A party of three slowly crept through a wetland, scavenging scraps and parts to upgrade their own meager equipment. Boots caked with mud and senses ever-heightened, the party of Stalkers pressed on through the drenched landscape. A short distance away, they noticed a glimmer of light piercing through the oppressive darkness of the night. Dux, the sharp-eyed mutant, approached the strangely shimmering item. It was in a white box - as white as the conditions allowed for - and attached to it was two long sinewy 'strings'. The three mutants broke out in banter regarding the peculiar item. Salma, the newest addition to the party, explained that she heard tales of how people used to use these "fruit machines" to listen to music in the past. Borman, the stoic boar mutant, shot down this tale, insisting it was foolish. The item, of course, was a clever reference to an Apple iPod. It was during this small moment, offering only a minor addition to the lore, that I knew I absolutely adored Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a tactical-adventure game, which takes place in a world ravaged by both natural disasters and man-made fallout. Those who survived these events call the Ark their home. Here, in the last safe haven, everyone is a mutant, except their leader, the Elder, who educates and guides mutants into the Zone. Mutants who venture out and scavenge in the Zone are called stalkers, a.k.a. the mutants that keep the Ark operating and its inhabitants - surviving. So as to not spoil anything in the game, I'll not touch on any of the story points. One thing I must admit though is that the story is written with enough confidence to carry you through its length without getting bored. Heck, you might even snicker a good few times throughout your journey.
With all the tactical games flooding the market as of late, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden provides a fresh and enjoyable take on the genre.
Easily the best mechanic in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is the ability to fluidly sneak around stationed enemies and choose how you want to handle the inevitable clash.
Where Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden trumps the competition, though, is in its characters. You do not have an endless supply of rookie soldiers to fight for you. You start with two mutants, Dux and Borman, and meet a handful of others along the way.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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The Bearded Ladies
PC, PS4, Xbox One
4 December 2018
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