10 things “Atomic Heart” doesn’t tell you
“Atomic Heart” was announced back in May of 2018.
It has been a long time coming.
And now that it’s upon us, I feel like there’s some stuff that we’ve found that we can share, that’s gonna make your life easier.
And today on “Gameranx,” 10 things “Atomic Heart” doesn’t tell you.
Starting off at number 10, how to actually use the whole cartridge system thing.
One major gameplay element to “Atomic Heart” are these cartridges that you can attach to weapons and give them additional elemental properties.
Depending on an enemy’s weakness, these things can be super helpful, especially against the tougher robots out there.
There’s fire, electric, ice, and you can craft them at your convenience.
And they’re temporary.
They eventually get used up.
But they’re still extremely useful in certain circumstances.
Now, you’d think slotting in one of these things would be super easy, but it’s not.
At least it’s not totally obvious what you’re supposed to do.
It took me a little bit too long to figure out how to actually use the cartridges, so I’m gonna explain it, and may it put you on your merry way, at least as merry as it can be.
To start, the only way to add a cartridge to a gun or weapon is to get the cartridge gun upgrade for it.
Once you get that, it’s usually pretty cheap for the first upgrade.
Then you put on any cartridge you have in your inventory.
Now switch to the weapon you want to put the cartridge on.
Open up the radial menu.
From there, you have to expand the bottom part of the menu and select a cartridge.
Then you close the menu.
Now you’ll actually equip it.
Sounds simple describing it, but it’s not intuitive.
Believe me, it took me a lot of time to figure this one out.
At number nine, when you’re on the surface, don’t fight unless you have to.
When you do finally get to the surface in “Atomic Heart,” you will find that it is incredibly hostile.
There’s cameras everywhere.
There’s robots all over the place, and they’re all happy to gang up on you.
Even if you do destroy all the enemies attacking you, a swarm of drones will just come over and bring everything you just took out back to life.
It can be overwhelming at first, especially when you get caught by all the cameras and get stuck in an endless combat with enemy reinforcements.
Here’s the thing.
Alarms don’t have to be as bad as they seem.
All you have to do is run away.
If you book it out of there, the robots will give up, the alarm level will drop, and you’ll be free to explore the area again.
They have a pretty small chase radius, so they’re not gonna follow you too far if you’re not actively engaging them.
So it’s honestly not that hard to lose them.
Like, just pick a direction and run until the alarm deactivates.
Overall, it’s best if you can just try to avoid alarms as much as possible.
Like, keep in mind, the only way to trigger an alarm is to get caught by a camera.
So you can be as noisy as you want, as long as there are no cameras nearby, which in turn will look at you if they hear gunshots.
Don’t bother destroying cameras, though, at least in the open world.
It’ll trigger an alarm, probably.
Instead, always try to just disable them with shock.
In most cases, it’ll leave them disabled longer than if you try breaking them, ’cause those repair drones can be pretty fast, especially with cameras.
At number eight, you can disable all of the robots in an area.
This option becomes available a little later in the game, though, but it’s incredibly powerful.
And the game only gives you a tutorial about it after you do it for the first time, which, eh? The whole thing’s kinda convoluted, so just, like, try to follow along.
Every area of this map has this thing called a HAWK drone over it.
It’s responsible for commanding all the robots in the area.
At first, that sounds like it’s just some weird lore, but actually, it’s completely essential because you can sabotage it and turn off all the robots in a large area for a while.
How it works is you have to gain access to these little relay stations that are always found somewhere on the map near a HAWK drone.
To get into these things, you have to find a nearby camera relay.
Unlock the door using the camera system.
That’s something the game does explain, at least.
So while it can be convoluted, it’s not terribly hard.
Once you get into the HAWK relay, you just select the option called Relay Overload, which blows up the turbine powering the HAWK and makes it so all the robot activity in the area just stops.
(machinery whirring and blooping) (atmospheric synth music) (explosion booming) Like, it all just stops.
Every camera, robot, it’s done for a while, so you can freely explore without having to worry for a while.
It’s not permanent.
Repair drones eventually fix the turbine, and everything will come back online again then.
But it takes a while, so you can breathe easy for at least a few minutes.
At number seven, make sure you break down stuff you’re not using.
At a certain point in the game, you’re gonna start getting more stuff than you can possibly carry.
And when that happens, it’s time to clean house and disassemble stuff that you’re not using so those recycled resources can be spent on things you actually need.
I eventually stopped using the MP pistol, but the game still wants to give you ammo for it.
So instead of just letting it accumulate it, I started dissembling it.
And then you get a bunch of metal resources you can spend on crafting other ammo.
To disassemble stuff, all you do, just go to the Crafting menu.
Go to Storage.
Scroll over to the submenu to get Disassembly.
One thing you keep in mind is that you can only disassemble stuff that you have in storage.
So be sure to move all the unwanted stuff out of your inventory so you can actually break it down for parts.
(cheerful rock music) (menu blooping) At number six, get the storage upgrade ASAP.
Out of all the possible upgrades you can get in the Character menu, probably the most essential are the two storage upgrades.
Getting both of these will double the amount of stuff you can carry, which is absolutely huge.
At a certain point in the game, you’re gonna start burning through resources like crazy, and you need all that space you can get to store all the guns, ammo, and healing items you need to survive.
And also, remember, you need stuff in storage if you wanna disassemble it and make it into something else.
The upgrades are called the Neuro-Compression Tactical Backpack.
Both are available at the same time, so when you see them, be sure to get them.
They cost 150 Neuropolymers each, little pricey, not gonna lie, but believe me, they’re worth it.
(energetic electronic music) At number five, look for the testing grounds.
Like, don’t skip these things.
They’re kinda just a collection of basically, like, “Portal” style test chambers that contain all the best weapons mods in the game.
They’re sometimes off the beaten path and difficult to access, but they’re very worth hunting down even if only for the many mods they unlock.
If you fully complete one of these things, they’ll get you a ton of useful resources, three or four weapons mods.
There’s usually at least one in there that’s very powerful, and it’s not really a lot of work.
Honestly, usually, the hardest part about these things is just finding out how to get inside of them.
Some are pretty easy to spot.
Like, this blue roof building is pretty obviously a testing ground, but some of them are pretty well hidden and requires some puzzle-solving to access.
They are all worth checking out, though.
You might feel like passing them up to continue the main story, but seriously, they’re a fun diversion that gets you a lot of useful stuff.
At number four, you gotta explore off the beaten path.
Now, it might sound like “Atomic Heart” doesn’t let you explore a lot with these laser fences everywhere, but certain areas are surprisingly open, and there’s a whole lot of optional stuff to do in them.
There’s actually a lot more to find in this game off the main quest, like these boss areas where you can take on unique encounters and even small mini-dungeons like this area you can find under a boathouse.
Both of these locations are way off track and are nowhere near the main objectives, but you can still access them.
So don’t be afraid to look around a little outside of the critical path.
There is useful and interesting stuff to find.
There’s stuff to do, stuff to get, things beyond what you would expect, particularly because they do everything they can to sorta corral you onto a specific path and make it feel like you can’t go beyond it.
At number three, you gotta have a good melee weapon.
Melee weapons seem obsolete at a certain point in the game, but don’t make the mistake of dissembling all your melee weapons, because at a certain point, you’re really, really going to need one.
Now, I’m trying to avoid making this spoiler-filled, but there is one boss-type enemy that’s really resistant to all forms of damage, at least the first time you encounter it.
And for that one, you’re going to need a melee weapon, and a good one, not, like, a crappy one.
“Oh, I can hit you.
That means I can beat you,” is not the case here.
If you don’t have any damage upgrades, you’re still only gonna be doing slivers of damage to this thing, and that’s going to be really frustrating.
It’s tough either way, but you don’t wanna waste all your ammo and still come up short.
So hold on to at least one decent melee weapon and be sure to upgrade it.
At number two, hey, you can drive cars.
This is a short one, but seriously, you can.
You can get into them and enjoy the mechanical movement of an automobile.
There’s no tutorial.
The game never really forces you to get into one either.
But yeah, there’s certain vehicles you can actually enter.
And all you have to do is go up to the door and interact with it.
Cars are pretty great for a hit-and-run against some annoying bots too, but they also aren’t the toughest thing that you’re gonna be able to use against them.
Enough hits on them, they catch on fire.
They explode, so you don’t wanna rely on them, but they’re pretty useful for getting around quickly.
And finally, at number one, there are puzzles that require a power you might not have.
And this could throw you off for a little while.
There’s one testing ground that introduces this kind of puzzle that’s just not seen anywhere else in the game.
To solve it, you have to use an optional power that a lot of players might not bother with.
It’s called the Polymeric Jet, which makes it so you spray a bunch of Polymer on surfaces and enemies, which you can then trigger with an elemental attack.
Using that ability is the only way to solve this puzzle.
And you just use the Polymer, so you stand near the door when it unlocks so you can get inside.
It’s the only puzzle in the game that requires a power that’s optional.
So if you get stuck here, just remember you gotta go get the Polymeric Jet power.
It’s not tough to get.
If you’re outta upgrade points, you just respec.
The game lets you do it anytime you want.
So there’s no consequence for switching up your abilities, and you’re gonna need that ability to do this puzzle.
I’ll say it one final time too.
This is the only instance of this in the game that we are currently aware of.
I’m not gonna say there’s nothing hidden somewhere, but as of now, it seems like this is it.
It’s also it for the video.
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