Atomic Heart PS5 Review – Atomic Heart draws heavily from games like Bioshock, Half-Life, Wolfenstein and Fallout and this is clear from the very start of the game. After a lengthy development cycle, Mundfish have finally released the game and, oh boy, was it worth the wait!
Atomic Heart PS5 Review – What’s What?
Atomic Heart is an adventure role-playing action game with a closed world, which takes place in an alternative Soviet Union of 1955. Science, equality and fraternity are the main symbols of Freedom in this reality. But what kind of effort does it take to build an ideal society? And what is the price of such a society?
You play as an elite soldier named Major P-3 who’s tasked with investigating the mysterious cause of a robotic outbreak. The evil scientist Dmitry Sechenov has developed a way for humans to control robots with their minds, but the plan goes awry, leading to the mechanical outbreak.
There is a lot to be said about Atomic Heart, a single player game with its entire focus set on creating an intricate world for us to explore and discover. With a great mix of puzzle solving, first person shooting action, scavenging and crafting this is a truly tough and lengthy amazing looking shooter that had me hooked from the opening scenes.
One thing that stands out straight away are the amazing visuals used throughout the game with both the scenery and the well-designed enemies that you face. The range of robots that you encounter is a very strong line-up from its sleek and sinister moustachioed terminators that charge at us without ever averting their gaze to what appears to be pot-bellied robots carrying a circular saw and firing projectiles at you.
Atomic Heart PS5 Review – Aesthetically Pleasing?
The open world is a sight to behold and running the game on my PS5 looked amazing but what the game does well is move between open world and smaller areas for you to search. You will spend more time in the smaller areas than out in the open scenery, but you can choose to explore the open world as much as you please.
There is a large range of partially ruined labs, facilities, and transportation hubs to explore, with a lot tying into the storyline so that you will have to visit them. There is unfortunately a feel of “look but don’t touch” to these areas with a lot of inaccessible doors. Then take into account the lack of destructibility to these areas and the game does feel like it starts to lack but not so much that it will spoil your game.
Atomic Heart PS5 Review – The Iron Curtain
Atomic Heart is naturally filled with all the Soviet-era iconic symbolism you would expect from a land tucked away behind the iron curtain in the mid 1950’s however, due to game being in development for so long, that symbolism is a little different today than when the game was first announced back in 2018 and we are all aware of what is happening there at the moment.
Facility 3826 and the countryside of rural Russia isn’t much different to the likes of BioShock’s Rapture itself. That is, a place more or less cut off from the outside world and where something has gone deeply wrong.
That is where we come into things; it’s time to get out there and find out just what has gone wrong which is where one of the first issues with the game hits me. You take command of special forces veteran Major Sergey Nechaev, or P-3 as he’s dubbed throughout. The issue here for me is that he is voiced with an American accent.
Then you get into the script of the game and even though I swear like a drunk sailor at the best of times, our hero seems to use it every other word and it does get a little too much not to mention modern day terms being used in the 1950’s not sitting right. A lot of other games got this much better.
Atomic Heart PS5 Review – Getting Started
Heading out into your journey across Facility 3826 you start equipped with a glove that is your best friend. Not only does it talk to you (don’t ask) but can also be used to heal, shock enemies and further into the game can be equipped with more skills to help you in your journey. The start of the game is a steep learning curve forcing me to shout at the screen in frustration and annoyance more times than enough.
Players will have to adapt quickly to Atomic Heart‘s combat system lest they fall victim to the many robots that are out for blood. The early hours of the game are easily the most difficult with just a melee axe and basic gun at your disposal with very limited ammunition.
Your weaponry and glove (Charles) are all upgradable depending on if you have collected enough resources to do it. It is strangely akin to the use of Plasmids in BioShock but do add an important layer to the combat. Obviously, there is only one way to upgrade and it’s not via your pause screen options, instead it is at the hands of an aggressively horny upgrade station called Nora which is scattered around the game. The line “Enter me hard and often” became a little to cliche after the 50th time of hearing it when operating the machine. Why we needed a robot that sexually harasses you for hours on end is beyond me.
A full playthrough offers a very challenging 20+ hours once you get past the fact that you will see the “You Are Dead” screen more times than you would care for, I did nearly get to the point at the start of the game of throwing my PS5 out of the window through frustration.
Atomic Heart PS5 Review – The Verdict
Atomic Heart is a seriously ambitious game which for the major part succeeds in everything it does. The imagination which has one in to making it shines through some of the little niggles I had with it. Getting back into what I felt could have easily been another BioShock title has left me wanting a new title from the dev team behind that trilogy.
Graphically it is far superior to so many titles that have been released thus far on the latest generation of consoles. Couple that with the soundtrack which really adds to the atmosphere of the game and various characters throughout and it is a solid game to take on.
Weapon design looks great, and the upgrade options add some great touches if you can find the blueprints that are scattered around, just prepare for a lot of frustration. I think it is safe to say that Atomic Heart is one of the best games I have reviewed in my time with AIR Entertainment.