STALKER 2 leaked online, check out what its graphics are like

stalker 2 concept art

STALKER 2’s early build has been leaked online, giving fans their first proper look at the game and how the move to Unreal Engine 5 has impacted its graphics.

STALKER 2 has had a rough development journey. The 2007 cult classic STALKER was supposed to have its sequel release in 2022. Unfortunately, the game’s Ukraine-based studio was forced to relocate in the middle of development. The developers say that this has been exacerbated by persistent cyber-attacks.

Despite this, the team has pushed on and cobbled together what might be one of the biggest games of 2024. A demo for STALKER 2 was playable at Gamescom 2023 and the reception was largely positive. As the Q1 2024 release date approaches, fans are curious about how STALKER 2 will look and play.

Is STALKER 2 on Unreal Engine 5?

STALKER 2 is being developed on Unreal Engine 5.

The game was initially being developed with Unreal Engine 4 but in 2021, the developers revealed they moved production to the newer engine. In the years since, many studios have similarly pivoted from UE4 or their own proprietary game engine to UE5. Unreal Engine 5 is designed for modern gaming hardware in terms of both performance and graphics, so it makes sense for STALKER 2’s team to make the shift.

The move to Unreal Engine 5 wasn’t without growing pains and may have contributed to the game’s longer development time. Unreal Engine’s scalability has seemingly worked in the development team’s favor, judging from the early impressions of the game. STALKER 2 is set for an early 2024 release. 

STALKER 2 graphics wow fans

STALKER 2 looks better than ever on Unreal Engine 5.

Even though the leaks of STALKER 2 are from an unfinished build, the lighting and textures make good use of Unreal Engine 5’s capabilities. The screenshots also showcase different times of day, which means the day-night cycle from the first STALKER is in effect.

That said, what concerns many fans is how well STALKER 2 will perform on PC. Although the STALKER 2 demo was well-received, it’s a far cry from the actual final product. Unreal Engine 5 notably has a lot of stutter issues for PC users, with many criticizing the engine for prioritizing aesthetics over performance. Hopefully, by release, STALKER 2 won’t suffer from those common issues.

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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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