Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Review

Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, A post apocalyptic adventure!

But this ain’t no Looney Tunes episode where everyone has a silly ol’ time, this is a stealthy, sneaky, shooty adventure where the fight for survival depends on good tactical decisions with swift execution. 

Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: 4th December 2018
Players: 1
Genres: Strategy, Turn-based, Adventure, RPG
Developer: The Bearded Ladies
Price: £29.99

What’s it about? 

The World as we know it has ended, extreme climate change, a lethal pandemic and nuclear war have all contributed to the downfall of humanity. Years later, now that it’s all over, nature has taken over and mutants and deformed humanoids scavenge for salvation and survival.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a tactical adventure game with turn based combat and a focus on stealth to try and gain the upper hand over your enemies as you plan out your attacks from the shadows around them.

The Ark acts as your main hub and oasis for mutants and the remains of man kind. Here you will get your missions and stock up on weapons, supplies and upgrades for your next adventure in to the Zone.

Most of the story revolves around you tracking down another Stalker like you called Hammon, along your journey you’ll encounter some of his squad and be able to recruit them to your cause giving you extra characters with their own skill set to play around with. I felt it was engaging enough for this type of game, but really the major pull is going to be the strategic gameplay and it’s very solid in that department.

Looks & Feel

As I’ve said there is a fairly sturdy push towards playing this game as stealthily as possible, enemies will patrol areas and if you time your attacks right and use your silent weapons you will be able to take people out without alerting anyone else. It will seriously help you in thinning the numbers and swinging a fight in your advantage.

Across the board the visual style is great if a little samey at times, each environment is well detailed and filled with lots of small nuggets from pre apocalypse era. The world feels dilapidated and struggling to survive, buildings lie in ruins and nature has started to take over. A few areas do have a main focal point to them and they’re quite unique and delivered in a very interesting way such as the Iron Serpent which is actually just an old train.

The way in which the ‘old world’ is referred to is probably one of my favourite things, you will stumble across old tech that will be remembered in a completely incorrect and comical way, it was a nice touch to help make the Apocalypse feel more distant and like it had really ruined the world we knew, but also keeping things light and funny.

Too much sneakin’ not enough boom boom!

Whilst I do like the stealth side of things I feel like it does limit the way you play and how you take on fights. If you approach combat loudly, you can quickly become out numbered by reinforcements you may not have seen or that have been called in by other enemies. It’s just way more economical to be stealthy, especially as things like health packs can be fairly uncommon. I’d just like the option to have a bit more variety in how to approach combat and blow everything up from time to time.

I also don’t like that you can save at any point during the game. At first I was unaware of that, and was taking a lot longer planning everything out in order to make the best of a situation, but once I realised I could save on the fly, things became a lot more trial and error. I would approach a fight, and if it didn’t pan out early on I could easily load up to just before it and try again. I actually wish you weren’t able to save as often.

You will have a lot of weapons and abilities to make use of in battle and as you’re playing as mutants you can expect a few far fetched abilities like being able to control enemies with your mind, or zap them with electricity. However, I was actually hoping for a little more creativity in the unlockable skill trees, there is quite a lot of crossover between characters and their ‘moves’. A lot of it doesn’t really feel that unique or special and a few characters feel pretty much the same to play.

But the characters themselves I found all to be very likeable or interesting to have in your team. They each have their own personalities and they come across really well in conversations, they feel well crafted and engaging. I really enjoy the chit chat between them as you’re moving from place to place searching the areas. They’re Obviously visually very unique too which helps sell them to you.

Pros & Cons

+Interesting Characters
+Great Visuals and Style
+Fun Gameplay
-Restricted in the way you play
-Mutant abilities could be a little more interesting
-Similar settings for most of the game

Conclusion

Overall I really enjoyed Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, the gameplay is fun and fairly challenging at times. The story is decent although nothing too memorable. It’s a good adventure that will keep you busy for up to 20 hours. If stealthy strategic combat is what you like, then I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy getting stuck in to this game.

-Will

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