The Xbox exclusive I'm most excited for just got a new action-packed gameplay trailer, and it's coming in 3 months

STALKER 2
(Image credit: GSC Game World)

What you need to know

  • STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is an upcoming first-person survival horror shooter developed by GSC Game World.
  • The original STALKER trilogy came out in the late 2000s, meaning fans have been waiting 15 years for a sequel.
  • Following the recent release of all three original STALKER games on consoles they were PC exclusive previously STALKER 2 got a new gameplay trailer during Xbox Games Showcase 2024.
  • The trailer gave us the most in-depth look we've ever gotten at STALKER 2's gunplay, and it also reaffirmed that it will launch on September 5 on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. It will be playable day one on Xbox Game Pass.

STALKER 2, the highly anticipated sequel that fans have been waiting to see more of for years, has gotten a shiny new gameplay trailer at Xbox Games Showcase 2024. First revealed back in 2021, STALKER 2 has gotten numerous teasers and trailers over the years accompanied by delays due to Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine; now, this new trailer gives fans the most in-depth look they've ever gotten at its gameplay while reaffirming its previously revealed September 5, 2024 release date.

For those unaware, STALKER is a first-person action survival horror series that's both published and developed by the Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. The first game was released in 2007, and it's now been over 15 years since the last mainline entry in the series launched. The STALKER fandom only grew during that time, as did its patience; now, less than three months away, STALKER 2 promises to deliver players the amazing sequel they've been waiting for.

Though GSC Game World isn't actually under Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios banner, STALKER 2 is — at least at launch — an Xbox console exclusive. That means when it releases in early September, it will be playable on Xbox Series X|S systems as well as on Windows PCs via Steam and the Microsoft Store. Like all Xbox exclusives, it will also be playable day one on Xbox Game Pass. If you're interested, preorders are also available now.

Notably, earlier this year during Microsoft's Xbox Partner Preview event, the original STALKER trilogy shadow dropped on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. This means you can now play the three games that take place before the events of STALKER 2, and after fully playing through all of them on an Xbox Series X, I can confirm that the experience is fantastic. The tone and atmosphere of the original PC releases has been fully preserved in the console version, with remade controls that excellently translate their mechanics to handheld gamepads.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl | $59.99 at Amazon (Xbox)

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl | $59.99 at Amazon (Xbox)

Survive The Zone's glory and horror in the first new STALKER game since 2009's Call of Pripyat. Built using Unreal Engine 5, STALKER 2 taps into the series' classic gameplay elements and atmosphere using the latest and greatest tech available. It's scheduled to launch on September 5, but is available to preorder now.

Also at: GMG (Steam, PC, $59.99) | GOG (PC, $59.99)

I can't believe STALKER 2 is almost here

A screenshot of STALKER 2 shown by GSC Game World long ago. (Image credit: GSC Game World)

As someone who's been playing STALKER since the mid-2010s, the wait for this sequel has been long — and it's only been made worse by delays caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which severely impacted the lives of GSC Game World developers and drove the studio to move its headquarters to Prague in the Czech Republic. The struggles that the developers have gone through to create this highly anticipated sequel are immense, which makes the fact it's just three months away feel all the more surreal to me. 

I hope everyone at GSC is proud of what they've been able to accomplish, and I can't wait to get my hands on STALKER 2 soon. If you've never checked the series out, I strongly recommend doing so, either on PC with the STALKER Bundle (now on sale for just $10) or on Xbox or PlayStation with the STALKER: Legends of the Zone Trilogy. Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat are two of my favorite shooter games of all time, and while Clear Sky wasn't as good, it's still worth your time.

STALKER: Legends of the Zone Trilogy | $39.99 at Xbox (Digital)

STALKER: Legends of the Zone Trilogy | $39.99 at Xbox (Digital)

One of the biggest open world shooter franchises in PC gaming history has shadow dropped on Xbox and PlayStation. Get all three of the amazing STALKER games for $40 and play through them ahead of STALKER 2's launch later this year.

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.

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