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Review of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Old new friend

Every year it seems that just about there will be no new series in the industry. Endless Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield come out, and there seems to be no room for creativity at all. All developers more and more come under the authority of publishers, games begin to rule exclusively capital. Many people only look at Indian projects from independent artisan studios in the hope of getting that breath of fresh air. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden was one of the few anticipated projects in 2018 that did not have the number or prefix “Remastered” in its name. In conditions when funding depends only on the statistical indicators of sales of the previous part, it was impossible to believe in the success (especially in technical terms) of The Bearded Ladies Consulting project at all. But their publisher, Funcom, is different from most of the mastodons on the market. Norwegians have never been hostages of capital and were not afraid of bold ideas. About what happened with the northerners – in the review on Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

New way, new order.

For those who missed the announcement, trailer, preview on our website and have been in a coma for the last 20 years – Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is the story of the life of the planet after a nuclear disaster. Here God knows that only a few of the living creatures know the history of the tragedy. For some it is a tragedy, but for some it is a godsend. We have to play for mutated to the human condition and even more animals. At the very beginning, we will have at our disposal the grumpy duck Hens Dax, the aggressor pig Bormin (only the lazy one did not say about his resemblance to Paige from Beyond good and evil 2) and a girl with an unpredictable character Selma, who only looks like a person. Here is such an explosive mixture. As the plot develops, you will encounter more and more new characters with their own character and not hefty charisma.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

Author’s view

Before we start talking about any estimates, it is worth mentioning the development studio itself. Former Hitman designers and creator of Payday worked on Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Together, these people set out to create an interesting mix of tactical turn-based RPG and stealth action. Initially, the project was supposed to become a full-fledged role-playing game, continuing the ideas of board games (which, in fairness, has serious success among fans of such entertainment), but in the end the creators settled on the tactical genre with an admixture of Last of Us. In the game, all this is combined very harmoniously. And if the boevka is the same Xcom: Enemy Unknown, then everything else is very different from the “big brother”. The Bearded Ladies Consulting did not hesitate to say that this legendary tactical game about the confrontation between humans and aliens served as the main source of inspiration. Here, almost exactly the same combat is similar: you control a small squad of three mutants, you can choose several types of action for each. There is the same chance of a miss from two meters, the ability leveling system is also very similar to Xcom in many ways. The only thing, since not people are under our control, but mutated ducks-birds-pigs, it is completely normal to grow some completely unpredictable part of the body and use it in battle. So don’t be surprised by a duck with dragonfly wings. It could be worse.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

Here, like Xcom, there is also a hub location. If in the game-mastermind it was the headquarters of the united forces of the Earth, from where the actions of the resistance forces were coordinated, then in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden this is the so-called “Ark” – a tavern in which to recuperate after a sortie into the Zone. Here we can replenish supplies, sort out the upgrades, think about tactics and talk to the sage Elder, who knows what happened to the world, but that is why he is a sage, so as not to talk too much.

By the way, sorties to the Zone are also planned in the “Ark”. Here you can also choose where to go, and once you get to the location, you will clearly understand the difference between one area and another. The levels in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden really look realistic and lively – as far as one can say about the post-apocalyptic world. The Bearded Ladies Consulting did a really good job with the design and thought of various places of interest. Here you do not have to go ahead and hide with the whole gang behind one single tree stump during the battle. Your squad will be able to complete the task in a bunch of different ways, the choice is yours.

And you won’t be able to go ahead and shoot everyone like Rimbaud. The game is categorically not designed for this. But there is something more interesting here. Instead of casual hit-and-run gameplay in tactical format, you have to think over your silent movements, avoiding direct contact with the enemy. And all because the opponents here, even at the minimum difficulty level, are quite strong. The game makes you think before you do something. The stealth part, which includes all the exploration of the map, is surprisingly very interesting. It adds dynamics and intensity to the game, because if The Bearded Ladies Consulting left only turn-based mechanics, then Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden would be the most boring Xcom clone and could not claim a rating above 75 Metacritic points for sure. And so, combining the covert movements of mutants in real time with tactical combat, the game has revealed a very interesting symbiosis to society, which is simply not represented in the industry today.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

Speaking of mutants, everything remains in the game as the developers promised earlier: you will have a choice of different characters with their own characters with their own pumping lines. All abilities can be intelligently combined with the abilities of other active members of the squad. But you can only take three on a sortie. During the passage of the next task, your gang will not only move the storyline, but also collect the necessary supplies, open something new, and find hiding places. This world and its inhabitants are truly captivating, so get ready to dive into an interesting adventure.

A bit of technology

For the visual part, the Norwegians should not be ashamed at all. For such a small studio, although with the support of Funcom, the picture came out excellent. And the game is perfectly optimized, there should be no complaints about the technical part. Managing this whole thing is intuitively simple, but there are common problems for isometric games. All because of the camera. Also annoying pseudo-random, but this is not for everybody. There are those who are very fond of such fanaticism.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden review

Eventually

Ultimately, we ended up with a solid, promising AAA project. Leave the developers to the mechanics only Xcom, the game would have slipped into something dull and passable. But in combination with a beautifully drawn and atmospheric world, as well as stealth in real time, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden can drag on for long hours. Especially with such and such characters!

LID2PRO reviewer verdict

Playability

I want to play the unusual project The Bearded Ladies Consulting, it is convenient and interesting to play it. You won’t want to go to another room out of boredom, because Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a truly fresh project.

Everything looks stylish and attractive. The effects are not disappointing, the animation is on par. Do you need something else?

Our mutant friends are well voiced, the soundtrack is pleasing to the ear. Anyway, the game, as they say, can be recognized by the voice.

Single player campaign

To plunge into the history of post-apocalypse through the prism of the vision of The Bearded Ladies Consulting is rather unusual. Strong characters and an interesting storyline included.

Everything is done with great care and takes into account the whims of the broad masses. Here you do not have to wait 10 minutes for the next turn, and it is very convenient to move the squad and act.

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