Simplicity can be difficult sometimes, and with the recent game from Ubisoft Reflections, Atomega, the game falls victim to its own craft.
I appreciate how Ubisoft are experimenting with new ideas, new infusions, and new mechanics. The game is simple: you start as an atom in an arena shooter and go around collecting blocks which make you bigger and more capable. Your aim is to get bigger and stronger in an arena full of blocks which will transform you from a Cel all the way to Omega passing through Zoa, Saue, Prime and Superior.
However, as is always the case, bigger is not always the better. Yes, you could have the bigger gun and tons of blocks, but sometimes being the smaller one is good too because you will have the benefit of speed.
Atomega is a free-for-all shooter. Get those blocks, stack that mass, and that’s about it. The winning player is not the biggest, and the smallest player is not the loser. The game balances this meta meticulously, and frankly speaking, it is something I never experienced in any other shooter where constant nerfs and buffs for various characters is always a necessity.
Conceptually, it is a great idea for an arena shooter but it doesn’t give you a reason to stay for more than a few rounds. Rounds are timed to 10 minutes and players have only one gun which beams laser and they will be in the hunt for others. There are no maps as it is one big environment of cubes, tunnels, and shadows. The smaller you are, the easier it will be for you to hide, but your weapon would be weak, and conversely, the bigger you are the heavier your movement will be but you will be rewarded with an almighty laser beam.
The problem with Atomega is that you will get used to the game very quickly, and once you reach that point, the game will feel so small.
You won’t be attached to a character no matter how you customize your atom, but that was never this game’s purpose. Atomega, perhaps as a result, ends up lacking personality. One map, one mode and the same bonuses for everyone, with no bragging rights or incentive to come back for more.
Atomega is available on Steam. A review code was made available to us via Ubisoft.