I remember seeing the first trailer for this game years ago and thinking to myself, well I have no idea what this could be but it seems very similar to one of my favorite game franchises of all time: Fallout. After watching a 12-minute gameplay demo, which you can watch right here, I am very happy to say not only does it remind me of Fallout but also Bioshock. This 1950's first-person shooter takes place in Soviet Russia and seems to deliver the experience you would expect from a first-person shooter as well as a seemingly in-depth melee combat system which looks like it was pulled right out of the Condemned franchise from the 360 era. It is also important to note this is the Russian developer Mundfish's debut game, so it needs to be a good one.
Let's first take a look at the combat systems in Atomic Heart, as a first-person shooter let's talk about the guns of the game first then we'll roll into the melee combat. Surprisingly there isn't too much to talk about when it comes to the guns of this game, at least that we've seen so far, from this 12-minute demo were only shown three guns: a shotgun, a handgun, and an electric ball thrower? The melee combat, however, looks to be pretty fleshed out and appears to take aspects from both Bioshock and Condemned, which could be a very good thing because the shooting didn't look like it was finished. The most interesting weapon shown by far is the electric staff type weapon, I'm not sure if it's a gun or a staff I genuinely can't tell, but it has two balls of electricity that float around and attack the target, the weapon did not have any ammo on screen so I'm going to assume it's not a gun. The shotgun seemed to hit outside of the strange crosshair and can definitely use some fine-tuning, the handgun on the other hand seems to be pretty much perfect. Like I said earlier the melee combat looks great, and we were shown a double saw blade baseball bat straight out of Dead Rising, which hopefully could mean there is going to be customizable weapons and a "workbench" system in-game.
One thing the gameplay did focus heavily on is the different types of enemies we will face in Atomic Heart. From the organic root type monster to several different robots ranging from a pack of little stomping robots to the Hitler-looking AI, I don't think we will be getting bored of enemy types in this game any time soon.
While the game does not seem to aim for the horror direction, I think there are going to be many moments while playing this where you either get freaked out or just straight-up scared. There's only one jump scare in the demo I noticed, but I think the real freaky factor is going to come from being completely alone as no other humans are ever shown in this world. The jumpscare shown in the demo would've made me run home crying to mama, granted I hate horror games/movies, I still think this would scare most people. You're walking around a completely abandoned beautiful leafy suburb when you enter a shed see a massive tunnel and all of the sudden the camera snaps around and the Hitler-looking robot yeets you into it.
The screenshots I've shown here have not done this game's graphics justice, youtube compression seemingly can't handle when the character moves and it makes the screen a blurry mess. I encourage you to check out the demo for yourself because this game looks incredible, from the vast open forest to the dark tight hallways the graphics are fantastic. Not only do the graphics look pretty damn good, but the audio is also spot on when fighting enemies you can actually hear where they are which seems to be a rare commodity these days, the environments also have their own distinct noises. You can hear the specific noise of one type of robot, hopefully, each robot has a different noise so you can tell what you're going up against before you even see it. That could be a very interesting mechanic if it's added to the game.
For me, if you put Fallout, Condemned, and Bioshock in a game together it almost can't be bad, however, this game needs to do those names justice. It can't come out with sub-par shooting combat, and it's going to need an in-depth story to keep players hooked. Cool environments and enemies can only take a game so far, but I am hesitantly hopeful for this one. If it comes out polished and those few rough spots are fixed, then I think we could be looking at a very popular new series.