Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden was one of my favorite games of last year for good reason: it’s one heck of an XCOM-like tactical game, making use of stealth and a fantastic setting, not shying away from what its inspiration is known for, the unpredictability, the joy of playing against the odds. It’s sometimes frustrating, but it ultimately proved to be one hell of a time. Mutant Year Zero ended on a cliffhanger of sorts when your group of mutants discovered that the Elder figure they have grown to blindingly trust had been hiding a horrible secret all along — that they’d been created by him in a lab.
Half a year later, we return to its ravaged post-nuclear world in this new DLC titled Seed of Evil, that picks up right where the story left off, with the Ark’s Elder nowhere to be found and its residents in complete confusion due to the rise of a new threat, a banished Ark mutant who can apparently control plants. Dux, Bromin and crew decide to go and root that guy out from whatever hole he’s packed in. Seed of Evil opens up new areas on the map, to the northwest, and it’s recommended that you finish the original content before starting this, since enemies are level 65 and above.
I found the new enemy units to be a lot of fun to fight against. Basically the human remnants from before, but now taken over by the plant hive, these guys tend to be way more aggressive and in bigger numbers than ever. One in particular can jump to incredible heights and flank your team incredibly easily, while another, the pod, can generate infinite adds unless you destroy it. The encounters in this DLC are some of the most challenging you’ve yet to face in the game, and I certainly enjoyed applying my favorite strats to them when possible, that is, sneaking around and taking out as many of them as I could with silent weapons before engaging with the main forces. And even when thinning them out, the fights still managed to be really tough due to the high amount of armor some of these plant thugs have. The final fight in particular proved to be quite a battle, and if not approached carefully, I can imagine it forcing a lot of people to revert back a bunch of save games.
Along the way, you’ll run into a new mutant to join your ranks, a moose by the name of Big Khan, who’s former Ark member that decided to take it to the zone. He’s a step above the rest of the crew in terms of health points, and his attack power is nothing to sneeze at. I stuck with him throughout most of the new content, only switching back to Selma, who could immobilize crowds of enemies thanks to her new mutation introduced in the DLC. The rest of the squad members also get upgraded versions of their mutations, like Bromin’s new rush ability that can now knock enemies back a few squares, and Dux’s wings can be used without the annoying range penalty that they had before. None of my guys felt useless after Khan joined, but hell, how could I say “no” to a goddamn moose?
There’s a handful of new areas to explore in Seed of Evil, and although they don’t necessarily vary much from the others, they’ll still manage to provide a good excuse to jump back into Mutant Year Zero. Along with the DLC comes a new mode called Stalker Trials, which are exactly what they sound like, extra challenges you can partake that can be played without worrying about story.
Funcom and The Bearded Ladies struck gold with Mutant Year Zero, and it’s fantastic to have another reason to jump back in thanks to Seed of Evil. Since the game is now making its way to the Switch, I hope it’ll reach an even larger audience, considering that that platform doesn’t have a whole lot of games in this genre outside of Mario + Rabbids, and people have probably been done with that for a while now. If you enjoyed the base game as much as I did, you’ve probably been biting at the chance to keep playing, and Seed of Evil more than satisfies that itch.