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STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl Delayed Once Again, but This Time With a 'Final' Release Date

After years of development and multiple delays,
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is delayed once again, but this time with a firm, “final” release date: September 5, 2024.


Ukrainian developer GSC Game World opened up about the challenges the studio has faced getting the apocalyptic PC and Xbox Series X and S shooter up to scratch after a mixed reaction to its debut public showing last year.

“And as true friends always do, you shared your honest thoughts about the game,” GSC Game World said in a
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. “Both positive and negative, and we are thankful for that. From your insights, we figured out two key points: the one to celebrate and the one to consider seriously.

“The first one: the Zone remains the Zone. In its true beauty and after our likeness. The game absolutely feels and plays like STALKER, the atmosphere, hardcore style, harsh and unwelcoming environment are ready to cook, and we can’t be more grateful for these words, as they basically sum up both the key intention and the main inspiration for the project from the very beginning at the same time.


“The second one was: the gear in the backpack should be checked one more time to be completely sure it will not fail us in the most needed moment. On the technical side of things — the game needs more time.

“Throughout the frankly challenging development process, we understood the time was of the team's main essence. Seeing the scope of polishing and understanding that we can’t push your patience too much, we were absolutely dedicated to releasing the game in Q1 2024, and we worked extra hard to meet the release window.

“That, however, doesn’t change the fact that at the beginning of this year, we still witnessed the certain amount of technical imperfections that hold STALKER 2 below the expected standards for the final experience our fans are waiting for.

“While there is absolutely no way to make another delay sound less dim, we decided to be clear about our reasons to postpone the game for the sake of yet another wave of polishing.

“The final release date for STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is now September 5, 2024.

“We know that you are waiting for this moment, as well as we do. But the preparation needs to be done so that the journey into the Zone goes smoothly and as planned. Thanks for your patience and continuous support, and be ready to see a lot of info about the game further this year.”

While there is absolutely no way to make another delay sound less dim, we decided to be clear about our reasons to postpone the game for the sake of yet another wave of polishing.

At gamescom 2023, GSC Game World addressed what some had called
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.

At the time, GSC Game World told IGN it was still targeting a visual quality and level of polish suggested by STALKER 2’s eye-catching 2021 trailer (below). This despite
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.


It’s fair to say the gamescom 2023 build was rough. As
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revealed: “Despite its Unreal Engine 5 base and prominent Microsoft support, the 15-minute gamescom demo suggests that STALKER 2 still sits in the ‘eurojank’ category; the colloquial term for eastern European games that are overly ambitious and technically wobbly.

“This sequel’s animations are stiff, its human faces look like haunted waxworks, the AI struggles to stay smart, and inventory management is fiddly. But in exchange for that you get a Soviet bloc world that feels authentic and layered with opportunity. This demo may have been short, but its small areas featured numerous angles for stealth or action approaches, fun flanking routes, and a variety of side objectives.”


Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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