ATOM RPG: Trudograd Review

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Eschalon: Book II

Release Date:2021-09-13
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ATOM RPG: Trudograd is a post-apocalyptic RPG inspired by such venerable classics as Wasteland and Fallout, but with a Soviet coat of paint. The game was originally envisioned as a standalone expansion for the similarly post-apocalyptic ATOM RPG that launched back in 2018. However, following an extended early access phase, Trudograd became more of a full-blown sequel that will take you somewhere in the vicinity of 30 hours to complete.

And if you'd like to know where exactly Trudograd fits into the Fallout family of RPGs, you can now check out our review below.

Story and Setting

The previous game ended with a sentient mushroom warning you about a massive asteroid, that may or may not be an alien spaceship, on a collision course with Earth. Yes, it is that kind of wasteland. Should this asteroid arrive unmolested, it's predicted to wipe the human race off the face of the planet for good.

The proposed solution for dealing with this thing is to shoot it out of the sky with the biggest gun available. Your character, who just happens to be the star agent of the Soviet take on the Brotherhood of Steel, gets the first crack at finding that gun.

Your quest for this ultimate tool of overcompensation leads you to Trudograd, a bustling by post-apocalyptic standards city that somehow managed to avoid getting bombed back into the stone age. When you arrive, Trudograd merely has to deal with the harsh realities of nuclear winter, the complete lack of a functional government, and the looming threat of a barbarian invasion.

As a result, instead of managing your radiation levels, you'll be dealing with Trudograd's inhospitable weather, which translates into stacking cold resistance, spending some time by the fire, and consuming an occasional alcoholic beverage. All of the above isn't particularly challenging and mostly serves as a bit of flavor that helps sell the game's setting. And combined with the visuals and some really chunky audio effects, it really gets the job done.

Trudograd's two other major problems are translated into an overarching story where in order to get your hands on the coveted railgun, you'll have to join one of the game's squabbling factions. There may be some other means of reaching the city's walled-off area where you can find some clues for your quest, but the two main paths you can take through the game consist of you working with either the police force or the revolutionaries to further their conflicting agendas, and in return be granted access to the otherwise restricted areas.

As you progress through this story and engage in some other activities on the side, the game paints you a fairly intriguing and immersive picture where seemingly random occurrences are later revealed to be connected, powerful outside forces all have their representatives inside Trudograd, and in general, you get this impression of sitting on a powder keg that's just about to blow.

As a result, you're treated to a cool urban adventure in a city that gradually descends into chaos, and you get the front row seats.

The one thing that's a bit clunky about the game's overall structure is that if you do the RPG thing and go on a side quest binge before getting around to the main story, you will have visited most of the game's locations by then. As such, you'll know exactly where to go and who to talk to, and the whole thing will feel like a bunch of unnecessary backtracking.

Still, I was impressed by the game's broad strokes and the way it masterfully creates an illusion of this one city being a part of a bigger living world.