of the GSC Game World series, they showed the first trailer of the new "Stalker", which at that hour became one of the main premieres of the Xbox Games Showcase presentation. But the good news does not end there and the developers have already rushed to share the actual details of the game, and we, in turn, decided to analyze the first trailer for STALKER 2.
STALKER 2 Trailer:
Official game details:
All information is taken from the project page on the Xbox gaming platform website and the official game page on Facebook.
STALKER 2 first trailer breakdown
In one of the first frames, we see the familiar surroundings of the city of Pripyat with a rusty Ferris wheel in the middle of the square and the skeletons of military equipment in the background. This shot is the most revealing in order to get an impression of the style and graphic features of the shooter. First of all, I would like to note the choice of dark colors by the developers, covering the street with fog and eternal autumn flora, creating a total depressing impression.
From a graphical point of view, STALKER 2 looks exactly as the next-gen project on Unreal Engine 4 should be. Separately, we note the abundance of details in the frame, whether it is vegetation that has sprouted through the asphalt, textures obtained using photogrammetry and in real "Live" picture achieved by the leaves and branches of trees fluttering in the wind, flying crows and a swaying Ferris wheel.
The next frame shows the tunnels of the underground complex. At the moment it is difficult to determine the type of premises, but judging by the working lighting, it can be assumed that this is one of the Chernobyl laboratories where monstrous experiments on people were carried out.
Continuing the analysis of the STALKER 2 trailer, we suggest paying special attention to the reflection in a puddle under a mysterious artifact. Based on the quality of the reflection, we can assume that the game uses ray tracing technology, although the developers have not yet had time to confirm its presence. Basically, the frame does not represent anything interesting, except that it surprises with the highest level of detail of foliage falling to the ground.
In the next shot, we see a flock of pseudo-dogs running and a flash of light glowing in blue behind them. Based on the color of the flash, we can assume that this is the effect of the activation of the Electra anomaly. Apparently, the mutants or stalkers led by the A-Life 2.0 system got into the anomalous focus, which caused the outbreak.
The action of the trailer is transferred inside the destroyed building and we can more clearly see the effect of activating "Electra". After being thrown with a bolt, which stalkers use to delineate the boundaries of the anomaly, the Electra is triggered and shoots the room with a strong electrical discharge. After the impact of the anomaly, the effect on the surrounding objects is especially noticeable: wires hanging from the ceiling, lamps, boxes, doors and even a massive bed on the floor react to the flash and fly off according to the laws of physics. It's rare when in open-world games there are locations with such an abundance of physically interactive objects, and one can only imagine how powerful abilities poltergeists will be able to possess.
Notable is the poster of the film "Stalker" by Andrey Tarkovsky hanging on the wall. The poster does not carry any actual value, but fans of the series should appreciate these Easter eggs.
In the new frame, the developers are once again showing off the physics engine. At the center of the exhibit is an unknown gravitational anomaly, which collapses and attracts surrounding objects, including liquids, cars, foliage and tree crowns. The deformation effect of the metal frame of the machines is especially remarkable. It is not known whether deformation occurs at the behest of scripts in STALKER 2, or whether cars and other objects are capable of bending in real time under external influence, but the effect is remarkable already because deformable materials are rarely used in the gaming industry.
We can also assume that, based on the spectacularity with which the anomaly is performed, when creating them, the developers use the approach that began to be applied in "Clear Sky", where almost every center of anomalies was a unique scene and a mini-puzzle.
In the next second of the trailer, GSC Game World employees successfully play on the nostalgic feelings of the fans of the series, showing the village of newcomers, from which "Shadows of Chernobyl" began. In this scene, we will note two important points: a much prettier animation, which obviously did not go without the use of motion-capture technology, and the saturation of the location with details.
The presence of electrically conductive poles, a standing car with a bush sprouting inside it, and the total number of details clearly indicates that the developers have taken a much more careful approach to recreating the visual diversity of the Zone. At the same time, the very appearance of the village of newcomers in the trailer "Stalker 2" is noteworthy. Judging by the developers' words about the creation of a world of impressive scale, one can expect that many locations from the original trilogy will return, since the developers are unlikely to stray far from the geography of the world built in the original trilogy, except that the distance between the significant places of the Zone will increase significantly.
In a new section of the trailer, we again go underground - inside one of the laboratories, where mutated human embryos are inside the flask. Dead embryos could be found in the previous parts, but it is in this scene that they are alive, which raises a number of questions. Judging by the shabby walls of the complex, it is safe to say that the moment in the trailer occurs much later than the disaster, but the electricity and, more importantly, the supply of nutrients to the bodies of the embryos continues, and the embryos themselves are still in the same tiny state, which is clearly at odds with basic logic.
I have three explanations for this situation:
Separately, we note a segment written on the flask from the verse "Katerina" by the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. Just in case, we note that during the years of Shevchenko's life, the word Moskal did not necessarily have a negative emotional connotation and was most often applied to USA officials, merchants and soldiers of the USA army, regardless of their ethnic origin.
Finishing the analysis of the STALKER 2 trailer, we will mention the last shots, where the Duga OGRLS is shown, which the developers wanted to add in the previous parts of the series. In front of it, we can see deciduous and coniferous trees with perhaps the most detailed crowns and advanced physics of vegetation in general, which leads to suspicions that we are unlikely to see this level of graphics in the full version of the game.
The trailer ends on the frame with the stalker walking in the direction of the ZGRLS "Duga". On his back hangs a Dragunov sniper rifle, which sways according to the laws of physics.
After analyzing the trailer, even with a strong desire, it is difficult to say what exactly awaits us in the game from a gameplay point of view. The developers deliberately abandoned the demonstration of the gameplay and focused their efforts on showing the graphics and atmosphere that will be possible with new technologies. But whether the second Stalker will actually look like this is an open question. Considering the studio's tiny size by industry standards and traditionally promised mountains of gold by the developers and the impressive scale of the world, it's hard to believe that GSC Game World will be able to bring the entire game to the level of detail shown.
But there is good news as well. Developers in return for temporary exclusiveness have enlisted the support of Microsoft, which will allow developers to win additional funds for the creation of the game. The enthusiastic reception of the game by the gaming community inspires even more joy: the official trailer has about a million views per day, which is even more than the first presentation of Halo Infinite gameplay - the main blockbuster of the generation on Microsoft platforms. Given the increased attention to the post-apocalyptic shooter, developers will definitely not be difficult to attract additional investment to the creation of the game. Finally, the release date for STALKER 2 on PC and Xbox Series X is still unknown.
The Topic of Article: STALKER 2 development is progressing at full speed.