One of the most anticipated FPS of this 2023 is already among us. Atomic Heart is the first game from the Russian studio Mundfish and takes clear references to Bioshock Infinite and Wolfenstein.
The Soviet Union had not disintegrated? That’s what we wanted them to believe.
Among so many things that The Simpsons have taught us is that everything can go wrong or go wrong. Atomic Heart presents us with a dystopian Soviet society where humans live in harmony with advanced machines and androids. Huge facilities that make the communist heart proud. Of course, everything goes wrong when the robots are ordered to attack the humans.
Our protagonist is Major Nechaev or P-3 who, with the help of his glove and artificial intelligence Charles, must track down those responsible for such chaos. For that he goes from facility to facility discovering clues and meeting new characters like the eccentric old woman armed to the teeth Granny Zina.
P-3 is the typical anti-hero, foul-mouthed and more of shooting first and asking questions later. His personality clearly reminds us of BJ Blazkowicz, the protagonist of wolfenstein. I would even venture to say that they could be brothers from different mothers.
The development of the story is given from minor to major (almost in the same way as the mechanics and scenarios). Atomic Heart He does not try to discover gunpowder with his argument but he has dialogues and situations that motivate us to want to continue discovering this alternative world that Mundfish created.
Much more than the “Soviet Bioshock”
When the first trailer came out Atomic Heart We all remember the classic game of Bioshock and to this day Atomic Heart It’s still a Soviet version of that game but I dare say it goes much further.
This is due to the fact that in ten years (if we think about Bioshock Infinite) things have changed quite a bit for FPS.
The game has the classic beginning where they show us the cities by land and by air until we reach the first large facility from which we will have to escape. Even the protagonist himself complains that three cylinders are needed to activate a door and each one of them is located in specific areas. In this first encounter, the enemies will range from classic robots, others that shoot laser beams, aerials, and some zombie-style mutations.
To defend ourselves, P-3 has a variety of weapons and the famous glove. In this way he combines special attacks such as fire, ice or telekinesis with shotguns, energy weapons and axes. On more than one occasion they will use melee weapons and not run out of scarce ammunition.
Its action is not frenetic or complicated, but don’t let several enemies corner you because it could be the end of you. You’re going to have to dodge multiple times to not get hit as even the simplest robots can do a lot of damage. One of the biggest difficulties is that there are some robots that can repair defeated enemies and this can cause you to end up with a strong pear seconds after it is revived.
The glove also serves as a sonar (a super useful ability to detect enemies behind walls and hidden objects) and also a small “gravity gun” to collect materials and some throwable objects. I put it in quotes because this function doesn’t do the attack you imagine.
The glove’s abilities are necessary to kill all the enemies and if we scan them we will know if they have weaknesses against ice, electricity; etc
The way we go through each corner looking for material to add to our inventory leads us directly to the saga fallout (who will not have suffered from having a lot of weight and having to leave objects that we did not even know what they were for). In Atomic Heart There are not thousands of objects but there is an interesting variety of materials to exchange with our “construction fridge that speaks to us sexy”. In it we are unlocking new weapons (a total of 20) if we find the plans, we also improve our weapons and abilities. If we want a special improvement, they will tell us where to find it to go to that area of the game. The good thing is that they allow you to return the points you spent and try other combinations.
There is a wide variety of puzzles, many focused on solving combinations to open doors and others that begin to test all our neurons.
After escaping from the sprawling bunker, the game transitions from its claustrophobic corridors and ventilation shafts to vast train stations, parks, and country houses. An “open” world although the correct term would be an “outside” world. We can visit several places but most of them will be limited to the moment of the story that we are playing.
I knew that Atomic Heart It was at times an open world game and luckily it’s not so big that it feels empty and each area motivates us to explore beyond the main story. This leads us to find side quests and special weapon blueprints that we wouldn’t otherwise.
There is an intention to build moments of stealth but neither indoors nor outdoors does the game allow us to pass the zones without engaging in combat. The enemies have very good eyesight and the covers are not well understood. Also in the open world there are hundreds of cameras. You can hack or destroy them. My recommendation, arm yourself with courage and an axe.
Art is in the details
Curiously I’m playing the first one again Bioshock to put together an opinion note and what that saga had, as well as the fallout and Arkane works as Dishonored either Prey; they were to introduce us to worlds rich in detail.
I have nothing against the sagas of Far Cry or the zombies of dying light but many times their worlds end up being repetitive. You saw an area and you see it again but with more enemies. Each scenario of Atomic Heart stands out for something. The interiors work better and give that feeling of loneliness and fear that comes from knowing that there are killer robots out there. Outdoors, the ecucation is different but each place, whether it is a town or a city, has its own personality… and details.
In the details are the secrets, the hidden materials; etc Whether it’s jumping onto a roof or getting on a bus. Also the photos, banners or computers that we access give life to this alternative world.
The design of the robots is a mixture of several ideas already seen in movies or other video games, although none of this is wrong. It is clear that they were built with another objective (more innocent) and the mission of killing us has been imposed on them. This dichotomy plays a bit with the black humor that he manages Atomic Heart.
The cinematics are very dynamic and serve to move from one situation to another; almost every time it ends in disaster.
Music has a particular charm. First we have the incredible soundtrack created by Mick Gordon, responsible for the last DOOM. But things get crazier when Waltz classics by Dmitri Shostakovich himself or songs by the 80s pop group Mirage appear; all while being attacked by robots.
- Your alluring world
- A balance between action and moments of wit
- Visually it is one of the most demanding games of the moment.
- the soundtrack
- Stealth is not an option
- Enemies can be a bit repetitive in some areas.
MINIMUM: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system – OS: Windows 10 (20H1 version or newer, 64-bit versions)
Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or Intel Core i5-2500 – Memory: 8 GB RAM – Graphics: 4 GB VRAM, AMD Radeon R9 380 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 DirectX: Version 12 – Storage: 90 GB available space – Additional Notes : 30 FPS, 1920×1080 in low
RECOMMENDED: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system – OS: Windows 10 (20H1 version or newer, 64-bit versions) – Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X or Intel Core i7-7700K – Memory: 16 GB RAM – Graphics : 8 GB VRAM, AMD RX 6700 XT or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 – DirectX: Version 12 – Storage: 90 GB available space – Additional notes: SSD recommended, 60 FPS, 1920×1080 in ultra