It’s the end of the world as we know it. Mutant Year Zero, is a strategy adventure game, using turn-based tactical combat brought to you by the fantastically named studio, The bearded ladies consulting. The game combines, XCOM turn-based combat with a wonderful story, stunning exploration, stealth, strategy and is created by a team boasting the talents of former leads in Hitman, with a talented designer from Payday. You take the role of a unique team of Mutants in post human civilisation Earth.
In a fantastically written story, Earth as we know it ends, and is reclaimed by nature and mutated beings. All the things that are a danger to the world as we see it, come to pass, a massive global economic crisis, virus and plagues wiping out the world as we know it. Extreme climate change takes its toll on us all, with rising tension between superpowers old and new, much like the world with live in today.
All these factors lead to nuclear weapons being deployed for the first time since 1945 in armed conflict, mushroom clouds rise throughout, from the east to the west, the world falls silent, before the dust is settled, bringing a dire result as the world comes to an end.
As the years pass, mother nature takes over. The awesome beauty and power of nature is very evident, as it sweeps in, taking over abandon, and ruined cites.
The Climate is reset, as wind and rain bombards streets, resembling graveyards. Humans seem to be no more, and through the emergence of a world reclaimed by nature, mutants lead the way, for a better tomorrow.
Salvaging seems to be key, as the remains of a civilization scavenge the earth, Mutants, deformed beings resembling a human like figure, and animals alike are left hunting scraps, for something to eat. The scavengers cling to hope, from stories told throughout time, of a magical Eden filled with there wildest dreams, a place that can finally settle, a haven in what seems like hell on earth.
Mutant Year zero is well presented and designed, harnessing the power of Unreal’s game engine, to create an excellent back drop of a world. The atmosphere is tense, drawing you in as you start your adventure.
At the start of Mutant Year zero- road to Eden, you play the role two characters. Character’s which can only be described as Duck, and a Pig, both mutated in this new world, that nature created, and ultimately humans contributed too. Your first role as this dynamic duo is to find the ark, a safe place from the wilderness of the zone. As you travel an explore the world in front of you, you will have to keep your eyes peeled for ghouls, these are unfriendly creature’s, scouring the land, trying to put an end to stalker’s (a name given to the likes of you).
Ghouls are dangerous foe’s and range in level and ability, the higher your character’s level, the more chance you have in defeating these hellish beings, but be careful they often hunt in packs.
Strategy is key, throughout your journey, as you pick and choose your battles, but ultimately sometimes, you have no choice but to battle those that are in your way.
The combat in Mutant Year Zero, uses an excellent Xcom turn based style, full of suspense, and tension. As you look to defeat your enemies. Stealth is important, by staying undetected, you get a chance to scope out the enemy’s positions, and can pick off isolated weaker foe’s, using silent weapons. There’s also the handy element of surprise tactic, by positioning your character’s accordingly, hide, or climb to better vantage points, gain any advantage you can and ambushing them, this can sometimes tip the balance in your favour.
Chests are dotted around the games map, sometimes in dangerous location’s that are very challenging, but the risk is worth the reward, with the chests often containing higher powered weapons and gear, thus aiding your survival throughout.
Whilst on your travel’s keep a look out for collectable’s in the form of artefacts, and useful items in the form of scrap. Scrap is the game’s currency and will enable you the chance to purchase items at the ark that will be very useful in your quest.
It is here at the ark you learn of the stories of Eden via the elder, the man in charge of your home.
The ark is your base, where you travel back and forth for upgrades to weapons, artefact trading courtesy of Pripp’s place, a scrap dealer via the name of Iridia, and the all important elder, who offer’s guidance and stories that you become wise and strong.
“The voice acting in the game is outstanding, the two main character’s chemistry is wonderfully brought to life by the game’s well written script.”
Here at the ark you will be given missions as a stalker that benefit you and your community, as you look to rebuild, but ultimately stay alive as a civilization, however in order to find the truth about this so called garden of Eden, you and companions will have to venture out from the nest, and explore what is known as the zone, a dangerous place filled with ghouls and ghosts alike, survive long enough, and maybe just maybe you may find your path to the Eden for told by the legends, but will it be what you expect, when and if you find it.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden’s in game menus are wonderfully created, the map is full of detail and is drawn superbly, reminding me of the hand sketched drawings on Golden Axe. The game’s story is excellently told through its cut scenes, which are heavily influenced from graphic novels, with fantastic details, giving you a real sense of fighting for the cause.
The voice acting in the game is outstanding, the two main character’s chemistry is wonderfully brought to life by the game’s well written script. There’s an air of enjoyability, to listen to the characters talk to each other as you progress through the journey. Full of wittiness, sarcastic comments, and quite frankly brutally honest banter. It really does add to the game, and if you listen closely enough, you might even hear a pointer or two, which may help you on your expedition.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Mutant Year Zero- Road to Eden, the story is wonderfully told, giving you a real sense of adventure, and purpose. The journey throughout is filled with dangerous encounters, that really make you think about your strategy as you look to overcome difficulties. There’s a fantastic in game level up system, bringing a lovely RPG element to it. In a nutshell the game is excellent, and is currently included in xbox gamepass, so why not give it ago, you won’t regret it!
- Character Chemistry
- Combat System
- A little too challenging at times
- Story could be longer