PAX West 2019: Mutazione Paints A Lighter Palette On Coexisting With Mutants


Posted on September 5, 2019 by Nick Moreno

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The idea of mutated lifeform that either being human or other species living on the face of the Earth has always been framed with the inevitability that the reconstructed life and mankind will be sworn enemies the day the two coexist as depicted from films and current video games. Unaware of what the mutant party has views towards what direction society will take in the post-apocalypse, we typically have no idea if said mutants are truly mad or as civil as its smooth-skinned counterpart.

However, in Die Gute Fabrik’s Mutazione, the perspective while given through a human’s viewpoint still does lighten up the stereotype that all mutated life is as evil as they look. The developer painting the title as a “mutant soap opera,” we follow the story of Kai as she ventures to the titular island of Mutazione where a meteorite crashed on the isolated island and destroying the city that once inhabited the land mass. With those who survived mutated into monstrous beings unlike their prior human appearance as the land around them begins to be consumed by organic life and vegetation.

Speaking with studio founder and game Creative Director Nils Deneken, he shares that the title initially planned to be labeled as an adventure game, but as the project began to sprout into Mutazione, he felt that the mutant soap opera title was “snappier” for those unaware of what the game is. Kai visits the once holiday hotspot to take care of her ill grandfather Nonno and soon is engulfed by community of mutants that occupies what’s left from the destruction of the “Moon Dragon.”

My time demoing the game kicks off at the start of the story to grasp what the basis of the game will offer as you progress further into Kai’s experience. Experiencing the full length of the game, you will speak with the remaining inhabitants of Mutazione through conversation and the gossip that surrounds those characters that lives within the community. During your eight day span of the game, each day is stapled to focus on one specific character that slowly unravels both their own respected background atop of potentially pointing towards a cure to assist Nonno’s inflicting disease.

Parallel with the direction the game will take as well as constructing a possible remedy for your grandfather’s illness, the player will be given the objective to create a garden is specified segments of the map. What makes these gardens unique to the story is not only their beauty when fully grown, but also the atmosphere they create even when planted. What I mean especially is that these floras depending on its respected type will amplify a different kind of sound once put into the ground.

For the sake of the demo I played, you meet with Mio who was feeling down when revisiting her old home that burned down prior to Kai’s visit, so in an attempt to lift up her spirits you plant a musical garden that will complement the current mood. You will need to plant seeds that are categorized as melancholia as that will be what links with this current situation as plants that is associated with jazz will for a different scenario and so on.

Appreciating this even more, while the seeds begin to grow the sprout will being to play a note, but when fully grown will intensify to create a unique melody of its own. Deneken shared that there are over one hundred different seeds to collect while on Mutazione, so organizing your own garden could orchestrate a different song based on which plants you plan to grow in your playthrough for each chapter.

Reflecting on the developer’s approach to break the assumption to shoot mutants at sight, Deneken shares that he wants players when experiencing Mutazione to feel a selection of emotions.

“I want those when playing to experience a palette of emotions as they progress through the game. For the player to feel sad when it has to be – or happy, or mad, or any other emotion that they will run into,” Deneken explained to me on the show floor.

He also emphasizes on the amount of stress that players will feel when playing: sharing that this game if anything should be one to calm you down when taking in the world you’re playing in. He clarifies that despite the loud event that the game was in at PAX West, that those who demoed the game as like I did really enjoyed the calmness it brought once you put on the headphones and sailed towards Mutazione.

Mutazione is projected to release sometime in 2019 and is listed for PlayStation 4 & PC. If this game grabs your interest, make sure to add this to your Steam wishlist by going here.

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