Ukrainian GSC Doesn’t Need E3 to Announce the Return of Their AAA Title!
As we are all eagerly waiting for this year’s E3 and the upcoming big name reveals, some of which we mentioned in our previous articles, GSC Game World managed to slip under our radar and silently announce the long-awaited return of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.
By posting a Tweet and opening a website dedicated to the game, the most successful Ukrainian formerly-defunct-now-reopened-video game studio sparked speculations, as to whether 2021 will be the year we finally see a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. iteration after almost 11 years.
GSC started releasing the widely-successful S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise back in 2007, pioneering the genre of modern open-world action adventure games. Inspired by the 1971 Soviet novel Roadside Picnic, and the subsequent 1979 movie Stalker, the franchise was set in Ukraine, some years following the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant disaster. In the series, players get to play as Stalkers, shady individuals who illegally enter ''The Zone’’ - area in and around the city of Pripyat, which has been sealed off by the government forces and private contractors after the meltdown. Stalkers hunt for mysterious artifacts, new elements which were formed as a result of the nuclear fallout, and which grant its wearers unique abilities. These artifacts are highly priced outside of the Zone, so exploiting and selling them on black market has become a lucrative business not just for the Stalkers, but for military and PMCs, who are in constant war with one another over them. Besides the dangers of the ongoing war, The Zone is also a home to many physical anomalies, as well as mutated creatures which the players have to fight or evade in order to survive.
The critical praise of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the first game in the series, motivated GSC to release two more sequels, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky in 2008 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat in 2009, both of which received equally favorable reviews. With series sales exceeding 4 million copies worldwide, GSC announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in 2010, with release date being set for 2012. To everyone’s surprise, GSC studios fell apart the very next year due to undisclosed reasons, effectively halting further S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 development. In 2014 studio came back together again, but instead of announcing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, they released Cossacks 3, a real-time strategy that got mediocre reviews. A free to play shooter riddled with microtransaction, Survarium, was released a year later and got similar mediocre reviews even though it was loosely based on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 concept art released shortly before the company's collapse featuring [L-R] feral doggos, Ukrainian-born Slenderman and something unexplainable
Ever since then, GSC was rather silent regarding their future projects, instead only focusing on Cossacks 3 and Survarium updates, so it came as a pleasant surprise when out of the blue they tweeted the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 announcement. Besides the the ''supposed’’ year of release - 2021- which is featured on the picture and the website, there are absolutely zero other information available on the project. As such, we can only hope that GSC will continue to pleasantly surprise us and maybe release some more information on the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in the near future, but until then, let us enjoy three more disturbing images of creatures we might encounter while exploring the Zone.
From left to right: Miss Piggy with spider-like thingy living in its back, Monkey waiter serving mom's spaghetti, ''Camouflaged Log Monster''
Edited by EchelonBrk