Duck and cover.
There’s a point early on in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden when you realise this is something rather special. It’s when you’re methodically picking off a set of marauders patrolling a ruined settlement with a squad consisting of a wise-cracking anthropomorphic mallard (in a top hat, naturally) and his disgruntled warthog partner. You’ve just quietly insta-killed an enemy with Dux’s (the former) homemade crossbow – complete with a sardonic quip – before Bormin (the latter) feasts on the corpses of some fallen enemies, regenerating his health as he goes. A couple of blasts from his shotgun later and the rest are toast, ready for looting. It’s a small taste of what Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden has to offer, and its mixture of turn-based combat and stealth only gets better as time goes on.
Based on the Swedish role-playing game series of the same name, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden follows an alternate history where humankind has been all but wiped out by the one-two punch of a viral outbreak known as The Red Plague and a nuclear war. What remains of humanity has been transformed into mutants, with a mysterious man known as the Elder forming a small community of survivors known as the Ark. It’s a narrative spin that’s not wholly original on paper, but it’s how indie developer The Bearded Ladies Consulting (great name, guys) approaches this well-worn path that gives it so much character.
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