Stalker 2's Hands-On Gamescom Demo 'Makes Clear The Power Of Unreal Engine 5'

Developer GSC Game World has arrived at Gamescom 2023 with the first ever playable demo of Stalker 2, and outlets are starting to go hands on with the highly-anticipated Game Pass title this week. One of those is Xbox Wire, where the team has come away suitably impressed by what's playable at the show.

An in-depth preview discussing the chunk of Stalker 2 that's playable on the show floor says that the upcoming title "makes a hell of a first impression", with its Unreal Engine 5 world "packed with detail" - at least from what's been shown so far. Here's a lengthier snippet from Xbox Wire:

"STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl makes a hell of a first impression – the opening moments see your player-character, Skif sprawled across the floor of a rad-blasted forest, looking down, and seeing a mutant dog chewing on their leg. Cue a panic, a jammed gun, and the dog being fortuitously picked up by a nearby atmospheric anomaly and, well, exploding. Like I said, hell of a first impression.

Along the way, GSC Game World makes clear the power of Unreal Engine 5, imbuing beauty to a distinctly nasty world – The Zone (the name given to this alternative Earth’s post-nuclear Chornobyl Exclusion Zone) is packed with detail: abandoned buildings cut through with low, wintry light; threadbare forests broken up by oily, shimmering bubbles of warped reality; and pockets of quiet humanity being scratched out in the wilderness."

The demo wasn't all show, no trousers either. The outlet was impressed with how much of Stalker 2 that GSC Game World made playable, especially for the game's first ever public hands-on demo.

"The most surprising element for a showfloor demo is the freedom you’re offered. Developer GSC Game World makes clear that this is a tiny slice of an enormous game, and still work-in-progress, but barring a short scene-setting conversation with a mysterious stranger – who directs us to speak to some locals – the demo makes no demands of you to do anything other than explore."

Ever since we first locked eyes on Stalker 2 it's been one of our most anticipated Game Pass titles, and although a lot has happened since GSC's sequel burst onto the scene, we're still incredibly excited for its arrival. Oh, and previews like this certainly aren't toning down our hype levels!

Is Stalker 2 a day one play for you as well? Let us know your hype levels in the comments down below.