GSC Game World have released the first in-engine trailer for the long-awaited Stalker 2 (opens in new tab). The minute-long teaser shows off a lot of harsh lighting as a character moves through an abandoned, ruined building in some decided unnatural weather through the doubly-changed Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
The trailer opens on a nice GSC Game World logo sequence, overlaid on a bulkhead-style door, before segueing into a first-person view as protagonist Skif bursts through doors into the hallway of a ruined building. Skif moves forward as their view out of a collapsed wall shows trees waving and toppling over in a stormy wind. The video speeds up through a hallway and into a room with a crackling fire and guitar, where someone was recently doing some classic Stalker indoor camping. Through another door the light turns powerfully red, and our character halts. They pul out a tablet or GPS-like device, probably an anomaly detector of some kind, before they're rudely interrupted by a sudden storm of levitating objects. C'est la Zone.
GSC Game World called this an "official in-engine gameplay teaser" which is very funny to me, because this is… almost definitely not gameplay. At my most generous I would say that this is representative of gameplay. According to the developers at GSC Game World, however, this is "how the game actually feels: fast-paced change of scenery, ominous landscapes and the ever-present feeling of an inevitable danger accompanied by a barely-distinguishable guitar soundtrack."
We can't know that much from this trailer other than that, yep, these are the kind of things that show up in Stalker games. The location for the trailer is a bit easier: It's almost surely Pripyat, as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone doesn't have that many 15-story brutalist concrete towers outside of the city and one is visible through the collapsed wall at the 20 second mark. I could start guessing where our view is from based on maps of Pripyat, but we'd be here all day. (Maybe somewhere on Sportyvna Street, looking east?)
Stalker 2, stylized S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, will be the sequel to the 2007-2009 trilogy of games set in a Chernobyl exclusion zone fundamentally altered by the weird physics of an unknown, alien power. The games are cult classics—justifiably, I'd argue—for their committedly gritty gameplay and dynamic AI systems mixed in with proto-survival mechanics and sudden spikes of absolute horror. They're also infamously janky and buggy. Hopefully Stalker 2's use of the Unreal Engine (opens in new tab) will both deal with some of that and make modding easier.
Stalker 2 has had a long development history involving the dissolution of the original studio, its reemergence, and at this point at least three announcements of its development starting. For that saga, and everything about it, check out our everything we know about Stalker 2 (opens in new tab) article.