'I will survive'
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden challenges its players to survive a post-apocalyptic world purely on grit and wit
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a homage to a series of tabletop role-playing games from Sweden. While we have not played the original game, the concept and storyline seem to go beyond what you would expect from an indie game. In fact, Mutant Year Zero does not feel like an indie game at all. It has a very compelling story line, interesting characters and has a level of polish that could rival any big studio.
The game begins by dropping you in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by the Red Plague. Initially, the player can control the pig mutant called Bormin and a duck mutant named Dux, and later Selma and Magnus. The story directs where you have to go and the initial levels serve as a nice little tutorial. All characters in the game are well voiced, the story also progresses at a good pace.
The gameplay is a mix of a turn-based combat along with stealth and RPG elements. The combination really lets you set up your characters for success, but that does not mean the game is easy. In fact, it is brutal.
One wrong move and your mercenaries could die very quickly. The turn-based combat mode does not kick in until you are either discovered or you attack first. This means you can explore a large chunk of the map, setup and kill various pockets of foes, without alerting other enemies. One misstep here can result in enemies from the whole map converging at your location, which will result in defeat.
Every map is a small little puzzle where you need to think at least a few moves ahead of your enemy to get tactical advantage. During our review, we ended up playing several maps repeatedly just to make it to the next location. Fortunately, in the wimp mode, once you win a map the entire platoon survives with full health. Though you can sneak into the next map thanks to stealth, the chances of survival reduce in later maps because of low character level.
During the combat mode in MYZ, each character has only two moves per turn and you can use it for a variety of available tasks, but you should aim to get rid of as many enemies as possible when you make the first move.
The game lets you level-up your characters that can give them a tactical advantage, increase their health and hit points. You can also scavenge in the maps collecting scrap to build or buy new weapons.
These are very necessary, and even in the wimp mode, Mutant Year Zero becomes very difficult very quickly. To gain the upper hand we used stealth in the more difficult maps to collect scrap and other loot, so we could upgrade our weapons.
Mutant Year Zero is a wonderful mashup of RPG elements with a nice take on turn-based tactical action gameplay. While most gamers would enjoy their action a little faster paced, the nuances and the strategy that comes into play here deliver more gratification than anything an FPS or a Third Person Shooter can. If you are looking for a challenge Mutant Year Zero will put you through your paces, and if you are a fan of X-Com or Jagged Alliance buying this game is a no-brainer.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Developer: The Bearded Ladies Consulting
Platform: PC, PS4, XBO
Price: PC: Rs 1,059; PS4/XBO: Rs 2,500
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