STALKER 2 demo shows open-world gameplay, player freedom

stalker 2 concept art

STALKER 2 has finally released its first playable demo at Gamescom 2023 and fans got to see the open-world FPS in action.

The sequel to the 2007 classic was initially slated for release in 2022, but changes in the developer’s native Ukraine paused work on the title temporarily. Alongside this were a number of alleged cyber attacks on the studio, resulting in further setbacks to the game’s development.

GSC Game World showed off its incredible adaptability and resilience as it continued work on STALKER 2. The fruits of their hard work are now finally playable through a show floor demo at Gamescom 2023.

stalker 2

Is STALKER 2 going to be any good?

An early build of STALKER 2 was praised for its open-world setting and the freedom given to players. This was noted to be a considerable improvement from the original game.

The STALKER 2 demo doesn’t offer any clear objectives other than talking to some locals for information. What the player does after that is entirely up to them, whether that is sneaking through the streets of The Zone or going in guns blazing. Developer GSC Game World states its original plans for the game were even grander.

The game has also undergone a significant transformation since being built in Unreal Engine 5. The Zone remains as ugly and inhospitable as ever, which contrasts with the relative serenity of its abandoned buildings and dying forests. The gunplay is described as intense, with shooting actually feeling and sounding impactful.

Is STALKER 2 coming out on PC?

STALKER 2 is reportedly slated for release in December 2023 on both PC and Xbox Series X/S consoles. Retailers seemingly leaked the STALKER 2 release date, but the developers have not officially confirmed this. Officially, the game is slated to release in 2023 and this has held steady even as the end of the year starts coming close.

The state of STALKER 2’s demo at Gamescom suggests that this is realistic. The fact that the team was confident enough to showcase a demo on the show floor of Gamescom 2023 may point to a public demo release sometime soon.

Those who tried the game have described something on par with a completed project, so it’s possible GSC Game World is ready to have the game go gold. More details are likely to come in the near future.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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