Necessity for inventions is cunning, and the Russian people also for humor. Here’s how to feel about the fact that you are not a very rich domestic developer, you love Fallout and want to make the game of your dreams in the same style, but do not work for BioWare or Obsidian Entertainment ? Of course with humor. Perhaps this is how ATOM RPG was born – not a Russian Fallout (although very close), but rather an anecdote, a tale about what Fallout would be like if you made it in Russia in the 90s.
Recently, a sequel was released – ATOM RPG: Trudograd ( read about why this addon turned into an independent project, read the preview ), where there are fewer “goli” – the authors have earned, matured, gained experience, worked on bugs, making the game more compact and saturated. But the humor and amazing, very Russian combination of comedy and tragedy has become even more.
Why am I talking about humor right away? Yes, because the plot itself resembles an anecdote (get ready, I will say this word often!): Having reached the rank of major in the secret organization ATOM, our hero or heroine from the original game goes to the titular Trudograd to find the legendary secret development, railgun, and shoot out of it at a meteorite approaching the Earth. When, closer to the final, Professor Goryachev, the author of the technology, learns about this, he will only smile and twirl his finger at his temple.
And Trudograd itself, despite the authors’ calls to recall the gloomy Dead City from the supplement to the original and their words about the harsh, adult atmosphere, resembles a haven for the heroes of Russian jokes. Why Russians? Well, we love it when it’s fun, smart and for free? If a carpet, then an airplane, if a tablecloth, so self-assembly, if an ax, so that he cooks the porridge himself, and the oven – so that Emelya herself takes wherever she says.
Hearing local rumors is a separate pleasure.
And then there’s a cow that gives … cocaine. Do not ask how and why – the main thing is that it exists, and the smugglers instruct us to deliver this cow to them. And our soul will ache: am I doing the right thing, do I have the right to deprive the unfortunate scientist of society of a cow-addict? Wouldn’t it be better to kill those smugglers? Convince them using your charisma and communication skills? And if they balk, then it is better to intimidate, using force. If it is not enough, then you need to drink two bottles of pre-war vodka – immediately +2 to strength …
Naturally, here you can meet old acquaintances from the original and indulge in memories.
Here in this example – the whole essence of Trudograd with all its Russian folk flavor and the corresponding opportunities for role-playing. And this is just one example. There will also be a necromancer chef and a former inquisitor who removes curses with the help of arrogance and a huge hammer; cultists who worship Saint Seryozha and cultists who believed in rutabaga; family of Mannequins, who are frightened at night by neighbors-mannequins. There is a prostitute, Nadya Umolyaeva, who, naturally, loves to obey. And the little man who, out of drunkenness, hid his stash in … a minefield and does not remember which zigzags to go there.
Who can you not only see during random events!
On the global map, here you can meet an old man who, with a squeal of joy, will take the flyers of the new store you are distributing, and then he will stop and excitedly ask: “Can you buy sepulenia there?” And now go and find out what it is and what to answer him. The hospitable owner of the hotel keeps slaves in the basement, who day and night make souvenir medallions for tourists; on the street across the street he settled down like a shepherd who got here, who is looking for the seeds of the legendary plant – ram: the man believes that it will help him to restore the herd of goats stolen by order of Cosa Nostra. Don’t even ask how … And next to her, a woman squeezing a log wrapped in a towel under her breast instead of a baby, screams that her husband and her child have abandoned her.
Everyone has a funny or mystical story in stock, with a smack of jerkiness.
And in this joyful nonsense, you begin to see not only and not so much “Petrosyanism” as a very Russian combination of comedy, tragedy and some kind of fabulous, mythological beginning, which was, for example, Venichka Erofeev in “Moscow – Petushki”. Because in “Trudograd” you often laugh through tears too. There are many quests and situations that seem to start out funny, but end up tragically. It depends on your decisions whether the visiting northerners will execute two peasants who once slaughtered entire villages. And whether the boy, whom you, out of the kindness of your soul, arranged for an overwhelming job, will kill himself, whether his mother will kill. At such moments, you really remember the Dead City.
Here, too, is no laughing matter.
Separately, I note how well it is written. Again, in contrast: Petrosyans and florid graphomania (so florid that you understand – this is not graphomania, but a deliberate technique!) Organically coexist with expressive and very tasty literary descriptions. Therefore, reading the books with which we develop skills is both fun and interesting. For example, from the cycle of stories about the mutant hunter Rivlin, who charges his AK with silver bullets and charges himself with the elixir “Ruff” before the battle: “She returned at noon, stepping on the threshold softly, almost inaudibly. By the smell of lilacs and gooseberries, Rivlin realized that Yana was picking fruit again in the collective farm garden. The air permeated with the sun played with myriads of brilliant specks of dust, as soon as she sat in a chair near the window … “
And in the same stall you can buy the next issue of the magazine “Thieves’ life”, which contains the top 5 guns for robbing caravans, doctor’s advice on what to do if you catch an olive tree ( “1. Conveniently pick up a bagpipe and shoot the fuck who wounded you chukhanov “ ) and the announcement of the long-awaited article by Professor Smertin” Correlation between the force of bulling of subjects and the specific power of weapons directed at them. ”
And this is a diary kept by a local authority – also funny reading in its own way.
For the player in all this comedy and tragedy of the absurd, it is also important that in almost all situations there is variability – how to behave in dialogues, who to live, who to die and which of the two factions to work for in order to advance the plot and get to the Upper City …
In tasks, dialogues, text quests and random events on the global map, there are constantly checks on the level of your characteristics and skills. Strength, agility, endurance, charisma, communication, hacking, survival, attention, stealth, first aid, technology, luck, gambling (yes, it has its own cool card game!) And so on – everything is involved, and everything can be influenced also equipment and food intake, vodka and stimulants.
At the same time, as I wrote in the preview, in comparison with the original in “Trudograd” skills are better and more compactly distributed into groups – there is the mastery of different types of weapons, survival, craft.
The characters also have unique characteristics.
It seemed superfluous to me except that the manufacture of objects – I simply did not do this and did not experience any problems. In addition, in “Trudograd” it is difficult to die of hunger or hypothermia. True, on an empty stomach, without food in your backpack, you will not be able to rest and waste time until the required quest (for example, the arena at the machine-building plant works only at night). Food is actually equated with first aid kits and restores health to varying degrees.
On the other hand, no one promised that we would get a sophisticated survival simulator with a powerful crafting system. Are there any mechanics? There is. If you wish, can you craft? Can. Do you need to buy and search for food? Necessary. Does it all create the atmosphere? Yes. Well, as they say, and thanks for that – the main thing is that it doesn’t interfere.
During the breaks, you can cook meat, brew tea and coffee.
In principle, in the first half of the game, there was little in the way of my character, if we talk about physical threats. But this is not a reproach, but rather a praise. Almost every problem and situation can be solved peacefully for a long time. Therefore, my Major Olga, who had improved charisma and communication, and skills in all types of firearms tended to zero, for a long time did not experience any problems even at the “Expert” difficulty level.
The first more or less serious fight happened about five hours later. And after there were two comrades-in-arms in her squad who knew how to shoot perfectly, it seemed that even before the final credits nothing and no one would stop us. No matter how it is. Here, of course, one could reprimand the authors for strange zigzags of complexity, but I can understand them too. After all, they have realized the ability to wear, fill with diesel fuel and even modify power armor, that is, an exoskeleton.
Upgrading with modules is allowed not only for power armor, but also for weapons.
And I blatantly ignored it – firstly, it is an expensive pleasure (already 45 pieces!), And secondly, on principle. It was interesting, after all, whether I would go through the later stages without this exoskeleton of yours, when much more serious enemies appear, and an agreement either does not work out, or it is simply impossible. Frankly, it was hard – my lover of hand-to-hand and melee weapons often had time to riddle before she reached the enemy. I had to change tactics, including those of the allies, since in “Trudograd” it is implemented flexibly and conveniently.
Molotov cocktails really burn!
It will be especially tough if you accidentally activate the script that starts the attack on the city – all the remaining quests will fail, and you will have to break through to the story bunker with street battles. But, I repeat, I understand why this was done, and I have no complaints about the authors – rather, it is my own fault that I regretted the money for power armor. By the way, it can be stolen by killing a mechanic at the factory. But this will immediately make you a known criminal to all, who will be hunted by the police.
You can even adjust the friendly fire level.
Trudograd turned out to be multifaceted – here you can chat, fight, laugh, and be sad. In principle, everything in it dances and works, something is a little better, and something feels less in demand. The game itself has become more compact, eventful. The only thing that bothered me was monotonous random events (too often, especially in the later stages, they repeated themselves) and long downloads – the picture was prettier, but the optimization was not. Although this is possibly a personal problem with my laptop. Well, it’s a pity, of course, that the Upper City, where we were striving for the whole game, in the end turned out to be reduced to actually two locations.
In any case, ATOM RPG: Trudograd drags on with terrible force, especially if you perceive all this post-Soviet romance and buffoonery not as a slap in the face of public and personal taste, but as an artistic technique peculiar to our favorite setting among our people. So I’m looking forward to the next ATOM Team work .
Pros: fascinating plot; nonlinearity in solving many problems; colorful texts, jokes, events and characters; many interesting quests; you can use power armor in battles; a successful system for adjusting the behavior of associates; cool music, including Soviet; full voice acting in text quests; the picture in comparison with the original has become more saturated and modern.
Cons: there are questions about the balance of difficulty; not all game mechanics are equally useful; a lot of repetitive and not too interesting random events.