Here to mess with my end-of-the-year awards is Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Also, what's with long subtitles on the first game in any potential series? Is it just plain old bad luck to put a "1" at the end of a game title that you know you'd like to make more of in the future? Or can you only do that when you're rebooting a game series back to World War I a la Battlefield 1?
Anyway, I'm definitely here for Mutant Year Zero's seamless blend of real-time and turn-based tactical strategy. Imagine XCOM but without having 10 loading screens between HQ and the battles.
You've got three anthropomorphic characters—and one that's a creepy person-chameleon—exploring and scavenging their way through a "post-human Earth." I mean, it's like they threw Howard the Duck, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and those two characters from Beyond Good & Evil into a darkly lit, mutant-infested Fallout Europe. I like it.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is based on the 1980's pen-and-paper RPG called Mutant. The game is out today, December 4, on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It happens to be included with the Xbox Game Pass, too, which is where I'll be enjoying it (thank you, one month for $1).
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is 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.
• TACTICAL COMBAT: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is the ultimate fix for your tactical strategy addiction. Dive into a deep, turn-based, tactical combat system inspired by the XCOM games.
• EXPLORE A POST-HUMAN EARTH: Journey through a post-human world of abandoned cities, crumbling highways, and overgrown countryside. Check back at the Ark, a neon-bathed oasis of ill repute and questionable characters, to restock your supplies and plan out your next adventure.
• CONTROL A TEAM OF MUTANTS: A duck with an attitude problem and a boar with anger issues; these aren’t your typical heroes. Get to know Dux, Bormin, Selma, and many other characters each with their own unique personality and deranged perspective on the world and their situation.
• MASTER THE STEALTHY APPROACH: Sneak through shadows to avoid conflict or to catch enemies unaware. Real-time stealth allows you full control of approach: sneak into an enemy camp, position the team of Mutants to your advantage, and gain the element of surprise.
• UNLOCK MUTATIONS: Unlock new mutations and abilities for your Mutants, such as Selma’s Stoneskin, Bormin’s Charge, and Dux‘ uncanny ability to sneak into a camp full of enemies unnoticed, despite being a 4-foot tall walking, talking duck with a crossbow.
• DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS: Use the environment to your advantage. Stay out of floodlights, hide from line of sight, or just blast down fully destructible walls and buildings and wreak utter havoc.
• LOOT, LOOT EVERYWHERE: From makeshift slingshots to high-powered rifles and top hats to police vests, make sure you equip your Mutants for the dangers ahead. Nothing says post-human quite like a mutated boar in spiked metal armor charging at you with a blunderbuss in his hands.