BioShock-like Soviet shooter Atomic Heart finally has a real release date

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Atomic Heart (opens in new tab), the retro-futuristic Soviet FPS from Russian developer Mundfish, finally has a solid release date. In a trailer released earlier today, the game showcased explosions, mutated horrors, robot assassin women, and announced a release date of February 21, 2023. Also, a man flipped the bird at the camera, which is just rude.

The game's release date has been in a sort of flux in the past few months. Originally announced for Q4 2022, the game's release was changed to a slightly more vague "This Winter" (opens in new tab) after Focus Home Interactive came on board to publish the game in early September. At the time, Focus Home suggested the delay was a matter of "Polishing and delivering a game of the highest quality".

The trailer doesn't tell us anything new, release date aside. It consists mostly of fast cuts between scenes of intense peril: mutated scientists whose heads split apart like orchids, bemasked Soviet soldiers, blood, gore, people having a bad time in prison, and all manner of weird androids. It's nothing we've not seen before, and I think it's finally time we actually got to play the darn thing. With the release date three months away, it looks like Mundfish agrees.

Atomic Heart came out of nowhere when it released a jaunty, surreal trailer (opens in new tab) in 2018, and it quickly became one of our most anticipated games that we knew least about (opens in new tab). We know it's set in an alternate reality in which the USSR still exists, technology has reached the point of robots and holograms, and that you play an unstable KGB agent investigating a manufacturing facility that's gone dark. We also know the developers have unimpeachable taste in '80s Soviet pop music (opens in new tab).

Mundfish seems to be drawing inspiration from Stalker, BioShock, and the new Wolfenstein games. You'll get an arsenal of Soviet armaments and superhuman powers and use them to fight a lot of enemies that probably double as metaphors. Based on what we've seen, the best word to describe it is intriguing: It might fail to come together when the game releases, but so far the vibes are immaculate.

Atomic Heart releases on Steam (opens in new tab) and the Windows Store (opens in new tab) on February 21, 2023.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.