Sent in 1955 and the Soviet Union, Atomic Heart will see you fill the boosts of KGB agent P-3, who's been sent to investigate a manufacturing facility that's fallen silent. The twist? It's all in an alternate reality where technology like the internet, robots and holograms all exist way before their time and in a more advanced and creepier fashion.
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There's an interesting blend of what looks like Stalker meets Bioshock action, with a little Dishonored thrown in for good measure; expect Soviet-era architecture, telekinetic powers, and AK-47 assault rifles.
So here's everything we know so far about developer Mundfish's Atomic Heart.
Atomic Heart release date speculation
Atomic Heart was slated for a release some point in 2021. Sadly, the game footage trailer gave us no indication of when it would release last year, and then 2022 came around and we're still no clearer on when the game will arrive.
We'd expect to hear more about it this year and potentially see a release, but so far we can only speculate.
Atomic Heart trailer
Atomic Heart has a suite of trailers that have popped up over the past few years, which you can view on the game's YouTube channel.
The latest comes courtesy of E3 2021 and gives us a rapid but rather through snapshot of the game and its action, which looks suitably frenetic and odd; expect a lot of robot contraptions and retro sci-fi augmentations for P-3.
Atomic Heart gameplay, story and crafting weapons
Since word about Atomic Heart has made the rounds for a few years now, we have plenty of things to talk about. We'll break them down into their own subsections below.
Plot and setting: Atomic Heart is a first-person action RPG set in an alternate universe where the Soviet Union still exists. Science has made huge strides, including robotics. You play as Major P-3 who is sent to investigate Plant 3826, which has gone silent. You will encounter killer robots and other oddities as you fight to survive and uncover the truth.
In a 2018 interview with PC Gamer, Mundfish CEO Robert Bagratuni said that Atomic Heart was "conceived as an open world game," saying that the game's map is "a vast circle, the borders of which reach the Arctic in the north, Altai mountain in the south, and with plains, lakes and much more in the middle." Plant 3826 itself is spread out over the map with different area for players to tackle.
Combat: In Atomic Heart, you will use a mix of ranged and melee weapons to fight off enemies and bosses. Ammo will probably be scarce and from some of the videos we've seen, it seems like even basic enemies will hit hard and fast. Weapons can be crafted and perhaps found.
Crafting: Some weapons might be found (we don't know for sure), but there is a crafting system for you to create makeshift weaponry to fight off baddies. How it all works remains a mystery, but some gameplay footage has shown modifying your loadout to boost your stats.
RTX ray tracing support: Atomic Heart will support Nvidia's RTX and DLSS technologies. Word on support for AMD's ray tracing on RDNA2 GPUs remains minimal at this point. You used to be able to download an RTX demo of Atomic Heart, but the old link now just redirects to the game's homepage.
Influences: From checking out the gameplay footage, you can see Atomic Heart's obvious nods to BioShock, Stalker, and Nier: Automata. That's excellent, because those are some awesome games to draw inspiration from.
Atomic Heart outlook
Based on what we know so far, Atomic Heart looks like a fun, creepy adventure into what could have been a Soviet golden era. This Russian sci-fi romp may not be for everyone, since it appears to be quite graphic, but we sure are excited.
Obviously, the big news is that we're still waiting on an official release date for Atomic Heart. You can wishlist it on Steam now if you want so that you'll be notified when it does come out.
For now, we'll just have to content ourselves with the variety of gameplay trailers and screenshots available.