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Atomic Heart uses AI art within its disappointing campaign

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Atomic Heart AI art campaign

Mundfish’s controversial FPS game Atomic Heart has been picked apart for a number of issues. However, the game also puts its hands into the cookie jar of another controversy: AI art.

During our review process for the hotly anticipated shooter, we noticed that Atomic Heart makes use of artificially generated artwork in at least one huge area of the game. As expected: spoilers from this point on.

During the game’s finale, after fighting one of the Twins, a large room is filled to the brim with portraits of politicians of the alternate universe’s Soviet Union. The massive room is populated floor to ceiling with these portraits, and they’re all AI art.

While in perceivable to those who haven’t engaged in AI art, each image has the same uncanny look of portraits generated by Midjourney or Stable Diffusion. (We would put it firmly on the former of the two.)

Numerous images also suffer from their AI generated nature. Not only are there glassed over, empty eyes and missing details, but the same smudges and errors from unedited AI art can be seen as well.

AI art in Atomic Heart
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Common AI art issues can be seen in this part of Atomic Heart. For example, the portrait in the bottom right only has a single eye.

Recently, there’s been a huge pushback against AI art being used in commercial products. For example, infamous AI comic book Zarya of the Dawn has been refused copyright protection for its generative artwork.

Artists have also issued a class action lawsuit against services such as Midjourney. On the grounds of plagiarism and copyright violation, artists are attempting to get the technology barred.

For a game with such a strong art direction, one that guaranteed its popularity, it’s a shame to see Atomic Heart rely on AI artwork, even in one room. However, if we can notice the technology used here, there’s no telling how many smaller rooms make use of it as well. 

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