Atomic Heart: First Impressions

Developer: Mundfish

Genre: First Person horror shooter/ atompunk

MSRB (At time of publishing): $59.99

Platform: PC, Xbox, Playstation

Game Link:

Atomic Heart has been a game in the making for the past half decade, with the weird steampunk inspired art style, from the mysterious developer Mundfish leading the charge. Through a lot of up and down news, the game has finally been released in all of its weird, Slavjank glory. Here’s my thoughts on the early game based on my first three or so hours with the game.

Atomic Heart starts out slow, with a rather happy feeling slow boat ride, like you just got on the Small World ride at Disneyland. It does a good job of showcasing the artstyle, and the setting over its thirty minute or so tutorial. Monuments scattered around the area tell of the backstory, how the Soviets engineered Polymer technology, how the Nazi’s engineered a murderous plague, and other such history. Overall I felt this was a strong start, and one I wasn’t expecting from an action roleplaying game.

However, once the action gets going, Atomic Hearts pulls no punches. The game is surprisingly hard, with the melee combat being almost soul- like in nature. You’ll be dodging and whirling around trying to aim your hits as enemies dance around you. The game does get a bit easier when you acquire firearms, but still remains a consistent challenge nonetheless. 

The weapon upgrades are rather high quality, with noticeable changes on each weapon, rather than being a boring stat increase. There are also a solid amount of skill tree buffs, ranging from more health to greatly increasing the power of your special abilities. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but it’s solid nonetheless. Plus it has the ability to respec your skill tree whenever you feel like, so there is always room for experimentation.

The enemy variety is also excellent, with typical cyborgs morphing into enormous drill worms, flying repair drone, and the two Russian ballerina robots that we all know was Mundfish’s way of trying to capitalize off what gave Lady Dimitrescu’s explosion

As of my current playthrough, there is one main flaw with Atomic Heart, at least from my perspective.
While the story and artstyle is great, the dialogue between the main character P-3 and his glove/ sidekick Charles, ranges from mildly charming to borderline painful. The way they banter back and forth makes P-3 come off as little more than a quippy teenager, with constant jokes about how “This is like a sci fi novel or something” being in every conversation.

The back and forth between Charles and P-3 also contradicts each other, as they constantly switch from bickering spitefully, bantering, or being supportive. I can’t tell if they have a buddy-cop relationship, or if they actively despise each other, or even just how long they’ve known each other.

Overall, I’m fully satisfied with my current Atomic Heart experience, and I feel as if it’s the start to a really good successor to Bioshock. 

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