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Mutant Year Zero Gameplay Footage + GDC 2018 Preview at PC Gamer
Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 28 March 2018, 23:58:15Tags: Funcom; Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden; The Bearded Ladies
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, the recently revealed turn-based post-apocalyptic "tactical adventure" with furries, was also at GDC last week, and today is its turn to shown to the general public. Instead of wasting our time with bullshit teaser trailers, Funcom have delivered 35 minutes of pure gameplay footage, starting with the game's intro cutscene. The area shown in the video is mainly a combat zone and most of the duration consists of combat sequences, with a bit of exploration, character development and a visit to the party's home base. The combat appears to be very similar to Firaxis' XCOM games.
"What we want you to do, embracing the pen-and-paper RPG, is scout it up, come up with a great plan, and then fail on your second die roll and improvise from there," Skarin said with a laugh. In the demo build, the character I like to think of as Howard the Duck—real name Dux—was equipped with a crossbow, which Skarin used to kill the Howler Ghoul quietly, before she could blow her horn and call for backup. The die rolls came out in his favor that time.
In combat everything feels very XCOM, down to the two-chunk movement system, overwatch as a skill, and equippable secondary weapons like grenades. But mutations, the game's perk system, offer a fun alternative to a rigid skill tree. As each character levels up, you'll spend points to unlock three or four mutations in three categories: major, minor, and passive. Before any given battle, you can equip one mutation in each category, tailoring your loadout to the fight ahead.
"We want it to be very match specific, who you bring into the fight, of the characters we have, and how you configure them," said Skarin. Dux can choose a mutation that makes him sprout gross (but useful) moth wings, for example, which give him a high ground advantage ideal for long distance sniping. "There's no real point to having the wings in the underground bunker, for instance," Skarin said.
Right now, there's a pool of about 30 different mutations split up amongst the recruitable characters. There will be some overlap, but the characters will all have unique mutations, too. The biggest distinction from XCOM in combat is having a party limited to only three units (the same number as in Ubisoft's Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, actually), which the developers said felt like just the right number. They started with five and worked their way down until there was never a time when one or two party members sat around idle.
In a big encounter that made up the back half of our demo, Skarin took on a group of ghouls who were trying to get a large combat robot back up and running—with a little help from the robot, which you can reprogram if you find a clue while exploring. I hope there are frequent narrative touches like this in combat that don't feel too samey or too obvious, but it at least seems like the sort of thing the designers of Hitman would excel at.
I also got a good look at how varied these sorts of combat encounters can play out, and how important positioning can be when you're outnumbered. Skarin sent Bormin, the pig man, out into the open to draw fire. With his stoneskin mutation, he can soak up the damage. Dux took on the high ground, but nearly died when a rampaging heavy ghoul (think an XCOM Muton) came after him. Bormin also started taking damage over time thanks to a flamethrower-wielding pyro. A well-placed smoke grenade on the leader of the ghouls kept her out of action long enough for Skarin to mop up the rest.