Is Atomic Heart, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
Atomic Heart is an M-Rated title, and this review may contain screenshots that some readers may find offensive/disturbing.
Atomic Heart feels like the fever dream of a 1960s Soviet Scientist, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Action
Developer: Mundfish
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Price: $59.99+
Release Date: 20 February 2023
Supported Modes:


A world where the Soviet Union at least appears as something other than a cesspit of oppression and corruption is an interesting setting for a video game, and while all is not as it seems, and beneath the utopia, corruption has already begun to take hold, at least for a few hours, players are free to explore a world where Russia was the enlightened capital of the world, and humanity could finally take it easy, as more and more mundane tasks were performed by androids that were made freely available to rich and poor alike.

The story begins just as the world prepares to embrace unity via a global collective “hivemind” that will ensure peace and equality for all people, while androids perform every possible task that humanity could ever wish for (including some truly creepy ones); surely nothing could go wrong with such an ambitious and benign technology, right? (spoiler alert: Atomic Heart wouldn’t be much of a game if it didn’t!) 



Atomic Heart has been mired in controversy since shortly after it was announced, with the developers at first being accused of promoting vaporware (meaning Atomic Heart was never going to be made), and then once it was clearly going to be released, the developers were accused of being in the pocket of the Russian government and funding the war in Ukraine.

While some of the developers are from Russia, Mundfish is based out of Cyrpus, and while there is something to be said for not supporting anyone from a country that is behaving badly, where does such a methodology end? Do we stop buying all goods made in China or America? What about past wrongs? Japan, Germany, France, Italy, England?

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:37

Punishing every citizen (and former citizen) of a country for the mistakes of their (former?) nation’s government is a poor way to show people from said countries how the world is better and brighter outside of it.

By acting like absolutist tyrants, we only reinforce the belief that we are no better than they are and that societies based on equality and freedom are no better than those based on tyranny and oppression.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; - Matthew 5:44


Combat System.

Atomic Heart’s combat system is the very definition of the phrase “EuroJank” It is not pretty; it is often barely more than functional, and in the early game, at least, fighting enemies feels more like a chore than a fun activity and yet by the time you reach the mid-endgame, and have unlocked a whole slew of perks and upgrades, combat is surprisingly epic, unfortunately by that time the game is well past half over, and players will have little chance to use all the fun new powers and abilities they have unlocked.

While the DLC missions are more enjoyable than many early-game missions, having no access to your personal for much of the first DLC does place a damper on things, and honestly, by the time i reacquired my arsenal, the DLC was almost over, and while I loved almost every minute of the DLC, I would have enjoyed spending more time with my old weapons, and finding ways to incorporate the excellent DLC weapons with my base game arsenal to create some truly powerful (and perhaps a little unbalanced) loadouts.



Atomic Heart plays out pretty much exactly how you would expect an AA first-person shooter made by a developer with ties to Eastern Europe would play out; it is janky, occasionally brilliant, mostly functional, and every once in a while generally surprises you with just how good or bad it can be.

However, one element of Atomic Heart I feel was a huge mistake: making almost every single door a puzzle lock, with some puzzles requiring a level of manual or mental dexterity that is far higher than anything found in the core gameplay loop.

To make matters worse, these elements cannot be bypassed and occasionally stop the progression of the main story, and honestly, after completing the entire game, I believe the hardest thing about doing so was completing the snake & ball-in-a-maze mini-games, both of which were required to be completed to progress, and were so difficulty with a controller that they were in no way fun.

While I believe a variety of puzzles is a great idea, for those with physical or mental limitations, adding a way to bypass auto-complete puzzles is a great way to make a title more accessible and ensure that players keep playing till the game’s conclusion instead of getting frustrated by a mechanic that shows up only a handful of times, and blocks progression of the story, and access to later levels of the game, filled with the type of core gameplay they may actually enjoy and also be very good at.



Atomic Heart is a rather mixed bag visually, with large parts of the game showing clear inspiration from titles like Bioshock, albeit with a soviet flavour, while other parts of the game take on a far more surreal approach, with the player being forced to control a white cat like creature and explore a world that could only be described as a Soviet candyland nightmare.

The surreality doesn’t stop there, with players being forced to witness some truly disturbing cutscenes involving people being absorbed like jelly, mostly naked people acting like wild animals, and a weird “navel penetrations scene” that felt out of place in what is otherwise a pretty tame title for its PEGI 18 age rating.

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Portrayal of Female Characters.

With Exception of Granny Zina, (a feisty old lady who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Queen Elizabeth the Second), and, to a much lesser degree, Dr Larisa Filatova, almost every female character in Atomic Heart exists either to provide a damsel to rescue or to provide sexy visuals or dialogue.

From rooms full of mostly naked dead/insane female test subjects to female androids penetrating each other’s torso’s with disturbingly phallic interface controls and upgrade terminals that speak in constant hardcore sexual innuendo and, at times, including barely modified “porn dialogue”, such as “spray your polymer inside me, hurt me baby” and even worse statements that I am reluctant to share here.

With this in mind, it appears that except for Granny Zina (a truly excellent character), Mundfish have no idea how to portray female characters without resorting to tropes or using them for titillation.

While it’s not a dealbreaker, I certainly wish there was an option to stop Nora essentially talking dirty to the player every time you want to buy ammo or upgrade your weapon, as honestly, not only is it pretty tasteless, but the jokes quickly falls flat as you can only laugh at a variation of the same sex joke so many times before, before it starts to feel like the developers resorted to dirty talk because they ran out of other ways to keep players engaged with what is essentially a sentient toolbox that looks like a 1950s icebox.

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Atomic Heart’s dialogue is rarely terrible, never good, and often cringe-inducing. Still, ultimately, as a PEGI 18+ action game, it is predominantly profanity mixed with the occasional bit of political philosophy and a “made for TV quality” science fiction script.

However, it does have its good moments, and honestly, Atomic Heart is never better than when it is mocking itself, and the protagonist repeatedly refers back to a certain irritating gameplay sequence early in the game as a waste of time, something that players will readily agree with (it as truly awful and almost made me put down Atomic Heart entirely).

Profanity and self-depreciation aside, the protagonist repeatedly says the phrase “crispy critters”.

Perhaps the developers had intended for it to become a cool and viral catchphrase; unfortunately, it just gets annoying and often ruined intense scenes, where I would have preferred silence or expected a more common expletive than “crispy critters.”Multiple Endings.

After playing through almost the entirety of the base game, players are given the option to choose which character they side with, resulting in radically different endings; however, as of February 2024, there have been two DLC released, with each continuing the story of one of those endings, which will undoubtedly confuse players who only played through Atomic /heart once, causing them to wonder why allies are now enemies, and a previously dead enemy is now their friend and chatting on the phone.

While multiple endings are fun, I cannot help but wish that the first two DLC story expansions were released together, as playing through the first DLC was an immersion-breaking experience for me,  as I had chosen the ending path that correlates with the plot of the second DLC, and being forced to work with my enemies (whom I had previously defeated/killed), while being hated by my former allies felt like my choices had no lasting impact, and that the story would be told how the developer intended regardless of my choices to the contrary.


Atomic Heart FAQ

Atomic Heart is a action video game developed by Mundfish and published by Focus Entertainment, it was released on 20 February 2023 and retails for $59.99+.

Platform Availability.

Atomic Heart is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

How Long Does Atomic Heart Take to Complete?

On average Atomic Heart takes between 20 and 30 hours to complete.

  • Main Story: 20 Hours.
  • Main + Side Quests: 30 Hours.
  • Completionist: 30 Hours.

Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Atomic Heart is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Bad Language
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Content
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Atomic Heart is an above-average single-player first-person shooter with surprisingly high production values. While it feels like a Euro-Jank title at times and feels more of an acquired taste than a game for everyone, I feel most gamers would enjoy it if they put in the time and effort required to master AAtomic’sHeart initially inspired but ultimately rewarding combat system.

Is Atomic Heart Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Atomic Heart" a rating of 8/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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