If you have seen or played Bioshock and now have your eyes set on Atmoic Heart then you must be aware of the clear inspiration the game has taken from the prior. Atomic Heart very much feels like a long-lost build of a forgotten Bioshock game. Which was set in the USSR and never got released.
Although both these games have motifs that can be compared to each other in great detail, there are still things that help differentiate the two as an overall experience. This article will try to compare Atomic Heart to Bioshock and see what makes them essentially two peas from the same pod and what makes them stand on their own two feet.
Atomic Heart and Bioshock are truly comparable when you look at them at face value. However, Atomic Heart tries to incorporate enough differences to create its own identity. You can easily say the game has taken inspiration from a bunch of other games but it never crossed the line of blatant imitation.
If you haven’t already seen it from the trailers then the opening section of Atomic Heart will surely tug at the nostalgia of Bioshock. The way this game is designed is very reminiscent of Bioshock’s Americana-inspired underwater or flying eutopia.
Atomic Heart depicts the same kind of megalomania albeit with Soviet Union motifs. It shows a great nation flaunting its advancements with undertones of something sinister at hand. Bioshock did the same with the founding fathers of America whereas Atomic Heart is all about the socialist regime.
There is a significant difference between Atomic Heart and Bioshock in their art style. Atomic Heart features a more stylized art style that is reminiscent of classic Soviet-era propaganda posters, while Bioshock has a more realistic, art deco-inspired art style.
Atomic Heart’s art style gives the game a unique and distinctive look, making it stand out from other first-person shooters. Bioshock’s art style, on the other hand, emphasizes the game’s setting and atmosphere, immersing the player in the world of Rapture.
Needless to say, Bioshock was a 2007 to 2013 series and the game is developed with the hardware of that era in mind. Along with that, the game had a very particular aesthetic they were going for, which stayed clear of any sort of realism.
On the other hand, Atomic Heart is a very modern game that tries to take full advantage of modern-day hardware. It has all the bells and whistles of Raytracing and Dlss and all those shiny surfaces. The game is a gorgeous piece to behold and the developers spared no expense to make every aspect of it shine brighter than the red sun!
The combat is where both these games are quite similar. Both games have you fight with a bunch of different weapons although Atomic Heart does have some crazy imaginative arsenal where as Bioshock featured weapons from the olden days. You usually hold these weapons in your right hand.
Your left hand is all about different powerups and abilities, in both of these games. In Bioshock, you had Plasmids which gave you abilities like Electro Bolt (electrify enemies) and Insect Swarm (release a swarm of bees on the enemies), etc.
In Atomic Heart, you have similar abilities like Shok (shocking enemies duh) and Frostbite (freezing enemies in place), etc.
With a weapon in your right hand and abilities in your left, you switch their usage depending on the challenge/enemy you are facing. It even helps in solving some puzzles.
Without going into spoiler territory, Atomic Heart and Bioshock (2007) have very identical story beats. Those who have played Bioshock will see the plot of Atomic Heart from a mile away which is not a good thing. We won’t go into much detail here, for that you have to experience it yourself.
Although the writing in Atomic Heart as compared to Bioshock is very lacking and for lack of a better word, stupid. Bioshock is an exceptionally written game from its wittiness to the intriguing themes that it explores. Atomic Heart’s world does tickle the curiosity but the main character and the primary story are quite dumbed down.
In my opinion, Atomic Heart takes the cake in this section. The weapons in this game are so well down. Considering the theme of the game, the imagination of the developers, and the way they look and functions are all some of the best in the industry. The devastating Railgun is so incredibly crafted and the power it makes you feel, oh boy!
Bioshock stayed true to the era it was based on and used the same weaponry from that time. You can expect to find generic machine guns, shotguns, and pistols from the 1960s or whatever. Do not expect to find anything mind-boggling here.
Open world vs Linear
Bioshock is a very linear game. The games take you from one location to the next, sometimes the location will repeat but there is good reason and differences for that happening. Here you are on a journey with the game in the driver’s seat and there are not many branching paths you can take to explore the world.
Atomic Heart has a huge open-world-ish hub world that connects various areas and underground bunkers, the latter is where you go to complete main and side missions. The hub world is filled with roaming enemies and places to loot different items like weapon blueprints, crafting materials, etc.
However, the open world of Atomic Heart is very brutal and should only be explored with proper preparation. There is a barrage of enemies at every corner that will make your life miserable if you go in unprepared.
One of the most significant differences between Atomic Heart and Bioshock is their gameplay mechanics. While both games are first-person shooters, Atomic Heart places a greater emphasis on melee combat and stealth, whereas Bioshock relies more heavily on ranged combat and plasmids.
In Atomic Heart, the player can use a variety of weapons and tools to engage in close-quarters combat with enemies, including knives, wrenches, and firearms. They can also use stealth to sneak up on enemies and take them out silently.
In Bioshock, the player uses a combination of ranged weapons and plasmids to engage in combat, allowing them to shoot enemies from a distance, freeze them in place, or set them on fire.
Upgrades and Abilities
Both games also feature a variety of upgrades and abilities that the player can acquire as they progress through the game. In Atomic Heart, the player can upgrade their weapons, armor, and abilities using a combination of resources and a skill tree system.
Similarly, Bioshock features a variety of plasmids and tonics that can be used to give the player special abilities such as telekinesis, electrocution, and invisibility. These upgrades and abilities play an essential role in both games, allowing the player to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies in unique and exciting ways.
You can upgrade your weapons through a sort of vending machine and crafting station as well just like the Power to the People machines in Bioshock, you can change weapon upgrades like magazine size barrel size, and much more.
In Atmoic Heart there are these almost refrigerator-like upgrade stations although you need to scavenge and loot specific materials and items for specific weapons and specific items in that regard. The only thing that these upgrade stations and the Power to the People machines have in common is that they only allow you to upgrade the weapons that you want to upgrade.
Inventory and Storage
Both Atomic Heart and Bioshock have similar weapon storage and ammo types along with how you heal for example. Both games have weapon wheels, both games allow you to carry a generous amount of ammo and Special ammo in your reserves, and both allow you to carry items to heal yourself.
The only small difference is that in Atomic Heart you have to store your weapons, ammo, special ammo, health, and other performance enhancers in an almost Resident Evil-type of inventory system. This means that you have very selective spots to take up everything that you want to use. Some of the weapons will require more slots to be filled and to actually be involved in your inventory pick and your loadout.
In Bioshock, you only have a certain amount of a particular item you can carry like ammo. You can only equip two weapons at a time and have to swap on the fly as you find them. There is no inventory system per se, you just can not carry more items than your base storage allows.
Scavenging Materials or Looting
Scavenging for materials is also present in both games. In Atomic heart, the player uses Charles and a very neat telekinesis vacuum-thing to such all nearby materials and put them in their inventory while.
In Bioshock, Jack can search things like boxes, crates, garbage cans, dead splicers, and more for his supplies. This is a tedious task as you have to individually open each container to get the supplies.
Atomic Heart’s implementation of looting is very intuitive and more games should incorporate it if there is any sort of looting involved.
One of the biggest differences between Bioshock and Atomic Heart is how you obtain weapons. In BioShock it is extremely simple, you’re essentially led right to a weapon and you can upgrade it at any time when you find a Power to the People machine.
In Atomic Heart however you need to first find a specific blueprint for a weapon or if you have enough material you can create one then you have to make sure you’ve obtained all the necessary materials to craft it.
We do recommend that you look up a blueprint guide as it’ll definitely be worth it and it’ll benefit you and your playthrough. Also, make sure to loot as much as humanly possible to stock up on all the materials and supplies that you can
Atomic Heart has a ton of critical-thinking puzzles. Some are a lot easier than others and some are just downright annoying and rage-inducing. For example, there’s a puzzle where you have to use your shock ability to EMP targets to reach a specific location, there’s a laser lock system in which you have to align the lasers by rotating plates to unlock
In Bioshock, we don’t have any sort of such puzzles. The closest thing that comes close to a puzzle is the hacking mini-game and finding the right audio diary or specifically locked door code. These are easy to decipher and the mini-game is super simple once you get the hang of it.
Many aspects of the game could be deemed imitation on Atomic Heart’s part when compared to Bioshock. However, the soviet era game does change up the formula enough to give it a class of its own. If that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it is up to your preferences. Bioshock is a beloved series and any game remotely getting compared to it needs to fill huge shoes.