S.T.A.L.K.E.R. returns later this year (Picture: GCS Game World)
Following fan feedback, developer GCS Game World has pushed back apocalyptic shooter STALKER 2: Heart Of Chornobyl.
The sequel to first person survival horror shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl has been delayed to later this year.
It was originally scheduled to be released in spring 2024, but Ukrainian developer GSC Game World has announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl will now be released on September 5, 2024 on Xbox Series S/X and PC.
As noted in an update on Twitter, from the developer, the decision was made following fan feedback at numerous hands-on play sessions around the world, including Gamescom, where they received ‘both positive and negative’ notes.
The developers explained that the positives were around the sequel’s atmosphere, ‘hardcore style’, and ‘harsh and unwelcoming environment’. While the negatives centred on technical issues.
Following what they describe as a ‘frankly challenging development process’, GSC Game World explained that, at the beginning of this year, they ‘still witnessed the certain amount of technical imperfections that hold S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 below the expected standards for the final experience our fans are waiting for’.
The studio added: ‘While there is absolutely no way to make another delay sound less dim, we decided to be clear about our reasons to postpone the game for the sake of yet another wave of polishing.’
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2’s development was impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022 and caused development to be temporarily put on hold. Due to the conflict, the studio partially relocated from its Kyiv studio to a new office in the Czech Republic to continue work on the project.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series is set in an alternate version of the present day Chornobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine and inspired by the classic Russian sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic, on which the Andrei Tarkovsky movie Stalker is also loosely based.
While Heart Of Chornobyl is billed as a sequel, it’s technically the fourth instalment in the series, which began in 2007.
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