A brazen Fallout clone set in an alternate history Soviet Russia, ATOM RPG achieved their funding goal on Kickstarter back on May 23, 2017, then moved to Steam Early Access on November 28, 2017. Developed by the small ATOM Team mostly based in Russia and Latvia, the game was finally released on 19 December, 2018, to a very positive reception from fans of the classic Fallout titles. The team has continued to provide support for the title since then. In their latest Steam announcement yesterday, the ATOM Team presented a list of improvements and features that they plan to add to the game in the next patch to be released on March 20:
- Quality of Life improvements (with a whole lot of new features suggested to us by you, our players);
- Mod creation tools as well as full mod support;
- Additional balance rules that do not override previous ones, but add to them greatly;
- New AI functions;
- Weapon tweaks, including changes to AP consumption and to-hit formulae;
- Tens of new characters with their unique dialogues and portraits;
- New questline with two opposing factions;
- Huge improvements to the stability of the game;
- New visual effects and animations;
- New graphical elements (status icons, items, game art);
- New locations and random encounters;
- Bug fixes galore;
- New achievements.
More interestingly, the team announced that they are working with writer Scott Hamm, who wrote for Battle Brothers and The Age of Decadence, to help them improve the English localization of ATOM RPG. I confess to having tried the game both in Early Access and post-release, and finding the localization awkward and stiff, which made me lose interest in it for the time being. For a CRPG where reading dialogue occupies at least half of your time, a decent English translation is a must. I hope that Hamm manages to raise the level of the narrative in ATOM so that it can play more like a higher tier indie CRPG.
In spite of the awkward localization, ATOM does have a lot of heart, no matter how blatantly unoriginal it is as a Fallout clone. I've often told fellow Fallout fans that the most appropriate location for a non-American Fallout game would be Soviet Russia, as the Soviets seemed to share some of that 1950s utopian kitsch aesthetic. The ATOM Team folks seemed to realize this, and the game seems to reflect it well enough. Given a few more months of post-release support and optimization, ATOM RPG just might become a great game.
What do you think of ATOM RPG? Would you like to see a Fallout clone type of game in any other country? Let us know in the comments below.