Published on August 10th, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning

Atlas Fallen Review (Atlas Fallen PS5 Review) #PlayStation

Atlas Fallen Review (Atlas Fallen PS5 Review) #PlayStation Adrian Gunning

Summary: Atlas Fallen is a bold new RPG that aims high and for the most part delivers an enjoyable gaming journey from start to finish with some very unique gameplay mechanics courtesy of sand


Shaping sands

Atlas Fallen is the highly anticipated “fantasy-powered action-RPG” from developer Desk13 Interactive (Surge 2, Lords of the Fallen) that is published by Focus Entertainment and is set in the devastated sand-covered fantasy world of Atlas where you the hero have been tasked of liberating this world from a mad sun god called Thelos and a cohort of terrifying creatures who have been tyrannizing this planet, the Wraiths. While the odds are against you, you are wielding a divine Gauntlet that will be used to liberate this planet and spark a rebellion against this god who has been enslaving humans to “mine” Essence, life itself.

Welcome to Atlas Fallen…

The story of Atlas Fallen is delivered well with cinematics and in-game encounters which nicely introduces your (unnamed) player created character to the gamer, including Nyaal, the ancient entity living within your Gauntlet. Once you put this gauntlet, you and Nyaal will share a bond that initially is quite chaotic but thankfully you come to an understanding as you become its master. You basically use the gauntlet to Green Lantern your weapons (e.g. fist, sword, flying hammer) and more importantly navigate the sands spectacularly… think Silver Silver but on sand.

At its RPG core, you start in a small city before you commence your greater exploration of Atlas and there are plenty of items along the way to discover, including armour upgrades. Further supporting your path to victory are the essence stones that are littered throughout Atlas and grant the player a range of diverse and powerful abilities which also tailor how your character will complete this game. This feature mirrors the classic RPG archetypes such as that of a warrior or healer but more importantly, defines how you will challenge and complete the game. Given that, there are 30 different powers to invoke thanks to these stones.

However the sands are not just for combat as they also help you move around Atlas as you literally “surf” the sands or even soar high in the sky that adds to the wonder of this new open-world gaming universe from Desk13 Interactive with plenty to discover off the beaten path and hidden beneath the “sands”. There will be plenty of fetch quests along the way, including side quests where you generally discover better upgrades for your abilities and armour so again, exploration is the key. Sand is also used to help with the exploration and puzzles as you move sand to uncover lost areas to lifting structures into the air, it’s quite magnificent. While surfing the sand and flying is fun, thankfully there are anvils that are used for fast travel.

In terms of combat and while it is a grind, I enjoyed the challenges offered to the gamer that really makes you feel like a powerful warrior when you increase your skills and more importantly, shaping the sand into a weapon as you smash and push your enemies around. Add in combos, chains, attacks from land to air, the sand flows very well with the gameplay and given the premise, it should. Without this fluidity, Atlas Fallen would have really missed the mark. Another highlight of combat is something called momentum and while you build this up with perfect hits, your weapons become more powerful in terms of the damage they dish out, including their aesthetics for some style. With that said, you need to carefully monitor your momentum bar, especially when you are fighting those bigger monsters.

Although Atlas Fallen aims high, it does deliver an above average RPG experience and the premise is fun, albeit clichéd but overall it still delivers something unique. Sure it’s not a Triple A title and while it slightly misses the mark due to some gameplay bugs here and there,  I’m sure these will be fixed in upcoming patches but nonetheless, it is still fully playable and it doesn’t hamper the game too much. Given that, the game has strong parallels to Darksiders and Monster Hunter that while the 7 various areas that you explore look lifeless, this is actually the case because of the crazy god sucking all life from the planet.

Graphics / Audio

Graphically, Atlas Fallen looks good on the PlayStation 5 that really channels those next-gen visuals. Kudos to Deck13 Interactive for their imaginative world-building that sets this game apart from most RPG’s currently on the market. The highlight however is the animated sand that brings forth this almost blockbuster type animation from something such as The Mummy or the game Journey and really adds to the overall gameplay. Again, there’s sand, sand everywhere that work as a mass, swarm and even the subtle individual particles of sand that adds to the realism of the effects.

Additionally, the areas that you can explore can be quite diverse at times, including the various enemies and NPC’s that you encounter. Add in specialised lighting effects and detailed textures and Atlas Fallen comes together nicely on the PS5, however it does suffer from framerate issues and glitches here and there. Equally the soundtrack is emotionally tailored to suit the story cues and its sound effects work hand-in-hand with the gameplay, particularly from a combat point of view. Lastly, the voice acting… it’s interesting and doesn’t take itself too seriously so yeah, it’s clichéd and over the top at times.

Final Thoughts?

I enjoyed my time with Atlas Fallen and developers Deck13 Interactive positively created their own interpretation of a unique RPG. Sure it has parallels to what makes an RPG an RPG but its overall gameplay and combat is like an alternate Marvel Universe timeline that feels familiar yet different as well.

Atlas Fallen is available from 10th August on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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