Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a solid entry in the turn-based tactical combat genre, bringing with it a mash-up of mechanics which results in a fresh and enticing experience. Aside from a few movement bugs and no progress tracker for items in each area, the game looks, sounds, and plays great.
The most important takeaway from all this is that I had a good time with Mutant Year Zero. Me. I once disowned a kebab because it had a subpar mouthfeel. A kebab. Thanks to the deep combat and some delightful moments in the writing, I enjoyed my time with the game. Looting is a chore, and you can’t walk off the main path like the tabletop game, but it’s still a satisfying experience. I just pushed those parts out of my brain like the useless information it was, because after all, what use are memories after the apocalypse?
neither the RPG or combat components are individually as strong as the games it is so clearly inspired by, but together they combine to create a wonderfully unique experience that takes both genres in new directions. Add to this some wonderful stealth mechanics and a sound and visual design second to none and Mutant Year Zero has easily climbed its way into my top games of the year.
Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden mixes real-time stealth and exploration with turn-based tactical battles in a way that's fluid and fun to engage with.
Mutant Year Zero is full of fun and tense moments. If you enjoy being challenged at almost every turn, this tactics game is something to cut your teeth on. If not you might find the game too frustrating as you hit the load game button once again.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a very good strategy game and I had a lot of fun with it during the whole season. The fights are challenging (also for veterans of the genre), the story is interesting and exploring the zone is rewarded with new weapons and better equipment. The only thing I'd like to see in the next part of the series is a little more content. Apart from the campaign and a few occasional trips to secondary areas, there's not much to get.
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Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden can be quite difficult at first and, if you don't play wisely, you can be put in some intense situations and be tempted to restart. With perseverance and strategy, however, you can overcome these initial issues.
Combat is challenging and enjoyable enough that I briefly started a second playthrough on hard. I wanted to master the combat challenge and solve the puzzles properly instead of brute forcing my way through them. I got through a few encounters and then it hit me just how similar the experience would be the second time around. There weren't any cool new mutations to play with or better weapons to acquire. So I stopped playing. My first playthrough lasted fifteen hours and it was decent. I'll keep an eye out for a sequel or an expansion, but at the moment, Mutant Year Zero doesn't have enough worldbuilding or interesting variety in its upgrades for my tastes. I doubt I'll ever finish that second playthrough.
As an unrepentant strategy-RPG snob with unrealistically high standards for the genre, though, I can definitively state that it’s 100% worth fighting through all of this early awkwardness because of how amazing things eventually become. While Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden‘s early fights feel like uninspired battles of attrition, the later gameplay weaves the destructible environments of Silent Storm with the overgrown and reset-world vibe of the original Fallout, all while giving you numerous tactical options that can see you doing things like aggroing hostile robots so that they’ll also turn against other enemies.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a stellar first game in what could be a great series. It’s available ‘free’ for those with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass, but it’s worth the price of admission regardless. A great intro to the tactical strategy genre that eschews the stats-heavy side of things to keep it fun.