A point of comparison for this game I have raised multiple times has been STALKER. It’s funny, because vanilla STALKER had a lot of issues as well – it wasn’t always a beloved classic or a stalwart of the genre. A dedicated fan community on PC spent years fixing the game with mods, ironing out its problems, and helping it blossom to its full potential.

Certainly, on PC at least, Atomic Heart could end up similarly motivating a cavalcade of fans to stick with it and iron out its problems, and help it achieve its potential. But STALKER’s issues were mostly all mechanical and relating to polish – that’s something mods can fix. Atomic Heart has those problems, but out also fails singularly hard on the whole story and setting front, which, as mentioned, can be a critical part of the genre’s experience to many, many players. It’s unclear whether those problems will be fixed by the fan community, it’s unclear whether they can be fixed.

Even if they can’t be, at its beat, Atomic Heart seems to deliver an experience good enough that it has a legion of fans who do love it, warts and all (and after all, janky and flawed games is almost as much a hallmark of the genre itself). While it has proven to be more divisive than the games in whose footsteps it seeks to follow were, and while that may never change, if you are among those who can put up with its rough edges, you may end up being one of the many who did fall in love with the game.

If, however, the issues sound too much for you to bear, my recommendation would be to hold off on Atomic Heart for now – it’s not like we don’t have other titles in this genre coming soon to turn to instead, after all.

  • Shoto

    Not gonna lie I liked it at first but then realised it's just a bit boring, like the whole first area was a slow grind

  • gnaw dog

    One of the stupid takes i've heard. Like many im loving this game and the combat is vicious if your'e not ready. Even if we dont get a sequel , we got THIS game. So play it in russian with subs or choke on it suka.

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