Atomic Heart Xbox Series X
Atomic Heart Overview
Your arrival by boat to a seemingly perfect utopian city floating amidst the clouds of a post-WW2 world ruled by Soviet science marks the beginning of an adventure that promises to be both perplexing and exhilarating. The game’s developer, Mundfish, boldly wears its inspirations on its sleeve, setting the stage for an engaging experience.
Yet, as the initial guided tour takes a turn for the worse, the world of Atomic Heart only partially fulfills the promise of its promising introduction. Despite the game’s swap of Infinite’s early 20th-century Americana for a 1950s representation of communist Russia, the ideas behind the world of Atomic Heart ultimately surpass the final product.
One of a kind First-person Shooter
Once the game’s intro moves from mere walking simulation to a frenzied first-person shooter, Atomic Heart finds its footing. The storyline unfolds as you navigate various underground facilities, taking the form of first-person puzzle rooms and combat scenarios. While the initial ‘dungeon’ areas lean more toward puzzle-solving, combat soon becomes the driving force behind the game’s roughly 15-hour adventure.
Before long, players will encounter the aggressive robot creatures that populate Atomic Heart’s open world. Although the game’s pre-release material showcased these formidable foes as a central aspect of the experience, the game’s overall structure still needs to be comprehended.
The ‘open area’ segments function primarily as stepping stones between the game’s main missions, which are led by dungeon exploration. Unfortunately, these segments ultimately represent a significant missed opportunity, considering the intriguing world that the game establishes.
While it may not have been reasonable to expect a Ubisoft-style collection, Mundfish fails to include sufficient meaningful content in Atomic Heart’s open world to justify the extensive exploration. Our review reveals that little exists beyond unnecessary combat encounters and resources for weapon or ability upgrades.
Ultimately, Atomic Heart’s open world serves mainly as a vehicle to transport the player to the next waypoint of the primary mission rather than a fully-realized environment.
The World of Atomic Heart Xbox Series X
If you’re interested in the game’s aesthetic, which is a fusion of brutalist Soviet architecture and high-tech robot society, then exploring the open world may be worth your while. The world’s retrofuturistic style is truly remarkable, especially with the sight of the world’s suspended rail line weaving through the mountainous environment. However, be careful of the sneaky robots that lurk in the hills.
Atomic Heart’s Story-Led Dungeons
Atomic Heart’s story-led dungeons are where you’ll spend most of your time, and they’re primarily enjoyable, albeit repetitive, towards the game’s conclusion. The facilities are usually multi-room dungeons with hectic combat sections, mini-boss fights, and some light puzzling here and there. The puzzles were never too challenging, which we appreciated, given the game’s focus on shooting. However, they are largely omitted from the game’s final few missions.
Combat in Atomic Heart
Atomic Heart’s first-person shooting is enjoyable when everything works right. The early-game pump-action shotgun is helpful throughout, and combining it with the game’s freezing or telekinesis powers gives off some severe BioShock plasmid vibes. Plenty of other weapons and abilities exist to experiment with, and players could employ a different approach to fighting when replaying the game.
Caveats to Combat
There are a few slight caveats to combat, however. We completed the adventure briskly, and for large parts, we needed more resources to craft new weapons or buy different abilities from the game’s various vending machines.
Using our glove’s satisfying looting mechanism, we found as many bits and pieces as possible. Still, players should take the time to scour every nook and cranny if they want to experiment with Atomic Heart’s entire arsenal.
Controls That Don’t Work and Mysterious Weapon Cartridges
First off, let’s talk about the controls of Atomic Heart. Aiming down sight is a complete mess because some aim acceleration throws everything off. The inability to adjust aim sensitivity alone doesn’t help either, so there’s no way to fix this issue at launch.
On top of that, we found that the game’s weapon cartridges, which are meant to modify your guns, are entirely useless. Even though you find them and they appear in your inventory, there must be a way to use or equip them. We hope this bug will be fixed soon, as it prevents players from taking advantage of the game’s weapon mod system.
Story-Led Dungeons and AAA Cutscenes
The game’s story-led dungeons are where Atomic Heart progresses its main storyline. The game’s cutscenes often appear here, and they’re impressively put together, giving the game a ‘AAA’ sheen throughout. These dungeons are also where players will spend most of their time with the game.
Through, they’re primarily enjoyable but get repetitive toward the end of the adventure. The facilities typically take shape as multi-room dungeons featuring hectic combat sections, mini-boss fights, and some light puzzling here and there.
Messy Plot and a Shouting Protagonist
The plot of Atomic Heart doesn’t make much sense beyond the fact that the Soviet Union pushes science too hard, and the game’s machinery starts to take over. Although we were primarily intrigued by the game’s setup, world, and the premise of its Russian robot apocalypse, we found the plot messy.
We would have preferred a much larger focus on what’s happening in the world rather than the protagonist’s involvement. Oh, and speaking of the protagonist, get used to him — P-3 as he’s known — shouting ‘CRISPY CRITTERS’ every time he’s annoyed at something. Yeah, he does that a lot.
Impressive Graphics and Performance, but Controls are Problematic
We have some mixed feelings about Atomic Heart, particularly concerning its controls.
- Some of the game’s features don’t work on the console.
- The lack of aim sensitivity adjustments can be frustrating.
- The weapon mod system is also broken, preventing players from fully experiencing all that Atomic Heart offers.
- However, the game runs smoothly on Xbox Series X, and its graphics are stunning.
Dungeons and Cutscenes Shine, but Storyline is Confusing
The game’s primary campaign is where it shines, featuring:
- Well-crafted cutscenes and impressive set pieces.
- However, the plot could be more straightforward and more transparent.
- We would have liked to see more focus on the world around us instead of just the protagonist’s role.
- Additionally, the main character’s repetitive catchphrase can be grating.
A Solid Game, but Not Quite a Standout
Atomic Heart is worth playing if you’re a fan of immersive first-person shooters, but it must become a true genre classic.
- The skill tree system is deep, providing a variety of play styles.
- The combat scenarios are engaging.
- However, the open world is mainly skippable.
- The boss fights are lackluster.
Overall, Atomic Heart is a solid alternate-history shooter, but it needs to measure up to its comparison to BioShock and DOOM.
What type of game is Atomic Heart?
Answer: Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter game with RPG elements, set in an alternate history Soviet Union where robots have gone rogue.
What are some of the main features of the Atomic Heart?
Answer: Atomic Heart features a well-crafted setting, solid first-person shooting mechanics, a deep ability upgrade system, and some impressive set-piece moments.
What are some of the issues with Atomic Heart?
Answer: Some of the issues with Atomic Heart include a largely wasted open world, undercooked boss fights, a messy storyline that doesn’t take advantage of the game’s immersive setting, and glaring controller issues that prevent some in-game mechanics working properly.
Is Atomic Heart worth playing?
Answer: Whether or not Atomic Heart is worth playing depends on your interest in the game’s world and gameplay mechanics. It may be worth a play for fans of immersive FPS games, but it’s important to temper your expectations rather than expecting it to be a true great in the genre.
More Atomic Heart articles are coming; check us out if you want to read more about the game.