Microsoft shows off S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, sets April 2022 release date

Microsoft showed off an extended gameplay trailer and revealed a release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. The game will release on April 28, 2022, for Xbox Series X/S and PC, and also will be a part of Xbox Game Pass.

In the trailer, the player character sits around a fire, talking with several companions in what appears to be the shadow of Chernobyl, where a nuclear power plant exploded in real life in 1986 and released a large amount of radiation. Previous games in the series have explored similar areas.

This will be the first new game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series since 2009. Players can fight irradiated monsters, explore different locales for secrets, and connect with a variety of nonplayable stalkers. The game’s extended trailer features a variety of tools, including weapons and what appears to be a Geiger counter, a tool used to measure radiation. The player character can be seen gathering weapon pieces from the environment, which points toward a looting or scavenging mechanic. Players will also have to face mysterious, tornado-like bursts of energy that appear to be a common enemy of both the player and the environment’s irradiated creatures.

A variety of nonplayable characters make the experience more colorful and add some humor. The player character, who seems to be a full character rather than a player avatar, spent time seeking out residents of the game’s barren world. The group appears to be a band of ragtag scavengers who try to watch out for each other. The trailer ended with a look at a huge world that players will presumably be able to explore.

The game will receive a launch day release on Xbox Game Pass.

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