Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition Review
I do not like football. I don’t hate it, it just isn’t my game. I don’t understand most of the rules or finer nuances of the sport, and as such a football video game feels daunting to me. I picked up Mutant Football League with a clear and open mind and I am happy to say this blend of real sport and over the top fantasy has kindled a small interest in me and given me a new appreciation for the sport. The game managed to be educational, informative, raunchy – and most importantly – fun.
Mutant Football League is a sports game seemingly tailor-made for gamers like me – the kind who have no good jumping off point for sports games. Taking the very real sport and throwing a dash of zany, arcade fun into the mix instantly takes this from your typical Madden experience and turns it into something accessible and light-hearted. There is no overarching narrative or fantastic story at play here, just like any other sports game Mutant Football League gives you a large roster of teams with various skills and abilities and wants you to have fun. Each team is named with a clever evil pun of a real team such as the Nuked London Hatriots, Malice Hellboys, and Killadelphia Evils to name a few.
Mutant Football League offers a tutorial to teach you the absolute basics, but it’s narrated and handled in such a way that you feel competent enough to jump into the game and put up a good fight on your first game. Teams are made up of skeletons, zombies, monsters, mutants, aliens, robots, and demons. Each have their own name but sadly are just color swaps of one another. This might not be a big deal, but considering successful plays often end with your player talking directly to the camera it would be nice for the sake of variety. The controls are easy to get the hang of, however more often than not after a successful touchdown the referee would call a penalty on me for things like “not trying hard enough” and my points were forfeit. The game does offer the option for either team to bribe the ref, but this happened constantly and soon became a chore of running the length of the field to no avail.
Each team has a number of special tactics available to them including bribing the ref, attempting to murder the ref in a blitz, taking steroids, and so much more. These abilities are locked to each team and are really the only feature that makes them stand apart from one another. It took me a bit to get the hang of using these abilities but once I had it down I was using them every chance I got. Mutant Football League also steps up the insanity of the game by having each player with their own health bar. A variety of attacks and field hazards will chip away at their health, not to mention being able to attack as soon as a play ends. If you manage to kill an entire teams QB lineup they are forced to forfeit the game, although it can be hard to distinguish the QBs from any other player. With the sheer violence and mayhem on the field, it is pretty satisfying to discover you’ve murdered half of their roster by halftime.
Sports clearly aren’t without its showboating and larger than life attitudes, but Mutant Football League goes a little further than I expected in terms of its dialogue. Swearing, brutal insults, puns, and some pretty dark jokes abound from both players and the commentators. I personally didn’t find it offensive, but given the somewhat comical graphical style of the game some people might not be prepared for the level of vulgarity that will be spewed at them from the TV.
While I initially went into this game casually I quickly found the “one more match” mentality had set in and I lost a large portion of my afternoon wanting to try different teams, plays, tactics, etc. I realize this game is a bit bare bones with quick matches, full seasons, or going for The Mayhem Bowl as the main content of the game, but given the attention and care that went into this game I can only hope it sells well enough at its reduced price to include custom players, teams, and some fun additional modes to really amp up the violence. Had this launched as a full price title I would feel let down, but given it retails for $29.99 and lets me take it online with ease, I’m happy this was my first real introduction into football gaming – even if Madden doesn’t let me throw an exploding pigskin or pull a chainsaw on the field.
Mutant Football League is a darkly charming take on football video games, taking real gameplay mechanics and blending in ultra violence, explosions, fire, lasers, death, dismemberment, and so much more to catch the eye of gamers who aren’t interested in your average game of football. While the graphics feel dated and the gameplay options limited, what you get is over the top violence, solid gameplay, and a ton of replayability with slapstick humor, dark jokes, nasty insults, and all manner of hilarious content. This isn’t a game to play with the kids, but it sure is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.
**Xbox One code provided by the publisher**
- Easy To Learn
- Raunchy Humor
- Over The Top Violence
- Compelling And Addicting
- Dated Graphics
- Limited Content
- Lack Of Customization