The “apolitical” Russian game Atomic Heart makes fun of the killings of Ukrainians

On February 21, 2022, the Russian game Atomic Heart was released. During the wave of criticism towards the game, its developers, formally Cypriot, but in fact, Russian studio Mundfish stated that they are “out of politics and for peace”. But after the release of the game, it is clear that the Russian developers did make a political statement out of it: mocking the murders of Ukrainians by the Russian army, admiring the USSR, and leaving “Easter eggs” for the joy of the Russian audience that supports the war.

The Ukrainian gaming community has collected some of the worst examples from Russian resources where videos and screenshots of the game appear.

  • A screenshot from the game where the drone carries a pot of geraniums. With “Geranium-2”, as the Russians call Iranian drones, the Russian army is shelling Ukrainian cities, killing people:
  • Using old photos of “Soviet” Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia. Donetsk has been occupied by the Russian army since 2014. The developers could not be unaware of this fact, adding such photos to the game. As well as the rhetoric of the Russian authorities about “the restoration of historical injustice and the restoration of the USSR.”
  • Cans painted in blue-yellow color with “pork” minced meat. It is interesting that Russian users justify the picture by the fact that it had a Soviet original. But without the inscription “pork”.
  • Poem-quote from an old World War II poster about “Nazi pigs”:
  • Many users from Russia are outraged that these are “just pigs”, Ukrainians are offended by the nonsense, saying that there is no need to look for hidden meanings. But the game’s target audience, Russian gamers, read these meanings unambiguously (even in discussions about the same game, calling Ukrainians “pigs”). One of the Russian commentators was so inspired by the game that in the review he called on Putin to “give the developers a medal”.
  • A robot’s speech about nuclear blackmail and expanding the borders of the USSR:
  • A photo “from the future” of a Russian soldier reciting the oath, without commenting on what the Russian army is doing now.
  • And more interesting findings like photos of Mariupol in the column “Cities of the USSR”, and hidden letters Z and V on the cars.

Why is it important

Atomic Heart, as a part of modern Russian culture, is not apolitical, no matter what they are saying. The developers tried to subtly please “patriotic” Russians who welcome the war with Ukraine. And they obviously succeed, as you can see by the comments of some russian gamers.

This game should be removed from online game stores. After all, Russia has made its culture a tool of propaganda and war. But of course, everybody decides by themself whether they are ready to tolerate genocide in order to play a game just for $10.