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We’ve just had the Xbox and Bethesda extended showcase which gave a deep dive into some of the announcements we saw from Sunday’s event. The show closed with an big update from developer GSC Game World. They had a title due this year so would have qualified to be within that playable within the next twelve months list that being the anticipated sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

GSC Game World delayed the game to December this year then sadly had to put development on hold due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So a further delay was always going to happen, it was a situation out of their hands. But until their update, no one really knew the full state of affairs. This was until they gave us a new story trailer.

The Update From GSC Game World

This can be viewed here, though be warned, it contains scenes of a distressing nature and they advise discretion. However, it pales in significance when they remind us that’s their current reality. Not all staff could leave for Prague. It’s an awful situation for those still in Kyiv and other areas. We see staff living in the most awful conditions where their office contains a bath and a washing machine. They find it hard to write the content of s violent nature. Kotaku has a quote from narrative designer Daria Tsepkova

It’s not easy to write violent quests when there is a war outside your window.

Alexandr Levchenko, one of the game’s animators from Mariupol along with harrowing footage from that area describes life for them.

Since the start of the war, I’ve had no contact with my parents

It is an indescribable feeling, not knowing whether your loved ones are alive.

To Summarise

These are just some of the stories from the Ukrainian developer. It’s also no wonder S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl has been pushed back into some point next year. I personally found the development diary update upsetting to watch so if you do plan to watch, another reminder it will be distressing. I had preordered the Ultimate Edition, soon as the preorders went live. Now today I have no idea when or if I’ll see an end product but I’m glad I preordered.

Even the developers temporarily on the front line fighting back are saying they’ll see us at release. It’s a moment I’m sure we all look forward to being able to see, regardless of the platform we play, or the genre of game we enjoy. Games should be fun and for the team at GSC, life for them is anything but fun. We can’t even imagine what it’s like to survive day to day, let alone develop a game. So fingers crossed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be playable next year. However, let’s all pray for the safety of those dealing with this conflict day to day.

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