GSC Game World released the long-awaited gameplay of Heart of Chornobyl, and we immediately prepared the trailer analysis. What we were shown and what we were able to see. Let’s try to figure it out!
The trailer opens with an atmospheric moment in which a group of stalkers find themselves in an underground bunker-lab. For some reason, the alarm went off, and we don’t know if the controller is there, or if it’s another mega brain inside the bulb. We’ll put a controller on it, and it takes one of the stalkers under control. The animation in this scene looks sloppy.
The room itself is not like those that were previously in the game powerful air extraction to the surface and strange rings with teeth. Could this be the Noosphere research lab that’s next in the video?
Then the video splits, with the voice-over beginning to recount the events of the original game:.
For fans and those who are simply interested in the subject of stalking, unfortunately, nothing new. So let’s look at a video sequence that’s shown between 25 and 60 seconds.
The place where the main character wanders (immediately after the game logo), is quickly determined by Agroprom’s Dungeon. Over the years, it has been badly damaged, with the upper and lower floors collapsing, and side passages. The level looks barely passable. But there are also acidic anomalies in the Cholodez (Kisel).
The first appearance of the armour and health stripes (red), as well as the time of day icon. Looks like we’re gonna be playing the game with a minimalist interface and no mini-map. Both stripes are walking, so the damage system for armor and health is already there.
We are thrown abruptly into another location where a spinning ball with two rings is rotating. The object has a force field or an antigravity field. And it’s housed in something that looks like a giant superconducting electromagnet. The text on the computer screens has not been deciphered yet.
Another cut, we see the Swamp Doctor on his knees, dying of grief. What is striking is that to his right in the cage “running” (very primitive animation) pseudo-dog. Apparently, this is the same barbos that accompanied the Swamp Doctor scenes in the original game.
We’re probably in the Doctor’s location, and there’s definitely a dead body next to the protagonist.
A device that could be both a new artifact detector and a link to a proposed quest line for the exploration of the Noosphere. You can see that it has a timer on it to show the power and some kind of carib parameter, something like a force. It doesn’t look like a manually-installed teleport to another location. If the quest object, we have shown a banal game activity will have to defend this unit from mutants.
The location where this is happening could be anywhere. Suppose Army Storage fractions of a second before the device is activated, an army tower is visible behind it, and on the right are two defeated army trucks.
We’re going to shoot buildings. The cut on the hero’s arm, so let’s assume we’re somewhere near the perimeter of the Zone, and this is a two-story building. But it could also be the barracks of a military town near Dugi.
The layout of the room is consistent with the looted Zone of Exclusion. The enemies destroyed were probably mercenaries. The animation of the shooting is on the level of modern shooters. The impact of it is difficult to measure on video, but the camera shakes well. When shooting from the cut there is a possibility to lean it to the face (camera)
We’re shown as the player passes an anomaly in a destroyed subway tunnel entrance. As you know, gravitational anomalies can be detected by the vibration of air, flying around leaves or debris. We see all this in action — activating the anomaly with bolts, and then watching the after-effects inside it.
The first minute of the trailer ends with some intense dialogue somewhere between stalkers and free-wanderers. The character opposite the protagonist points a gun at the intruder on the right. He’s followed by another ACSU guard in a jumpsuit that resembles a standard novice stalker outfit.
The developers here obviously still work and work there is no GSC vodka and bread makers on the table. But there’s jam laid out in a plate by the big-nosed Duck. The man in the overalls on the right is wearing the same gear as the fighters from the beginning of the trailer. Then help me find the one who did it. Probably a scene from the beginning of the game. Let’s say we take this high-priced guy to the dump, where we’re gonna take on the controller. Facial animation is up and down.
They show the scene with the stalkers at the fire in the village of Novichkov and the guitar playing here is all standard, as we have already seen in the first full trailer.
Then they’re showing “Swallow” at night. Why is it “Dumpster”? Because there’s a lot of garbage, you can see the remains of equipment, and the large object on the right is probably the Depot.
Another short scene with a man with a gun. If he’s so unhappy about the invasion, we’ve obviously upset him. Judging by the filling, there’s plenty of good stuff here, so this reaction shouldn’t be surprising. On the right side of the wall, you can see the inscriptions VL, Operator and Cyclone, which again reminds us of Depot on Dump.
It is possible that this man is the same one who pointed the gun in the previous dialogue scene. This is no time to speculate, but let’s just say it’s some kind of criminal element. It’s just too weird to be holding a gun and waving it around all the time.
We’ll be wandering around the Depot by noon. We immediately recognize that the cars that were in the middle of it for repairs, have not gone anywhere. The heat truck that was supposed to pull them out, too. And then on the right, there’s this little back room that didn’t exist before. Isn’t that the one this guy’s in?
The place is still dead, the hero has gotten an AK-74 and is fighting with some bandits. The machine gets jammed in the process, so you have to recharge it quickly.
The second minute starts again with the Swamp Doctor. He complains that humans have corrupted the Zone into their own image and likeness. He’s probably implying that they’ve made the Zone a place where they hunt and kill each other all the time.
The next frame shows us the Rainbow radar, the fallen houses and some kind of lake that wasn’t in the original. It would be great if the game really looked like this: the density of grass and reeds is impressive, the quality of deciduous and coniferous trees is high and all this in motion, in the sunshine!
Then we are immediately transferred to Pripyat the place is recognizable by the high-rises, rotting garages and a broken KAMAZ truck. As in 2007, we’re going to have a pack of pseudo-dogs and a bunch of snipers.
The simulation is not like Escape from Tarkov, where he’s healed and he’s running towards the target. The resistance is provided by the monoliths, which the hero immediately deals with, simultaneously changing weapons from an automatic to a machine gun. The hero immediately grabs an olive from one of them and hides in the nearest building to restore his health.
Let’s just say that in the real world, this whole place is already covered in forest, so you can’t run, and you won’t be able to see it. And here’s the plausible apartment stuffing – plastered wallpaper, broken windows and doors, broken furniture.
Another point is the conceptual dispute about what gameplay should be given by the Zone, we have already discussed in another article. In short, it’s a dynamic shooter where anomalies don’t interfere, or a dangerous place where you have to control every step. Looks like the first one.
The next big scene is the blind commander. This is the first time we’ve seen him on base. The person he’s talking to is wearing the same outfit that was flashing before. We’re gonna have to assume it’s the same group. But could her commander have been blinded in the room from the beginning of the trailer?
While the commander complains that he lost men and can’t bury them, we’re shown a dynamic blood-sucking gunfight. But somehow it feels like this is where the communication with the commander takes place. The leech itself has basic animations and stealth mode.
The scene with the downed helicopter brings back memories of “Radar” and the swamps behind the scientists’ base. But we wouldn’t say there’s too little information to draw a definitive conclusion. And it’s been so long, that helicopter should have been destroyed a long time ago.
When they search Lieutenant Vorobyov’s body, they light up the interface. It’s almost the same as the last game – same grid of objects and weight limit. In our inventory, we have food, energy, familiar red medicine cabinets and weapons (we’re picking up a G36 from the corpse).
The moment with the fallen tractor, which the player finds in the dungeon, avoiding Jaro, may be one of the sections of Red Forest, also gone underground.
The end result is a dynamic cut of footage in locations that are difficult to identify. Abandoned labs and storming some kind of base or, judging by the continuous huge wall, this is the border of the Zone, and we’re about to attack an army convoy.
Everything is totally reworked and it looks great, especially when something comes out of nowhere and overflows. Separately, we can stop at the scene of using the Gilka-5 anomaly detector to extract the artifact. By the way, there are some ideas about what art is.
Released in December 2023.