Atonement: Sins of the Past takes the entire Minecraft world and corrupts it. No matter how far or fast you run, every biome will be tainted. The first day starts off stormy and destructive, you have very limited time and resources to create a shelter, and it is up to you to find some way to purify the world without dying. Meant to be played in hardcore mode, this modpack is one of the better scenario modpacks simply because it lets you choose your own path.
While packs such as Agrarian Skies provide you with a sapling, some water, and some dirt to get started, Atonement gives you a whole world. Granted, it’s filled with taint swarms, hostile mobs, and ever-growing taint, but you can fully explore it and choose where you plop down your base. Rather than making a cobblestone generator, you want to focus on getting as many resources as possible on the first day. Your playthrough experience depends entirely on your luck—you might end up with the resources for Thaumcraft, or you might find yourself specializing in Botania. The ores, flowers, saplings, and seeds you find are just some of the steps that hugely impact the start of your game and how you approach the purification process.
The modpack doesn’t have a quest system, but it doesn’t leave you stranded, either. You are given several books at the beginning that instruct you on how to move forward in the game for each major magic mod. It gives you the Thaumonomicon for free, and even gives you advice on which steps you should aim for first in Atonement. It does all of this without holding your hand or assuming which mod you plan on doing first. It essentially saves you a few internet searches and allows you to jump right into the resource production.
Now, this modpack is hard within reason. You start off with an item that gives you an extra life and a little bit of invulnerability, should you die while in hardcore mode. Although the game starts with a tornado invariably spawning over your head, it’s easy to jump out of its path and race for resources elsewhere. You can hunker down in a cave for the majority of the game using only starting resources. However, the more you want to progress, the more you’ll have to brave the dangers of the world.
If you want to go outside, there’s almost nothing nice to greet you. There are a few Witchery mobs that seem unaffected, but who knows how long they’ll last on their own with frequent tornadic activity? If you decide to dig down, you run a huge risk of running into a nest of silverfish. They can destroy you in an instant if you’re unlucky. If you cave like a normal miner, the caverns are full of traps that spawn deadly mobs and traps. Still, for each deadly spawner, a chest full of loot lies in wait, so it doesn’t become discouraging.
This modpack is incredibly polished and cohesive, and all of Iskandar’s dedicated work shows through in a non-obtrusive way. It has vastly improved since its initial creation during Jampacked II, and Iskandar is still working out some small issues to further improve the gameplay experience. If you enjoy a little challenge and want to flex your creativity a bit, I highly recommend this modpack. Despite having a centralized theme, it allows for a huge amount of gameplay variation that could keep a whole team of people occupied.