STALKER’s Duty and Freedom Factions Explained
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl will feature many factions vying for influence and control of the area; from independent Solitaires to Bandits who go after them. Two factions defined the landscape of HARLER and STALKER 2 right from the start, with players able to join and fight alongside their members for rewards and influence the course of game history.
Duty and freedom are a classic division between order and chaos. Duty is about hierarchy and control of the area, while freedom cherishes individuality and freedom to explore the bizarre landscape of Chernobyl. Both are big and powerful, and as GSC Game World stated in STALKER 2 Developer Diary, their actions will once again play a big part in the Zone landscape in STALKER 2.
The Duty Faction
The duty is to contain the area, viewing it as an inherently harmful scourge on the world. Their beliefs are easy to understand; given the deadly anomalies, brain-searing shows, and some of the most disturbing video game mutants that define life in the Zone. If any of these threats escaped into the outside world, the consequences would be severe. Believing that the regular army stationed at the borders of the Exclusion Zone is incapable of effectively combating the entities within, Duty has no choice but to wage a private war on behalf of the human race.
Founded by some of the first Ukrainian soldiers sent to the Zone, Duty draws its membership from former military and lone Stalkers who believe that faction discipline and dedication is the best chance they have to fight the Zone and its corruption. . Although Duty is generally willing to work alongside independent Stalkers, they are more than willing to turn on them if containment of the supernatural to protect the world demands it. Even so, Duty is one of the main stabilizing forces in the area, regularly clearing mutant lairs and attacking any bandits they find.
In addition to enjoying the relative safety found in Strongholds of Duty, Stalkers working for and alongside the faction have access to much better gear than common Solitaire. Some of the best weapons in HARLER is in the hands of Duty. Thanks to the strict regulation of their units, Duty has one of the highest standards of weapons and armor in the zone, which players can use if they join the faction.
The Freedom Faction
On the other side is Liberty, the polar opposite of Duty. Viewing the Zone’s artifacts and anomalies as miracles to be explored and shared with the rest of humanity, Freedom believes its dangers can only be overcome by understanding, rather than destroying them. They claim that the mutant spikes and eruptions are the result of the Zone’s defense against Duty and their attempts to destroy it. Although Freedom hunts and destroys mutants, they do so out of necessity rather than mandate.
Though stereotyped by their enemies as a bunch of misguided anarchists and daredevils, many high-minded philosophers and scientists fill the ranks of this faction of well-armed individualists. Despite the laid-back atmosphere of Freedom’s bases and the lack of a strict hierarchy, in battle the clan is highly organized and efficient. The faction has proven to be one of the most resourceful fighters in the zone, regularly going up against other factions, despite their lack of formal training.
Stalkers who join Freedom have slightly better access to Western-made weapons, but the lack of standardization makes their base gear a bit better than regular Loner gear, if not slightly worse. However, their experience surviving in the Zone means that their armor is generally well insulated against the dangers of anomalies. Privileged allies might even receive some of the finest and coolest gear in the zone as a reward for their exceptional deeds.
The importance of freedom and duty
In each HARLER game of The shadow of Chernobyl for Call of Pripyatthe conflict between Duty and Freedom has always been central to the Zone. HARLER is an RPG where player choice matters, and the decisions made by the player character will determine which factions will take control of the area’s territory and who will be among the player’s allies in major confrontations. However, the main contributions of duty and freedom to HARLER series are how they add to the themes of these dark titles.
Both sides are shown to be making valid points, but a combination of pride, past animosities, and a simple unwillingness for either faction to compromise on what they see as principles base, a costly and unnecessary war is inevitable. Even when the center of the zone opens for the first time in years and the Monolith fanatics begin to threaten the entirety of Chernobyl, the two powerful factions divide their time between fighting the existential threat of the fanatical army and shoot themselves. other.
Duty and Freedom show the dangers of ideology becoming more important than people, turning the most experienced and even the most compassionate Stalkers (a rare trait in the Zone) against their fellows, while the unknown dangers of Chernobyl continue. to spread. Their inclusion in STALKER 2 shows that GSC intends to continue its exploration of these fascinating morally gray factions and their characters.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is in development for PC and Xbox Series X/S.
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