New Gameplay Trailer for Atomic Heart Dives Deep Into a Creepy Soviet Theme Park
You may remember last year when developer Mundfish casually dropped a reveal trailer for their new game in development: Atomic Heart. Many described it as Bioshock meets Soviet Russia, and the comparison is apt. Our first look at the game presented us with an eerie theme park and set of labs, filled to the brim with bizarre, robotic creations and weapons. Now that some more time has passed, Mundfish has more to share. Earlier last week, the devs put out a ten-minute-long gameplay trailer that delves into the sort of gameplay we can expect from a moment-to-moment basis in the game. Ten minutes is the longest look we've gotten at the game yet, and it really shows just how much Mundfish is nailing the aesthetic they're going for.
The trailer centers around the protagonist, a Soviet KGB agent, who has been ordered to venture into facility 3826: an underground Soviet base. Things quickly go wrong as he enters, being waylaid by a very uncanny, human-like robot that throws him further underground. Atomic Heart describes itself as an action RPG game, complete with first-person shooting. "The story is about all the things that could have happened in the reality of the USSR but didn't," the website explains. "Technical revolution has already occurred, robots, the Internet, holograms have already been invented, but all these innovations are immersed in the atmosphere of communism, imperialism, and confrontation with the West." The site further goes on to describe the sorts of environments we'll be exploring, which can be seen in a fashion when you get thrown underground in the trailer. Atomic Heart consists of several unique regions that are made up of various biomes. There are some on the surface, but also plenty underground and in deep, dark laboratories.
The whole thing is awash in an unsettling atmosphere and art style; a carnival-like playfulness to some of the areas, with disturbing robots dotted throughout that, are looking to fight "in case of a war". Surprisingly enough, the game is going to feature multiplayer elements in the form of PvP, though Mundfish didn't go too much into this yet. Normal combat with the enemies encourages the use of melee weapons rather than guns, whereas PvP areas throughout the game take off those restrictions to play. It's not the first time video games have tackled the topic of the USSR and Soviet-era themes; 2010's sleeper hit/time-bending shooter Singularity is a great example. However, Atomic Heart is more interested in exploring the more 'out there' scenarios and what-ifs of Soviet Russia, and it looks just as terrifying and intriguing as it should. It even got a teaser spin-off game in the form of Soviet Lunapark VR last year. The game had some technical problems though, leading to Mundfish to pull it from stores. The developer stated that this was really for more time to focus on Atomic Heart, and are even offering free copies of Soviet Lunapark for those who purchase the game. Neat! And hopefully not a bad sign for the game proper on the technical side.
Atomic Heart is currently set for release sometime in 2019, but there's nothing beyond that yet. It will be available for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Mundfish also confirmed that a playable beta is being planned for Q4 2019. Considering the timing, it's possible the game's release might get pushed back further. It really depends on how the beta goes; Atomic Heart was originally planned for a 2018 release before it got delayed. Once it finally does come out, hopefully, it lives up to how cool it looks. Everyone's got their eye on this project, thanks in part to its super effective horror style. You can see it for ten full minutes yourself in the trailer below; give it a watch and see if it's the kind of game for you. If you were really into Bioshock back in the day, I'd say this will be a hit for you. The website has more too if you're interested.