Mutazione | PS4 Review - Elle May

Breaking

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Mutazione | PS4 Review



Publisher: Die Gute Fabrik, Akupara Games
Developer: Die Gute Fabrik
PS4 Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Mutazione is described as a soap opera but personally, I would describe it as an interactive book on the lessons in life, obviously not every single lesson there is to learn but it has a message behind it which we find but delving into the lives of a few living in Mutazione. The more I played of the game the more I realised how much I had become accustomed to games with a lot of text, so if you're someone who isn't keen on text-heavy games it's probably not your cup of tea. The text is important due to imagery alone not being able to tell you exactly what to do or what is going on so technically its a visual novel but I promise you it doesn't disappoint, well it didn't disappoint me that's for sure.


The characters each have a role and a purpose, they're not just there for a backdrop like a few of the animals you come across, by listening to their needs and how you can help them they will do the same for you in return. You play as a girl called Kai whose mum has asked her to look after her grandad who is sick, I guess this wasn't how she dreamed of spending her summer as she is an avid swimmer who trains every day and would much rather be doing that. On top of this Mutazione isn't the most simplistic of towns, it inhabits a wide variety of characters who are mutants making them far from your normal type of residents.


Kai can come across as very sarcastic throughout the game but as time goes on the options for her text change and she starts to become more understanding and sympathetic towards the residents of Mutazione. The residents do their best to welcome her with open arms and one character named Claire gets very emotional at finally meeting Kai. She must miss Kaii's mum very much and it must have been so overwhelming for her to finally meet Kai who apparently looks like her mother (Kai and her mother have blank faces so it's hard to tell haha). As you progress through the game it becomes clear that tension between Kai and her grandfather was getting worse and Kai was frustrated with his riddles, but luckily the game shows you your true purpose of being on this island and Kai is a big piece to this puzzle. On top of Kai's tension with her grandad, the people of the island have been through a lot themselves and not everyone is happy with their lives on this beautiful island, it's a very sad story what some have gone through but they get through their days as best as they can.


Kai's grandad is a bit of an outcast and keeps himself to himself the residents clearly care about him and want him to get better but there is a lot of unresolved tension when it comes to him. Because kai had never known her grandfather it felt as if she didn't know how to take him or his personality, she is a very strong-minded person who likes to know the ins and outs and whats going on but her grandfather isn't one to get to the point instead he was full of riddles and all about Kai finding things out for herself.


Mental Health plays a big part in this game, it's clear that people find it very hard to face the trauma they may have gone through and rather than acknowledge it they put on a mask and pretend they're fine. I know from experience that this is a very hard task and it builds up inside you ready to burst leaving you in a worse place than you was before, this is why I'm glad that Kai asks questions and I'm glad they did it in a tasteful and respectful way where Kai doesn't keep pushing for an answer over and over again, especially when she is told by the residents that it's not their place to say what happened. 


Whilst finding out the residents stories there is an aim to the game which is to plant gardens and collect the songs to help these gardens grow, each garden needs a certain type of plant and once you have planted that type and played the song the garden is then unlocked and a colour will appear on a stone inside a temple that you come across in the game, unlocking all the gardens is important, as it brings the story together. The gardens grow supplies you will need for the residents who give you a lot of gratitude in return because the island has no concept of money you trade in goods in order to make a life for yourself on the island which I like, no one person is richer than the other.


A huge part of this game is the art style and music, personally, I like how simplistic the artwork is, the bright surroundings and laid back life of the residents helped brighten up my day, before I could play this and enjoy it I had come down with a stomach virus and once I was well enough to play it cheered me up so much, I felt like I was transported to a place where there was so much to explore and take in. The music had such an upbeat and relaxing feel about it that I would stop playing and leave Kai standing there just to listen to it sometimes.


I'm planning on making some gameplay videos of Mutazione for my Youtube as I enjoyed playing it through so much the first time, even though the game is driven by it's narrative it doesn't take away from the fact we can all take something from the game, life doesn't always go as planned but Mutazione shows that you can try to make the best of your situation even if it's going downhill fast. I didn't want to give away the whole story as it would ruin the plot that's why I have kept this as vague as I can but I highly recommend this game especially if you fancy something chilled back, it took me about 5 hours to complete. 


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