Atlas Fallen – memorable monster-slaying in a forgettable world

Atlas Fallen feels like a dream. Not because it’s incredible, but because it’s already hazy. My memories of it are comfortably curled alongside memories playing Warhammer: Space Marine, Darksiders, Kingdoms Of Amalur, and other X360/PS3 action games that I just about remember the names of. That boils down to the fact that Atlas Fallen’s combat is good fun, sometimes really good fun, but it’s too often bogged down by, well, almost everything else. Though I still have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll look back at the game in 10 years, mistakenly call it Atlas Rising, and then have fond but hazy flashbacks of the button-mashing monster-smasher.

If looking back at Atlas Fallen feels slightly foggy, that’s at least partly due to its well-worn post-apocalyptic fantasy backdrop, in which an oppressive God (Thelos) has divided the human population between the mistreated “Unnamed” and everyone else who’s blindly religious. Playing as a poor Unnamed, you soon stumble upon a chatty gauntlet that holds both immense magical power (hello, Forspoken) and a long-forgotten Avatar-looking God whose buttcheeks are always on show. He happens to have beef with Thelos, so the conveniently-matched pair quickly get to work exposing it as an evil entity.

After that, there’s honestly not much to spoil. Everything plays out almost exactly as expected as you restore the gauntlet to its former glory, and the game never deepens or expands on its early idea of a divided society. The Unnamed are generally mistreated, but none of the characters can offer any justification for the oppression other than that arbitrary Unnamed label. Recurring characters are similarly featherweight, including a rude guy who’s set up as our main rival before disappearing for almost the entire game and showing up at the end.

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