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Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

The Russians behind the most egregious Bioshock plagiarism of all time are back with an expansion that has Hegevall seeing red...

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I was never that fond of Atomic Heart. While others could see past any gameplay limitations and enjoy the ambitiously crafted mythology, I was struck by how stiff, monotonous and downright boring it was. Mundfish's Russian Bioshock plagiarism was never anything more than a shrug, so it's important here that you know where I stand versus Gamereactor's Atomic Heart rating. I would never have given more than maybe a maximum of 5/10 to the base game and keeping that in mind as you continue reading I think is important. Atomic Heart was and remains a stylishly designed product, the actual playability of which never reached above "highly mediocre" and it is with those expectations that I started the expansion Trapped in Limbo the other day.

Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

The setup is as simple as it is twisted. Right after the final sequence in the base game, this expansion picks up and, according to the developers themselves, the idea is to learn more about the origins of the P-3, here. After playing through Trapped in Limbo, I can't say that I've become much wiser, though. Really annoyed, instead. I've been annoyed on several occasions. The basic idea here is to really test the player's patience. You are faced with a whole range of different challenges in the form of comfortably unimaginative, stupidly unvaried platforming moments, and you really have to overlook the flawed jumping mechanics here to even get through the first little obstacle course.

Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

The design is more or less taken from the Sugar Rush themed world of Röjar Ralf, where gumball rails, candy cane paths and floating pastries form the backbone of an obstacle course that feels like something out of a mobile game. You have to jump on gingerbread cookies before they spin you into the abyss (to certain death), avoid hard caramels and hit the soft ones, land in cream, and shoot charging sugar figures with a bright pink shotgun. I understand that the game developers had a good laugh at all the funny ideas once they were hatched, because in the hands of a more experienced team with a better grasp of platforming, much of what's on offer here could have worked.

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But nothing works. Nothing.

Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

The jumping is carelessly imprecise and the fact that Mundfish has thrown in long sections of Subway Surfer tracks where I, in the role of a duck, have to glide around and avoid obstacles, should count as almost rude considering that Trapped in Limbo actually costs £8.99. After forcing myself through this, I should instead get that money, per minute. In compensation. Because Trapped in Limbo feels like gaming, bright pink torture on its own. The atmosphere is supposed to be Alice in Wonderland-esque with clear traits of Bioshock Infinite but nothing works. Worse gameplay is also hard to find unless we start digging in the worst pile from 2023 where immortal super masterpieces like Skull Island: Rise of Kong and Walking Dead: Destinies are crowded. Mundfish should realise by now that design is not enough. Stylish polygon cakes or gorgeous archive rooms in a Russian research centre (the base game) won't save any FPS from terrible game mechanics and tensionless enemy encounters.

02 Gamereactor UK
2 / 10
+
Fancy polygonal cakes, some nice music
-
Hopelessly limited playability, stupid enemies, pointless platform hopping, super boring layout, stupid.
overall score
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Atomic Heart: Trapped in LimboScore

Atomic Heart: Trapped in Limbo

REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

The Russians behind the most egregious Bioshock plagiarism of all time are back with an expansion that has Hegevall seeing red...



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