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And, of course, all of it is exacerbated by the game’s never-ending desperate attempts at being funny. If you played the original ATOM RPG, you should know just how much it liked its references. Instead of toning those down, Trudograd dials things up to eleven.
Soviet culture, modern pop culture, Internet memes, anime - it’s all there already, and given Trudograd’s current limited scope, it’s all very dense.
Usually, I’m more tolerant than most when it comes to silliness, puns, or zany references. But when a Soviet wannabe opera singer starts complaining about haters, or when your character, a high-ranking government agent, replies to a martial arts instructor by screaming “Ora-ora-ora,” that’s where even I can no longer take a piece of media seriously.
Also, what’s the deal with all the turnips? Why are turnips funny? Why does the game keep mentioning turnips? How are turnips connected to either the Soviet Union or the nuclear apocalypse? What’s the joke here? Was Blackadder’s Baldrick one of the writers? I don’t get it.
I really hope that as the game grows, its writers realize that they have something with a potential to be great on their hands, and as a result rethink their approach.
As mentioned above, Trudograd looks better than the original ATOM RPG, and for the most part, it even runs better. The game now also has a weather system that on occasion covers your screen with very impressive blizzards. Paired with a dynamic day and night cycle and sporadic illumination provided by campfires and flaming barrels, this results in a rather neat-looking representation of a post-apocalyptic world.
The audio effects supporting this all are fairly powerful as well. The limited voice acting, on the other hand, is not quite as impressive.
Unfortunately, while the game generally runs well and doesn’t take too long to load, its weather effects seem to be completely unoptimized right now, tanking your frame rate whenever they’re on screen.
When it comes to bugs, I didn’t notice anything especially egregious. The game did freeze on me a couple of times and some UI elements weren’t translated, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for an early access project.
The options menu is pretty limited in what you can adjust right now, but already you can speed up animations and increase the size of the game’s UI. Both of these features are always nice to have.
The original ATOM RPG felt very much like Soviet Fallout. Trudograd somehow manages to avoid evoking the same feeling despite still sharing numerous similarities with its predecessors. It’s both familiar and fresh at the same time. If, come full release, it manages to elevate its locations to the level of the very first one, it can easily become a game you wouldn’t want to miss.
However, in its current state with sparse content, abysmal writing, and half-baked systems, I can’t recommend the early access version to anyone who isn’t driven purely by curiosity or a desire to support the developers.
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