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STALKER 2 reveals new 'Bayun' mutant for International Cat Day

The Bayun mutant.
(Image credit: GSC Game World)

What you need to know

  • On International Cat Day 2022, GSC Game World revealed a new mutant coming in STALKER 2: the Bayun.
  • The Bayun is a vicious cat with sharp claws and teeth, rotting skin, and throat sacs that it can use to mimic sounds and human speech.
  • The Bayun is based on Bayun the Cat, a creature from Russian folklore that could use his voice to tell stories, cure disease, or lull people to sleep so he could rob or consume them.
  • STALKER 2 is expected to release on Xbox and PC in 2023.

Combat against horribly-mutated mutant creatures has always been a core part of the experience in the STALKER series, and that won't change with STALKER 2, the upcoming sequel to the original games. Developer GSC Game World has confirmed that fans can expect to face off against several brand new monsters while exploring the new survival shooter's fictional version of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Previously, the developers shared that one such creature will be a heavily-irradiated deer that can use its mutated bones as armor and as weapons, and also possesses psionic powers that allow it to call on other nearby mutants for help or create illusory copies of itself to confuse the player and other NPCs.

Now, GSC Game World has revealed another mutant that fans will encounter in STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl: the Bayun, a vicious feline with razor-sharp claws and teeth as well as decaying skin and large, bulbous throat sacs. Humorously, the Bayun was shown off on International Cat Day 2022.

"A very stealthy and nimble mutant. For years, stories about it were regarded as mere fables," the official description of the creature reads. "Bayun takes its name from its throat sacs, which allow the beast to imitate all kinds of sounds, including human speech."

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The "fables" alluded to in the above text are actual pieces of Russian folklore, in which a fearsome creature known as Bayun the Cat is known to perch on high surfaces and speak with humans that come near. In some stories, Bayun is benevolent and will use his magical voice to tell stories or cure diseases; in others, he's far more sinister, lulling people to sleep with a mesmerizing song before either robbing or eating them. STALKER 2's version doesn't look very friendly, so this is a cat you'll probably want to avoid getting close to while traveling throughout The Zone.

Though the developers haven't shared specific details regarding how players will encounter the Bayun, we anticipate that it will probably use its voice imitation ability to trick players and lead them into an ambush (for example, pretending to sound like an injured stalker calling out for help). Then, when you're right where the Bayun wants you to be, it'll pounce and go for the kill.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is coming to Xbox and PC in 2023, and it will cost $60. The game takes place after the original three STALKER games and will feature numerous new gameplay mechanics, systems, enemies, and more. Notably, STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl preorders are available now if you'd like to reserve your copy of the game ahead of its release.

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STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl Standard Edition 

The Standard Edition of STALKER 2 includes the base game, along with some unique Steam profile customizations if you preorder the Steam version.

Buy at: Amazon (Xbox) (opens in new tab) | GMG (Steam) (opens in new tab)

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.