Until the intriguing and explosive trailer for Atomic Heart was released in May 2018, little was heard about the game. Then the studio Mundfish continued to stir up interest, giving out fresh details, but it is much more interesting not to read the details, but to watch the development of the game on videos. It’s already 2021, during which time a lot has come out, but Atomic Heart still raises a lot of questions.
The developers drew inspiration from various sources: artwork and gameplay were taken from Metro, BioShock, Nier: Automata and STALKER, and the game world is a product of Russian science fiction and the personal experience of the development team, some of which grew up in Russia. What happens if you mix it all together? It remains to be seen, but for now, let’s take a look at what is known about Atomic Heart .
When is Atomic Heart coming out ?
Developer Mundfish has yet to announce a release date, and the official Steam page lists the abbreviation TBA – to be announced later.
What is Atomic Heart?
A first-person shooter set in an alternate Soviet era with killer robots, clown-themed torture chambers and old women trapped in molecular slime . Yeah, that sounds strange. Combat is a mixture of gunfire and hand-to-hand combat using improvised weapons, and the lack of ammunition suggests stealth is preferable in some cases.
Will Atomic Heart support ray tracing?
In January, Nvidia shared a new trailer for the game showing its ray tracing capabilities. Thus, Atomic Heart will support ray tracing and DLSS. And just like in previous videos, the game looks amazing. This short video shows the museum area from past trailers, as well as excerpts from hand-to-hand combat and the use of supernatural powers.
What’s the story? Premise?
The developers have confirmed that the history of the game is somewhat similar to the episode of “Black Mirror” – if the show took place in a distorted version of the Soviet Union between the 30s and 60s. In a conversation with IGN last year, Mundfish CEO Robert Bagratuni said that the USSR still exists in this universe, “but a technological revolution has already taken place: robots, the Internet, holograms have been invented … all immersed in the atmosphere of communism, opposition to the imperialist West and other inalienable aspects of politics and the social sphere of that time. “
The production of robots that help in agriculture, defense, wood production and other household chores has been put on the conveyor – and now they have raised a riot. The player is a mentally unstable KGB special agent named P-3. The government sent him to a secret manufacturing facility to find out what happened there.
Upon arrival, it is clear that everything, to put it mildly, has gone to hell. The robots are out of control, the once-dead creatures come to life and deadly traps are scattered everywhere. Your task is to find out what happened and put an end to this chaos.
Somewhere between murder and madness lies a love story, although we don’t know how big its role will be.
All Atomic Heart gameplay shown up to this point
Mundfish has a tendency to pause between game video releases, but when they do, there is a real boom. Atomic Heart every time becomes more and more strange, wild and beautiful.
In the summer of 2020, Mundfish released a 7-minute gameplay video showing footage from the battle with the mini-boss Ivy. It all starts with the main character moving through the museum and killing less dangerous opponents before stumbling upon a creepy creature.
In February 2020, we saw a short gameplay teaser showcasing various retro environment technologies and some really formidable enemies, including creepy drill snakes.
Shortly before this official teaser in 2020, we also saw footage courtesy of the Russian gaming service 4game, which managed to spend 4 hours on the current build of the game . In honor of this, a lengthy video was released, in which almost everything that they managed to see was told. After all the doubts in 2019, this video proved that the game is still in development.
The most interesting fragment from the video is the analysis of enemy ecosystems. CCTV cameras, similar to bees, live as a whole family in a hive, from which they fly out in order to find the main character if he was discovered by another enemy. Hacking or shutting down these hives limits the number of active drone bees. Therefore, you will need to plan your actions as you progress through the game.
A cinematic teaser was also released containing a cryptic conversation between the (supposedly) protagonist and a dark figure on screen.
In 2019, Mundfish released a 10-minute gameplay video of Atomic Heart . It shows both shooting and hand-to-hand combat, and also told about the strange world that the developers managed to create. Pay attention to the ropeways (the cables that we will roll down), the presence of the QTE and the huge enemy robot shown at the very end. Most likely, this will be one of the main bosses.
Atomic Heart system requirements
The official Steam page lists both minimum and recommended system requirements. To run you need at least:
- Processor: i5 4460 / AMD FX-6300 CPU (i7 3770 recommended)
- RAM: 6 GB (8 GB recommended)
- Video card: GTX 760 or R7 260x (GTX 1060 recommended)
However, there is a possibility that these are ordinary placeholders: the official website of the game says that “it is difficult to name exact requirements at the moment” (although it also states that they will be relatively “modest”). And given the presence of ray tracing, at least one of the latest video cards should be.
Is this an open world game?
Dont clear. The world embraces “the entire Soviet Union – a huge area, the boundaries of which reach the Arctic in the north, Gorny Altai in the south, and have numerous plains, lakes and other objects in the middle.” Throughout this map, there will be various sections of Factory 3826 scattered about. And we will have the ability to choose the order in which to explore these areas.
In a 2018 interview, Mundfish CEO Robert Bagratuni stated that Atomic Heart was “intended to be an open world game,” but later declined to confirm that there would be a full exploration of the map. When asked if the world would be seamless, he told Wccftech that he couldn’t provide an answer yet. But he added:
Now I can say with certainty that there will be many different biomes.
Presumably, this is a series of linked levels scattered across a huge Metro Exodus-style map. There is a rail system here that will be used to move.
The Atomic Heart will be crafting weapons system?
The weapons in Atomic Heart are mostly homemade and we will be building them “from various metal parts dropped from robots or taken from household appliances or fragments obtained during the game.” There is no exact information on how the crafting system works, but the image above suggests there will be many ways to increase stats.
Will there be VR headset support ?
In a 2017 teaser, SteamVR and PSVR were listed as the release platforms for Atomic Heart , but Mundfish has since confirmed that the game won’t get a full VR launch. In a conversation with Wccftech, the following was said:
Now there are no such plans. It is possible that as we get closer to the release of the game, some elements will be available in VR, but now it is difficult to say which ones and in what format.
Previously, the developers released the Soviet Lunapark VR VR project. It took place in the same universe as Atomic Heart , but was then removed from Steam. Anyone who paid for Soviet Lunapark will receive a free copy of Atomic Heart.
The game will have a multiplayer PvP mode (and possibly co-op)
The story of Atomic Heart is meant to be a single player game, but the developers say they are “considering co-op.” But more information was not squeezed out of themselves.
More specific plans for the multiplayer PvP mode have been revealed. The game’s website states:
If you’re ready to challenge other players, a secret railroad will take you to a special region dedicated to PvP battles.
If you’ve been actively following the development of Atomic Heart , then you probably know how scandals erupted in January 2019 after anonymous sources at Mundfish talked about mass layoffs and incompetence of studio leaders.
The developers responded in part to these claims in a later interview . Basically, they dispute the original report and say the game is far more polished than the leak claimed.
In an interview with Wccftech, the team also reassured fans by talking about the development process.
[Our] seasoned developers at big companies like Ubisoft … are experts in creating AAA games and complex subsystems including multiplayer online games, AI, analytics and scoring systems, and other complex and high-tech challenges.
We also work closely with Epic Games to learn about the latest UE4 technologies and features before they go public. Our partners at Nvidia help optimize graphics and performance. Thus, based on all of the above [it can be stated] – our game is being developed at the highest technological level.
Mundfish rarely shares fresh development information, although a Discord post copied and pasted to Reddit hinted at more regular updates in the future. The team is currently creating a video to show what they are working on right now, and also opened a new office in Moscow.
Atomic Heart RTX Demo
The game is built using the latest RTX technologies from Nvidia, including ray tracing and DLSS. The development team has released a technical demo that you can download right now ( here ) and try it out.
Perhaps you prefer a regular video demonstrating these technologies. The team is particularly pleased with how these technologies improve lighting and shadows while keeping performance high.