Released in 2018 ATOM RPG was very specific, but almost Falling where, in addition to the charm of Soviet romance and jokes about vodka, loons, and the homeless, there were some interesting quests and turn-based battles. , non-linearity, classic pumping with “advantages”, elements of survival and, in principle, almost everything we like about such projects.
Naturally, the game wasn’t perfect, which the authors themselves admit. Therefore, in May, they released an early access sequel called ATOM RPG Trudograd , in which they say “a lot of tips, ideas and fixes from the players themselves” were implemented. We spoke with the developers, reviewed the older version, and wanted to share our thoughts.
What are the developers talking about?
I first asked the authors why Trudograd , but not ATOM RPG 2 . This is what Alexander Kompanets, one of the main Atomteam people, says : “City of Work”– This is a big step forward for our team, because, in fact, it is a new project, with new graphics, a revision of many mechanics and a modified system to submit specific tasks and the plot in his outfit. Considering the small size of our team, implementing all changes and ideas is easier and faster in the add-on format, which by default requires less content. However, you can now spend more than five hours in the game, and upon release we plan to increase that number by an order of magnitude. ”
According to him, ATOM RPG – this is a project of dreamers who did not want to make mythical “Russian” Fall “, But a game that they would like to play on their own. “It’s clear that the original is flawed, but it’s full of youthful enthusiasm and a desire to express our feelings for the genre. “City of work” in this sense, it turns out to be a much more adult job. We have always seen criticism as an important part of the job, because our players have always helped us to become better. And it’s not just words – as a result, many ideas from the community were implemented and made the project much more beautiful, ”says Alexander Kompanets.
What, what and the picture definitely got more beautiful.
About the plot
So the new story continues the events of the original. I won’t tell them – anyone can find out more here. We all play for the same hero (or heroine), once a cadet, and now a major of the secret organization ATOM, who is combing the consequences of a nuclear war between the USSR and NATO.
A wounded post-apocalypse Earth faces a new danger – a collision with a huge asteroid, information about which we received about two years ago, during the events of the original. Therefore, we have to go to the city of Trudograd and enter the secret factory “Inverter” – it was there under the leadership of Professor Goryachev that the experimental weapon “Railgun” was developed, capable of shooting an asteroid. . not “Armageddon” with Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis) of course, but somewhere similar.
Naturally, upon arriving in Trudograd, it turns out that the Inverter factory was dismantled and stolen, and Professor Goryachev disappeared in an unknown direction. Most likely, he was captured by the local “gebists” who keep him in the upper town, built on the roofs, where representatives of the handsome Trudograd live – yes, it’s all in the tradition of cyberpunk. In the first version, there are two story quests, and one of them at the time of writing was impossible to complete due to the lack of necessary content.
There are still many references to the Soviet past.
However, that was enough to understand – it would be interesting, dark and non-linear. So, to get information about Professor Goryachev, you have to make a deal with the bandits and attack the local mafia, organize… cockfights. Half of this quest is set up as a tradition text quest. Pillars of Eternity that was not in the original.
It depends on the options we choose and the extent to which our stealth, weapon throwing, attention and other skills have been increased, whether we can quietly reach the ‘raspberry’, or a crowd bandits are already meeting us. And then the options – either immediately rush into battle, or make enemies surrender using an advanced communication skill. Then, it will always be possible to leave the prey to ourselves or to share it fraternally with temporary accomplices. In another story mission, we hinted that you can get to the upper town either by joining the police or getting a pass from a local innkeeper.
While there aren’t many text-based quests, there will clearly be more.
About humor and drama
Alexander Kompanets, I remember, said that “City of Work” – the game is more adult. And he adds, “If you’ve been browsing through the latest content addition for ATOM RPG titled ‘Dead City ,’ you’re surely faced with a dense and dense atmosphere of hopeless despair. “City of work” has gained a lot. ”
This is indeed the case, given that at the very beginning we encounter either death itself or the epitome of impending catastrophe from an asteroid collision. And soon after, we get a quest – to help kill the driver who shot the child down, and the task is given by a heartbroken father. After another 10 meters, a man will ask him to bring him a rope and soap …
Here everyone is waiting for something bad to come.
Almost not all of the quests are this simple, including this story with an accident victim. And many situations are accompanied by corporate humor. ATOM RPG . Here you can find cultists worshiping … swede or the mysterious Seryozha; chat with a fun, but obviously crazy, opera singer who has been waiting for a longtime Grand Opera invitation; reveals the secret of the models who seem to rent an apartment and slowly drive its owners crazy.
The child of this city madwoman is very specific.
In general, everything is saturated at the same time with drama and dark humor, and that trademark reckless nonsense that set the original apart. The people of Trudograd call the children Karl Capitalism, write erotic novels called “The baron is not my Roman”, the protagonist of which is a “mixture of Zorro and comrade Sukhov”, drive people to madness, then hire as humble servants – or kill to have a slave in the next world. They also tell stories about “the absolute drunkard,” the mythical drinker, – they say he went to be coded so that her personality was separated from alcoholism, and eventually she was separated from sobriety…
In general, there are already a lot of side quests at the start, and compared to the original, they’ve probably gotten more elaborate, funny (and sad at the same time), and non-linear.
Each resident has a funny bike in stock.
About the role system
In general, everything is pretty much the same as in the original, but there are some nuances. At first, you can load your character from ATOM RPG with all the skills and settings pumped up. It is also possible to create a new one or to choose one of the four heroes offered.
One specializes in rifles, the other specializes in close quarters combat, and the third is an experienced survivor. Well, the daughter Svetlana alternates the power of words and the power of a gun, being an “aggressive negotiator”. And in addition, the “sex giant” – this skill gives bonuses to communication and barter when interacting with men, but reduces charisma by a point when Svetlana communicates with representatives of her sex. By the way, in the original they only allow you to create a character from scratch, but there is no choice among the archetypes.
Each of the ready-made heroes has bonuses and penalties for the main parameters.
The characters have the basic characteristics, such as strength, endurance, agility, intelligence, charisma, as well as the skills of barter, hack, survival, stealth, pick-pocketing and and so on. In addition, the system of “advantages”, which “Trudograd” not much has changed, but in any case more organized. All perks are clearly divided into groups – “Survival”, “Crafting”, “Melee Combat”, “Pistols and PP” and so on.
Okay, in some ways it’s reminiscent of a Path of Exile system.
About the gameplay
As you already understood, the action now takes place in a huge city, divided into several blocks. In the first version, not all of them are available, but from the fact that there are, it is clear how detailed the locations are. And the graphics are nicer.
The weather effects did not disappoint either.
And what nostalgic Soviet music is there! Listen to this.
Between zones we move around the global map, where you can always come across a random event. So far, it’s mostly about encounters with local traders, stray dogs and drunks. While there are also non-trivial situations that clearly demonstrate corporate black humor, a combination of the funny and the dramatic.
As Andrei Mironov would say, a good girl …
Even drunks with unpretentious knives and pistols can provide serious resistance. I played the same character, who was only rocked for melee combat, which went through the entire original ATOM RPG . So, already in the first battles of “Trudograd” he struggled a lot. The rules are still the same there – a classic turn-based battle with action points that are spent to switch weapons and dig into inventory. The odds of hitting are calculated as a percentage, there is a shot aimed at different parts of the body.
Enemies aren’t much wiser, but they clearly strike more precisely and painfully, less likely to miss. To my direct question: “Have you rebalanced the battles and made them harder?” “- Alexander Kompanets replied like this:” Including. Work is underway in many areas, the battle is one of them. “
Although other players report that at the very beginning you can find cool “armor” after which the fights become much easier. I apparently did not find it. In any case, the authors will always clearly balance the combat system.
The interface in battles still looks like what we saw in Fallout.
At the same time, the fights themselves in the first version are not so many. And it catches the eye. Often times, clashes can be avoided using communication skills, and advanced secrecy and survival will help avoid random skirmishes on the world map.
Instead of crafts, addiction to hunger and poisoning. In addition, there was an addiction to the cold – the truth is, until it was clearly mentioned and had little effect. It is possible to modify the weapons with different body kits.
Will the game be okay?
Probably yes. The authors feel the right approach to everything – the working with the community, the gameplay itself, the technical part. Despite the early access status, for the entire pass I only caught one bug with the AI behavior, but there were no crashes and no optimization issues. All this became possible due to the fact that the original ATOM RPG sold well – it allowed the developers to devote all their time to working on “City of work” . The game will obviously be bigger, more diverse and more alive than the original.
A day and night change is implemented here.
According to Alexander Kompanets, the authors are ready to add more interesting tasks, dangerous situations and characters to complex characters, as well as to correct flaws. And for some reason I’m sure they will be successful. Either way, Russian RPGs are on the rise today. My interlocutor explains it this way: “This same generation of Russian players who as children selflessly played Arcanum , Falling and Baldur’s Gate , grew up, gained enough experience and decided to follow in Tim Kane’s footsteps, Leonard Boyarsky and Chris Avellone. And, as it seems to me, the outlook for Russian in particular and the entire CIS gamedev is very good. Well, wait, hope and believe….
Source : The Verge