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Atomic Heart Review: A Surreal And Frustrating Journey Through an Alternate Soviet Union

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Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter developed by Mundfish, set in an alternate version of the Soviet Union’s history where technology has advanced to create a utopian society where humanity and machines work in harmony. The game’s protagonist, P-3, is a special agent with special abilities imbued upon him by a talking glove called Charles and is sent to clean up the mess before high-ranking officials visit. This game has been in development for a long time, and after much controversy and concern, it has finally been released.

One of the most impressive aspects of Atomic Heart is its unique world and stunning visuals. The landscape and architecture are a fusion of past and future, creating a truly striking sci-fi world that stands out from other games. However, this unique world is not without its dangers. Sentient lawnmowers, robots, and synthetic hybrids all threaten the player, and combat is an essential aspect of the game.

Fortunately, Atomic Heart’s combat system blends melee, ranged, and augmented abilities seamlessly, creating an exciting and dynamic experience. Each enemy type has strengths, weaknesses, and immunity to different attacks, so you need to switch things up constantly, utilizing the full range of tools at your disposal, though you can only equip two abilities at a time.

For instance, the cryo mod can freeze your enemies in a crystalline shell, temporarily halting their movements. The electro spark can open doors, manipulate magnetic polarity in puzzles, and stun enemies momentarily. The telekinetic mod can throw enemies into the air and hold them there, making it easier to take them out with ranged weapons. These abilities can be upgraded, increasing their effectiveness and adding variety to combat.

However, combat in Atomic Heart can be frustrating at times, particularly in the game’s open environments, where it can be difficult to control an escalating situation or make a quick escape. Running low on ammo during these encounters can make survival a real slog.

Another issue with Atomic Heart is that stealth isn’t a viable option in most situations. Being spotted is nearly unavoidable, and almost every attempt to play things cool resulted in a bloodbath. Cameras and some drones can escalate a fight by alerting extra forces until they’re taken out, and others can rebuild fallen foes, meaning the fight is rarely done quickly. These factors are better contained indoors, as there are just too many places for enemies to be drawn from in a high-alert situation in outdoor areas.

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Atomic Heart is an ambitious game that has a lot going for it. Its unique world, stunning visuals, and exciting combat make it an experience worth playing. However, its open environments can be frustrating, and stealth often feels like an impossible task.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5.0

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