The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing, Xander77

Part 42: Your Choices Totally Mattered!

Your Choices Totally Mattered!

Time for the ending cinematic!

: You still can't believe it's all over.

: The long road has finally ended, and now the only thing left is to turn around, and reflect upon the changes your actions have caused to life in the Wastes.

: Some found new religious orders, some continued helping people on their own, and some... entered into politics.

: As a modern monument to stagnation, this city stopped development, change, growth, choosing stability instead of progress, and clueless, faceless leaders locked inside the impenetrable bunker instead of brave innovators well acquainted with the modern times

I believe this changes if you let Alf take over. If you let the Mushroom Cult do it's thing there's a separate cutscene about how Krasnoznamenny and Otradnoye become part of the hive mind.

I did not miss a screenshot, they drop the last word.

The white font could have been better chosen.

: Otradnoye turned into a criminal free, cozy town, that attracted honest and hard working folk from all across the Wastes

Yeah, sure, whatever.

: The cheerful citizens even erected a statue in honor of their founders.

: The monument depicted you and Gozhin, standing on a pedestal, hammer and sickle in hand.

We never did the Peregon questline so the Pizzagaters are still killing each other.

: It's people lost their humanity and turned against one another in a desperate and pitiful struggle

: Trade also became a victim in this fight, and soon only vultures populated the once mighty trade hub

I lost a few screenshots here, (although that font is awful) but Fidel got killed by Syoma Voronok. Remember the guy who declared war on Dan, that the mafia sent us to? You probably don't, but he's like, super important, mannnn!

Even at the end ATOM still fucks up.

: There, he wrote his first post-war novel, "Travelling with my child"

: The book was critically acclaimed and quickly became a Wasteland bestseller

: It's[sic] sequel, "Major Hexogen's last battle" didn't fare as well...

: Many people remembered him as a traveling strongman, a good friend to children, and a lover of hard booze, who always called his traveling companions weird nicknames, like "chav" or "bub".

Fun fact: the Hesperus star is still there if you just let Morozov do his plan.

: Mercenaries, on the other hand, claim they saw you with troops, completing unknown objectives in the deadly Wastes

: Drunker stalkers, on the other hand, swear that you helped them rummage through ancient ruins

This is the last, and the game mercifully fades to black.

The game hilariously displays a loading screen before the credits.

You all fucking sucked at your jobs!

Anyway, that's ATOM. There's a bunch of content we didn't cover, such as Kovalev's quest - which involves you getting parts to fix the car, then he takes it for a joyride, gets ambushed by an old enemy, and dies wrecking the car in the process - or the Peregon elections, where a random dude asks you to discredit the trade and guard Pizzagaters so he can fix the place up. However, I think I've shown off enough of the game to make it clear that, no, you should not play it and you especially should not buy it. I have a few closing thoughts on the game and then we're putting this ATOM run in the ground.

What Is This Game Actually About?

I was watching TehSnakerer's review of Watch Dogs: Legion and he argues that the game is about nothing as Ubisoft doesn't want to actually commit to a position. Now, I don't think that Watch Dogs and ATOM are at all similar, but I think ultimately the message of ATOM is very similar. ATOM wants to be about something, and the developers were super excited by the RPGCodex review praising ATOM as a deep, literary game. The problem is that, while ATOM is full of words, most of these words are about nothing. First you have to get past the endless font of pointless references, and then the tedious wall of dull realistic narration in a game where - per the developers on the Steam forums - you are supposed to be questioning the game's reality. The problem is that none of this builds up to anything.

The Mushroom Cult is written like Ayn Rand villains and seems like a parody of Communism, but are also able to be talked down by pointing out to Morozov that their plan will cause a bunch of violence, something the real Communists never hesitated to employ and that critics of Communism - like Ayn Rand - are quick to point out. It does not help that the game's pacing is uniformly terrible. There are references to the Hesperus star scattered throughout the game, such as when Agatha is asked about rumors, and of course the incoherent screen the developers cannot explain that the player receives at the beginning of the game.

Why is there a demon? Who the fuck knows! There's a bunch of random crap in this game that goes nowhere. Alexander is infested by the mind worms, and does the same crap as the player, which raises the possibility the cadet is infested too... which the game immediately denies and does nothing with.

The one constant in the game is that ultimately you have no choices and are constantly manipulated by the conspiracy, whether it's being asked to destroy the evil Pizzagaters or sent to pick up the freezer for Satanovsky's "hospital" you're an idiot pawn on puppet strings. Even the main quest to find General Morozov is designed to recruit the Cadet into the evil Mushroom Cult conspiracy, even if the means by which the Mycelium Society does it make no actual sense.

Ultimately even the confrontation with the Mushroom Cult doesn't matter. Yes, if you don't destroy the cult they take over Krasnoznamenny and Otradnoye and you personally have to kill Fidel, but defeating the Mushroom Cult just lets one faction of military dictators run Krasnoz, Dan runs Otradnoye (although the gang disbands if the cult wins), and ultimately everything you do sets up one brand of the Conspiracy to be victorious. The game wants to have an Age of Decadence or Tyranny ending where no matter what you do one man cannot fix the world, no matter how powerful or skilled, but the writers don't have the skill to pull off that kind of inevitability and we just get a bunch of lazy railroading. The message is that nothing matters, everything is shit, and you're a damn idiot for trying. Notice how Fidel, the supposedly moral and heroic party member, dies no matter what you do? Sure, there are occasional choices in side quests - do you spare the bandit who's gone straight, or turn him over to his victim for revenge? - but by and large, none of the quests actually interlock in any meaningful way and the world almost never changes as a result of your actions.

The game is an empty theme park that tries to pull a magic trick - it throws out enough words in an attempt to convince the player that it's about something, anything, and it includes things like the great conspiracy that connects all the quests, or the possibility that the player character is possessed by a mind worm, or a few hints to the nature of the mushrooms or the Hesperus star, but ultimately going beyond these meager portions reveals the soullessness at the heart of the game. Most of this nonsense is here to set up references, hell, even the Postman conspiracy is a reference to Thomas Pynchon. The one recurring theme is that the player character is constantly the butt of the joke, from the character realizing he gets used constantly in the Dragon's quest to the crafting messages mocking you for failing to roll a joint.

That's ATOM! Bad, but ultimately bad in a tedious way that wasn't even fun to mock. It's over! I'm done! Don't buy this game!