My imqhotbqh on ATOM RPG: Trudograd (early access playtest)

My viewers know, that I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic RPGs like Fallout and such, so when I saw ATOM RPG back in a day from my fellow slavs inspired by classic Fallouts I was pretty much sold instantly, but game was in Early Access initially and for RPGs and story based singleplayer games I prefer to wait until release. So as soon as ATOM was out I gladly jumped in and woke up after around 90 hours of my playthrough just to get back for a few hours more after big update with new content, that made my play and stream time near 100 hours.

Was following all the news and Trudograd expansion sure was the most
interesting piece of news for me, so reading that it will be out in May
sure got me excited, only downside was that it will be Early Access
release again, but this time, since developers hooked me up with a key
again, I decided to do a little “playtest” of Early Access version just
to check how it is and evaluate my hype levels for full release. Here’s
what I think about it after short 5 hours visit (will post full review
after release version is completed)…

First of all, I absolutely need to mention the card minigame – new bit,
that is somewhat of a “tradition” for some RPGs, glad that ATOM now
joined the club with their own card game design and put quite a bit of
effort and “soul” into that one. It’s somewhat MTGish – you have
resource cards, you have cards that use those resources to deal damage
or burn enemy’s resources, you have cards that give you armor, some
cards use your own health as a resource too, you have mulligan, mana and
all that stuff – it’s nothing crazy, but going through tutorial fight
sure is quite necessary. Extra points from me for making that game as
everything in ATOM – soaked in soviet spirit, card back is one that
everyone older than 20 should recognize and potentially had (I might
still have it in my summer house), while the art of cards themselves is
made in the style that sometimes reminds me of some jail tattoos, not to
mention it literally has some jail themed memes as an art, like drawn
“Piston” character from one of the scenes of “Bespredel” movie, which
was a popular meme on imageboards here few years back (movie is
serious and interesting though). Overall I just hope card game will have
more content going forward, which currently I couldn’t evaluate properly, since I only met first “tutorial” NPC playing it, there is already a quest
involving playing that game, so I hope it gets more interesting and all
that (first guy is quite ez to beat).

I started new character this time, even though for full game release I
will probably import my character from main game for best “immersion”,
but also because expansion is connected with main game and some of your
decisions from there are used in some form (hard to say yet outside of
NPCs mentioning some events of main game). If you make a new character
you get an opportunity to tell game which choices you made through the
dialogue with a mysterious stranger in the beginning of the game and
only downside I can mention is that all those choices that you mention
they don’t really have any “background”, like you are telling stranger
what happened with Krasnoznamenniy city in main game, but you don’t
really know what does it mean if you haven’t played main game, which is
obviously your problem and game is recommended for those who have
finished it, but still might be a good thing to add a bit more info on
some of the choices you relay to the stranger, so you can relate to them
(depends on how important they are in the expansion though, if it’s just
some minor mentions and effects, then I guess it’s not that important).
New character gets level 15, so you have a lot of freedom in terms of
build and some money and weapons on you, level 15-20 should be exactly
what your character have at the end of main game, even though I’m
curious about mine, since I did a lot of stuff on my playthrough and was
going ham with omegaxp/skillpoin gain iirc, so we’ll see if my character
will be OP af on release playthrough (even though he was gimped in terms
of combat for like 75% of the game).

Story and all game writing so far feels the same as ATOM – bit on the
meme side, but good quality and enough to take it seriously, out of my 5
hours test it was mostly going through dialogues, reading books and
playing cards of course, only one combat encounter, so looks like it’s
similar to main game in the sense of having a lot of stuff to do without
engaging in combat much (which helped my character who was gimped in
terms of combat capabilities for a long while). Quite a bit of
information in dialogues and books on the world in general – getting
more info on other regions of Soviet Union after apocalypse and even on
other countries, so looks like they are stepping up the world building
and that totally is a sign of increased commitment to the universe which
means more games and that makes me happy, because more post-apocalyptic stuff in old-school style is something I sure love seeing.

Some interface elements and graphical features got more refined and
beautiful, which is a good thing, even though I never really had issues
with ATOM in that department. Speaking of visuals – game got very
atmospheric intro video, that I liked a lot with some good narration,
also some dialogues are now narrated and NPCs also drop a voice line
when you interact with them, which adds a little bit of immersion,
especially since NPC lines are in russian no matter which language you
picked, game still takes place in soviet lands after all.

Looking forward to full release and hope to see more of their games in same vibe, one of the cases when you are proud for our gamedev (even though team is not only russians), which unfortunately nowadays is something you feel a lot less frequently compared to golden age with great games that were made here. Special thanks to the developers for providing review copies for both main game and expansion!

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