“Atomic Heart was conceived as an open-world game,” said Mundfish CEO Robert Bagratuni. “We want to enable players to choose the sequence of actions themselves instead of limiting them to a linear path. The world of the game is in fact the entire Soviet Union—a vast circle, the borders of which reach the Arctic in the north, Altai mountain in the south, and with plains, lakes and much more in the middle. At the same time, the huge infrastructure of Plant 3826 and its underground facilities are spread all over the map. The key infrastructure elements are connected by railways. As for whether this is a shooter: in some places it is, it depends where you can find ammo.”
So, Atomic Heart is an open-world first-person shooter set in an alternate Soviet Union where some seriously strange stuff’s going down. The railway infrastructure Bagratuni touched on makes me think of Metro, which is another game for our already towering pile of speculative influences. But while some elements of Atomic Heart are undeniably similar to other games, what actually inspired its bonkers setting?
“There’s no simple answer,” Bagratuni said. “Artyom, the author of the Atomic Heart synopsis, has been working on the script for more than seven years. Since he and some of the other members of the team were born in the USSR, many ideas came from those times. Many are comparing it with BioShock and Fallout, but in fact we took the atmosphere from our childhood, from books we grew up on. Strugatsky, Lem, Harrison. That fantasy had a special place in the life of a Soviet citizen. And when all this is merged with the internet, robotics, the Soviet Union and food coupons, you get Atomic Heart.”
Robotics, in particular, is a driving force in Atomic Heart’s wild Soviet Union. “Plant 3826 was originally producing agricultural robots for working in the fields, gathering timber, protecting the peace and working at homes,” Bagratuni said. “They were very popular in the USSR, so the machines were everywhere. There was a robot in every house, in every enterprise. Then they went mad.”
I love everything about this!!