A Bioshock-inspired first-person shooter game set in a sci-fi alternate history of the USSR in the 1950s, Atomic Heart has eluded us for almost five years despite the fact that we are aware of its amazing visuals and frightful foes. Finally, Atomic Heart’s creator Mundfish has unveiled a brand-new gameplay clip, giving us the most thorough and in-depth look yet at the peculiar game’s premise.
As you’ll see in the nine-minute video, Atomic Heart is set in a top-secret research facility in the Kazakh mountains. This facility was the epicentre of a technological disaster in which an army of neurally linked robot ‘helpers’ went rogue and attacked facility staff. As an officer working for the Soviet intelligence service, your job is to infiltrate the facility, figure out what went wrong, and restore the utopian ‘Collective’ network that had previously ushered in an artistic and scientific golden age to the Soviet Union.
According to the trailer, Atomic Heart’s world is split up into five large complexes, and the campaign run time will clock in at around 25 hours. You’ll be able to talk with NPCs using dialogue trees, and you’ll have a constant sidekick in the form of an AI companion – this is the special polymer glove you wear, whose creepy tendrils extend from your palm to allow you to command robots, hack security systems, power up an energy shield, and more.
Atomic Heart also features some interesting combat mechanics: organic ‘sprout’ enemies will search for corpses, which they can fuse with to create new mutant monsters. These sprouts can also be summoned by the mini boss-type monster called the Plyush, which can combine with the sprouts to become even more powerful.
There are some neat ideas going on with weapons, too. The arsenal includes a range of classic sci-fi inspired energy guns, as well as plenty of improvised melee weapons. Striking robots with melee weapons absorbs power you can then use as ammo for your energy weapons, which creates a nice push-pull between combat styles. Conventional firearms are also available, but you’ll need to either scrounge rounds from the environment or craft them at one of the facility’s fabrication stations.
Atomic Heart isn’t all about combat, though – the trailer shows off some of the complex and visually striking environmental puzzles you’ll have to traverse on your way through Facility 3826.
Atomic Heart launches February 21, and it’ll be available on day one on PC Game Pass.
If you’re hungry for more of the best puzzle games on PC, you know where to look.