It is set in an alternate timeline where USSR was able to make a great leap in robotics and genetic engineering after the war. However, it's all Gone Horribly Wrong, and now you need to unravel the aftermath, starting from the research centre where it all went down.
Tropes present in the Atomic Heart:
- Body Horror: One of the videos demonstrates a creature that looks like a fleshless humanoid with what looks like blood vessels and tendons snaking off it in all directions like tentacles.
- Chainsaw Good: Some of the robots seen in the trailers so far attack with buzzsaws. Justified in that they were initially developed for construction duty, as confirmed by the raytracing tech demo, which features one such robot as a museum exhibit, complete with a detailed plaque detailing its use.
- Cyber Cyclops: The weakest and most mass-produced humanoid robot type seen en-masse in the trailers has just one large camera for an eye.
- Eye Scream: Trailer shows that a melee animation against a more humanoid enemy has the player gouge their eyes out.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The most humanoid robots in the gameplay trailer attack through a series of punches and kicks, and they are actually pretty good at it as well, with acrobatic, if over-choreographed movements.
- High-Pressure Blood: Played straight, as a demonstrated by the eye-gouging finishing move in the trailers, which immediately produces two thick, gushing jets of blood.
- Hollywood Silencer: The pistol wielded by the protagonist in the gameplay trailer comes with a silencer, which cuts down on sound far more effectively than anything seen in real life.
- Light Is Not Good: As one person in the trailer says, even as a kid he was disturbed by seeing brightly illustrated books for children because he felt that they sugarcoat reality. He was rather appealed by science, because he felt that it gave him an actual way to deal with reality the way it is instead of an illusion of a harmless one. He associates light with deception and implies that someone in specific, maybe a villain in the plot was made unpredictable and dangerous by his ability to "hide in the light".
- Short-Range Shotgun: One of the weapons seen in the gameplay trailer. Its short effective range may be justified in that its shrapnel shot would be less effective against the solid metal of the robots you are fighting.
- Soviet Superscience: Played straight in all of the preview material, which shows a highly advanced research complex with the technology at least two-three decades ahead of its time. Of course, it was only "super" up to a point it all went horribly wrong.
- Spider Tank: A seemingly melee-only spider tank robot that's highly agile in spite of being about twice as tall as a human appears in the gameplay trailer as a boss of the Pesticide Testing Hall location.
- Walking Head: One of the robot types seen in the trailers is a round head on two stout legs...and with a buzzsaw placed halfway through the head.