I've started playing this game and it is indeed a modern Russian would be Fallout 2. They did rip off the entire UI and they did take a lot of inspiration from the SPECIAL system. And from what I've played it feels to me that they also took a few things from Wasteland 2 as well.
The main difference is to be found in the setting. It is Russian to the core so you do get a Stalker vibe as well. It may be a good thing as it sets it apart from a direct clone of the old Fallout games.
They also thought adding some Hunger mechanic would be a cool addition. I don't really like that in games so it's a bit of a hassle. They didn't stop there as you can get addicted to pretty much anything including the equivalent of Stimpaks and inventory weight is much more restrictive than good old Fallout 2.
The nice thing they added is a crafting system which makes looting all the useless junk worthwhile as you can make some useful makeshift gear from stuff you've scavenged in trashcans and bins. That's actually pretty cool since finding pristine stuff is much harder and more expensive.
The game has lots of references like good old Fallout 2 and some are a bit on the nose while others are more obscure (at least to people who are not familiar with Russia and the USSR).
Character creation is a bit of a headache. It's not as broken as Wasteland 2 but if you make the wrong choice you can lock yourself out of a lot of things in the game or you can end up with a character that may not be able to fend off his or her enemies.
Bottom line you need a bit of everything and apparently you can't add too many stat points after character creation...
Putting less than 10 in Dexterity is just asking for trouble. Just like in the old Fallouts, you could live with less than 10 Action Points but it made life so much easier that going for anything less than 9 Action Points is just asking for trouble. Did I mention that in Atom RPG some heavy armours will actually lower your Dexterity score?
Ditching Luck seems like the thing to do apparently going by what vets have to say about the game. It doesn't make your character's life easier but it looks like the lesser evil.
Personality is the equivalent of Charisma and taking it below 5 means that many people won't even talk to you. Sure you lose some flavour and XP opportunities but you may end up missing out on a lot of atmosphere. It seems much more punishing than skimping on Charisma in Fallout 2.
Endurance governs hitpoints and it also protects a character from being knocked down which is a serious thing in this game. Having less than 4 points is just asking for trouble and anything below 6 will probably make life more difficult than it has to be.
Strength can be used in dialogues if it is high enough and it's also very important to carry stuff around. It also helps using guns. Apparently you need at least 8 to be able to use any gun in game without penalty and going below 5 will seriously hamper your ability to do so. You need at least 6 points in order to be able to use an AK for instance.
Attention is the equivalent of Perception and if you take it below 5 you start getting some serious penalties to range combat and I mean serious ones.
Intelligence governs experience and skillpoints so you don't want to dump that either...
The good news is that perks are not linked to stats. The bad news is that you have a perk tree and that you need to unlock a number of perks in order to get to the good stuff. The major problem is that if you don't play on easy or normal difficulty you probably won't get enough perk points to spend (even if there is no level cap) on the better perks since the number of perk points you can get per level is directly tied to the difficulty setting (which is really punishing).
The game itself feels very much like the old Fallouts in good and bad. It may be incredibly unfair if you get ambushed by guys you can't possibly defeat but it's also a very open system and that's incredibly refreshing.
There are typos and they can be annoying but the writing is not terrible at all. I understand that they've had some work done on the English translation and from what I've seen it is fairly decent and it does create the right atmosphere.
I need to play a bit more but so far I'm hooked. I just need to figure out what character build I want to go for because it is very hard to come up with one that I feel good about. I want some decent hit points and skill points and I want to be able to talk to people but I want to be able to carry stuff around and I don't want to drop below 10 action points and in this game you can't do all of that (which is both a blessing and a curse).
"Growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional."