Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden blends genes & genres

Mutant Year Zero

So, stop me if you’ve heard this one: A duck, a boar and a lady walk into a bar… No, it’s not a joke, but the set-up for the reveal trailer to Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, an upcoming post-apocalyptic RPG from The Bearded Ladies Consulting, a small Swedish outfit featuring talent from both Hitman and Payday’s development teams, and based on a well-regarded pen & paper RPG line.

Within, the trailer itself, introducing the trio of protagonists: Porcine powerhouse Bormin, waddling warrior Dux (the animal-folk of this post-nuclear world are clearly lousy at naming things) and Selma, who appears to be a mostly-normal human up until trouble comes knocking. Also, some high-res screenshots that you can click to embiggen.

Normally I’d be filing a game like this under the header of ‘strategy RPG’, but the developers would rather we use ‘tactical adventure’. In their defense, it does seem like there’s a bit more to the game than leveling, looting and progressing to the next combat encounter. Decisions in dialogue can apparently lead you down branching story paths. While the combat as pictured in the screenshots below is clearly XCOM-inspired grid-bound stuff in battlefields full of conveniently placed waist or man-height cover, stealth and evasion play out in real-time, reminiscent of the Commandos series or the more recent Shadow Tactics.

Mutant Year Zero

While the exact combat abilities of the trio (beyond the obvious ‘Bormin kicks stuff over’ conclusion we can draw from the trailer) are mostly unknown at this point, I do find Selma’s special power interesting. At first I assumed it was a chameleon-like camouflage ability, but given that it’s still up while she’s standing in the open in the trailer, it seems more like stone skin. It’d be pretty interesting if she served as both a high-mobility character and tank, clearing ground fast before armoring up to draw fire away from the Duck & Boar duo (together, the makings of a fine pâté) as they close in.

Mutant Year Zero

As for The The Bearded Ladies Consulting themselves, while they claim to have poached some talent from Hitman & Payday’s teams over the years, I recognized the name of the studio for their work on a very much lesser-known PS3 game called Landit Bandit, a bizarre tongue-in-cheek pedalo-helicopter piloting game. Given that Landit Bandit was first released in 2011, and little has been heard of the studio since then, I wonder if they’ve been hammering away at Mutant Year Zero the entire time.

Mutant Year Zero

Mutant Year Zero is due for a 2018 release. While information is a little thin on the ground at present, Bearded Ladies will be demoing this vaguely furry post-apocalypse live (now there’s a sentence and a half) at GDC next month. Funcom have already stepped up to publish this one, and you can see a little more of the game on both the Steam store page, and the official site here.


  1. Xerophyte says:

    Well, damn. Mutant is one of my favorite pen and paper games, I had no clue that someone was making a video game adaptation. With a trailer set in post-apocalyptic Liseberg! Truly, we have reached Peak Swede.

    Hopefully it’ll be better than Paradox (then Target) Interactive’s Drakar och Demoner game Dragonfire…

    • Babymech says:

      I had to look up the publisher’s own page just to confirm that this was actually the real Mutant – very excited about this. If this is actually set in Göteborg, after the cataclysmic events of Västlänken, that’ll be ridiculously fun.

    • buenaventura says:

      The same here, I’ve been playing Mutant: Undergångens Arvtagare for a long time, and recently convinced my local library to purchace the new Year Zero edition just to read it, and it is pretty awesome! What’s next, Coriolis?

      The publisher of the pen and paper rpg’s is Fria Ligan (Free League) btw, found here:

      link to

      They have some of their stuff in English as well!

    • April March says:

      I don’t have the game, only a free quickstart adventure, so please tell me: are there actually options for mutant ducks? (The quickstart adventure only has monkeys, dogs and lizards, IIRC.)

  2. golochuk says:

    What part of this game is “vaguely” furry? Two out of three protagonists are anthropomorphic animals, and I count at least 2-4 gags in the trailer about ducks and pigs. I think it’s just furry. The only real counterargument I can see is that the pigman has body-image issues.

    Anyway, I hope it makes shooting things fun, and they appear to have money to burn on cinematics, so maybe it will be good.

    • megazver says:

      The key difference, I find, is that it’s not obvious from the anthro characters’ art that the artist would desperately like to screw them.

      • durrbluh says:

        Valid point. There’s “animals with sexualized human features” anthropomorphic art, and there’s “animal that walks like a man” anthropomorphic art; this seems to fall into the latter category.

        I’m somewhat curious to see what further developments await the unlicensed adventures of Howard the Duck and Uncle Pey’j.

      • Premium User Badge

        ooshp says:

        Pretty much this.

        The duck is a duck head bolted onto a bipedal body, not a duck bill slapped on a massive pair of furry tits.

      • Xerophyte says:

        Every schoolboy knows that Animal Farm is a subtle allegory with two key messages.
        1: The Soviet state, while built on laudable ideals, was no match for the venality of the selfish pigs that ran it and gladly exploited the proletariat as much than any capitalist while telling them that it was for their own good.
        2: George Orwell really wanted to fuck some horses.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Because you’re supposed to hate furry stuff, so if there’s furry stuff you like you have to justify it as not actually furry somehow.

    • Caiman says:

      Anthropomorphic animals does not automatically mean “furry fandom”, with all the baggage that implies. Even furry fandom doesn’t automatically mean “people in fursuits who want to fuck each other” either. These are closer to moreaus, genetically-engineered or mutated lifeforms.

      • Shadow says:

        When one of the main characters looks just like Daffy Duck, it throws plausible genetic engineering and mutation right out the window. It’s downright comical. Maybe it’s a tongue-in-cheek comedy game, but the whole context looks, at a glance, pretty serious. So it’s just confusing.

        Might be good, who knows, but I’m already finding the furry designs rather jarring in a semi-realistic environment.

        In the end, that’s what makes it more than “vaguely” furry, the attempt to put characters with cartoon levels of plausibility in an otherwise largely lifelike context and still pretend that makes sense. That’s not intrinsically bad, but the tonal dissonance and having to double down on suspension of disbelief may put some people off.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Also, some high-res screenshots that you can click to embiggen.

    Oh, my, what other feats of technology are we going to see coming to RPS in the future?

  4. BaronKreight says:

    Interesting. Branching story paths and tactical XCOM style combat remind me of another game I’ve heard about recently – Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus.

  5. megazver says:

    > (the animal-folk of this post-nuclear world are clearly lousy at naming things

    In the newest tabletop RPG edition’s canon, they name different species after different pre-war themes. Cats, ancient Romans. Bears, famous movie people. Rabbit, famous soccer players. Etc.

    The devs seem to have gone for something else. Especially since ducks and boars aren’t on the list of the playable species in Genlab Alpha. Still, I guess I dig them, especially the looks.

    • April March says:

      Oh, that’s what I wanted to know. The game seems to have animals that look vicious. Ducks… especially this specific implementation of a duck… just remind me of Howard the Duck.

      However, it just makes me wonder how closely they’ll stick to the PnP RPG’s canon.

  6. Brothabear says:

    alight guys, its GO time!

    Yeah lets fuck this duck!

    *Dux* “quack”

    S-sorry dux its just an expression…

    *Dux* “quack” “quack”

    I know, I know I’ll remember next time, sorry.

  7. pookie101 says:

    Now we just need a full “After the Bomb” game. Picture mutant animals meet Mad max :)

  8. Railway Rifle says:

    This looks cool, especially its interestingly bizzare world.

    “the animal-folk of this post-nuclear world are clearly lousy at naming things”

    Fair point, but I’ve met an actual real person with the “greetings, fellow Earth creature” name of Anne Human. Maybe it’s like a man named Guy.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    They got a duck! I am sorry, you’ll have to excuse my excitement, but when I was younger, school age, I used to play Drakar och Demoner. That is the Swedish version of Dungeons and Dragons (Dragons and Demons to match the naming convention). It was not an exact translation, they changed alot of it and I personally felt that the Swedish version had a more Scandinavian myths bent to it, based on the monsters and the beautiful illustrations in the books.

    And for some reason, it also had ducks. That you could play as. You had these nice illustrations of adventurers of different races, looking serious and doing heroic stuff with a Donald-looking fellow smack dab in the middle, trying in vain to not stick out like a sore thumb.

    I don’t care that they were quite fragile, I wanted to play as a duck!

    As for Mutant, i played it once, I am sure it’s a nice game, did not know it had ducks.

  10. poliovaccine says:

    Never heard of this before, not being into pen and paper games like that, but the world sounds super interesting. I am 50/50 on whether or not I go for stories with humanoid animals – when they suck, they suck, but when they’re good they can be really good. It’s a device with the potential both to allow for some incisive, symbolic meta-commentary, or else flat, cartoonish exaggeration and caricature which can be unsubtle at best and casually racist at worst. Though the fact this is apparently a preexisting, long-running IP of its own lends some reassurance that it’s one of the former and not the latter. And it sounds like they’ve gone a really interesting direction with it. Definitely intrigued, in spite of the names (what would it be like if human beings named themselves after their own species every time? Hi my name is Purson, this is my friend, Humanboy)…

  11. hfm says:

    Color me excited.

  12. Boose says:

    What a missed opportunity to name a character Boaromir

  13. soul4sale says:

    Beyond Good and Evil: The After Years

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>