Back in 2018, veteran Swedish developers behind such projects as Hitman, Payday, and others banded together to create a tactical turn-based strategy RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden proved to be an under-the-radar hit, lauded by critics and fans for its solid XCOM-style gameplay and its imaginative world. Nearly five years after its release, the team at The Bearded Ladies is back and now teaming up with 505 Games to introduce a brand new apocalyptic world with the upcoming Miasma Chronicles.
First revealed during the 505 Games Spring 2022 Showcase earlier this year, Miasma Chronicles is set in a future world left in shambles. Players will visit what remains of America through the eyes of a young miner named Elvis. He's largely unfamiliar with the outside world, having been brought to the mining town of Sedentary as a child. However, with his mother missing, Elvis sets out to explore the world in an effort to find her. Joining him is a wisecracking robot named Diggs, who curiously identifies himself as Elvis' older brother. The two will frequently banter with one another, as well as with their enemies, as they explore a dangerous landscape filled with enemies like giant mutant frogs. All of this is set in a world shaped by a mysterious and deadly miasma, which will continue to have adverse effects on the planet throughout the story.
Those who enjoyed the Mutant Year Zero formula will be happy with Miasma Chronicles' combat style. It's described as an evolution of that game's formula and it certainly feels familiar. Elvis and Diggs must find an advantageous position and fire on their targets from a distance. Players must find cover to avoid taking damage, but they can also sneak up on their enemies and trigger an ambush. Ambushing foes allows Elvis and Diggs to sneak in a first shot, catch enemies unaware, and potentially deal more damage.
The Bearded Ladies are hoping to go a little deeper with this latest effort. Miasma Chronicles will utilize RPG elements and a skill tree, where players can upgrade Elvis and Diggs' various abilities and weapons. Later combat scenarios will integrate high ground elements, where positioning will matter even more. Plus, enemies will gradually grow more powerful, requiring strategic uses of inventory items like grenades.
Mutant Year Zero had two things going for it: a wondrous sense of world building and character chemistry. Miasma Chornicles looks to have much more of that and it should be fun to watch this game's development in the months ahead. Look for Miasma Chronicles to release on PC (via Steam and the Epic Games Store), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S in 2023.