STALKER 2 just launched a text-based RPG on Discord, and I'm here for it

(Image credit: GSC Game World)

What you need to know

  • STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is a survival shooter sequel to the original STALKER games that's slated to release at some point in 2023.
  • To market the game and celebrate the STALKER community, developer GSC Game World has launched a new text-based adventure RPG on the franchise's official Discord server.
  • The game is themed around the Arena, a place where players could earn money by fighting mutants and NPCs in the first STALKER game. 
  • Fans will need to explore the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone in the game to find gear, then challenge stages of the Arena daily starting on June 2 to help a stalker named Wolf find out what happened to his friend that went missing after he fought in the Arena.

One of 2023's most highly anticipated new games is STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl, a survival shooter sequel to GSC Game World's original STALKER games on Windows PC that take place in a supernatural version of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. To market the game and celebrate the STALKER community, GSC has kicked off an interactive text-based RPG event that's set to expand later this week.

The game is playable now in the official STALKER Discord server, and is themed around the Arena, a location where players could face off against mutants and NPCs for cash and fame in 2007's Shadow of Chernobyl. Wolf, a well-known stalker that players worked with in the early game, is investigating his friend who went missing after participating in the Arena. Though at first Wolf believed he was killed, his death was never reported and a body was never found. Wolf joined the Arena as an announcer in an effort to uncover what happened, but he needs your help to look into things as a contender.

(Image credit: GSC Game World)

"The greatest tournament the Arena has ever seen" is set to begin on June 2, giving you a perfect opportunity to assist Wolf in his investigation. However, you'll need to win the tournament to do this successfully, and that means you'll need to gear up. This is done by exploring one of four iconic locations in The Zone with the !valley, !warehouses, !yantar, and !swamps commands in the server's #the_zone channel. Explorations can be done once per hour, and you can find everything from AKM rifles and medkit consumables to suits of body armor and miraculous artifacts that offer unique bonuses. If you're lucky, you'll also come across special items that grant you unique roles in the Discord server.

If you get a drop that you like, you can register it for your inventory by posting a link to it in the #inventory_register channel. You can only "equip" the contents of three drops, so choose them wisely. Armor and weapons directly raise your Character Power, consumables and one-use artifacts buff you and then are consumed, and regular artifacts provide permanent improvements to Character Power or introduce unique modifiers.

The first stage of the Arena tournament will begin on June 2, and to emerge victorious, you'll need to roll higher than its requirements in #the_arena channel. If you fail to do this, you'll be eliminated. Note that you can only roll once per stage, so make sure you've got a good loadout before you challenge a stage. New stages will appear daily after the initial one ends, and if you win all of them, we expect that you'll become an Arena champion and will discover what happened to Wolf's companion.

(Image credit: GSC Game World)

I love when developers get creative with marketing and community events like this. Traditional trailers and screenshots are great, of course, but an interactive text-based experience that's centered around an original story? That's the kind of thing that stands out and catches eyes. Kudos to the STALKER 2 team for putting this together — I'm excited to see how this little text adventure develops once fans are able to test their mettle in the Arena.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is expected to release for Xbox and PC at some point in 2023, with preorders available now. Notably, the game will also be playable through Xbox Game Pass. GSC Game World has been developing what could be one of the best Xbox games in the midst of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, as the studio is based out of Kyiv. According to a recent interview, 130 of the developer's employees are still in Ukraine, with several of them actively fighting Russian troops on the front lines. The remaining 200 have moved to safety in the city of Prague, which now serves as the studio's headquarters.


STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl

STALKER 2 is the long-awaited sequel to GSC Game World's original three STALKER games, which were loved by many for their incredible atmosphere, tense gunfights, and unique setting. You can expect a large dynamic open world, plenty of dangerous supernatural phenomena, resource-driven survival gameplay, and more. 

Buy at: Amazon (Xbox) | GMG (Steam)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.