Atomic Heart is a highly anticipated first-person shooter available on multiple platforms including PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, and Steam Deck. However, the game has recently been at the center of controversy for including racist drawings.
The controversy began when PC Gamer highlighted a TV series of cartoons with racist overtones that was hidden in a room resembling Resident Evil quarters. In the Soviet-era cartoon “Nu, Pogodi!” or “Well, wait!”, a caricature of an African tribesman appears without warning or context.
Mundfish, the development team behind Atomic Heart, issued an apology for the insensitivity of using these cartoons and period music. They promised to edit the parts in question and expressed regret if their inclusion had caused harm or insulted anyone.
However, the game has also been caught up in geopolitical tensions. Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation has attempted to have the game removed from digital stores in the country due to its alleged links to Russia. The ministry cites the “toxicity” of the game and the possible economic benefits that Russia could derive from its sale.
Despite the controversy, Atomic Heart has received praise for its nod to BioShock and its composer Mick Gordon’s donation of his entire salary to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
As the situation continues to unfold, the developers of Atomic Heart will need to navigate the multiple fronts of controversy to ensure that their highly anticipated game is received positively by gamers and critics alike.