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STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl

About the game STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is a sequel in development to the popular first-person shooter, a sandbox game set in the post-apocalyptic world of Chornobyl. Players can finally wander through a large, open, seamless world containing iconic elements from the original trilogy such as the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, the city of Pripyat, the village of Novichkov, as well as secret objects such as the Duga radar antenna.


Some screenshots from STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl:

System requirements

Minimum predicted* systems for the game:

  • Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • 16GB RAM
  • 200GB HDD
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Video RAM: 8 GB
  • DirectX 12
  • Keyboard, mouse

Recommended predicted* systems for the game:

  • Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • 16GB RAM
  • 200GB HDD
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Video RAM: 8 GB
  • DirectX 12
  • Keyboard, mouse

*Please note that these are indicative system requirements and may change when the game launches on PC.

Release dates

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is currently in development for PC, and Xbox Series X.

In developing:

  • PC , Xbox Series X (Global) – 2023

Genre and gameplay

Heart of Chernobyl is a first-person shooter, survivalist, and sandbox game with RPG and horror elements. The sequel retained such a feature of the original as the atmosphere of despondency, despair, and constant danger in a territory abandoned by people.

There are more than 30 types of firearms in STALKER 2: pistols and SMGs, assault and combat machine guns, light machine guns, sniper rifles, and weapons based on new physical principles. The shooting model and technical characteristics are chosen with an emphasis on realism. Weapons, consumables, and ammunition of USSR/NATO standards.

The player can adjust each “barrel” on the go by attaching a scope, a silencer, a grenade launcher, etc., but only technicians without fanaticism of the Escape from Tarkov level will be able to change the weapon itself. Through upgrades, the arsenal can be customized to suit your play style.

Bonfires now play an important role, near them the player (and other NPCs) can rest and recuperate, but there are much fewer of them than before.

Background of the game world

The action of STALKER 2 develops in an alternative reality, on the site of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ). The territory that died out after the accident in 1986 was taken over by a group of scientists who studied the hypothesis of the noosphere – the information field of the Earth.

In the network of X-laboratories deployed on the territory of the ChEZ, the existence of the noosphere was confirmed, work was carried out on promising weapons, the ability to live beings to generate directed psi-radiation was discovered, and biological and technical psi-emitters have been created to show that zombies are approaching them.

The goal was to break into the noosphere and subdue it. To do this, Generators were built a kilometer from the Chornobyl nuclear power plants, and scientists united in the collective mind “O-consciousness”. However, on April 12, 2006, the experiment failed.

The energy of the noosphere poured into the territory of the ChEZ (the first release), changing the physical laws, giving rise to anomalies and artifacts, as well as the mysterious “Monolith”. The area around the Chornobyl nuclear power plant is covered by a high-intensity psi field that burns out the brain of anyone who enters it. Over time, monsters also appeared in the Zone: some mutated, and some were of man-made origin.

In an attempt to stop the spread of pistachios from the Contagion Zone, the military surrounded it around the perimeter with barbed wire and minefields. Attempts by the authorities to find out what happened, continued all subsequent years, but inevitably ended in failure. But the stalkers – daredevil illegal immigrants who secretly made their way into the Zone – were more successful.

They took out almost magical artifacts, talked about anomalies, and poisoned stories about encounters with deadly mutants. To a large extent, the habitation of the Zone was helped by groups of stalkers, the largest among them were the ideologically savvy “Duty” and “Freedom”. “Mercenaries” were taken for any work, and “Bandits” newcomers were robbed at the borders of the Zone.

Over time, one of the stalkers named Strelok or Marked (the protagonist of “Shadows of Chernobyl” and one of the characters of “Clear Sky” and “Call of Pripyat” ) still managed to find out the background of the formation of the Zone and find out about the “O-consciousness”.

Having made several sorties in 2011-2012, the Strelok passes behind the “Brain Burner”, breaks through to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, reveals the secret of the Monolith, and destroys the “O-consciousness”. He transferred this and other knowledge about survival in the Zone to the state, becoming a consultant at the established Institute for the Study of the Chornobyl Anomalous Zone (NII Chaz).

Game world

Heart of Chernobyl offers more than 60 km² to explore: mostly rugged terrain interspersed with rural villages, factories, plants, military bases, and towns; a large part of the cities of Pripyat and Chornobyl itself. The buildings were recreated in the architectural style characteristic of the USSR.

The changed locations of the first trilogy have been added to the open world: Cordon, Swamps, Wild Territory, Dark Valley, Radar, and Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (blocks 1-4). Cult places of interest are also present almost unchanged – the village of Novichkov, the church on the Swamps, the railway track under Jupiter, the Brain Burner, and the Ferris wheel in Pripyat.

In the list of new places of the Heart of Chernobyl: Chemical plant, the military camp of Chornobyl-2 near the Vyzhytel, unfinished units of the Chornobyl NPP No. 5 and No. 6, and the Cooling Tower (separated from the central station to the southeast), as well as new laboratories.

As you move from the Perimeter to the center of the Zone, the danger grows: deadly anomalies and mutants appear, and stalkers change into exoskeletons. It will take more than 100 hours to explore the world because you have to run on your own two feet, and there is no transport in the Zone. Fast travel is available in a non-standard version.

After the events of “Shadows of Chernobyl” ChEZ took on a life of its own and changed outwardly. Everywhere is tall grass, many shrubs, and mighty trees with impressive crowns. In the Swamps, there are impenetrable thickets of kushirs and an abundance of reeds. From above, the Zone resembles an ordinary dense green forest, and only anomalous fields stand out from the smooth green surface.

Plot and characters

The events of STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl begin 6-8 years after the end of Call of Pripyat and develop the story of the first trilogy – it is advisable for beginners to go through it for a better understanding of what is happening.

The player is waiting for a large-scale branching plot for several tens of hours, with decisions that affect other characters in the game, quests, and even the Zone itself as a whole. Onaya is a separate character that threatens all of humanity and has found protection among experienced stalkers. One of them, the Outsider, swore to protect her from any threat, making him the main antagonist.

The protagonist of “Heart of Chernobyl” is a stalker nicknamed Skiff. This is far from being a novice, but a hardened veteran, but who he is, what he is achieving, and in which direction he is fighting is unknown. Skiff is fully voiced in dialogue, a novelty in storytelling for the series. During the passage, the player will meet many new characters with a written backstory, and meet a couple of old friends.

Factions and mutants

In Heart of Chernobyl, there will be both well-known Stalkers, Bandits, Duty, Freedom, and Monolith (their ideological orientation has not changed), as well as new groups. One of them is Varta.

Skiff is a free stalker, but in order to complete the story, he will have to join one group or another, and this choice will directly affect the ending. The choice of the player will be influenced by the ideology pursued by this or that group.

Of the familiar mutants, there are blind dogs, pseudo-flesh, burers, and bloodsuckers. New mutants in the “Heart of Chernobyl” will be, but not shown. New to the game are lair regions where mutants live in large groups and aggressively hunt all outsiders.

Mutants worked out different models of behavior, and even subspecies and habitats were taken into account. Their behavior is less predictable, and their destruction will require different tactics.

STALKER 2 runs A-Life 2.0, a redesigned life simulation concept from the original. Through her efforts, the position of groups and mutants is not static: they are constantly fighting for living space, migrating, capturing new places, or retreating under the onslaught of competitors. And all this even without the participation of the player.

Single player game

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl

The main tasks in STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl have changed little compared to the original trilogy:

  • the player runs around the world in search of valuable artifacts generated by dangerous anomalies, catching them with a bolt and a detector;
  • the artifact can be sold by buying the necessary equipment, ammunition, and medicines, or even completely exchanged for something rare and very useful;
  • Hostile groups seek to profit from the contents of the backpack, and mutants attacking alone and in a flock seek to profit from the carcass of the protagonist;
  • Due to the genre, survival oneself will not carry much, the selection of weapons and equipment is our everything;
  • All valuable swag that cannot be carried away will have to be hidden in a stash (or search the available coordinates);
  • Periodically, the Zone is covered by an ejection, nullifying the stalkers who did not have time to hide and start the process again;
  • “fierce gunfights”, “a variety of enemies”, and “advanced AI employing various tactics in the hope of outmaneuvering the player” are promised.

The sequel differs from the original game mechanics reworked to modern standards, which make up all aspects of the gameplay.


The head of the studio, Sergey Grigorovich, confirmed that the network mode is planned, but it will be added after the release of the game. It is also known that the authors understand the classic competitive shooting games by multiplayer and not some royal battle with loot boxes.

Important features:

  • “Heart of Chernobyl” uses new ideas in terms of plot and gameplay, and not just those that were in the canceled version of STALKER 2 in 2011;
  • The authors will offer tools for the Stalker fan community to create modifications in the single-player and a mechanism for their distribution;
  • It will be possible to change the appearance of items used by the player but within the rules set by the game world. No pink pony skins.


Similar games

A few games that are similar to STALKER 2:

  • Brink
  • STALKER Online
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
  • Metro 2033 Redux
  • Metro: Last Light Redux
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
  • radiation city
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