STALKER 2: What is a Stalker?
The next survival horror RPG STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl has a solid pedigree to match. GSC Game World launched the HARLER franchise in 2007 with STALKER: The Shadow of Chernobylfollowed by expansions Clear sky and Call of Pripyat. Every game, regardless of its individual stories and mechanics, is always centered around the same group of individuals: the stalkers.
Stalkers have a rich history in the world of HARLER and the Zone they are exploring. From the Solitaires who mentor players during the game’s opening hours, to the other powerful factions of stalkers vying for dominance, survival in the Zone revolves around these individuals.
The story of bullies
In the games timeline, after the second Chernobyl disaster in 2006, the Ukrainian government attempted to contain the new “Zone of Alienation” where the laws of physics had been disrupted, leading to the appearance of fantastical anomalies and phenomena. horrible mutants. The army was sent in to deal with the threat, only to be pushed back 60 km from the center of the zone, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The military established a fortified perimeter and prohibited anyone from entering the Zone. However, the lure of impossible phenomena and the prospect of lucrative gains for area artifacts proved stronger than the army could contain. Trespassers have started pouring into the area, with these illegal prospectors branded as “stalkers” who are ordered to be shot on sight.
In practice, experienced stalkers quickly became the most reliable way to extract artifacts from the area, and everyone from private collectors to state-sanctioned conservationists began employing stalkers to track down the objects. valuable. Like the Spartans of Subway series, good stalkers excel at surviving where no one else can.
Stalkers in the area
In the years since the first stalkers entered the Zone, a rich landscape of interconnected factions has emerged, loosely united by a common stalker identity even as they attempt to kill each other. Some enter the Zone for adventure, others priceless artifacts, and still others to escape the law. Whatever their reasons, once they broke through the perimeter and started hunting the ruins of Pripyat for weapons and equipment, they became stalkers.
Although the government applies the title of “stalker” to any area trespassers, the stalkers themselves only consider those who actively hunt the area for valuable loot to be true stalkers. As such, shopkeepers might not be considered stalkers despite their illegal status, while armed artifact-hunting conservationists roaming Pripyat’s irradiated monuments might be called stalkers despite being government-sponsored.
Edge cases can blur the definition, as bandits and mercenaries spend more time extorting “real” stalkers and providing firepower to other factions than hunting artifacts. However, as long as a person carries a gun, operates in the area, and grabs any artifact they can get their hands on, most would consider them a stalker. Above all, the skills needed to survive the mysteries of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are what makes a stalker.
Stalkers in STALKER 2
Upcoming Trailers STALKER 2 showed a great focus on the player character (a stalker named Skif) interacting with his fellow stalkers as a tight-knit group of peers. Some see their comrades as friends who need to support each other, while others cynically believe that friendship in the Zone is a fantasy.
GSC wants to show that each stalker has their own hopes and ambitions, their own reasons for risking their life inside the Zone, and their own principles. Given the degree of choice offered in the past, from staying moral in the grim post-Soviet setting to shooting down anything that gets in their way, STALKER 2 seeks to offer compelling choices that will have powerful implications for the player and their fellow stalkers.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is in development for PC and Xbox Series X/S.
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