Video Games

Atomic Heart: The Smash, Loot, Smash Cycle of Robot Destruction

You will destroy many robots with Atomic Heart. You’ll have to blast them in two or rip them limb from limb to ensure your own survival. By destroying the robot, you can harvest its components. You can use it to upgrade your weapons and abilities, and even use it to destroy robots. That’s the cycle of life in the halls of Facility 3826.


Developer Mundfish has put a lot of effort into making Atomic Heart’s combat system as satisfying as possible. A big part of that satisfaction is due to the detailed damage. Cutting the robot rips the synthetic skin to reveal the metal structure inside. More industrial-style enemies have their armor casings scratched or dented with each new attack. Of course, bullets puncture enemies and rockets blow them to pieces. Regardless of your weapon choice, their deadly impact is reflected on the enemies you fight.

Atomic Heart’s many weapons and special abilities can be used against any enemy, but choosing the right weapon for the job has many advantages. Each type of robot has its own unique vulnerabilities that you want to exploit, so discover its weaknesses and target it with the right weaponry to take down ferocious opponents as quickly and efficiently as possible. These weaknesses are sometimes revealed during the course of combat, such as when the robot’s armor opens to reveal a glowing core. If your weaknesses aren’t obvious, your personal scanner will give you hints to help you find them.

When your robotic enemies die, you can loot their shattered remains for components. Polymer batteries, superconductors, and other electronic items are just a few of the things you’ll find in them, and you can use these to upgrade both your weapons and your polymer glove’s abilities. This includes special skills such as detonating shocking bolts of electricity, freezing enemies in place, and telekinetically slamming robots to the floor.

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Telekinesis skills aren’t just useful for defeating enemies, however. It can also be used to collect scraps and items from around the world. Mundfish have created a unique looting mechanic that allows them to telekinetically vacuum items near them. Drawers and cabinets will literally open and the contents will fly into your hands. This means you don’t have to open and search through individual cupboards and containers. This will never slow down Atomic Heart’s fast pace.

You might be able to collect everything in the room in seconds, but you have to be conscious of how much you have. Everything you pick up will fit in your Yarov-Abalakov backpack. This shrinks the object so that it can carry much more than usual. However, while the items are smaller, they are not lighter. Mundfish said that “traveling around the world with a bag full of resources can be uncomfortable”, suggesting that some inventory management may be required.

For more on Atomic Heart, check out IGN First’s coverage of game robots and a fascinating alternate history of the Soviet Union. You can also watch the release day trailer and his brutal 10-minute boss fight.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.

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