A new Stalker 2 developer diary shared by IGN showcases some of the weapon and character models (including a couple that fans will quickly recognize) being created for the game. The video emphasizes the attention to detail being put into the models, which GSC Game World rep Zakahr Bocharov said will be fine enough to enable players to see "scuffs, scratches, and sticking-out threads."
The video also puts an unexpected focus on teeth, which developers will apparently be able to switch on, off, and around with ease by way of Stalker 2's "custom teeth tool."
"These tiny accents ensure each character looks completely unique," Bocharov says. "Literally every human in Stalker 2 has one-of-a-kind smile."
Here's a closer look—click the symbol in the upper-right corner for the full experience:
I'm not going to complain about games being made to look better—this is a visual medium, after all—but as a fairly committed Stalker fan, this gallery of images isn't exactly what I was hoping to see. The detail is impressive, yes, but at this point (remember, Stalker 2 was re-announced three years ago) I want to see the game, not an art gallery. The original Stalker is a very delicate balance of action, horror, and jank, and I don't think that the ability to count the stitches in the Duty man's pack contributes to that magic.
The weapons showcase doesn't really impress, either. It's just guns, floating in space over a weird technobeat, for more than 2.5 minutes—which as it turns out is a very long time to spend staring at models of firearms that could come from pretty much any real-world shooter you care to name, no matter how pretty they are.
All told, it's not a very impressive display—more a reminder that Stalker 2 exists in some amorphous state, rather than a showcase of some meaningful milestone. It's possible that I'm impatient and expecting too much, because I really want Stalker 2 to live up to the standard set by the original (and I've been waiting well over a decade for a trip back to the Zone), but after watching this video I can't shake the feeling that Stalker 2 is still more a distant dream than a videogame I'll be playing in the forseeable future.
But perhaps I'm being pessimistic: Bokharov says at the end of the video that a Stalker 2 "gameplay demonstration" is coming sometime later this year. I'm looking forward to it already.