It’s always nice to see a cat in a video game. Or it was, anyway. The upcoming PC game STALKER 2 has cats that may convince us to rethink our position in favor of cats. The concept art of the cats that will appear in STALKER 2 shows something as uncute as you can imagine, and the details that GSC Game World has included are chilling.
The STALKER 2 cat, known as Bayun, is an emaciated feline with a coat of fur that runs down its back and ends at the base of a withered, bony tail. His skin appears paper thin and is torn in multiple places over his ribs, knuckles, and face. Large red growths protrude through the skin around his neck.
“A very stealthy and agile mutant” the description says. “For years, stories about it were considered mere fables. Bayun takes its name from the sacs in its throat, which allow the beast to imitate all kinds of sounds, including human speech.”
That’s it frightening.
Technically, this isn’t the first time a STALKER game has featured mutant cats. The STALKER fandom wiki notes that mutant cats were present in the game code for both STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl and STALKER: Clear Sky, but these were evidently removed from both games, as they do not appear anywhere in the world, except for one, which is stuffed and mounted in the Arbiter’s zoo in Clear Sky.
However, you can sometimes hear their cries while sitting around the campfire in the area.
STALKER 2 was scheduled to be released in December, but that date was pushed back due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The developers say they are still working on the game, but have yet to announce a new release date.