ATOM RPG Trudograd Review, Early Access Version
Welcome to our ATOM RPG Trudograd review, the Early Access version. It is difficult to review games in Early Access as our customary scoring method (x out of 10) isn’t really suited for this context. Therefore, we review Early Access games by providing you with a recommendation from our side concerning the state of the game. By the end of this ATOM RPG Trudograd review, you will have a good idea whether you should buy the game now, wait a while before buying, wait until full release before buying or pack your bags and flee to a place where the game can never find you.
What is ATOM RPG Trudograd?
ATOM RPG Trudograd is the sequel to AtomTeam’s first game titled “ATOM RPG”. It is a standalone sequel, although the narrative continues from the first game. This is a minor issue as the world-building is superb and you will quickly be up to date on the essential elements of the narrative arc.
The game forms part of the CRPG genre and is heavily inspired by the classic Fallout and Wasteland games. Based on our time with the game, we would argue that the atmosphere of Trudograd has also been influenced by modern games such as Escape From Tarkov and the Metro series.
As with most of the games mentioned above, ATOM RPG Trudograd has a post-apocalyptic context. The character of the post-apocalyptic setting is given form in the cold and harsh reality of the Soviet Union.
Most of the game plays out in the actual city of Trudograd and its different neighbourhoods. While this may feel like it limits the variety of exploration and areas you can discover, our experience in the different areas assured us that this is not the case.
In a nutshell, ATOM RPG Trudograd is a narrative-driven post-apocalyptic CRPG set in the fictional city of Trudograd wrapped in the cold embrace of the Soviet Union.
What can you expect from ATOM RPG Trudograd in its current form?
In the context of Early Access games, we are not looking for things to be super polished, fully fleshed-out or in its final form. We do however want a return on our investment and therefore Early Access games should be in a playable state with enough content to justify the amount of money we spent on the purchase.
During the rest of this ATOM RPG Trudograd review, we will look at the current state of the game and offer some insight into the most important questions to help you form an opinion of the game.
How much content does ATOM RPG Trudograd have?
One of the most important elements of Early Access games is the amount of content on offer for players. No one likes to buy a game only to find out that there are one or two hours of content available with no idea when or if more content will be added.
Luckily this is not the case with ATOM RPG Trudograd. Our adventures in Trudograd saw us put in around 15 hours of gameplay and we have yet to finish some parts. It is important to mention that the 15 hours we spent with the game was based on some fantastic content and we hardly ever felt like we were treading through filler content.
Let’s take a look at some of the content we encountered during our playthrough, keeping in mind that the game only includes around 30-40% of the planned content.
It might seem silly to include character creation as a significant piece of content, but ATOM RPG Trudograd has an epic character creation system. It may be a bit light on the visual elements of creating your character, but the actual stats and build of your character more than makes up for this.
Fans of the CRPG and larger RPG genre would agree that immersion in the game world is an important factor in determining the fun we have with a game. The character creation process in Trudograd truly allows you to build an interesting, complex and specific character. I had a character that focused on Intelligence and Speechcraft and therefore I fought with words rather than guns. I did, however, carry around a rifle for those times when words fail.
Talking to other characters is a massive part of ATOM RPG Trudograd. When I use the word massive it is not an overstatement, I spent around eight hours of my playthrough reading and reacting to dialogue.
The writing was excellent for the most part, with an occasional weak character here and there. Overall, I was drawn into the lives of the people of Trudograd and enjoyed reacting and manipulating its denizens to further my aims.
It should go without saying that if you don’t like lots of reading in games, you will miss much of what makes ATOM RPG Trudograd a memorable experience.
A final critical note on the dialogue system is that it is perhaps a bit too difficult at times. I had a significant amount of points allocated to winning dialogue interactions, but I only succeeded in around 50% of those. This made the number of points invested in my speech skills feel a bit underwhelming.
Questing is a staple of CRPG’s and Trudograd is no different. There are a lot of side quests available in the current state of the game. During my playthrough I found them to be fun, epic, and sometimes even captivating.
Two of the side quests that stood out in the early to mid-stages of the game are the heist mission and the investigation into a certain dodgy businessman. Without spoiling these quests, I can say that they were engaging and gave me the opportunity to use my skills in creative ways to solve the challenges that popped up during the quest narratives.
ATOM RPG Trudograd also grants players a decent amount of agency in the resolution of side quests, and I enjoyed having the ability to determine the outcome.
The main quest and primary narrative of the game is not complete in its current state. What I could see seemed promising, though. Spoiling nothing, the main quest takes you on a journey deeper into the city and along the way you meet increasingly interesting and sinister people. There is an air of secrecy and mystery to many things that happen in Trudograd, and this is portrayed really well in these quests.
I also spent some time trying to survive combat encounters and with my character specced the way he was, this was quite tough. Combat in ATOM RPG Trudograd is turn-based with an action point system as is popular in many CRPG’s.
Based on my experience, combat was the weakest part of the Trudograd experience. Combat is challenging and can be tactical, but it felt stale. I didn’t feel in control of the combat experience and these encounters usually led to two guys standing next to each other firing their weapon each turn and hoping the other one dies first.
Hopefully, combat will see some love before the release of the game. The foundation is there for epic combat encounters, but it needs to be more engaging.
Similar to Gwent and dice in the Witcher universe or poker in Red Dead Redemption 2, ATOM RPG Trudograd has its own version. It’s essentially a very simple card-based game where players attack each other until the first one reaches 0 life. You play cards to build resources that fuel your attacks, and you can also destroy the opposing players’ resources. It’s a simple game to get into and I spent quite some time playing it!
How polished is ATOM RPG Trudograd?
Another important aspect of Early Access games are the level of polish you can expect. In most cases, this is still a work in progress, but the game runs well enough to avoid causing players frustration.
ATOM RPG Trudograd has an impressive level of polish in its current state. I found only a single graphical bug during my entire time in Trudograd. Overall, the game creates an immersive atmosphere, and the graphical style really conveys that atmosphere.
Other than that the graphics look great, environments are believable and unique and characters look great. There are no fancy particle effects or similar implementations, but in the grey and cold city of Trudograd, I didn’t miss this.
I really enjoyed the loading screens and the custom art used for each area. It added even more flavour to the game.
The sound in ATOM RPG Trudograd is a bit of a mixed bag. There were times when I thought it was outstanding like in the opening scene of the game around the fire. But other times I felt the sound betrayed certain environments by not adding to the already fantastic atmosphere.
The voice acting in certain scenarios was quite bothersome and sometimes broke the immersion. It’s not that the narration is objectively bad, but the voice and accent used for the narrator in certain scenes just didn’t fit the overall atmosphere of the game. Maybe it is a placeholder for voice acting to be done in the future, but as it stands I was not a fan.
Bugs in general
Concerning bugs in the game I have some superb news, I encountered only two during my 15 hours in Trudograd. The game is more stable in its current state than many AAA games launching for four times the price.
Is the gameplay any good?
By now you should have an excellent idea of what you can expect from ATOM RPG Trudograd’s Early Access version, but we haven’t answered the question of how the game plays.
The gameplay of ATOM RPG Trudograd is calculated and happens at a very slow pace. I spent almost 20 minutes just rummaging through the inn where you start the game. I checked every cupboard, drawer and closet for loot to help me on my journey. After this, I spent another couple of minutes chatting to a post-apocalyptic pimp and a suspicious innkeeper.
This was not a once-off occurrence and you can spend a lot of time in even the smallest places of the game, searching for loot and engaging in conversation with the other NPCs. But it is in its slow pace where Trudograd builds an engaging and captivating world filled with interesting characters and interactions. The slow pace constructs a fantastic atmosphere and the characters along with their stories give life to the city.
Much of the slowness can be attributed to the dialogue sections when talking to NPCs. Most of the NPC’s you meet in the game has a lot of topics you can discuss and almost all of them have unique responses to recurring questions. The myriad of conversations helps the game inch forward with every new bit of info you learn and keeps you invested in the story of the city and its people.
If you like RPG’s with deep dialogue systems and lots of lore, occasionally broken up by a combat event, ATOM RPG Trudograd will offer you hours of fun.
As noted at the start of our ATOM RPG Trudograd review for its Early Access release, we will not give the game a score in its current state. Instead, we will give our recommendation on whether you should buy the game based on our gameplay experience.
After our time with ATOM RPG Trudograd, it is not a tough choice to recommend that you can buy and enjoy the game in its current state. If you are a fan of the CRPG genre, post-apocalyptic games and lots of reading, Trudograd will surely entertain you.
However, there is a single aspect of the game to note that may warrant you to wait a little longer before buying the game. Because of the Early Access state of the game, the main story and some side quests are not finished yet. If you cannot imagine a world where you will have to wait a while to conclude some quests, perhaps wait before buying the game.
We eagerly await for development to continue and are excited for the eventual release of a potentially great entry into the CRPG genre.
We hope you found our ATOM RPG Trudograd review helpful and informative. Check out some of our other reviews on our review page. Happy Gaming!