Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
Having been a PC gamer all my life, and having only owned a few consoles for specific games, it’s been a long time since we have had a proper football game release on this amazing but sometimes abandoned platform. Sports games in general are lately just more popular on consoles, and the PC player base is left in the dark with non-licensed games that do not quite get the game formula right. Mutant Football League isn’t really a game that you could compare to Madden, mainly because of its less serious approach to how football can be played, but despite its style, the game is still very much a competitor because of its very similar gameplay.
Mutant Football League isn’t just football with Mutants, it is a lot more than that. The first thing it reminded me of is being thrust into a real time game of Blood Bowl. Instead of the incentive being to harm as many players as possible, the focus is set first on actually playing the game properly, and then beating up as many people you possibly can. While the penalties are usually worth it, you can still get a get out of jail free card when you bribe the referee, and with these ‘rules’ set, it is time to jump into the carnage that is called Mutant Football League.
While the game doesn’t own an official license, it still tries to be a parody of the actual National Football League that we know today. Instead of the famous Tom Brady, we now have Bomb Shady playing for the Nuked London Hatriots, and every iconic player and team has had its name changed into something witty and funny. The team I am personally rooting for are the Seahawks, or the Microhard Mutilators as they are called in MFL. I know I might get some flak for being a Seahawks fan, but since American sports never was really big in Europe, I am still somewhat new to the football scene and the Seahawks was the team that caught my eye and expanded my interest into the sport. I was very happy to see Hustle Killsome representing this amazing team as its QB. Just like in real life, teams in MFL have their own style of playing, with dirty tricks and iconic playbooks including a very wide known term as the Legion of Doom(Boom) for the Seahawks.
And this is why Mutant Football League is still a game you can very much take seriously, but the game isn’t quite like Madden. As soon as you hop into a practice game, or straight away go for the real deal, you’ll notice that the field isn’t quite as clean as you might expect in real football. Scattered around the fields are mines and traps where you can ruin your players’ day, and even their lives, if you aren’t careful enough. Yes, that is right, you have heard it correct, lives are at stake when playing Mutant League Football. Some of the traps like the mines can be absolutely deadly, and even the opposition can kick your players to their grave after each play. Mutant Football League changes from a clean game to a war zone in just a matter of plays, and while a limited amount of players are able to resurrect when the game is over, when they are killed during the game they cannot come back until the next game.
When you compare the gameplay of MFL and Madden, the game in itself isn’t all that much different. There aren’t as many possible plays like you might find in Madden, but in the end there is still a very wide range of possible plays to run on both attacking and defending. Since the game is a lot more violent during the plays, having your quarterback sacked is the least of your problems, and you better hope he isn’t kicked to his grave after just a bad play. Because of this you really have to play around with what play you are going for. If you throw the ball to the same exact player a few plays in a row, chances are he’ll get quite roughed up and the chances of him dying get bigger with each play. This is the main reason why you mix things up, and sometimes throw the ball to the other flank or just run it.
While the game doesn’t have a lot of depth, it does come with a few game modes like a normal head to head mode, season mode, playoffs, and online games to play against other real players. Because of this the game isn’t priced as a normal full priced game and can be found for a little over $20. And while the game did have its release on the PC already and can be bought on Steam, the console versions are being launched on January 19.
Mutant Football League might not be a very serious football game, and it’s weird saying this, but it is actually the best football experience you can find on the PC currently. While comparing it to Madden is quite tricky, it is actually in a really good and fun shape. Mutant Football League is an extremely fun game to play, with the occasional frustrating moment when your star player is tackled to the ground and his life fades away. Playing the game against your friends is also very fluid without any issues. I can definitely say that Mutant Football League hits the nail on the head, and you don’t have to spend a ton on microtransactions like player packs to get the right players in your team; all you have to do is focus on keeping them alive, or give them a resurrection when it has gone to far. Do you love football, and don’t mind the fun style of MFL? I can definitely recommend you to pick up this game for its super low price.
Note: A game key was provided for review purposes.