Atomic Heart brings an immersive first-person shooter experience with well-optimized high-end graphics. Here is our detailed review.
Mundfish has not disappointed us with the BioShock Infinite inspired Atomic Heart, as the game offers what it promised. The game has become controversial regarding Soviet Union’s history and how things could’ve turned out for Russia in World War 2.
Let’s just put the controversy aside for a while and focus on it as a game. For an overview, I can only say that the Mundfish nailed it with graphics and optimization of gaming hardware. Although some questions arise regarding the game’s optimization on the Xbox series X. Still, the PC master race is getting the best of it.
In this article, The CPU Guide is here to share our detailed review of Atomic Heart with a complete breakdown of how the game has performed well and some areas that can still be improved as a AAA first-person shooter game.
Atomic Heart Review by TCG
After analyzing and benchmarking from various perspectives, I have stated my honest review below to share my experience with Atomic Heart.
Graphics Optimization (10/10)
First, let’s talk about the question that we’re all searching for when the game releases, the graphics optimization. I can surely say that Atomic Heart is one of the most perfectly optimized games, which has restored my faith in PC ports. The Atomic Heart PC requirements seem fair for the next-gen graphics we’ve all been expecting. Mundfish promised the DLSS 3 support for atomic heart, but unfortunately, the ray tracing support is unavailable on launch, and I hope Mundfish will release a patch update for it.
The best part about the game is that you can run it anywhere from the low specs to ultra 4K hardware requirements, depending on your gaming rig, and it won’t disappoint you. The texture details and visuals look super-fine, and the color scheme doesn’t seem dull. You will barely observe any frame drop, no matter the intensity of the combat scene you’re engaged in. I observed some problems with the FOV (Field of View), and Mundfish claims they are already working on it.
PC players enjoy smooth gameplay because the game compiles shaders on your GPU before the game even starts. So if you’re playing Atomic Heart on PC, say goodbye to stuttering. I think it’s the most stable and well-optimized game I’ve played over the years. As for the console players, I’d say that they may not be able to experience the same loading quickness or frame rates. Still, the game looks promising on the next-gen consoles.
Skeptical Storyline (8/10)
Don’t mind me saying this, but the game’s storyline looks more advanced than what could’ve happened in Russia in 1950, so let me explain how it goes. The game begins with the doctor called Dmitry Sechenov introducing the robotic revolution in the 1930s, which takes over the working class and almost every human who ever existed by the 1950s. These robots are controlled by the hive-mind network known as Kollectiv 1.0, and the game is set in the events when Kollectiv 2.0 was introduced.
By far, the story sounds exciting yet unrealistic at the same time. To me, it seems too unrealistic for the technology of the 1930s since the game refers to natural history by reshaping the events from World War 2. Nevertheless, if we consider it a game, it seems pretty cool to roll a concept where robots have taken complete control over humans. I believe it’s arguable that the game took reference from the timeline of 1950s Russia while simultaneously focusing on showing us what could’ve happened if Russia had won.
Sergei Nechaev Character (5/10)
Major Sergei Nechaev, AKA P3, has always been in the spotlight for being rude and angry. I find protagonists from the other games more neutral so we can feel more in control while playing the game. As a person, I wouldn’t say I liked Sergei Nechaev as he seems very angry, shouting curse words and screaming at his AI glove Char-les.
Everyone around Sergei faces the same rage, and the game never explains why he behaves like that. I didn’t feel like playing Sergei whenever he opened his mouth to shout at someone. I was like, come on, man, did you have a rough childhood? I feel sorry for the people who face his rage and insults for no reason.
The same goes for the dialogues or writing script spoken by P3 Sergei, which seem terrible yet cringe-worthy for almost every encounter in the game. The conversations and tone don’t add up with the situation of the scenario. Overall, Sergei’s character should’ve been more flexible regarding emotions and engaging responses.
Open World Interaction (8/10)
Despite being a rude person, Sergei knows how to fight. Putting the racial difference aside for a second, I feel like the range and anger compile into a reaction that Sergei is showing through his combat. By utilizing the power abilities from Char-les, we can use Sergei’s left hand to do severe damage, like electrocuting the enemies or freezing them to death while they are running away. But we’ll talk more about it later. As for the open-world gameplay, the game gives a pretty immersive yet enjoyable experience.
I find looting and crafting the most exciting part of the atomic heart, as there is so much to see and put together from scrap metals. Even after combat, you can collect loot from the dead robots. Sergei takes assistance from Char-les to pull loot in his pocket with the help of telekinesis. I think it’s a great way to clear a room for loot and compels you to visit more unexplored places. By compiling the loot resources, we can craft new weapons, ammo, firearm attachments, and other secondary accessories for melee.
Challenging Combats (7/10)
Let’s talk about that single-player first-person shooter experience we’ve all craved. I must say that atomic heart has a range of enemies, each presenting a whole new fighting experience. Some seem good for the melee weapons; some would only take a few bullets, while the big bosses may seem like walking warhead tanks, so you must keep your dodging and fight stronger.
You will also encounter a range of small bosses and robotic enemies, such as the dog-like creatures who circle you at first and then pounce in your direction unannounced. There is a wide range of weapons to select from, and my favorite is the pump-action shotgun, which feels like a shotgun on each shot impact. It’s effective on robot enemies who have slashed away with a single-shot shell. Some robots have self-healing abilities while others are tough to crack. The worst part is they all swarm out of nowhere suddenly.
Now if I talk about the melee combat experience, it is brutal on enemies but very exhausting at the same time. If you have crafted bulkier melee weapons, P3 can barely swing them around since they are too heavy. And on the other hand, the enemies are much swift in movement so they can dodge a melee attack quickly. One easy way I discovered was to freeze the enemies using the cold polymer power of Char-les and then strike them heavily with a melee weapon. I believe that’s how the melee weapons and freezing ability is supposed to work, so there is no point complaining about combat.
Atomic Heart Review Roundup
Surprisingly the game is receiving a lot of thumbs up. Still, everyone is analyzing the game from a different perspective, perhaps with their criteria, and that’s why it is getting such mixed reviews from these significant franchises.
The game shows an eye-catching blend of super-powered shooting and first-person puzzling in a long, challenging, and terrific-looking first-person shooter. IGN gave Atomic Heart some good ratings as they genuinely appreciated the artistry they’ve done with the graphics and how the storyline proceeds through the action combat.
Gaming Trend (9.5/10)
Moving forward with the positive feedback, the Gaming Trend also believes that Atomic Heart will bring some serious competition in the Game of the Year race for 2023. The game was worth the hype and Mundfish lived up to its promises by bringing a unique storyline and combat action.
Metacritic has given a stable rating as many reviewers have shared their experience by appreciating the compilation of action-packed storylines with challenging combat. So far, Metacritic has not mentioned any negative reviews but only positive and mixed reviews, admiring the stunning architecture and graphics.
GamesRadar gave a balanced review by appreciating the big ideas and concepts it has brought. But at the same time, they mentioned that the game felt a bit disappointing for having a messy storyline while failing to grab the potential for being memorable.
Twinfinite gave more of a negative review by criticizing the small elements that were ignored throughout the game. The reviewer mentioned that besides all the crafting, combat, and upgrades, various frustrating elements are holding back the game from being a great production. There are glaring issues, and combats are challenging.
Players are still sharing mixed reviews based on what they expect from a game. I believe Atomic Heart is a pretty amazing game and worth playing based on the type of optimization experience it delivers and the immersive gameplay in the alternative retro Soviet Union. The stunning world full of adventures makes this game a perfect new-gen FPS.
Have you played Atomic Heart yet? Share your experience down in the comments.