Game Review: Atomic Heart

Christopher Gomez, Staff Writer

Screenshot of Atomic Heart trailer

Imagine if Russia won WWII and became a powerful force across the nation: That’s the main setting of the video game “Atomic Heart.”  

You play as an experienced Russian soldier named P-3. The story starts off with Russia having a utopian-like society with robots and humans living together in harmony. This is until it turns dystopian once the machines go out of control.  

It’s up to P-3 and his talking glove, Charles, to figure out who or what caused the robots to start killing civilians and overtaking the country.  

According to IGN, the score they gave “Atomic Heart” was 8 out of 10. 

Metacritic gave the game a 77% critical review.  

I played “Atomic Heart” on Xbox One, but the game is also available on the computer and on PlayStation. I was fortunate that the game was released free on a monthly subscription called Game Pass.   

The game has many great concepts and mechanics like crafting weapons and upgrading abilities. There are saving points that are free of enemies that allow you to save as well as use a machine named NORA.  

NORA is a machine that lets you craft various items; it was fun to collect materials to build weapons and to upgrade them for improvement. You can also upgrade your glove to give it powers, such as “frostbite”, that shoots ice out of your glove to freeze enemies.  

There are also puzzle sections throughout the game like doors that have locks that need colors to match on different sides of the lock.  

I enjoyed a section of the game where there were positive and negative buttons and I had to press them to move platforms up and down to reach a door. The puzzle sections were creative and had me think about how to solve them. 

 I would recommend “Atomic Heart,” but not at its full price of $70.  

The game’s combat system is one mechanic that prevents “Atomic Heart” from living up to its full potential. There were sections where I was swarmed by crowds of robots trying to tear me apart. The worst part is that when robots are killed, flying robots spawn infinitely and keep repairing the robots you just destroyed.  

The world is open, so the player can explore a large map, but it was annoying to fight enemies that can be repaired. I ran away from enemies more often than fighting them if I didn’t have to. 

“Atomic Heart” combines genres from other games such as being a first-person shooter, puzzle and adventure game, making it a jack-of-all-trades. Overall, “Atomic Heart” has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s a game to check out if it’s on sale or if you have a gaming subscription.