IN A NUTSHELL:
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 will be a game lasting for hundreds of hours;
- The player will have to make plot choices that will make seeing everything in one playthrough impossible;
- The story will be very important, but it will be impossible to tell it without an open world;
- The atmosphere will be dense and use horror elements.
GamingBolt recently conducted an interview with Zakhar Bocharov from GSC Game World. The topic of the interview was, of course, the team's upcoming game, the post-apocalyptic shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, which is the next installment of the iconic series launched in 2007. Thanks to this we got to know some new information about the game.
STALKER 2 is a game for hundreds of hours
One of the most interesting details concerns the game's size - the developer admitted that STALKER 2 is designed to be playable for hundreds of hours.
"It’s a very long game even if you decide to follow only the main quest. Hundreds of hours can be spent if you want to do more exploration and side quests," said Zakhar Bocharov.
The game is supposed to focus on narrative, but according to the developer, doing it the right way is impossible without an open world.
"S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is mostly about the new story, and we can’t tell it without the open world. The player needs to feel the scale and the outcomes of his decisions. It is a long way so it can land an impact. A big journey with its own pace and outcomes.
Also, it’s about seeing the Zone in her renewed beauty. The seamless open world is a thing the series always aimed for. Hopefully, the players will enjoy both the story and the world we’re crafting. They are highly special for us," said the developer.
One of the factors affecting the length and variety of gameplay will also be the fact that this time the player's actions will influence the main plot.
"Without saying too much for now, let’s put it this way: it’s impossible to see everything in one run. The player will need several playthroughs to see all the story content," we read in the interview.
STALKER 2 - elements of horror and immersive sim
Bocharov also referred to the game's atmosphere, which will be strongly based on elements known from the real world - the developers have visited the area around Chernobyl several times.
"With three games in the series, we think we have a strong vision of what players like and expect.
Also, the core team is located in Kyiv, Ukraine, and we visit the Exclusion Zone every couple of months — for the purpose of both work (photogrammetry) and inspiration.
So we can say it’s a mix of existing experience and translating the cultural code. The whole thing is so powerful yet so subtle it’s really hard to describe in words. You can be sure it’s different for pretty much everyone. But probably it is the “atmosphere” people are talking about," explains the developer.
The key issue is to create an atmosphere of terror. STALKER 2 will be an immersive sim in a way (a genre in which players are given a number of different tools to deal with problems in different ways and decide for themselves how to use them - it includes such games as Prey, Deus Ex or BioShock), but everything will be subordinated to making the player feel the strain of exploring an extremely dangerous place, where almost anything can end the character's life.
"S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (and the series as a whole as well) is about being small and almost helpless in the utterly stressful and dangerous conditions, fighting with death every second, knowing that if you die, the Zone wouldn’t even notice it, and nothing will change. Immersive sim elements in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 are about making you feel like that person," described Bocharov.
- STALKER 2 - official website