The premise of the setting is that in 2006, twenty years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Planet meltdown, there is a second explosion that somehow turns the entire area within 30 kilometers into a mystical wasteland where the laws of physics no longer completely apply, and terrible mutants and monsters roam freely. The Ukrainian military have cordoned off the Zone, and won't allow anyone to enter or leave. Yet after several years, it's discovered that people have been sneaking in and smuggling out rare artifacts with semi-magical properties. They sell these artifacts and make a bundle of money, and now hundreds of people are running off into the Zone to treasure hunt. The Military refers to these people as Stalkers, and have an unofficial policy to shoot on sight.
But there's a lot more going on than just treasure hunters and mutants. Multiple factions wrestle for power and control, seeking to tame or destroy or simply to learn from the Zone and its numerous secrets.
This campaign is somewhat survival based, but is mostly a character and story-focused game that is meant to feel authentic. You'll find no super heroes, or untouchable kung fu masters here. This is a dark and deadly world, one where death looms in every corner, and even out in the open you can find that one wrong step can cripple you. Yet there are treasures to be found, secrets to be uncovered, and adventure to be had.