In June of 2017, a passionate team of indie game devs successfully Kickstarted Atom RPG. An old school game with its roots set firmly in the post-apocalyptic genre that established with Wasteland, Fallout 1 & 2 but with a twist not often seen for these isometric survival type RPGs, it’s set in Russia. It’s time to see if the game is simply a wannabe or if it stands tall on its own feet. This is our ATOM RPG review.
ATOM RPG starts you off at character creation where right away you see the familiarity of games like Fallout with general stats, various skills like speechcraft or rifle handling and the chance to pick 2 traits that have pluses and negatives associated with them. Go ahead and pick that trait that gives you a bonus to healing and your endurance, but now you have a 50% chance of becoming addicted to chemicals. Besides the skills, you also have a skill tree that gives you added benefits like extra resistance to radiation, etc. As you play throughout the game you see just how much these skills affect gameplay and how many options you can have in certain situations. It was evident to me as I played through that the speechcraft was worth its weight in gold as the option to use it with various NPCs to change the outcome of a conversation and even for better quest rewards. It almost felt like if you had tried to play the game a character with low speechcraft that not only would the game be harder but quite possibly unbeatable at some points. Of course, the option for violence was always prevalent as well.
The combat of ATOM RPG is a turn-based affair with action point usage to either move or use items over a square grid. You could make a normal attack or try to aim at body parts for extra effect but costing more AP and often harder to make a hit. This system is familiar to fans of most isometric RPGs like this. It’s done well, with a note of wondering if aiming is even worth much. Even when hitting things in their head or generally I saw no difference or note of something happening to them as a consequence of receiving that aimed shot. Other than that, it works and gives the player options for either melee or ranged with various weapons.
It seems like every game has an element of crafting added to it and ATOM RPG is no exception. You can put points into the skill to craft more objects from a basic breaking a glass bottle to make a glass shiv to making ammo and guns themselves. It’s a nicely done system that adds another layer to the game for anyone who would prefer to save up their money and instead craft from the various pieces of rubbish strewn throughout this wasteland.
All the mechanics above make for a good foundation for a game. That foundation is built upon with the landscape that is the story and NPCs for ATOM RPG. It starts as a fairly generic story of the lone soldier sent out to find out what happened to a lost patrol but escalates as the game progresses. The setting is a great backdrop to everything with an area of post-apocalypse that isn’t often visited. There are a ton of NPCs that populate the game with quests, stories of their own and their own personalities (some more than others). The great thing is that you could just drive single-mindedly through the main story, but there are many side stories and things to do that should keep you busy for a good while. Sure, you could find you’re lost friends, but there’s fishing to be done.
GameSpace was given a copy of the game for review purposes.