Atomic Heart Reviews Depict A Game That Takes Big Swings, Misses Most Of Them

Atomic Heart Reviews Depict A Game That Takes Big Swings, Misses Most Of Them

Reviews for Atomic Heart have landed overnight and the picture they paint is of a game that takes big swings, but misses quite a few of them.

Atomic Heart is a new release first-person shooter by Cyprus studio Mundfish. It’s a game that lands somewhere between Fallout and Bioshock — an art-deco, retro futurist universe with a man and his superpowered robotic left hand at the centre of it. The game drew immediate comparisons to Bioshock for the way its protagonist weilds their various powers, unleashing devastating elemental attacks upon unsuspecting foes. Telekinesis comes into play as well, letting players throw their enemies around in a way that feels very Bioshock.

But what did the critics think? Across its three platforms, Atomic Heart reviews pulled in Metacritic averages of 78 on PC, 74 on PS5, and 72 on Xbox. Of the 59 Atomic Heart reviews collated by Metacrtic across all three platforms, 40 of them are considered positive (75 or above), 17 are considered mixed (74-50), and just two are outright negative.

The glowingly positive

There are always a handful of aggressively positive reviews that don’t really stack up against the broader consensus. This time, it’s GamersRD, which gave Atomic Heart a 10/10, excitedly calling it “no less than a masterpiece of art.” Hardcore Gamer also gave the game glowing praise, calling it “an incredible adventure into the retro-future history of a Russia that never existed.” GamingTrend felt it was an early game-of-the-year contender.

And that, unfortunately, is where the most radiant praise for the game ends.

The positive

From this rapturous applause, scores quickly descend into the 8’s and the high 7’s. PCGamesN said that though the game has some “cringeworthy moments and occasional design missteps, … the way your abilities and the enemy ecosystem combine is a constant thrill.” Though Dexerto wasn’t sure the game would live long in the memory, it felt that Mundfish “executes many of its ideas very well, delivers a solid story, and actually manages to innovate in a genre where it would be easy to remain stagnant.” Aussie outlet Checkpoint Gaming gave it a 7.5, calling it “a compelling and exciting sci-fi action RPG, with a unique and well-developed setting.”

The middling

Down into the 6.5’s and below we go. Eurogamer Germany called it “a Bioshock-clone with a confusing, often unsatisfying story and many elements that seem unfinished.” Aussie outlet WellPlayed said Atomic Heart displayed “an impressive command of aesthetics and occasionally gives you the tools to enjoy its world, but an unstable console build, unsatisfying systems and complete misfire of a script prevent these atoms from achieving the necessary fusion.” Press Start gave it a rare 6.5, saying “Atomic Heart is an exercise in excess. It has some clear strengths, like its first in class art direction and gunplay, however these are far outweighed by the game’s faults.” AusGamers was even less impressed, awarding it a 5.8 score, saying “There’s a school of thought that when it comes to a review, you should discuss the content of a game versus what it doesn’t have. The logic is sound, if all criticism comes from a place of unmet expectation, that would be unfair. But when something looks this good, you can’t help but wonder what’s missing.”

The negative

The two (at the time of writing) reviews categorised as negative come from Twinfinite and Game Rant. Twinfinite found the game’s myriad performance issues made it hard to recommend, saying it hoped Mundfish can “fix some of the more glaring issues post-launch, but right now, it feels less like a welcomed revolution and more like a nuclear disaster.” Game Rant was more succinct in its verdict, saying “Atomic Heart‘s story, gameplay, and world design have promise, but the payoff is lacking across the board.”

So there you go. A fairly broad range of opinions on this one.

Atomic Heart launches today, February 21, 2023, on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. It’s also on Game Pass, so you can try it yourself.

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