Is it good for S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 to be more narrative-focused than the previous three games of the franchise? The trailers of this highly anticipated upcoming survival-horror shooter have made some veteran fans concerned.
While almost every discussion regarding the upcoming shooter by GSC Game World reveals that most fans are eagerly looking forward to it, some suspect that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 might be more narrative-focused than the original trilogy. We don’t know if that is the case, but the trailers revealed a lot of cinematic cutscenes and information regarding the plot.
In this article, we will assume that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will focus on the narrative more than the previous games, and consider how good it will be for the franchise.
Why do fans suspect that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will focus more on the narrative?
It’s simple. Watch the following trailer.
The trailer clearly shows footage of story-related content more than ever seen before in a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.
Now, you might be wondering why this would be an issue for some players. Well, it’s because the previous three games offered little in terms of story but provided a gameplay experience that is second to none. It was completely focused on immersion and exploring the dynamic open world. It had tons of side quests and things to do, and it was all about discovering and even creating your own stories while being a part of the Zone.
I am sure that the majority of players loved that about the games, and really, that’s what made S.T.A.L.K.E.R. what it is. Even without tons of cutscenes or information on the story, we had fun.
Why it might be good for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 to be more narrative-focused
The world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is rich in lore and there are only a few games that are able to match its level of unique environmental storytelling and sci-fi horror elements. Its world is completely mysterious and almost everything found in it is up for interpretation.
Indeed, the Zone is a treasure trove for exceptional stories to be told, but if you played the original trilogy, you would know that only Shadow of Chernobyl offered a story that was decent and intriguing. Clear Sky was okay, and Call of Pripyat was disappointing (in terms of the story, that is).
Personally, I would like to see what it’s really about in the Zone. What might be the secrets that kept so many people in there? How are some of the more haunting anomalies formed? What is the Noosphere?
You might not have any idea what these questions are if you haven’t played the original trilogy yet. But all three stories raised more questions than answers; questions we’d like to see the answers for.
The developer might be taking a risk in order to expand on the story of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Risk-taking is an important part of what makes a product appealing to the consumer. We see many games release in modern times that stick to the comfort zones and provide the same type of entertainment offered by other popular games.
Why would some developers even want to readjust their games that had proved to be exceptional? It’s wise and sensible to stick to the same formula that made other games so good. But with experimenting and risk-taking, a developer could change their game for the better with work and luck.
For example, take Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Many people, including me, thought that the seventh game would flop because of how it completely ditched the brawler gameplay to introduce an RPG turn-based combat system. People were wrong. Yakuza: Like a Dragon turned out to be an excellent JRPG that nailed the mechanics they were going for.
I believe that’s what the developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 are going for with this entry; they will essentially keep the base of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. intact while changing some things about it, i.e. focusing on the story. This may or may not be appealing to the masses, but as I stated earlier, the Zone deserves to tell a story that’s memorable. Fans deserve to enjoy a storyline that connects us to the Zone narrative-wise, as the trilogy did with the gameplay.
Why the developers should still keep the originality of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. intact
The originality of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is its gameplay and the hardcore survival mechanics that defined immersion back in the 2000s. Everything that made the originals so good must remain in the trilogy.
Some of it might be sacrificed in terms of the narrative, but overall, the dynamic open world that had a life of its own, the characters that had lives of their own, and the creatures that would dynamically appear and move out of areas are some things that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 must keep intact. And I am convinced that all of those traits will return in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, only revamped.
Basically, what we hope from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is to deliver us a story that will outclass the original trilogy while remaining true to its iconic nature.