Is Atomic Heart an open-world game?

It’s a world. It’s open. So, maybe?

Image via Mundfish

Atomic Heart puts players into the role of Major Nechaev as he navigates an alternate version of Soviet Russia in 1955. This is a dystopian world with robots that have gone haywire, and Nechaev is forced to put them down while also dealing with his own debilitating mental state. The game has a Bioshock flair and encourages exploration, but many fans are wondering if the title is considered an open-world experience. While Atomic Heart lets you explore and features a large overarching map, the game is only regarded as having an open world depending on your broad definition of the genre.

Does Atomic Heart have an open world?

Atomic Heart’s world shares similarities to other popular first-person shooters in how it presents its world. The player is free to explore the main hub, Facility 3826. There are locations spread throughout the map that reward exploration and offer unique rewards, but the game primarily focuses on the main narrative.

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Players will spend a lot of time delving into different laboratories both above and below ground, but there isn’t much in the way of dynamic encounters and aspects that other more direct open-world games contain to fill their maps.

Developer Mundfish stated that Atomic Heart was originally conceptualized as an open world, but the final product would probably leave a lot to be desired for the player who wants to run around and do whatever they want, like in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Horizon Forbidden West. There is some choice as to where to go and what to explore, but it is way more contained.

Atomic Heart provides a fun experience for players looking to recapture the magic of Bioshock. The narrative is actually quite bulky, and there is a lot to do and see, but not in the grander scale that the words “open world” bring to mind nowadays.