Review: Mutant Year Zero Road to Eden (PlayStation 4)

A tactical adventure game combining the turn-based combat of XCOM with story, exploration, stealth, and strategy. Take control of a team of Mutants navigating a post-human Earth. Created by a team including former HITMAN leads and the designer of PAYDAY.

Pros:

  • Brilliant graphics.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • 5.36GB Download size.
  • Tutorial support throughout. You get a detailed pop up as new mechanics are introduced/encountered.
  • Gameplay is a mix of X-com combat with Metal Gear Solid stealth land traversal.
  • Possible to ambush enemies as you get to choose when to engage enemies.
  • You are in charge of a team and can have them split up or swap effortlessly between them and position them where you want before engagements.
  • A full inventory system with slots for new items of clothing that grant buffs to stats.
  • Stealth/movement- Your torch controls all! When it is on enemy sight circles are bigger and you walk faster, Similarily turn the torch off and enemy sight circles are smaller and you move crouched.
  • Loot can be found lying about the world or scavenged from dead bodies, Chest are about and carry much better loot usually items you can wear as opposed to material drops elsewhere.
  • Loot/chests will emit a glow.
  • Combat- turn-based, you get a percentage pop up for shots, critical chances etc. You have action points which dictates how much you can do. Swapping weapons is quick and doesn’t require a point.
  • You can hide in cars/trees/cupboards etc and in fact, you can have members of your party hidden for the whole of combat. You can also have them jump out of hiding whenever you want.
  • Such a dark fantastically brutal world where humans no longer inhabit the world, You get to see the ruins of times gone by and it is just a wonderful sight.
  • Play how you want, Go where you want.
  • Ark- Main hub and control swaps to a point and click affair. Here you can buy items from the shop, Speak to the leader, Upgrade weapons, equip new gear or unlock new powers and abilities.
  • Can dismantle items/loot for scrap.
  • You have to add found items/weapon parts at the Ark.
  • Earn EXP, Level up and earn mutation points to put into the skill tree.  Each character has their own skill tree with different mutations.
  • The story is delivered in the game like narration and has strong Sin City vibes.
  • Strong voicework from all the characters.
  • Excellent bunch of characters who are fun to play as and fun to watch interact in the world. They will talk amongst themselves as you travel about.
  • Can fast forward enemy turns in combat.
  • Difficult.
  • Levels have multiple entries/exits/routes.
  • Overall map fills in as you explore.
  • Can fast travel to any discovered place.
  • Can go back to the Ark whenever you like.
  • Easy to read/use UI.
  • Really good story that grabs you instantly.
  • Powerful soundtrack.
  • Full camera control with the right stick.

Cons:

  • Tutorial tips can be slow to pop up.
  • Quite a bit of screen tearing.
  • Movement feels a bit sluggish.
  • Unskippable opening screens.
  • Small text.
  • Difficult.
  • Hard to survey the land around you.
  • Saving is slow as you have to go into a menu then click the slot, A fast save button would be amazing.
  • RNG can screw you at times.
  • Have to keep regrouping after fights regardless of the situation.
  • Little replay value once the story is done.
  • Combat balancing feels a bit broken and feels like the higher the level the more health they get.
  • Needs more loot lust, It has a small cache of collectible loot but replaying a level doesn’t repopulate the area or add more loot in other places etc.
  • Few audio skips.
  • No way that I could find to reset mutation points.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8.6/10

Summary

Within minutes of booting the game up, I was hooked. The world is so different from what we have seen and executed in such a way that you spend ages just exploring every part, You start thinking about what it all looked like before it went to shit. Then I met the core group of characters, They all look like Mutants but are full of passion and humor that I couldn’t help myself from falling in love with them. I loved the combat and how I dictated when to ambush people, The power I had to command every part of the build-up and execution is something that even rivals X-Com from which it takes some much inspiration. Height matters, Cover matters its so varied that tactical minds will laugh maniacally as they pull off amazing attacks. The story is strong, Its narrated to you in a way that Sin City tells its story and it works, It really works. I played how I wanted and went in high-level areas early on just to stealth around and find loot as the loot lust starts off strong. I soon worked out all the benefits of dismantling items and proper management would reign supreme. I did, however, hate the combat at times as RNG would ruin plans with its stupid critical misses and dodgy AI tactics. I finished the game and loved every minute but the one thing kept coming back. I wanted more! I wanted more areas to explore, I wanted more stories to be told and I especially wanted more loot to find. I want the previously played areas to repopulate with random loot/materials and enemies. I just wanted more.  What I am saying here is the game is really fucking good and yes RNG will kick your ass but man oh man the execution of this little title is next level and the devs have done something special here. Now I want either a sequel or more content!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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