If you are wondering if Atomic Heart is like BioShock, the answer is basically yes, and here are all the ways they are similar.

Is Atomic Heart Like BioShock?

If you’ve been reading about Atomic Heart, you might have seen it compared to BioShock. Developer Mundfish has, certainly, confirmed that it does have some parallels with that game. But is Atomic Heart really like BioShock? Here’s the answer.

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Atomic Heart Is Like BioShock in Several Ways

Atomic Heart has several things in common with BioShock. BioShock and BioShock Infinite had their own parallels, intentionally so — as one character puts it, “There is always a lighthouse, there’s always a man, there’s always a city.”

In the case of Atomic Heart, there may not be a lighthouse, but there’s definitely a man and a city, a city that, like BioShock Infinite’s Columbia, floats in the clouds. And while we’re going to steer clear of major middle-game and end-game spoilers, we’re going to discuss the general setting and opening of Atomic Heart. So if you want to know how Atomic Heart is like BioShock, read on.

Here are some of the ways Atomic Heart is similar to BioShock and the other games in that series:

  • They take place in the mid-1900s.
  • Both are first-person action games with an RPG element.
  • Both have a retro-futuristic aesthetic.
  • They each feature a supposedly utopian society.
  • Each has a visionary figure who, rightly or wrongly, takes credit for this utopia.
  • Both BioShock Infinite and Atomic Heart have the protagonist roaming a city in the clouds, though in Atomic Heart you leave the city for a ground-based facility.
  • Both feature technologies that give the user superpowers.
  • The folly of unchecked scientific advancement is a theme present in both games.
  • One man is sent in on a mission, making use of their superpowers, upgrading them as they go.
  • The man’s mental state and his very memories are called into question.

That’s not to say Atomic Heart is a BioShock ripoff; it has a character all its own, partly due to its alternative history setting.

BioShock Infinite suggests that there are multiple realities, each with their own version of the man and a lighthouse. BioShock’s Rapture is in one such reality, and BioShock Infinite’s Columbia is another. Could we see Atomic Heart taking place in one of those realities? Not quite, the similarities aren’t quite enough for that.

Certainly, developer Mundfish does hope players see it as its own thing. But as far as themes and gameplay go, there are more than a couple of similarities here, which, if you’re a BioShock fan, could be a good thing. So yes, Atomic Heart is like BioShock in several ways.


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Author
Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.