Mutant Year Zero Road to Eden – XBOX One Review
Since seeing Mutant Year Zero earlier in the year and at Gamescom I’ve been looking forward to, I was hoping it would scratch my XCOM itch and was quite take with the mix between turn based and real time movement.
The game is adapted from a Swedish pen and paper RPG from 2014, you control a squad of mutant characters that you gradually get to learn their individual story and the one of the wider world as you explore the post apocalyptic environment.
You start the game with two characters Dux a mutant half duck half human with a wisecracking attitude and Bormin a tough hog mutant and then you will gradually meet up with other characters along the way such as Selma who is a woman with a strange link to plants and Farrow a sneaky fox lady.
Graphically the game looks a pretty enough with plenty of detail in the environment and the speech from the character fits very well with their individual personalities, sometimes you would hope for a little more interaction with the items in the background but when you do destroy a house or building the effects are more than adequate.
The unique element of the game is that you control your team of mutants walking around the world in realtime, this allows you to sneak when you need to by turning off your torches and taking a wide berth around your enemies cone of vision.
Once you set up an ambush with your team as long as you haven’t been spotted the game will switch to turn based strategy while you battle, if it is just a lone enemy you can take them down without anyone else being alerted but if you are close to others and use a loud weapon they will all become aware and come looking for you.
This adds another layer of tactical control to the game as you can approach battles in different ways (and believe me I’ve had to approach battles in numerous different ways).
The ability to blow out walls is extremely handy when it comes to opening up enemies to be visible to your team to be attacked, all the usual turn based strategy tools are here as expected plus you can upgrade your characters with other mutant abilities which can be enhanced by finding hats or other wearables in the world.
Dux for instance has a mutant ability that allows him to fly and shoot down on enemies for an advantage, find the top hat which boosts stats for shots down at enemies and it fits perfectly with him.
There is an element of luck to every encounter as sometimes the roll of the dice will feel a little unfair and the game is not easy as you will regularly be vastly outnumbered, you get a good sense of achievement though when you plan out an attack and it totally goes to plan.
Enemies are quite varied and you’ll learn which ones are a real pain such as the Shamens who call in reinforcements, Pyros who throw molotovs for continued fire damage, medic bots who resurrect the enemies you have already took down and many more.
Ultimately the game has some flaws but if you like tactical games this one is well worth playing, especially with the mixed in realtime elements, RPG style upgrades and ability to stealth around some areas.
I’ve very much enjoyed wandering this post apocalyptic world with my mutant friends.
With thanks to Funcom for the Review code
Developed by The Bearded Ladies
Published by Funcom
Twitter @TheBeardedLC / @funcom / @MYZRoadToEden
Price £29.99 or also included in Game Pass