I’m going to be covering this chronologically, because while cutscenes and menus are occasionally prone to slowing down or locking up, it’s still technically possible to play Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden with an FX-series CPU such as an FX-8350 (for the first couple of hours, at least—there may be impassable points later on that I haven’t reached yet). It’s kind of stunning how often I’ve had to open task manager and force-close this game, though, and this is obviously not the ideal way of experiencing a strategy RPG. Especially given the ~35 seconds of unskippable company splash screens that you have to sit through after each freeze/force-close.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden begins with two mutants (a duck named Dux and a boar named Bormin) wandering around in the post-apocalypse to find some scrap needed to fix the water pump at the Ark, a vaguely Fallout vault-ish community that lives on by sending scavengers known as stalkers out for supplies. The early gameplay does a good job of teaching you the ropes, with Mutant Year Zero feeling a lot like XCOM, only with an emphasis on sneak attacking isolated enemies to reduce the number of enemies you have to fight at once. To that end, there are interesting engagement and disengagement mechanics that allow you to start and stop combat at will so long as you haven’t been noticed yet, with stealth weapons labeled “silent” helping in that regard. Between combat encounters, you’re free to wander around and pick up broken weapons and miscellaneous supplies, including new equipment that confers passive bonuses. Your characters also level up and can spend the points they subsequently earn on “mutations” and helpful stat bonuses.
These mutations appear to open up new moves in combat for the most part, and this menu was the first freeze I encountered. What happened was that the frame rate suddenly dipped, leading to a full-blown freeze while my controller vibrated endlessly (hence the Windows sound as I disconnected and reconnected it to stop the rumble). Freezes don’t strike every 16 minutes, but this was still really deflating.
Thankfully, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden has an autosave in addition to manual saves that you can freely make (even during combat, which is always appreciated), so I lost hardly any progress. Things started to go much more smoothly, not counting discoveries such as sudden enemy reinforcements and overwatch seeming to have a pretty steep aim penalty. Then I went to collect some notes that advance the story, only for the resulting cutscene (34:35) to play in slow motion and ultimately freeze up. I waited for several minutes in the hopes that it’d resolve itself, but it never did.
It wasn’t obvious whether this was a random bug or one that’d strike every time I reached this point, and it was promising when the dialogue began playing out normally after reloading, but before long it slowed down to a crawl and froze up.
Opting to instead skip the cutscene the second it showed up allowed me to get past this, but then Bormin started talking and everything froze up anyway. For some reason (which I’m betting has something to do with the Denuvo DRM), force-closing the game this time resulted in my cursor being stuck on its “waiting” icon, though I was still able to start it up again. Trying again, that freezing dialogue didn’t play—likely because I waited to regroup rather than doing so immediately—and that was it. I haven’t come across any more bugs since that point. That’s not going to stop me from saving obsessively, of course, especially since it serves a dual purpose while I’m figuring mechanics stuff out like whether attack successes and failures are predetermined or truly random (which would impact whether save scumming for better accuracy is viable), but I played for another 45 minutes without any issues. I can only hope that the later game has no more freezes lying in wait, because the underlying gameplay is solid and it’s a shame when it’s undermined by bug stuff.
The post Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is currently broken on FX-series CPUs appeared first on Killa Penguin.