Today the team at GSC Game World released the first official in-engine screenshot from STALKER 2, the sequel to the cult classic open-world shooter franchise that began in 2007. The blurry image shows a dark forest clearing with rusting vehicles. Hovering in the air is a blue vortex. The developer tells Polygon that it shows a new environment, and a new type of energy phenomena broadly known as an anomaly.
The screenshot was released on Twitter with almost no explanation. In a follow-up message, the Ukrainian developer said it was sharing the screenshot as a special treat to those heading into quarantine in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dear Stalkers,— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 23, 2020
Here is your first glimpse at S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: pic.twitter.com/HGOixm11M7
“Thirteen years ago we released STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl,” the company said in a tweet. “The world was never the same after that. [...] You made this day forever special.”
The developer goes on to say that the second chapter will be the company’s most ambitious game yet. It promises more info throughout 2020.
GSC Game World was wound down in 2011 when CEO Sergei Grigorovich unceremoniously dissolved the company for “personal reasons.” The diaspora of developers who left the organization include the leadership of 4A Games, maker of the Metro series. In 2015 GSC sprung back to life, defending its right to the STALKER intellectual property and producing a sequel to its real-time strategy title called Cossacks 3. STALKER 2 was announced in May 2018 with a 2021 release date. No platforms have been announced, but the game is being built with Unreal Engine.