If you've played Madden or NFL Blitz, you know what football video games are like. Pass, catch, run, kick, and, (sigh) defense. Besides that, there's not much to surprise besides maybe onside kicks or running hail marys. But, in remaking an old game from the 90's, Mutant League Football, the new Mutant Football League both makes it more interesting and more painful to play.
The story is simple – you play football. NFL teams are lovingly re-envisioned (My favorites are the Cardinal Sins and the Insane Cults), and you play as monsters, hellbeasts and other things in stadiums full of just so many ways to die (such as fire on the sidelines). I can't really rate this for it's story, since it's a sports game and has no real narrative, but as a set up for a game goes, it's a pretty good twist on the typical football game.
The graphics leave much to be desired. Up close they look pretty good, with skeletons and xenomorphs looking good, but on the field they get a bit blurry, and death animations cop out. Getting hit so hard you explode into green sludge looks dated, and other animations look blocky. I know this was a kickstarter and isn't going to Madden quality, but it seemed dated even for what it was trying to achieve. When it wants to look good and more modern, it does, but not always.
Gameplay is fun. It was reminding me of Madden, but with options to run really fast, crush, bribe and basically everything if the NFL had no combat rules yet still had offsides in place. Sadly, the game is broken up by on field taunts or boasts by players on the field in for closeups, and it really distracted. But, minus that, it felt like playing football from hell, which is what it went for, and what it achieved.
Controls were fine too. I played via Steam and it was real easy to do what I wanted. I got confused by a few buttons a few times, didn't pass and was sacked to death, but that was more on me falling back on Madden instincts. With a little time, they're fine
It gets real good with music and sound. Everything is what you would expect from a football game, but cranked up. That orchestral NFL music? It's amped up, but to Mutant Football League's credit, is not made to be spooky. Just doubling down on the NFL-like music. Sounds do it too – those big 'wham' sounds when picking a team are boosted too. On field, all the hits are there, but even higher. It's great. Voice acting is both really good and really bad. Whoever the main announcer is I fully believe to call NFL games, because of how professional it sounds. Sadly, he has a really annoying sidekick in the both who while funny, has a really irritating voice. Also talking are players on the field, but they all need to be translated from their weird alien sounds they make. Together, it's all mostly good.
The game ran pretty good on my laptop. It slowed down sometimes, and the frame rate started glitching a bit in, but it may have been more on my computer. Many of the tackles also misjudged where they happened, with explosions and crushings and maiming graphics being a bit off on screen. It can be a little jarring, especially since sometimes it's on the money. Nothing too, too bad, but some noticeable things.
Overall, Mutant Football League is a pretty fun game, that comes horror/sci-fi characters, football, brutal hits and strategy. A bit more polish to the game, and maybe some more care with the graphics, could have made it a bit better, but overall, again, it's fun. If you like more creepier games, then this is a good crossover into sports, and vice versa. And even casually. It's definitely worth a try.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.