Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Review (PC)
I’m not sure where to start with Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. I guess I should start with “I’m Sorry”. I’m sorry that it took so long to get this review out. I was so hyped for this game, yet when I played it, it was hard to get my thoughts down on “paper”. I was excited, confused, a little overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. I think I really wanted this to be a ‘Game of the Year’ contender, and it wasn’t going to be. I had to get past that.
But, let me say this. I enjoyed this game.
The quick story is this; resources are in dire supply and the Ark (main base) sends out stalkers (you), to fight your way to gather as much as you can for the base. It doesn’t take long where the Elder needs you to go find Hammond, the only being that can keep the Ark’s systems alive. It is at this point it’s up to you to take the trek and take on any enemies in your way to keep the Ark running. I’ll stop the story there as there are some major plot points and even a twist or two I do not want to spoil.
Gameplay wise it was pretty fun. You control any character on your team and wandered around each area picking up resources and defeating enemies if need be. MYZ would transition from traveling mode to tactical combat smoothly. This would allow you to try to get into a better position before striking or even maybe sneaking around to dispatch others before being caught in a major firefight. The AI is fairly smart and unforgiving, and tactics really play a strong part in surviving. It’s not as simple as brute forcing your way through battles, stealth is very, VERY important. This was quite refreshing as this meant leveling up your characters play another huge part in the game experience.
Each character has its own stats, skills, and XP. It’s up to you to decide what path down the tree you want to do. One of my favorites? Getting Duk wings so he can fly up a level, such as a roof, and rain down pain from above. Understanding how each character plays is a huge advantage on the battlefield. Though after a few hours, the gameplay may feel a little repetitive for some gamers. Those familiar with the genre may be used to looking in every single corner and clearing out the enemies in each area, but there may be some that grow tired of it. The latest update, Stalker Trials, looks to breathe more life and depth into an already fun game. The Stalker Trials update includes a challenge mode which you can control all aspects of and even get registered on the leaderboards. Oh, and the weekly and all-time top players get an NPC named after them for other players to take down. This is exactly what the game needed, and proves there is still life and more coming to it.
The visuals were damn amazing. Each character looks great and original. One of the real winners here is the atmosphere. The level design is great and obstacles to hide behind look to be there for a reason. Not just thrown about to provide cover. The environment really sells the post-apocalyptic feeling with broken down vehicles, crumbling buildings, and major overgrowth. Major props to that team!
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden should be played by tactical RPG fans, there have been some major updates recently with more on the horizon. If it’s not on your radar, you should probably start looking into it.
Editor’s Note: GameOctane editor Jason Germino received a code for review and to share his experiences with the GameOctane audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ Fun take on the pen and paper RPG
+ Gorgeous atmosphere sells the setting
+ Characters are fun and unique
+ Story has some decent telling and twists
- Gameplay can feel somewhat repetitive
- Had minor crashing at launch, most have been patched