The deadline for Game Informer’s “best of the year” voting draws near, and I’m doing everything I can to play as many of 2018’s games as I can. I recently watched the credits roll for Darksiders III, which I adored way more than any other GI staffer, and I’m now working my way through Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. While I don’t think it will make my personal top 10 list and may not get the votes to make it onto Game Informer’s big Top 50 list, this is one science-fiction game you don’t want to sleep on. You just have to ask yourself “Do you like XCOM?” If the answer is “yes,” drop everything and give it a whirl.
Turn-based combat is the heart and soul of Mutant Year Zero. Most conflicts unfold with the a squad splitting up, and strategically hunkering down behind cover to pick away at enemies that are doing the same thing. It’s straight up XCOM, and developer The Bearded Ladies Consulting openly embraces the comparison, and even has “the turn-based combat of XCOM” bolded on its website. What makes Mutant Year Zero unique – other than playing as a talking duck, boar, and fox – is the calm before battle. Unlike most games of this ilk, you are not dropped immediately into a fight. You discover enemies as you explore small sections of the wilderness. As you sneak through the woods, you also find weapons, armors, crafting materials, and above all else, will be able to approach combat from a desired vector. This element of the game is nicely designed and worth investing time into, especially since supplies are hard to come by and end up being incredibly valuable.
Again, I may like Mutant Year Zero more than any GI editor, but I think we all agree it’s a game worth looking at. Jeff Marchiafava has played way more of it than me, and gave it a respectable review of 7.5 of 10. He says it falls apart in the end. “From a gameplay perspective, Mutant Year Zero is a bold but brief experiment in the turn-based genre that largely pays off. Despite my complaints, I still enjoyed it, and I’d love to see more from the franchise. If you can stomach a huge letdown of an ending, the cleverly orchestrated combat and unique world are worth checking out.”
If that isn’t your cup of tea, I’d like to point out that Subnautica’s big 1.0 update is finally live on Xbox One. Subnautica is a brilliantly designed underwater survival experience, set on an alien world with an ocean filled with exotic life. I urge you all to check this game out. It’s one of those games that you just can’t seem to put down once you get the hang of exploring the seas. Elise Favis gave it an 8.75 out of 10, and called it “gorgeous and enthralling.” You’ll definitely see this one on my top 10 list.
The trailer above is for one of my most anticipated films of 2019. James Gunn’s name is all over it, but that’s a bit of false advertising. He’s producing the film. It’s actually directed by David Yarovesky, and written by Brian Gunn, and Mark Gunn. How many damn Gunns are there? As long as they continue pumping out interesting films, the answer is “who cares?”
In short, Brightburn looks to be a new take on Superman’s origin story, with horror and craziness leading the way. The trailer teases the child learning of his powers, and, well, using them to do harm. Brightburn releases on May 24.
In other film news, if you were thinking 2019 would be the year of Thanos or the Avengers, you’re only slightly wrong. It will likely be the year of Nick Fury. At a comic convention in Brazil, Captain Marvel‘s Brie Larson revealed the movie isn’t just about her character. “It’s actually a Nick Fury origin story as well,” she said. “He doesn’t have the eye patch. That’s a very interesting element, isn’t it? [Fury and Marvel] become buddies, and I think seeing that dynamic, it’s a more playful side of Fury.”
Fury is also front and center in the official synopsis for Spider-Man Far From Home, which is short and to the point: “Peter Parker and his friends go on summer holidays to Europe. However, the friends will hardly be able to rest – Peter will have to agree to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of creatures that cause natural disaster and destruction throughout the continent.”
I’m a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson’s interpretation of Nick Fury, and can’t wait to see him get more time in the spotlight. I was hoping he would have a bigger role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but this works too.
And if you want to feel a little heartbreak, Marvel fans, Chris Hemsworth tweeted out the first image of Men In Black International. As you can see, he’s joined by Tessa Thompson, who absolutely killed it in Thor Ragnarok. I’m all for more Men in Black, but I don’t know if I’ll ever shake the thought of “it’s Thor and Valkyrie” when seeing them together.
That’s it for this week, gang. As we wind down the year, our columns will likely disappear until 2019, but I’ll do my best to spit them out when I can. Cheers!