It's been a long time coming, but Atomic Heart is almost here for Xbox Game Pass players. While the title is already live on Xbox in certain regions, its official release date is set at February 21st, 2023.
The reviews are now starting to come in, so here's a quick roundup of what the critics are saying so far!
Pure Xbox (7/10)
"The game's premise remains intriguing throughout, and its main missions provide some great combat scenarios to get stuck into, especially when it comes to using powers and the skill tree system to create character builds. Yet, the game's overworld is largely skippable which is a huge bummer, and its main storyline does little to enhance the incredibly interesting world Mundfish has created.
Atomic Heart is well worth a play for the immersive FPS fanatics out there, but it's wise to temper your expectations when names like BioShock and DOOM are being thrown around in comparison. Atomic Heart is a solid alternate-history shooter, but it takes a bit more than building an intriguing world to become a true great in the genre."
"2023 has already been strong with Game of the Year contenders, and Atomic Heart is another one of them. It lives up to all of the hype and all of its promises; an amazing debut game for Mundfish. Nailing down a few things Atomic Heart is phenomenal at is nearly impossible because it’s extraordinary in all of them. This isn’t just my favorite game of this year, it might be one of my favorites of the decade."
"Atomic Heart is undoubtedly one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I’ve played in years. In addition to rock-solid gameplay, the game offers an intriguing mystery and a robust upgrade system. It’s even more impressive when you remember that this is the first game from Developer Mundfish. Outside of controversial themes and a lack of enemy variety, it’s hard to point out any glaring issues with Atomic Heart."
"Atomic Heart is a deeply ambitious, highly imaginative, and consistently impressive atompunk-inspired attempt at picking up where the likes of BioShock left off – something it’s done with a lot of success. It certainly makes missteps, chiefly with an irritating leading man and a self-indulgent habit of using the same tired tropes it tries to make fun of, but this stern, superpowered, and stringently solo shooter has worked its way under my skin despite these flaws. Atomic Heart didn’t always blow me away, but it definitely has the ticker to punch well above its weight."
"A story-led shooter that's heaving with ideas and boasts a distinct sci-fi setting in its doomed USSR. There are cringeworthy moments and occasional design missteps, but the way your abilities and the enemy ecosystem combine is a constant thrill."
"There really is a lot to love about this game. The graphics are about as "next-gen" as you can get, the world is marvellous, the audio and soundtrack is top quality, and the narrative is thoroughly interesting and engaging. If it wasn't for its clunky and overcomplicated nature, Atomic Heart would probably be one of the year's best games."
Push Square (6/10)
"This mashup of shooter, stealth, and RPG wears its influences proudly but rarely matches them. Its alt-history setting is interesting and there are plenty of ways to approach the robot-killing, but these elements are at odds with messy storytelling and characterisation."
"There are quite a few parts of Atomic Heart that just don't neatly fit together, and those disparities create an experience that often feels at odds with itself. That disparity is most evident in how the history of the world in Atomic Heart is interesting and sets up an intriguing conversation about the nature of free will and collectivism, but then the unlikable protagonist repeatedly prevents that topic from being explored. Atomic Heart is certainly going to appeal to some people, especially those looking to relive BioShock Infinite, but it's not an easy recommendation."
"Atomic Heart has a lot of big ideas, but it doesn't do a good enough job with the basics. With an incomprehensible storyline, weightless combat, and frustrating first-person platforming, Atomic Heart is left to stand in the shadow of the video games that so clearly inspired it."
"Despite what is a promising combat formula as well as the supporting systems behind it when it comes to skills, crafting, and upgrades, there are also several equally frustrating aspects of it that hold the game back. The hope is that Mundfish is able to fix some of the more glaring issues post-launch, but right now, it feels less like a welcomed revolution and more like a nuclear disaster."
There's definitely a broad range of scores going for Atomic Heart, then! Right now, the game sits at a solid 76 on Metacritic at the time of writing, which puts the Pure Xbox review pretty close to the overall average.
If you're thinking of diving in yourself soon, check out our Xbox Game Pass release guide down below!