Parents' Guide to

Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Grim expansion ramps up difficulty of apocalyptic strategy.

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While the original game was packed with challenging battles, this expansion pack is crammed with fights that will test even the most skilled tactical player. Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil picks up two months after the original game left off, and presents a new threat to life in the wasteland. But don't think this is just a simple expansion – Characters need to be at least level 65 to access the first new location, but even that won't guarantee a chance at success. The monsters you face have new abilities, tactics, and larger numbers in battles. It's basically like fighting the last battle of Road to Eden across every stage, only against steeper odds. Plus, you'll also get desperate requests from the Ark asking you to return to previous areas and eliminate roving bands of enemies taking over new territory. It's an incredibly challenging set of circumstances you'll fight through, but it imparts a sense of pride (and luck) as you claw your way through each stage, even if it takes multiple reloads to figure out each fight.

Seed of Evil doesn't allow players to expand their squad size at all, which could've made things easier. Instead, it introduces a new Stalker known as Big Khan, and gives him ground pounding and fire breathing abilities. His skills are very useful to clearing out enemies that cluster in groups. Your old group of stalkers aren't left out either – some of their abilities have evolved to meet the challenges of this difficult new world, like trapping opponents with thicker vines or healing without taking turns. Unfortunately, the number of medkits that you'll find or be able to purchase are extremely limited. Since enemies hit harder and cause more damage, you'll easily burn through your healing supplies and be unable to proceed in later battles. This can even force you to have to reload older saves to stockpile these kits for the difficult battles of Seed of Evil. It's a double-edged sword: the difficulty will make you a better strategy player, but it may take lots of time to recover that progress. If you want to test your skills, plant Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil in your console or PC and see what kind of challenging play grows.

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