Xbox Partner Preview - STALKER Trilogy Hero Image

Xbox Partner Preview – How the Iconic S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Trilogy Finally Made Its Way to Xbox 

Today, during the latest Xbox Partner Preview broadcast – as a surprise for Xbox gamers everywhere – GSC Game World launched the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Legends of the Zone Trilogy for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S (via backwards compatibility). That’s right – it’s available today! 

The Legends of the Zone Trilogy bundle – available on the Microsoft Store for $39.99 USD — includes all three iconic games that make up the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Trilogy: Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, and Call of Pripyat. – or you can pick up each of the games individually for $19.99 USD each. Every element from the original games has been maintained and faithfully ported to console thanks to the hard work of GSC Game World and their partners at Mataboo. This all makes for a great opportunity for Xbox gamers everywhere to get some foundational knowledge of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s universe in the lead-up to the launch of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, coming day one to Game Pass on September 5, 2024. 

But translating these hardcore PC games to an Xbox controller has been no small feat. For a series that is known for blending a variety of genres like horror, first-person shooter, exploration, and immersive sim, it was important for the team to get it right. Speaking with GSC Game World PR Specialist Zakhar Bocharov, we wanted to learn more about what this process was like, bringing these cult-classic, hardcore PC titles to console, and some of the innovative design and UI adjustments the team had to make to bring all three games to Xbox. 

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has been a PC franchise for a long time, so the key priorities were concentrated around adapting the experience for consoles as a whole (including, but not limited to, native controller support for console interfaces),” explains Bocharov. “We created everything from scratch, ensuring that the game was both easy to control and comfortable to play.”  

For example, the team developed a weapon selection wheel and made changes to both the aiming system and the menu navigation so it could support an Xbox controller. The original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a complex game, so while optimizing the gaming experience, the development team made it an important goal to not lose that unique gameplay loop and the feeling of overcoming The Zone’s iconic and hostile environment. This has been a project a long time in the making, so there has been significant care and attention to detail to ensure this classic PC game can be enjoyed for a whole new console audience.  

“We wanted to bring S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to consoles for quite some time, and we worked closely with our trusted partners at Mataboo to make that happen,” Bocharov shares. “Despite the new release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, we decided to keep S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Legends of the Zone Trilogy in early 2024 to give the players some time to complete the originals before hopping into the sequel. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is a direct continuation of the plot and a standalone title, but obviously knowing the previous events and characters would help you to enjoy certain story moments, nods, and Easter eggs better.” 

The version available today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S will be close to the original version of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. experience on PC. Xbox One players will finally be able to dive into the franchise, and those on Xbox Series X|S can enjoy the game in a high-fidelity mode via backward compatibility. Later this year, the team will release a patch for Xbox Series X|S version that will bring additional graphical enhancements and other features. The console versions will also have mod support via mod.io, but this too will be a feature to roll out later as the team continues to tweak things a bit, so keep an eye on GSC’s social media channels on when these features will roll out. 

“Considering the cult status of the series and knowing that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is coming to Xbox, it was logical to let players experience the original games,” explains Bocharov. “We consider these releases as finally closing a long-existing gap; all the games from the series will finally be available on all intended platforms.” 

Throughout all this hard work to finally bring these iconic PC games to console, the War in Ukraine has been ever present in the hearts and minds of this game development team. Revisiting a series that helped put GSC Game World on the map so many years ago has now ensured that its legacy will extend to consoles as well — in addition to being available for a whole new bunch of Stalkers to enjoy — helps preserve a truly unique creation from this team of artists and game developers. 

“The war, relocation, cyberattacks, and working between several countries complicated basically all processes within the team — including the development of the games we’re talking about today,” Bocharov describes. “Again, huge kudos to Mataboo for making this happen even during the hardest of times. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s legacy is now as important as ever. Usually, we say that about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, but bringing the originals to the new platforms and letting more people experience them ensures that the truly Ukrainian franchise will go on and will be loved. It’s very important for GSC to secure this.” 

As Bocharov has indicated, this will be a great primer for a new audience to become engaged in the world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. before the arrival of Heart of Chornobyl later this year on Xbox Series X|S. Knowing that, we wanted to know if they had any advice for those of you who will be taking their first steps into The Zone. 

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. doesn’t own its cult status for nothing,” says Bocharov. “The blend of genres (FPS/horror/immersive sim), the highly engaging gameplay loop, the one-of-a-kind world of The Zone — all of these have been attracting new Stalkers over 16 years now. The word “unique” describes this experience perfectly. Being quite a hardcore experience, this may not be the type of game you play every day. But our super-dedicated lovely fan base proves one simple fact: if you’re into this world, you will find yourself attached to it for years ahead. Good hunting!” 

You can pick up S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Legends of the Zone Trilogy today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on the Xbox Store. 

Xbox Live

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Legends of the Zone Trilogy

GSC Game World

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$39.99
Delve into the renowned classics of open-world survival with the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy, now available to console players for the first time ever! — Begin your journey by immersing yourself in the Shadow of Chornobyl, that has started it all — Continue the saga with the prequel to the story. Navigate the war of factions in search of hope to witness the Clear Sky — Finally, experience the ultimate stalker adventure as you answer the Call of Prypiat! Features: ● Investigate the Zone's origins, taking on the roles of legendary stalkers and forging paths that can lead to different outcomes based on your actions and decisions. ● Test your gumption while navigating through radioactive debris and anomalies, and put your reflexes to trial during intense gunfights. ● Search for the answers to the darkest mysteries that could cost you your sanity in sinister catacombs filled with starved mutants. ● Traverse vast locations saturated with Eastern European atmosphere and referenced from the real-life Chornobyl Exclusion Zone: the city of Prypiat, the Nuclear Station, the Jupiter plant, and many others. ● Embrace the solitude and desolation of these lands, as they are your only trustworthy companions on your foray into a dark science-fiction setting.
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chornobyl

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$19.99
The forerunner of the open-world survival FPS genre, the classic S.T.A.L.K.E.R. — recalibrated for a console journey. Dive into the grim atmosphere of this dark science-fiction world on a path to Chornobyl in the first chapter of the original trilogy. EMBRACE DESOLATION These desolate lands are full of hundreds of vagabonds. Though, the stalker is always on his own, facing dangers that are often unseen. Enjoy the mix of action, stealth, horror, and survival with RPG elements in a grim Eastern European setting. And don’t trust anything but your Geiger counter! EXPLORE The Zone, a place full of unfathomable wonders and sinister threats – formerly an exclusion territory near the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Crawl your path to the destination through real-life existing locations: Prypiat, Nuclear Reactors, Red Forest, and others. SURVIVE The path of a stalker to his goal is never a walk in the park. A treacherous anomaly, able to mash even the most experienced fighter, invisible radiation, or plain starvation – any of these can cost you your life. Being careful at every step and managing your resources is the way to survive. FIGHT Get ready to test your skills and gumption, enduring superior numbers of rivals and mutants capable of reacting to changes and living their own lives in vast locations. A broad arsenal of more than 30 weapons will come in handy. DECIDE To stay alive, a true stalker must never stop his search. Valuable trophies, equipment, supplies, new friends or answers to the grimmest riddles of these lands are what give a chance not to perish. Prepare for a non-linear journey for answers and forge your fate with choices that lead to different endings.
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

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$19.99
Great Emission, the biggest anomalous energy blowout from the times of Second Incident at The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, has shaken the world again and reshaped the Zone. To investigate its cause and and prevent future cataclysms is your only chance to survive in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. WAR OF FACTIONS With the anomalous activity at its maximum, the unstable Zone continues to tremor with outbursts. The transformation of the Zone map destabilizes the fragile balance of forces in the Zone. Hostilities for the new territories, artifact fields and spheres of influence flare up among groups. Feuds and friendships are left behind – now, everyone watches out only for themselves. The Faction War has begun. To survive, join one of the parties and knock out opponents over the Cordon… Or benefit from working for all the factions at once, like a true mercenary.
Xbox Live

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Prypiat

GSC Game World

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$19.99
A military expedition to the center of the Zone has mysteriously disappeared. Your task, as a special service operative in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Prypiat – the final part of the original trilogy, is to figure out the reason behind the disappearance and determine the status of the personnel. This edition has been recalibrated for a journey on console. THE SEQUEL TO THE STORY Play your part in the final installment of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R trilogy, uncovering the further fate of the Zone and the stalkers in it. Survive and unravel the mysteries of these lands, blending action, horror, survival, and role-playing elements within the dark Eastern European science fiction setting. UNCHARTED LANDS The heartlands of the Zone are now open for exploration to the most experienced and daring stalkers. Forge your path through the swampy Zaton, the industrial "Jupiter" plant, the ghost town of Prypiat, and the top-secret catacombs untouched since the catastrophe. NEW THREATS The Zone grows ever more unpredictable and treacherous, warping reality itself. Seek shelter during sudden emissions and confront new types of anomalies and mutants. Confront the Chimera, the fearsome predator of the night, and the telekinetic Burer, lurking in the darkest recesses. YOUR JOURNEY Encounter numerous vagabonds and inhabitants along your journey. Be discerning and cautious in your interactions; some may aid your investigation or shed light on the Zone's mysteries. Remember, your decisions will shape their futures and destinies.