'Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden' Preview

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Prans, Nov 3, 2018.


    Mutant Year Zero Road To Eden GBAtemp Preview.

    Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden is an upcoming game for the PS4, Xbox One and PC developed by The Bearded Ladies and published by Funcom. While the game officially lands on December 4, I was provided a pre-release demo to preview and given that I was looking forward to the title for blending stealth, tactical turn-based combat and a narrative set in a dystopian future, I jumped right in.

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    The game is set in a post-apocalyptic, more specifically a post-human, era during the Mutant Year Zero universe, a universe that looks overly familiar by now; littered everywhere are overgrown grass, abandoned vehicles and buildings. Actually, it is mostly what I have seen in the three hours that I have played, but hopefully the universe of the full game will be more varied.

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    Rather than offering a run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic scenario, Mutant Year Zero includes a twist, a mutant twist. Right off the bat you are given control of two animal-human hybrids, Dux (half duck, half man) and Bormin (half boar, half man). The reason behind their mutation wasn't explained in the demo but it might be due to some weird experiment or the side effect of nuclear war. In any case, I hope that the full version expands on the cryptic background of Dux and Bormin. Those two are Stalkers who went out in the wild in the Zone for a scavenging mission and you will have to guide them to the Ark, a safe place with other like-minded mutants, as you get acquainted with the controls and combat system.


    Once at the Ark, another mission awaits; that of finding one of the Ark’s most valuable members, Hammon, who apparently set out to look for a fabled place called Eden. Looking for the missing Hammon will have Dux and Bormin venture deeper into the Zone than they have ever been. This new mission imposed on our protagonists is sure to be perilous as you face off Ghouls and even a peculiar sect but worry not as the Ark is fitted with outlets where you can buy and upgrade equipments. Additionally, you will shortly be joined by an Ellie from The Last of Us lookalike who will add some substantial weight to tackling combats.

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    There is a reason why Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden has been dubbed as Duck-XCOM (or DuX-COM might be more appropriate). The combat revolves around a similar turn-based system as XCOM and the game seamlessly blends all of its elements from story to combat to exploration as they all happen in real-time. The story progresses as you advance through different areas, encountering key characters, overhearing tidbits from foes who you can take on for extra XP or just sneak past them unscathed. I’ve often had recourse to the ambush option to single out foes and thus make ensuing combats easier, and considering that I’m an outspoken fan of the Metal Gear series, I’m particularly fond of this strategic approach. If you want to go through the stealth route, be sure to use silent weapons and not be within hearing distance as you walk or else your ambush will flop and the enemies might even call new units! Alternatively, you can also jump in guns blazing but be sure to come prepared with medikits! Should things get too heated, you can always fast travel to any location discovered on the map to buff up your equipments at the Ark or finish off weaker foes in other areas of the Zone in order to level up. For the more masochist among you, you can toggle on the permadeath feature in addition to choosing the difficulty level. This flexibility in the playstyle and difficulty should appeal to a wider audience.

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    To further tune the gameplay to your liking, you can equip different types of weapons and upgrade each character's stats. Exploration will be mandatory to find additional equipments and parts that will help you upgrade your weapons. And speaking of upgrades, you can upgrade your individual team members with new mutations as they level up through combats. This is a particularly interesting aspect of the game’s version of a skill tree where your team members can develop radically new abilities like Dux’s moth wings that allow him to fly. While I did gather some mutation points in the demo, I did not reach the level for Dux to fly but the prospect of being able to physiologically modify playable characters does sound enticing. I do expect to find more such mutations in the game for each team member.

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    Given that the version I played was still in beta mode, I did expect to come across some bugs and crashes. During my playthrough, I encountered only two: once when I entered combat, the game just lingered on and wouldn’t actually get into combat, so I had to reload a previous save. At another time while I was clearing the area called 'Cave of Fear’, instead of moving on to the next area, the game bumped me back to the previous one (‘The High Road’) but after I repeated the process, I could access the following area without any issues. Hopefully these will be fixed before the official release but other than those aforementioned glitches, the game looks pretty much ready.

    From what I have played, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden looks promising, packing an intriguing plot and a fluid gameplay. However, I do hope that the universe will be more diverse with more than just the repetitive grassy, moist and derelict environments that I have come across so far. Additionally, I expect that the plot will keep building on the intrigue it did so far while also expanding on the backstories of the main characters.

    Priced at $34.99/€34.99, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden is planned for a release this December 4th on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

    :arrow: Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden Official Website
    Cyan, T-hug and Chary like this.
    Discussion (4 replies)
  1. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Psycho!

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    I've been looking out for this one since E3. For some reason I thought it was coming to the Switch, but I guess not.
  2. Prans

    Prans Geek, gamer, human

    pip Reporter
    Apr 22, 2012
    There itself.
    Yeah, I think it could work nicely with touch controls. Maybe a post-release port, who knows?
  3. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
    Oct 27, 2002
    Engine room, learning
    Nice preview, it made me interested.
    It looks like a mix of different games, though I never played x-com (yet) so I see it more like Valkyria chronicle meeting the first fallout.

    The price is nice.
    I hope we could all get a playable demo before buying the game too.
    Prans likes this.
  4. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Psycho!

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    I was surprised by the price. I assumed it would be a full price game. I wonder if it's a little on the short side.