Atomic Heart cover art

February 2023 saw the release of the of the fantastic Atomic Heart, which featured a fantastic 50s Atomic Punk world, full of creepy robots, creepier mutants, and high-octane action. A year later, and Mundfish has released the latest DLC: Trapped in Limbo.

Atomic Heart cover art

Atomic Heart has been available to play on PC and other platforms since February 21st 2023. Today we’re taking a closer look at this action-RPG, exploring which PCs will play it best, and wondering if the Jensen Ackles ad will be included as a tutorial level. (Just me?) 

Atomic Heart Gameplay 

Set in a fictional version of 1955 USSR, Atomic Heart sees players living in harmony with subservient robots. That is until a large-scale accident happens that leads to the robots rebelling and the escape of mutant creatures. All hell bent on seeking revenge on their creators. 

You play as Major Sergey Nechayev, codenamed P-3, tasked with the job of eliminating the threat. Equipped with an experimental power glove, take part in visceral yet specular combat. Using your skills and the resources around you, battle will require an adaptive fighting style to overcome each unique opponent. From drone-like robots to mutants that could be on a day pass from the Upside Down, each combat situation will test your skills. No resource is off-limits, either. Use the environment, objects, your own body, and even the enemies! Explore the abilities they create when combined with your power glove. 

What’s more, this world is rife with secrets and conspiracy. You need to find out more about the massive research and test facilities, uncover staff secrets, and learn what lies beyond this seemingly once-idyllic world. 

Atomic Heart gameplay

Trapped in Candyland 

Trapped in Limbo picks up where the main game leaves off, with P-3 reaching out to take Right’s hand. However, this is soon shattered when you are dropped into Limbo, an alternative dimension where P-3’s mind goes to when he loses control of his body. 

The only way P-3 can cope with this alternate dimension is to construct a means to picture it. Which is why we experience it as a nightmare version of Candyland. P-3 is a child at heart, really. Here, you partake in a range of mini games. Each draws upon popular titles to provide varied gameplay as you progress through the narrative. I particularly like the mini game that feels like a crossover between Subway Surfers and An Untitled Goose Game. 

These games are symbolic of P-3’s journey to return to consciousness. Along your way, you will be guided by the mind of Ekaterina, who P-3 has envisioned as a Teardrop of Polymer. She will encourage you to push ever onwards and lead you to snippets of P-3’s lost memories. Every so often, you will have to battle figments of P-3’s mind that just want to give up the ghost. Battling these thoughts is represented by fighting Bertie Bassett’s extended family. Obviously. 

Limbo characters are a bit strange

Atomic Heart Official Specifications 

You have your power glove, but what hardware is needed to run it? Check out the official specifications for Atomic Heart. 

ComponentMinimum SpecsRecommended Specs
Operating SystemWindows 10 (20H1)
Windows 10 (20H1)
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 1200
Intel Core i5-2500
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
Intel Core i7-7700K
GraphicsAMD Radeon R9 380
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
AMD RX 6700 XT
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
DirectXVersion 12Version 12
Storage90GB available space90GB available space
Notes:30 FPS, 1920×1080 in lowSSD recommended
60 FPS, 1920×1080 in ultra

Simon’s Thoughts on Atomic Heart…

The base game of Atomic Heart is a slow burn. At first, I felt a bit lost. The world is setup magnificently. What I struggled with was the early gameplay. I went into this game expecting a shooter akin to Doom, but it is an action RPG more like a Fallout game. Once I settled into this mindset, I was much more comfortable and spent many an hour just crawling around the labs searching for all the loot I could find. 

The world features a gorgeous Atomic Punk style that I really enjoy, as shown in my review of The Invincible. It is lush and vibrant or dark and oppressive, depending on where you may be. Then there are the enemies, who are a unique take on mutants and robots. This includes tiny robotic drones armed with lasers, plants crossed with humans to form Demogorgon-like mutants, and, of course, the ballerina-inspired Twins.

Alongside the spectacular visuals, Atomic Heart boasts amazing sound design. The voice acting is top notch, with my personal highlight being the Tereshkova. Voice actress Jules de Jongh has managed to make them sound like a robotic Harley Quinn! Alongside the stellar voice acting, the soundtrack is phenomenal which is hardly surprising, as it was partially worked on by Mick Gordon, the mastermind behind the epic scores to both Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal.  

With amazing visuals and sublime soundscape, Atomic Heart is a fantastic game that will give you hours of fun blasting robots in their moustached faces. 

… And Trapped in Limbo 

When I finished Atomic Heart, I had no idea what to expect from its DLC, Trapped in Limbo. I certainly wasn’t expecting them to flesh out the short Limbo sections with an array of mini games. This came as a bit of surprise going from a battling against robots and mutants, to surfing along slices of cake, Kremlin shaped rotating towers, and battling gingerbread men with a candy shotgun. All the while you’re trapped in the body of an anthropomorphic rabbit, with a floating Teardrop talking to you. 

All in all, this was a bit of tonal whiplash. But it very much makes sense in the world of Atomic Heart. It’s revealed that Limbo is a different dimension, that is perceived differently by anyone who encounters it. It just so happens, with P-3’s love of cartoons the world appears to him like a trip on Willy Wonka’s boat. 

There are a total of five levels to complete, although only three are mandatory to advance the story. The other two levels simply add to the whole narrative of Trapped in Limbo. Two of these levels are the CS: GO Surfing style games, where you race to the end of the stage collecting apples and coins to buy upgrades and cosmetic rewards for the base game. Then there are two levels of Tower Climbing, where you can come across fragments of P-3’s lost memories, which give you a deeper understanding of his relationship to Ekaterina. Finally, there is the game that lets you escape Limbo, a Subway Surfer style game, with a twist. That twist being a large dose of Untitled Goose Game. You must butt surf after P-3 as an ornery goose, dodging candy canes, trains made of candy, and gingerbread walls.  

So, as you can see, this is a wild and crazy DLC! With its varied gameplay, there is sure to be something you’ll like. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here, I’ll just have to prepare myself for the unexpected.

Our Top Pics to Play

In need of a gaming PC with a bit more oomph to play Atomic Heart? Here are our top picks to play this explosive robot apocalypse. 

Refract Gaming Azure Pre-Built PC  

The Refract Azure is packed with cherry-picked hardware well suited for Atomic Heart. The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti make the perfect team for taking on wayward robots – in 1440p resolutions no less. They can effortlessly handle all your multi-tasking, AAA gaming, and streaming needs. What’s more, it is covered by a comprehensive three years parts and labour warranty, for that extra peace of mind.

Refract Gaming Azure 2023
OcUK Gaming Buzzard - AMD Ryzen 5 7600, Radeon RX Series Gaming PC

OcUK Gaming Buzzard Configurable PC

The OcUK Gaming Buzzard is one of our configurable gaming PCs, harnessing the power of AMD Ryzen 7000 Series and Radeon RX 7000 Series. As standard, it is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 7600 CPU and Radeon RX 7600 XT GPU, expertly bringing Atomic Heart and all your favourite games to life in stunning quality. The DDR5 RAM will keep this gaming PC running smoothly, with quick fetch rates and ultra-fast frequencies. Plus, the Kolink Unity Solar case offers fantastic airflow, perfect for keeping your PC at optimum temperatures.  

If you wanted to change the base spec to better suit your needs, you can configure the PC case, CPU, memory, GPU, storage drives, and operating system. Please note that this may affect the price and lead time. 

ASUS ROG Strix G17 Gaming Laptop 

Dive into the action, with the ASUS ROG Strix G17. This gaming laptop features phenomenal gaming hardware contained in a highly portable chassis. The Strix G17 boasts an AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX CPU, a high-performance processor that has 12 cores and 24 threads. This is coupled with 16GB of blazing fast DDR5 memory, which allows it to deliver outstanding performance across a variety of workloads. Alongside this, the ASUS ROG Strix G17 features a powerful NVIDIA RTX 4060 GPU, perfect for playing the latest modern games with stunning graphics and buttery-smooth frame rates. Plus, with a 17.3” FHD 144Hz display, your games will look and play better than ever before. 

ASUS ROG Strix G17 Gaming Laptop
OcUK Gaming Radiance Ember Powered BY ASUS Gaming PC

OcUK Gaming Radiance Ember Configurable PC 

Another of our configurable gaming PCs, the OcUK Gaming Radiance Ember is a high performance PC with an Intel Core i5-13600 CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti GPU. The phenomenal airflow is enhanced by an ASUS TUF Gaming 240mm AIO cooler, keeping the Hydrogen at optimum temperature whilst you take on robots, mutants, and soviet secrets. 

Your configurable options on the OcUK Gaming Radiance Ember are the graphics card, cable colours, storage drives, and operating system. Once again, any changes to the base spec may affect the price and lead time. 

Infin8 Venomous 

Naturally, we had to go with a true powerhouse for our final suggestion. Those robots and mutants don’t stand a chance with the Infin8 Venomous on your side. This gaming PC really ticks all the boxes. Stunning case? Check – the HYTE Y60. Powerhouse CPU? You betcha – Intel Core i7-14700K processor, ftw. Elite tier GPU? Absolutely – an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Super. Plus, this high-end hardware is paired with high-speed DDR5 RAM and a lightning-fast storage solution. 

Even better, the Infin8 Venomous is also configurable, with upgrades available for memory, storage, and operating system. If you’d like to know more about this phenomenal PC – I mean, I haven’t even mentioned the stunning custom water-cooling system – then check out our dedicated post.

Infin8 Venomous

Have You Been Playing Atomic Heart? 

Did you pick this gem up on launch day or have you been waiting for a sign to play? Let us know in the comments below! 

PC specs are subject to change.

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