ATOM RPG - The Fallout everyone wanted

I am just in the starting town and have had a couple of annoying crashes (currently on 1.15). The lack of autosave makes it worse, and I think if I lost hours of progress I may not care enough to start again. Maybe I will leave this one to settle for a while.

I’ve been fortunate, the game has been solid for me. It will autosave whenever you switch environments, and you can quick save with F5 and quick load with F9.

The headset in JA2 controls the robot drone character. Enemies have radios to alert each other of danger IIRC. Otherwise, radios serve no purpose.

Try to capture the dog companion too. It helped me a lot. It’s tricky and you only get one chance at it, however, so consult a walkthrough.

There is autosave when traveling between locations. Check the load menu again. I’m in the habit of quicksaving every few minutes in addition to the autosaves.

I finally finished my playthrough. I think I agree with @Bateau, probably a 7 or 8 out of 10.

It’s got a ton of things to do, interesting NPCs and a sense that you make a difference in their lives, a sense of humor, and some quirky Russian weirdness. There are also some really odd balance decisions in the game, and some total joke scenarios where you had to either have been building a character to handle them or be willing to use the temporary augmentations (drugs and alcohol) to open alternative solutions. I had to do this for the last couple conflict missions; I got my ass handed to me multiple times so I had to take more peaceful approaches (which is actually my default, but I sometimes experiment with saves to see how the other paths go).

I typically don’t play long games multiple times through because I have a huge backlog calling me, but I think doing this one over again with a sniper would be more satisfying than the pistol/speech character I used this time. Combat at higher levels rewards deep specialization and investment.

I ended with three human companions but just missed getting the dog. I wish they’d have given you more opportunities to get one.

One interesting thing to me is that the game likes to do little thought experiments on you. Sometimes if you deny a reward from a quest giver, you’ll get more experience. I think I’ve seen that in some other games but only for certain quests. In this one you regularly get an option to deny payment. Also in this one, when you finish, it’s done. There’s no going back to finish any quests or knock off the guys that you found to be assholes. One guy, Tawfik Mozambique, actually disappears in the game and you never get to see him again…wonder if he’ll show up in Trudograd.

I ultimately liked it and I can see the heavy Fallout influence, but Tim Cain’s masterpiece is still the king of letting me play how I want.

My main was a sniper/rifleman and my companions used unarmed or melee (most of the time). The difficulty was about right.

I bought this in the Steam Summer Sale after having it sitting on my wishlist for quite some time. Started playing a couple of nights ago.

It’s…not what I’d hoped. I guess with all the comparisons to the Fallout games and mostly glowing recommendations from curators I usually trust I looked past the fact that it is and indie game made by a Russian developer, which isn’t an immediate negative in itself, but man, does it ever feel like an indie game made by a Russian developer.

It’s clunky for starters. Everything from the field of view to the UI to the dialog system…clunky. That might be forgivable if it wasn’t also very difficult, at least at the outset. That combination is making it very hard to want to keep going and give this game a chance to develop and grow. I’m going to stick with it by checking out some getting started videos to see if I can’t make the early game a bit easier and then hope it begins to come into it’s own once you’re over the initial hump.

The UI is an improvement over FO1/FO2 at least. I had no problems with it.

I want to like this game, so I spent some time reading some online character build and starting tips guides and discovered quite a few things that helped. I started over again to take advantage of the knowledge gained regarding character creation (namely to invest heavily in DEX and INT to maximize Dodge (DEX) and skill points on level up (INT), and to take a couple of character perks that grant important stats (STR and END) in exchange for tolerable drawbacks like getting hungry more often and taking an initial hit to technology and crafting skills that can be made up for with the additional skill points from the high INT stat.

Also learning about the aim feature (which I don’t recall seeing in the tutorial) greatly increased my effectiveness in combat. The starting guides also showed me some places early on to pick up additional points in a few skills that are handy and encouraged me to be more of a jerk than I would usually be in such games (robbing graves, pressing people for better rewards) as there aren’t really any repercussions for doing so and you need every extra ruble and item you can get in the early game.

So now I am progressing much more smoothly, combat is not as brutal (I actually killed the village spy on the first try with my new character, it took me about 5 reloads the first time through), and I seem to have more success in the dialog checks with my ATT stat and Speechcraft skills adjusted properly. The game overall still feels clunky (simple stuff bothers me, like not being able to cook food in advance to store for use later), but I am enjoying it much more than before.

Starting to pick up speed and enjoy this game more. I got the random encounter that resulted in picking up my canine companion, and man does he make fights a lot easier. I also crafted myself some armor and a good sharp knife which makes me much more able to survive melee. I’m still using the rusted pistol you get for free in the first town, but it is effective and I figure I will find something better once I get to the big city further south.

That is where I am heading now as I think I have pretty much exhausted all of the quest options in the areas around the starting town. I finished all the quests there, did everything at the factory other than find the girl’s dad and head to the Roaring Forest for the leader guy (which is supposedly too difficult for me at the moment), talked to the people at the farm and wandered over to the moonshine place and the fort, but I don’t seem to have enough Speechcraft or Barter skills to get the quests in those places just yet. I did just level (4) and brought my speechcraft to 75 and barter to 50, so I may try again once I return from the city and have added the next companion. Then it’s probably off to the bunker to see what happened to the other ATOM guys that were sent out before me.

Finished exploring Bunker 317 last night. That was a very well designed area and quite a cool adventure. I took care of the three bandit guys outside early on, after they let me in to the bunker. The two grenades I found just inside the bunker entryway were very helpful in that fight, as before I tried using those the bandits kicked my ass repeatedly with their shotguns and rifles.

I enjoyed reading the little log books from the various folks who once lived in 317. Not only were they entertaining, but they provided some valuable information on accessing parts of the bunker where good stuff could be found. I am now much better equipped than I was when I arrived, and am flush with loot to turn into cash in town. Tons of crafting materials too, so I will need to try making some new stuff when I return to town as well.

I think Bunker 317 was the turning point for me with ATOM RPG. Before I was questioning whether or not I wanted to keep playing, but now I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, have a good set of equipment, good companions (Fidel and the Dog), plenty of supplies and cash and I’m genuinely curious about the main plotline story.

Yeah, the game becomes more satisfying later on. There are still a few too many dialog options for random NPCs, IMO. It can be tedious to talk to everyone.

The second expansion is in early access now. I am itching to get it but I’m not the type to replay games over and over and be a “bug tester”.

Pay attention to the portraits of the characters. There are some jokes there.

Stand alone sequel / expansion releases 9/13/21.

First one was terribly written. :(

Hope he’s learned how to use fewer words. Like, 90% fewer

Phew, just started playing Trudograd and I’m getting spat (metaphorically and otherwise) by a number of people thanks to my charismatic 1 Personality stat allocation. Gonna stick with it since my combat stats are amazing, and the writing is silly enough that I don’t particularly care about how the quests are solved, as long as I get to shoot things.

edit: I get why these games tie skill point gain to Intelligence but I really wish they didn’t.

How does this compare to UnderRail? Which is very Fallout-y too.

UnderRail is a very different beast and has imo hands down the best combat of any turn based single character RPG. Also the game with arguably some of the best exploration in the genre.

For some reason I was thinking about getting Trudograd. Where did you end up on this sequel? Did you keep going? I never played the first, but was hoping this one, as a stand alone, fixed whatever might have needed fixing in the original.

I ended up having quite a bit of fun with it. Nothing really stood out as particularly negative, the game flows well, my only minor nitpick is balance, but that was also down to the fact that I imported my character from the first Atom game and ended up starting at level 21 instead of the 15 I would have otherwise. My character was a ranged rifle specialist and unfortunately due to the nature of turn based games attacks per round often ends up being the king of all stats, so the crafted sniper rifle that you can make very early on carried me all the way to the end, more or less making the other weapons obsolete. You can also obtain a power armor about halfway through the game, I had a lot of fun with that as well.

Overall, If you enjoyed the first Atom game I would bet that you’d enjoy Trudograd too. For me it seemed more focused (most of the action is in the city and the outskirts), the writing is a little more reigned in compared to the first one, presentation (UI, graphics) got a bit of a bump - it was a nice and comfortable experience in the end, with no loose ends (unsolvable quests etc).

Sounds good, may give it a whirl. Appreciate the detailed write-up! I did not play the first, but it feels like starting here makes sense because of the improvements you noted.