It was a great surprise when GSC Game World announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in 2018, given that they previously scrapped it when the studio essentially shut down in 2011 and its makers had long-since left. It’s simultaneously a) less and b) more of a surprise to see GSC Game World announce S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 again in 2019 because a) we knew b) wait they’re announcing it again? Indeed GSC are, repeating that they plan to release S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in the year 2021. If anything, them repeating this with little new to show after ten months makes me lose confidence in this 1) happening 2) being good. But I’m told of a distant and hidden place named the Room, where wishes are granted, and if I can find a guide to get me there…
Here’s yesterday’s SURPRISING news:
Perhaps their social media person has some funny ideas about engaging content and takes Twitter’s “What’s happening?” prompt too literally, declaring “announced” in the same way your uncle declares “tea time!!” and “watching Blue Planet” and “time to walk the dog”. Yes, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, I get it, you’re announced, now find something interesting to say about that.
As exciting as it is to receive affirmation that yes, GSC really are doing a sequel to their trilogy of survival shooters set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone… we’ve heard that before. Several times. And the GSC Game World that made S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is long-dead.
After the company all-but shut down years ago, the people who made the series went on to new jobs and new studios, many on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-ish games including the Metro series, Survarium, and the wildly-cursed Areal. That’s not to say only the original dev team are capable of making a good S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game but, y’know, the current GSC’s foundation for reviving the series seems largely to be owning the rights to it. And all we’ve seen them do since reopening in 2014 was remake Cossacks, their earlier RTS.
I’m keeping my expectations low but god, I’d love to be wrong.