There are several strategy titles available for the Nintendo Switch, many of which are authentic essentials. That is why the announcement of the arrival of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden was huge news. A title developed by The Bearded Ladies Consulting, a studio made up of some people involved in the Hitman and Payday sagas, which was originally released at the end of last year reaping a lot of praise.
But it is not just an adaptation of the game to the hybrid console, this is the launch of a full version that includes Seed of Evil, an expansion released in parallel to this edition. That is why it would be an excellent opportunity for many to enter the world of mutants it offers, but has the port to the Nintendo Switch been put to good use or does it lack in enjoyment. Here is my review!
Leaving its cons for later, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden has many, and good things to offer. In the first place, we are facing a story and setting located in a post-apocalyptic future where a group of mutants lives in seclusion and surrounded by dangers, without major aspirations until they discover evidence of a possible place outside these horrors. A premise that is nothing more than a mere incentive, although in its favor we have to highlight some hilarious characters and dialogues.
Bormin and Dux are the mutants with which the adventure begins. Other characters can also be added, although you can only take up to three at a time. Thus, through gameplay based on stealth, exploration and turn-based tactical strategy, in the purest XCOM style, it is necessary to guide them through the wilderness.
Real-time exploration allows you to move freely, being able to move even with stealth to avoid being discovered. Once the danger is active, you can go straight into the action. You can bypass the action if there is an open route available or scatter the group through different parts of the stage to have the maximum tactical advantage when you have to start a fight. The transition between characters are quick, which makes everything more fluid.
Once the battle begins and your turn comes, there are several points that consume the different possible actions, such as firing, throwing grenades or moving. Before performing any action you have to take into account all the factors, from the coverage, bullets loaded in the weapon or if the shot or change of position can betray your presence. In fact, there are also weapons with silent shots when trying to stay hidden.
In general, it may seem that there are many factors to consider and, indeed, as mentioned above, there are. However, the greatest virtue of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is that it makes all of it as simple as it is rewarding. If you stopped to read the basics of battle, you will not only quickly become familiar with the game but it will not take long to develop and try different strategies. Something that plays in favor of it and energizes each fight are the destructible elements, such as barriers or booths.
In addition, you have several levels of difficulty to make the experience as enjoyable as possible; there is even the option of permanent death. But do not be confused, even in its normal difficulty, a minimum of strategy is required to be able to make satisfactory progress. In fact, it is not only advisable to face all the fighting, but it is almost necessary to explore secondary places to be able to face the next challenges. There are no rewards for stealthily avoiding fighting.
The progression system is quite effective, but still requires some care. The characters gain experience after the fights and with this you can develop their abilities through a small skill tree. Thanks to this, you can increase your health or unlock skills to use in combat. While it works, this system could have deepened slightly more. The characters can carry two weapons, being able to alternate them during combat, in addition to armor, a hat or grenades. Also, weapons can be improved and therefore increasing their statistics. The currency used for this is in the different types of scrap that you can find or earn.
All these elements are combined in a superb way, making Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden a truly unique and effective proposal. In its favor is also as mentioned above, its expansion, which adds more hours of play at the end of the main adventure in addition to a new playable character. However, when playing the Nintendo Switch in its docked mode there are cuts at all levels and feels like a trimmed version of the game, leaving an adaptation that I can only say is fairly enjoyable.
Yes, I am aware of the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch console, and I can not demand high details to what is available in other consoles, but greater care in its adaptation to the small screen would have been nice. With it are weighted key aspects of the game, such as the identification of resources that are just poorly executed. But where it has become clear regarding the lack of care for this adaptation is in the absence of music. It has been after trying other versions where I have realized that it is not that it has a poor or no sound section, but all the underlying issues on the Nintendo Switch.
In view of what I have described above, if I can say something about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is that it is surprising how the gameplay itself repeatedly overthrows some of these problems. However, there are quite a few problems in this adaptation, which does not do justice to the game or the console itself, and many of them are really key aspects for when it comes to actually enjoying the game as a whole.