Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden - Cinematic Reveal Trailer
Who it Caters to
As first person shooters and eSports are now becoming the main attraction in the gaming scene, classic genres like real-time strategy are slowly waning in popularity. Several years ago, the RTS scene was basking in success, with a plethora of titles available on the market for fans to dive into, but now the number of titles has slowly declined. There are of course several notable titles still kicking and helping to retain the classic turn-based strategy format, such as XCOM, and now we have a new entrant coming into the scene by the name of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Developed by Funcom, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden takes inspiration from the likes of XCOM with its in-depth turn-based tactical action, but throws in real-time elements such as stealth to allow players to formulate even more creative ideas to take out the enemy. Anyone who loves a little strategy and depth will find Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden to be a great adventure, as it grants you the freedom to explore the beautifully crafted world to collect artifacts and scraps, and upgrade your team to ensure victory at all costs.
What to Expect
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a well-crafted and fine-tuned tactical experience that gives you, the player, the freedom to approach combat in any way you see fit. Unlike in most conventional turn-based-strategy games, where much of your movement is limited outside of battle, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden throws in additional adventure style elements that allow you to traverse the environment in order to discover secret locations, or even really rare artifacts. One cool addition is the ambush feature, which allows you to target an enemy before they notice you, giving you the upper hand in battle.
If you didn’t attack the enemy, you can always cancel your ambush so that you can properly reposition yourself, should you feel like your initial plan wasn’t organized. That’s unheard of in most TBS titles since once you engage the enemy you’re usually locked in until you can defeat everyone around you, which sometimes isn’t always easy. Those looking for a hybrid-style turn-based tactical experience with plenty of discovery along the way, and splendid voice acting, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is every TBS fans dream reimagined and brought to life.
At the moment, XCOM is the leader when it comes to overall presentation, and we certainly don’t see anyone topping that anytime soon. However, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is not too far behind; in fact, we think it’s very close but just need a few tweaks here and there to stand toe-to-toe with the king. When exploring around the environment, you no longer need to use the mouse to click your way around, you can simply use the arrow keys or WASD to explore freely which to be honest feels really natural. It feels less rigid and more freeform, giving you the opportunity to really create strong tactical plays since you’re able to split up your team. At the moment, things are looking solid for the mutant team, and this title has so much to offer in terms of long term content.
Attention to detail in these types of games is always important, since they really aid in the immersive experience of the gameplay. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden delivers in its sound department with well scripted voice acting, but more importantly, really creating this eerie-yet-satisfying ambience when wandering through the dark mysterious forests on the way to various locations. You can hear the sound of the grass crunching underneath your boots as you sneak past enemy territory, or the splash of the water from a puddle as you rush through enemy sights in order to find the right angle to ambush them. It’s these subtleties that stand out the most to us and just add another notch of excitement every time you play. The music syncs well with the gameplay and doesn’t trail off on its own, maintaining consistency all throughout. It really adds to the emotions each character feels as they traverse through tough terrain, with their unique responses reflecting that of the environment.
In Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, the gameplay elements are quite similar to other turn-based titles and so, a lot of the time you’re really focusing on choosing the right moments to engage in battle. When you visit the Ark for the first time you’re introduced to a wide variety of characters, all of whom have their own colorful personality and are willing to help you along your journey. As we mentioned earlier, collecting artifacts and scraps play a major role in the overall success of your experience. If you collect enough scraps, which act as the game’s main currency, you’ll be able to purchase items like medkits and hand grenades, which of course are pivotal to your survival. Depending on the scraps you collected they’ll differ in price, so always be on the lookout for special ones that aren’t just common. The game tells you what kind of scrap you’re picking up which is a nice indicator, and depending on the item the game will explain some of the perks of said item, which you can then take back to the Ark to upgrade weapons, etc.
A lot of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is all about backtracking because oftentimes, you’ll wander around only to find an area you’ve never explored before, which can be a good thing or bad thing depending on what’s waiting for you there. We’ve had a few surprising and frustrating moments, most notably the Cave of Fear, because we ended up getting ambushed by enemies much stronger than us, and the game auto-saved during the ambush. So even if we loaded the game we would always have to fight the enemy, which was annoying since it almost felt like you’re forced to engage which defeats the purpose of the tactical element of the game. Thankfully, if you have extra saves available then these small issues shouldn't be of any major threat. We highly encourage you to save as frequently as possible as battles tend to come by surprise, and so just being prepared for the worst is always the best. Trust your gut feeling!
Other than that small slip up, you’re able to again, wander off into unexplored areas and level up your team so that way you’re able to prepare yourself for the stronger enemies ahead. Just like in any turn-based title, making sure to have important items equipped from your inventory to your characters are key, so before ambushing the enemy give each member a med-kit or two. Enemies like the Butcher may be weak in terms of health, but they hit like a truck in melee-based combat, so ensuring you have some hand grandes equipped will be good to take them out from afar. That’s the cool aspect about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, that every enemy will respond differently to your ambush and so every scenario will always feel fresh and exciting. Of course, if you die you can always reload from your save point and retry, but having that element of surprise every time really stimulates the mind and encourages you to think outside of the box. The Mutation feature is also quite interesting and while we didn’t get a chance to really dive deep with it, we can see that with the proper buffs to specific characters, it will take combat to the next level.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We’re excited to play more Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden and so, we hope that players will enjoy the fulfilling experience just as much as we did. For now, we’re impressed with the direction the game is headed in, so shoutouts to Funcom for creating a wonderful tactical title! Other than the few issues we mentioned earlier, traveling through the Zone is very fun and so we look forward to more content soon! It's a tactical title that rewards you greatly for smart plays and will punish you hard if you grow impatient, and throw yourself at the enemy too aggressively. Take your time and move slow, assess the situation with a sound mind, and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will be a smooth road ahead.
Takes inspiration from XCOM, which is always a plus!
The ambush feature is a nice added touch, giving players a little more freedom.
Visually beautiful game!
Voice acting is on point.
The lip syncing at times was off, but we’re sure that will be fixed.
The Cave of Fear area needs to place you away from the enemy instead of throwing you straight into battle.
Honey's Final Verdict:
RTS and tactical games aren’t for everybody, so this review will speak to a very select few. However, if you’re looking for a fresh new experience, then look no further because Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a wonderful title that’s easy to pick up and play, but will take time to truly master. We hope you found our review of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden to be insightful, and provided enough information to encourage you to pick it up and play! Much love to all of you!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!