People are repulsed, baffled, and strangely thirsty because of Atomic Heart’s lustful refrigerator.
Despite the larger controversy regarding the game’s origins, Atomic Heart(opens in new tab) is doing well on Steam, with over 5,000 reviews rating the game’very positive (opens in new tab). However, the current best review summarises a problem that each player of Atomic Heart must solve. Following roughly 90 hours of play, Matt KPLS recommends the game with the simple phrase, “BRB, i’m going to the kitchen to f*ck the fridge.”
The player is attacked by a vending machine named Nora during a cutscene, and the player must then interact with Nora in order to progress through the game. Defeating the attacking appliance with the help of your glove, you find that… things take a very strange turn. When you turn on the machine, it immediately starts treating you as its master and making explicit sexual propositions to you.
The response to this has been mixed, but it has been received nonetheless. Believe it or not, there are those who are quite enthusiastic about it. Nyceur gives a glowing review, saying, “YES NORA YOU CAN TIE ME TO THE BED” (opens in new tab). According to DashiVR(opens in new tab), “That Fridge made me question my sexuality,” adding, “Samsung get on this.”
Some of the other players don’t seem to know how to take it. Having experienced this, Exderon writes, “I can cross ‘get raped by a fridge’ off my bucket list” (opens in new tab). Kaif reveals nothing more than, “The fridge touched me” (opens in new tab). D suggests we call it “Refrigerator Sexual Harassment Simulator 2023” instead of “Atomic Heart” (opens in new tab).
“Rebellious dominant men turn me on,” Nora says to the player during their first meeting. “That guy is such a thugs! I’m all about the bad boys and I need one!” Nora’s demand to “squirt your polymer inside me” marked the point at which the appliance crossed the line of propriety for me.
I think Mundfish is aiming for unsettling rather than titillating in his interactions with Nora, and credit where credit is due, he succeeds admirably. People used to be unnerved by this fridge (NSFL example opens in new tab), but not anymore thanks to the internet. Until playing Atomic Heart, “I have never in my life wanted to fuck a fridge,” writes Nyannie (opens in new tab).
I get that it’s all meant in jest, but the fact that refrigerators are a typical household item in the real world makes me nervous.
While there are other “normal” vending machines available, Nora appears frequently in the game’s beginning, and upgrading your equipment requires you to endure her chatter. “OMG how is it that the elevator scene from Atomic Heart went viral and not the horny fridge vendor that plays consistently overlapping horrific sexual dialogue while you’re trying to add +1 to your pistol damage?!,” wonders L. Jacobs(opens in new tab), not unreasonably.