Atomic Heart Mini Boss Battle

Is Atomic Heart a Horror Game? – Answered

Soviet Russia can be terrifying at times.

Atomic Heart strongly features many themes. Besides being a pretty brutal first-person shooter, the game focuses on the idea of political power, communist ideologies, and the ethics surrounding free will. The way the game explores these feelings can be horrific at times, though with a tag like horror attached to the game, some may wonder whether this could be considered part of that genre. Here’s whether Atomic Heart is a horror game.

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Can Atomic Heart Be Called a Horror Game?

By a hard definition at least, Atomic Heart probably isn’t a horror game per se. There are rarely, if any, jumpscares, and the game isn’t trying to actively scare you at every turn. Instead, its horror elements are much more psychological horror and grotesque imagery. Many enemies you encounter and scenes you’ll witness are very disgusting, and may even have your stomach churning.

Take one enemy type, for example, which sees a strange biological plant take over a deceased human, splitting its head open with a very disgusting-looking flower abomination. This may sound strangely beautiful, though given this enemy then attempts to violently assault you, it’s more concerning than anything. While we aren’t personally affected by it much, the faint of heart may find them a little more frightening.

Related: Everything to Know About Armageddon Mode in Atomic Heart

While it’s somewhat a shame that Atomic Heart doesn’t have more horror baked into it, it isn’t really what the developers were going for. The team wanted to bring a robot-infested hellscape to life with Atomic Heart, and while that does involve horror, it’s not a Resident-Evil style of horror. That’s completely fine, seeing as you shouldn’t try to make a game something it doesn’t want to be. Then again, other parts of the game definitely do just that. Depending on how you look at it, that could’ve been for the better or worse.


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Shawn Robinson
Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year and a half, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.