Review: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden in General

First off, here is what the Steam page has to say: “A tactical adventure game combining the turn-based combat of XCOM with story, exploration, stealth, and strategy. Take control of a team of Mutants navigating a post-human Earth. Created by a team including former HITMAN leads and the designer of PAYDAY.”

The goal of Mutant YZ, is to undergo missions for The Ark, which is your homebase, as the story progresses new goals will present themselves, in a winding journey toward Eden, if it exists of course.

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Characters

Mutant YZ is a squad based game, you begin with Dux a mutant that looks like a Duck man and Bormin who is a mix of man and you guessed it, Boar, as you journey you will meet more characters both NPC and those that will join your squad, the voice acting is quite strong for the characters with both Dux and Bormin sounding like different Noir film archetypes, they also have their own strengths and weaknesses, for instance Bormin is tankier than Dux, with extra HP and abilities more geared toward rushing in and taking fire, whereas Dux has a higher movement rate and skills more suitable to strike from a distance, as all current squad members take part in any battle there is no need to choose between them, by the end of the game there are 5 units you can have in your squad (3 additional characters and 2 of them are optional), it should also be noted that characters can die in battle, after their HP is depleted they will “bleed out” for a few turns, if you can’t save them by the time it runs out they will die and you will need to continue without them, this is a crushing handicap in an already difficult game.

Environment

Mutant YZ, takes place in a post apocalyptic world, you move through scrap land areas, forests, decayed cities, former playgrounds and tunnels filled with broken cars, over all the areas are fairly varied and all look very nice, luckily the game is also smart enough to make things see through or give you glowing silhouettes if the environment obscures your view so you never lose track of where you are.

Enemy Variety

The enemies in Mutant YZ come in a few types, there are “ghouls” (former people that took to madness and violence and scavenge the outer zones), “Zone dogs” (as the name implies they are dogs that live in the outer zones and are similar in appearance to the inside out dogs from the original Resident Evil), “the Brotherhood” (essentially post apocalyptic cult members that masquerade as holy men and have access to mind control and lightning based powers) and even “Med-bots” (robots that managed to survive the apocalypse and have been reprogrammed to heal your enemies), there are also sub classes such as “Hunters” that attack from a distance, “Butchers” that use melee attacks, “Shamans” that call in reinforcements, “Pyros” that through molotov cocktails and plenty more.

Sound / Music

The sound and music in Mutant YZ is outstanding, the music is a mix of orchestral and 80’s dark synth, giving you both an organic and synthetic feeling that perfectly fits the themes of the game, the sound effects are pretty good as well, the crackle of flames, gunshots, the soft crunch when sneaking through the woods etc. and the voice acting is quite strong for all characters that I encountered.

Graphics

Built in the Unreal Engine 4, Mutant YZ, looks really good, it carries that shiny quality that most UE4 games has but it’s not as distracting as some games, due to the use of shadow in the game it’s less noticeable than in some games where everything just looks wet with invisible flashlights focused randomly, the character designs are also quite strong, with the human characters looking fairly realistic, but the best aspect are the obviously augmented mutants, Dux and Bormin who look comical at first but due to the dark and gritty look of the game they very quickly become just endearing characters that I genuinely care for.

Conclusion

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is incredibly hard, the game requires, stealth, thought and luck, but it’s satisfying coming out on top, the story is interesting and made me want to look more into the tabletop game it is based on for more lore, the characters are wonderful and the tension I felt when I was sneaking through the forest and an enemy circle appeared kicked my heart rate up more than a few times.

Price / Quality: The price/quality is done really well, definitely worth the price!
Rating: 9/10 – Really fun and incredibly hard game.

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Title: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Genre: Action, Stealth, TRPG
Developer: The Bearded Ladies
Publisher: Funcom
Release Date: 5 Dec, 2018

 

 

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