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New S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 screenshots are too pretty to believe

Is this Unreal Engine 5 or Photoshop?

Maybe games just look like this now? Stalker 2: Heart Of Chornobyl is an Unreal Engine 5 game, so it's bound to be pretty. Yet I look at the new screenshots its developers posted to Twitter, and they look to me less like screenshots than the painted-over bullshots of yore. See them below and make up your own mind.

The official Stalker account - I refuse to type the periods every time - tweeted out the images earlier today:

The light mist, the dappled lighting, the way certain elements at distance pop. The work of post-processing on a fancy GPU, or the work of post-processing in Photoshop? I've no idea. I still have a lot of skepticism about a return trip to the Zone, anyway. For a game that's reportedly releasing next April, we haven't seen much of it. Here's the trailer from E3 earlier this year:

Watch on YouTube

Sure, there's combat there in among the scripted sequences, but it's small pockets and it still looks staged. Show me the inventory, show me a continuous space, show me the AI behaviour. Perhaps we're about to get all of that at tonight's Game Awards. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but right now I'd bet any new trailer we do get coming with a release date change. Let's see!

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