Atomic Heart PC
Atomic Heart will receive a wide range of scores due to its mixed reception. While the game features elements that work well, such as visuals, technical performance, combat, enemy design, and interesting levels and scenarios, it also has flaws that detract from the experience.
The game lacks immersion and coherence, which are crucial for single-player shooters. Despite its unique visual style, the game fails to develop a sense of place, and its gameplay and level design can feel exhausting and over-designed. The writing could be better, with predictable plot points and obnoxious characters that detract from the immersion.
Preview Build and Pre-release Trailers Were Good
We were impressed by a preview build of the game but had reservations about its length and the difficulty of creating a good 20-hour single-player shooter. The game’s pre-release trailers also made us skeptical since they were too fantastic. However, the full game did not meet their expectations, and we found it needed improvement in many areas.
The game’s open-world segments are full of interesting ideas and systems, but none work well due to poor enemy density, stealth options, and incentives. The combat scenarios are often repetitive and need more variety, with bullet-sponge enemies and bosses that offer no real challenge.
Overall, Atomic Heart is an oddity that must catch up to its potential. It offers some interesting ideas but only gels into a somewhat satisfying whole.
This one has to up its plot and complexity compared to previous single-player shooters like Deus Ex, BioShock, Prey, and the Metro titles. Therefore, Atomic Heart will not be remembered as a classic in the same way that these games are due to their robotic and fake feel.
Your computer must meet certain system requirements to play Atomic Heart. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- A 64-bit processor and operating system,
- Windows 10 (20H1 version or newer),
- 8 GB of RAM,
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or Intel Core i5-2500 processor,
- 4 GB VRAM,
- AMD Radeon R9 380 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 graphics card,
- DirectX Version 12, and
- 90 GB of available space.
In addition, the game may operate at 30 frames per second with a resolution of 1920×1080 when the graphics settings are set to their lowest possible levels.
For the best experience, the recommended system requirements are as follows:
- A 64-bit processor and operating system,
- Windows 10 (20H1 version or newer),
- 16 GB of RAM,
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600X or Intel Core i7-7700K processor,
- 8 GB VRAM,
- AMD RX 6700 XT or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card,
- DirectX Version 12, and
- 90 GB of available space.
It is also recommended to have an SSD installed to improve loading times. With these system requirements, you can get 60 frames per second when using extreme settings at a resolution of 1920 by 1080.
Atomic Heart Features
V-sync and DLSS Support
Players can expect to spend a few minutes installing shaders when first launching Atomic Heart. Fortunately, this only happens once, and the game has almost no loading screens afterward.
The game also runs smoothly without noticeable stuttering, a common issue in modern PC titles. The only hiccup encountered was with V-sync, which couldn’t be toggled on from within the game. However, you can easily fix this by enabling V-sync through the Nvidia control panel.
The game offers DLSS support, including DLSS3 frame generation. The 2.0 option was sufficient since the 40 series card produced more than enough frames.
The expansive graphical options menu allows players to adjust settings like motion blur and depth of field.
Nevertheless, the field-of-view (FOV) slider is missing, which might be problematic for gamers who get motion sickness owing to the game’s limited FOV.
If you are concerned about FOV then read, Atomic Heart Developers Respond to Player Requests with FOV and Subtitle Settings.
The menu is basic regarding audio options, with only options to control different volumes.
There are no toggles for different audio setups like headphones versus 5.1 and no binaural audio mix.
The directional audio and audio telegraphs also leave something to be desired, and more flexible options would have been helpful.
When playing on a keyboard and mouse, the game utilizes mouse acceleration, which you cannot turn off in the menu. This can frustrate players who prefer full control over their weapons during gunplay sequences.
Perfomance and Stability
However, the game’s performance on various machines is impressive, with stability and consistency in frame rates. There were no crashes during the playthrough, and the minor bugs encountered were small potatoes in the grand scheme.
Overall, Atomic Heart is a well-optimized game with impressive performance and stability, making it a noteworthy achievement in PC porting for a new AAA title. While the game’s visuals hold up technically, not everyone will like the game’s aesthetic choices.
Atomic Heart is a visually stunning game that takes players through an alternate history post-World War II Russia. The game begins with an opening sequence reminiscent of Bioshock’s Americana but with a distinctly Soviet twist.
The game’s visuals could be more subtle about their inspiration, and players will spot numerous Bioshock references throughout the game. The opening sequence is particularly spectacular, starting with a canal ride that leads to crowded streets and culminates in a parade that showcases the USSR’s technologically infused megalomania.
In this alternate history, Russia has invented a new chemical substance that fuels a golden age of scientific discovery, leading to the development of all new technology, most notably automatons.
These machines not only serve Soviet citizens, but the USSR also distributes them freely to other countries as a form of foreign aid. However, as players journey deeper into the game’s story, they will discover the grotesque underbelly of the USSR’s secret scientific testing facilities and KGB-style command centers.
The game’s visuals pull in so many different visual elements that they can be overwhelming at times, with wooden fences next to advanced laser fences, high-tech security cameras suspended on old wooden posts, and futuristic automatons patrolling next to run-down jalopies.
While the game’s opening sequence presents a visually cohesive world, the rest need help maintaining that cohesion. Atomic Heart throws a lot at the wall to see what sticks, and while some sequences are well done and produce striking visuals, others need to be clearer and fit together correctly.
Despite its visual inconsistencies, Atomic Heart is still an engaging game that introduces players to a new setting and develops it throughout the game.
Immersive Gaming Experience
Players will enjoy the evocative imagery and the game’s showcase of the USSR’s technological and biological frontiers. While the game’s visuals may not always fit together correctly, they create a unique and immersive gaming experience.
Atomic Heart is a video game that attempts to immerse players in its world-building by creating consistent and distinct visual styles for its different settings.
The Aperture Science Center, the Metro tunnels, Black Mesa Research Facility, and the Tower Space Station all have a unique feel that makes them feel like real places.
However, the game’s fast-paced cycling through different settings prevents it from achieving a sense of authenticity and immersion. Instead, it feels like a bunch of dioramas taped together, creating disorientation for players.
The game’s levels are visually noisy and often needlessly labyrinthine, making exploration and navigation difficult without GPS markers and scanning tools. These tools are convenient, but they detract from the fun of finding the game’s universe on your own.
The game’s levels are underground in various labs, administrative centers, and bunkers. Players are typically sent to these locations to accomplish tasks. Still, they often find that the power is turned off or some McGuffins are missing, requiring them to solve puzzles and defeat enemies to progress.
While the underground levels are generally successful in their design, the open-world aspects of the game could be a lot better. The game’s large, unintuitive layouts and confusing environments frustrate exploration.
Overall, Atomic Heart attempts to create an immersive world-building experience, but its inconsistent visual styles and confusing environments prevent it from achieving that goal.
Atomic Heart has a complex overworld structure with different open-world areas that you move between using various means. These areas host the main mission levels and optional bunkers where you can collect materials and unlock new weapon patterns.
However, the game’s myriad systems can be overwhelming initially, with numerous enemies patrolling and cameras watching your every move. If a camera sees you, it immediately calls for reinforcements, and a repair drone immediately repairs any robots or cameras you kill.
The increased enemy and camera density make the game’s stealth system more challenging to employ successfully. Trying to kill all of them would exhaust your resources, and the enemies have so much health that it feels pointless to engage them.
With annoying flying drones zapping you from the sky, the reinforcements that materialize almost instantly don’t help. If you shoot them down, two more arrive seconds later, and the repair drone you can’t see off-screen has already repaired the automaton you had previously attacked.
Running past everything is the optimal way to deal with the open world because confronting it feels pointless.
The driving physics is some of the worst, and bumping into walls with the car causes it to catch on fire and explode. The open-world areas all look the same, with little diversity to break up the Green Hill Zone dotted with buildings and strange technology like laser fences and high-tech wind turbines.
In conclusion, while Atomic Heart has some interesting ideas, no effort has been put into balancing them, making the game frustrating. The open world’s systems can be overwhelming and oppressive, making engaging with the game’s mechanics difficult.
The lack of diversity in the Overworld areas and the poor driving physics only add to the game’s issues. Some players may overlook these issues in favor of the game’s original setting and concepts, while others will find they’re better off without them.
Atomic Heart is criticized for its open-world design and combat mechanics. The underground segments of the game are visually diverse, while the overworld needs more variety.
However, the bigger issue is the suffocating feeling of the open-world segments, which make it difficult to experiment with different combat or exploration approaches.
The combat system of Atomic Heart is generally enjoyable, with various weapons and abilities that feel good to use. However, the enemies have too much health, making them feel too spongy, and fighting multiple foes at once can be overwhelming.
The boss battles are visually impressive but lack interesting mechanics, relying mostly on shooting and dodging. Additionally, there is no dedicated run button, making combat feel slower and clunkier than it should be.
The game has a progression path, but it mainly involves upgrading core stats, abilities, and weapons without offering new or interesting combat options. A sleazy kiosk lady is involved in the progression system but does not help you much. Overall, you will find some promising but ultimately flawed gameplay experiences of Atomic Heart.
The writing in Atomic Heart is its absolute worst feature. Despite concerns that the game would glorify the USSR, the story revolves around a new neural implant called Collective 2.0, allowing humans to control robots with their thoughts and access human knowledge instantaneously.
It takes little imagination to guess where this story might go. However, the game lacks twists, turns and surprises, and the main character is dumber than a stack of sandbags.
He blindly ignores every clue and piece of information, almost literally putting his fingers in his ears and going la la la la. He refuses to believe anything he sees or hears is real and blindly trusts the Communist Party scientist, his benefactor and commander on this mission.
Stupid Main Character
The stupidity of the main character is matched only by his unpleasantness. He is written as the tough guy who dislikes being bossed around and is relentlessly antagonistic.
The script is full of him needlessly yelling and swearing at robots who don’t understand the concept of being threatened or being sworn. The Kiosk, which is supposed to be funny, bombards the player with the most unsubtle innuendos ever. It is cringy and juvenile, and the player avoids it as much as possible.
Lacking in Writing
Total immersion is crucial to make a good open-world game. However, quite a few things in this game never let the player sink into that immersion.
The plot, characters, and dialogue are the biggest roadblock. The plot is painfully obvious, and the main character fumbles slowly towards obvious realizations.
Usually, games of this kind have the player assume the role of the protagonist, but in this case, the player wants to avoid wearing the protagonist’s shoes. The character brings the level of ruin that Claptrap would bring to Prey if he were the main character.
Final Verdict Atomic Heart PC
Our opinion on Atomic Heart is that we enjoyed the game and appreciated certain aspects, such as the visual design, which we found to be Soviet-inspired and megalomaniacal. Additionally, we enjoyed some of the levels and scenarios, particularly those that reminded us of other popular shooters like BioShock, Prey, and Metro.
- Several parts of the game were enjoyable, but we also saw certain places where the developer could do some work to make the game even better. We enjoyed the art design, but it was messy and failed to create a believable sense of place.
- Similarly, while some levels and scenarios were enjoyable, we were often bogged down by drawn-out puzzles and unwieldy design choices. Also, we found some issues with the open-world design, citing poor game systems and enemy health balancing as major problems.
- Moreover, writing is the worst part of this game, and we already discussed that. Although we did appreciate several aspects of the game, its many problems and lack of focus prevent us from strongly recommending it.
Based on what we have discussed, Atomic Heart PC is not worth your time.