There's really no denying that Atomic Heart is a fun first-person shooter with great melee combat action. But it's let down terribly by the cliché writing that has the protagonist making the most inane jokes, and vulgar comments. Russian super agent Major Sergey Nechaev (P-3) is probably best silent, but unfortunately, he doesn't shut up.
- Great-looking and beautiful retro sci-fi world
- Fun, frantic combat that makes for great action
- Plenty of cool abilities to use and combo
- Terrible protagonist that dampens the feel of the game
Set in a very advanced 1950s USSR, Atomic Heart evokes plenty of Bioshock vibes with its futuristic elements. Due to the invention of a material called Polymer, which is a plastic electric storage device, the USSR makes robots, AI, cold fusion reactors, and flying cities. But all is not well, as the launch of a new neural network causes the robots to go berserk, and you're stuck in the middle of the action trying to fix things while mouthing off with lame quips.
The world does feel pretty immersive. You venture through a bizarre world filled with killer robots, almost horror-like elements, and puzzle-solving elements. You craft new weapons, farm for materials, and hunt for recipes to make your weapons even better. Not that you need though — the weapons you get from your standard playthrough is definitely enough to get you through the game. And speaking of weapons, Atomic Heart's weapons are fun, especially the melee ones. They pack special abilities, such as being able to throw saw blades.
Then you get special abilities, such as a freezing spray, telekinesis, or shield, which you can upgrade and switch at any time. You can also reset your abilities at no cost at save points, allowing you to try different combos. And you'll need to, as the game loves throwing a ton of enemies at you. Robots will flying kick you in the head, plant zombies will try to pin you down and eat you, while other robots will toss mortar shells, saw blades, or shoot laser beams at you. The combat is frantic fun, and makes the game worth playing at least. It took me around 14 hours to beat the game. You can spend more time hunting for the best weapons too if you don't want to beat the game so quickly.
If you can stand its horrible protagonist, Atomic Heart is actually a lot of fun. I recommend switching the language to Russian, so at least you don't have to listen to the terrible quips in English. I do wish they at least made the effort to speak in Russian-accented English, and not the American and British accents you hear. Get it from Steam for S$69.90, or free on Xbox Game Pass.
Note: Review copy provided by 4Divinity.
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