Watch ten minutes of bizarre Atomic Heart gameplay

We've previously described Atomic Heart as an "offbeat Soviet-era shooter," and also "strange" and "weird," but all we've actually seen of it so far are a few brief, bizarre clips that look like—well, the truth is, I don't even know. I like it an awful lot, though. And now, courtesy of IGN, we can finally lay eyes on some proper gameplay—and as promised, it is weird

There's a lot going on here: You can see elements of BioShock, Stalker, Zeno Clash, Cradle, Condemned: Criminal Origins, and Fallout, and that's before you get to the underwater farm animals and Brezhnev disco. I love the way it looks but I wonder if developer Mundfish will be able to meet its ambitious goals: Its previous game, Soviet Lunapark VR, launched on Steam last summer to decidedly "mixed" reviews, and by all appearances Atomic Heart is a much greater undertaking. 

As for what it's all about, the Mundfish website is sort of helpful, but mostly not. "The story is about all the things that could have happened in the reality of the USSR but didn’t. 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," it says. "The protagonist of the game is a Soviet KGB officer and his Party sends him to the facility 3826 and are waiting for the report." 

As shown in the trailer, the game world will be divided into several different regions, some on the surface and some in the abandoned underground areas of the facility. Melee combat will be a big part of the game, and most of the enemies will be robots constructed at the facility that are basically commu-Cylons, "made to serve the needs of the Soviet industry or to help Soviet citizens in daily life." Naturally, they also come equipped with combat subroutines in case war breaks out.   

Atomic Heart is expected to come out sometime this year, and I am very much looking forward to it. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.