Upon waking, we find the sky has turned an ominous red. A loud growl catches our attention as a mutated dog begins to gnaw on our leg. A swift kick sends the dog flying into an anomaly, shredding it to pieces. The game, Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, features stunning visuals thanks to Unreal Engine 5, with abandoned buildings, eerie forests, and patches of humanity in the wilderness. The game offers both horror and paradise-like scenarios.
The 4k gameplay showcases fields of red tulips, destroyed by gunfire, leading to a decrease in our life bar. Stalker 2 requires precision with weapons, as damage can severely restrict movement. It emphasizes tactical gameplay, reminiscent of Escape from Tarkov or DayZ. Gameplay is realistic, with loud reloads and the need for strategic cover due to relentless enemies.
The game utilizes graphic features tactically, allowing players to see the shadow of approaching enemies. The smart AI adds to the challenge, making every victory against opponents hard-won. The story begins with the player waking up naked and destitute in the Zone, where they join stalkers, complete tasks, and search for artefacts without the aid of a map.
Weapons vary in feel, with certain enemies requiring specific weapons for defeat. The open world aspect of the game allows for changes in the environment based on the player’s actions. Workbenches provide opportunities for weapon modifications and crafting, while introducing ambivalent characters and moral dilemmas.