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Miasma Chronicles

Presenting Gameffine's Miasma Chronicles Review. Embark on a quest across a post-apocalyptic wasteland torn apart by a savage force known only as the ‘Miasma’.

Product Brand: The Bearded Ladies

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $49.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden was a sleeper hit for all the right reasons. A unique post-apocalyptic world, challenging X-Com-esque combat, and tightly designed combat encounters made it stand out among fans of tactical games. For their next tactical adventure, ‘Miasma Chronicles’, developer The Bearded Ladies have gone all out. The spiritual successor (of sorts) boasts a higher production value, a much grander story, bigger maps, and a lengthier campaign, and has doubled down on what made MYZ so good – the tactical encounters. But is it worth buying at full price? Well, that’s what we’re here for. Presenting Gameffine’s Miasma Chronicles Review

miasma chronicles

Trope-Filled Journey

Miasma Chronicles is not a sequel to MYZ even though it shares many similarities with it, that includes the narrative. Once again, The Bearded Ladies is taking the player on a journey through a broken and battered world that has forlorn hope. After a devastating catastrophe, Earth has gone to shit. A mysterious and deadly force called the Miasma has engulfed the remains of America. Its former inhabitants, dubbed ‘the originals’ have all been long dead. A fascist organization called The First Family rules over the post-apocalyptic world with an iron fist. Staying true to post-apocalyptic tropes, the remnants of civilization struggles to survive, and the First Family isn’t making things any easier for them.

miasma chronicles

Miasma Chronicles tells the story of Elvis, a mechanic turned unlikely hero, and his robot bro Diggs on their way to find their mother beyond the great Miasma walls. The story will take them across the ruins of the old world-from a small mining town in Kentucky to the ruins of Las Vegas and more. Initially, you control just the two of them, but more join your quest with the player being able to control one extra party member. The story starts out really simple, but soon escalates into a more crucial battle between the forces of good vs the bad. 

miasma chronicles

Coming from MYZ, the narrative has received a substantial boost, both in production quality and scope. The story of the game sits comfortably within the tried & true ‘chosen one’ template and won’t win any accolades. But that’s not inherently a bad thing. The narrative is supported by plenty (and I mean plenty) of backstory and interesting lore which makes up for some convincing worldbuilding. Even though most of the locations you visit are pretty static, they give the illusion of being lived-in spaces with a lot of hustle and bustle and impressive attention to detail. Towns smell of struggle, and the wasteland reeks of decay.

miasma chronicles

The quality of the writing is not entirely consistent. Miasma Chronicles retains its predecessor’s sense of deadpan, morbid humor. The party banter and especially how they view the ways of the old world make the whole thing feel like one fucked-up cross-country trip. However, the writing is not without its cringe dialogue moments. While the guy who voices Elvis sometimes goes a bit overboard with his dialogue delivery, it’s Diggs who stole the show. It feels as if the actor is having the time of his life and brings so much personality into the character. Moreover, the campaign is also much, much longer this time around. It clocks at around 30-40 hours depending on your pacing and the number of sidequests pursued. A massive step up from the developer’s earlier foray into the apocalypse.

American Nightmare

The similarities to Mutant Year Zero carry over to the gameplay. Miasma Chronicles is a story-driven tactical turn-based game with a heavy emphasis on stealth and exploration. The gameplay loop revolves around Elvis, Diggs, and their companion of choice going from location to location to rid the world of the Miasma. Exploration takes place in real-time and combat is, once again, turn-based. This time around, the maps are much bigger, and while the game is still linear, it often encourages you to revisit unlocked maps to complete sidequests and defeat powerful foes. The quests are fairly simple and mostly comprise ‘kill Mr. doodoopants’ or collect ‘ten bear asses’. But then again, that’s not the main selling point of the game.

The game features a sizeable number of maps to explore, ranging from derelict amusement parks to a bustling town where humans have been enslaved by robots. While all the locations you visit fit into the whole wasteland theme, there’s enough variety in both the color palette and the locations themselves to stave off repetition. Necessarily so, because scavenging for weapons, upgrades, and plastic (the currency) is an integral part of the game. You’ll be best off exploring every nook and cranny of each map because you never know where that silenced sniper rifle might be hidden. 

miasma chronicles

Wait Your Turn

The main focus of Miasma Chronicles is the combat and you’ll spend the majority of your time planning the perfect ambush. Combat remains more or less the same as the last game. If you’ve played MYZ or X-Com, you’ll feel right at home. Once again, the game leans into stealth heavily. You’re expected to lure and pick off enemies one by one before going kamikaze. Even then, target prioritization and party load-outs are essential if you plan to come out unscathed. At higher difficulties, stealth tactics and silenced weapons become even more essential. However, the developers seem to have learned from the criticisms and encounters are more flexible this time around. There still might be “the right way” for each encounter but you can improvise on the fly and still come out victorious. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and will surely please fans of the genre.

Aside from using guns like God intended, you can also unlock and use special abilities called Miasma powers thanks to Elvis’ special gloves. These are the equivalent of spells in this game and they spice up the combat. These spells can be further upgraded by slotting them with offensive and defensive perks, such as shrinking enemies so that they deal less damage or making them AP-less to cast. Then there’s the standard skill tree specific for each character. Like the spells, not all the skills are worth it and there are definite builds for each character. Thankfully, you can respec both Miasma powers and skills out of battles for free. You won’t regret putting valuable points into a useless skill anymore.

Much like in real life, I’m terrible at choosing how I spend money in Miasma Chronicles. If you ask me, the game is a bit skimpy when it comes to the economy. The most common amount of loot you can find for a large majority of the game is 10 plastic per pickup. Considering that a Medipod costs 100 plastic and a frigging distracting bottle costs 200 plastic, that’s chump change. Call me a noob but not (even partially) replenishing the party’s health and energy once combat is over (at normal difficulty) is brutal. The only way to recover HP in and out of combat is by using valuable supplies and you go through them faster than my friend goes through my weed stash. Oh, you could technically also spawn a frog shaman using Miasma to heal you. But it costs energy to cast and energy cells are, again, costly. Do you see a pattern here? 

Other than this little caveat, the gameplay is excellent. It may take a little while to open up fully, but once it does, the game gets super addictive. I find myself lost in thought while showering or pooping, making up strategies to become the champion of the Arena (of course there’s one) on Alpha Editor difficulty. Keep up the good work, ladies with facial hair.

miasma chronicles


As I’ve mentioned above, The Miasma Chronicles boasts decent production values, at least for a game of this type. The game looks pretty great all around with sharp textures and immersive post-processing effects. The environments are packed with a ton of little details and there’re plenty of corpses and ruination to go around. There are some caveats though. For some reason, the game looks too sharpened up. So much so that it looks as if someone has applied a film grain filter and set it to 100. The FSR implementation is also not great. There are three presets to choose from and all of them look pretty damn blurry. 

miasma chronicles

The performance is also a bit inconsistent. The game runs at 70-90 fps maxed out at 1080p on my RTX 3070 most of the time. The game looks great but not that great to warrant such a performance. Then there are times when the fps drop to the 50s or even the 40s. Granted these are few and far between but annoying regardless. On the Steam Deck, the game fails to hit a consistent 40 and the fps fluctuate between 30 and 40 on low settings with the blurry FSR on. There are also a few bugs present in the game. From a few hard crashes to character physics behaving like they’re on drugs, clipping issues, janky kill animations, and mission triggers not appearing are quite common. Thankfully, these are not game-breaking, and simply reloading a save fixes these. I also hate how dialogues cut out for good when you press a sub-menu key. Overall, Miasma Chronicles sends mixed signals in the audiovisual department.

miasma chronicles

Real Talk

Miasma Chronicles take the ideas introduced in Mutant Year Zero and polishes them to a shine. What results is a beautiful (though trope-ish) and lore-filled post-apocalyptic adventure with plenty of challenging handcrafted combat scenarios that will surely give master tacticians a run for their money. It goes without saying that if you liked its predecessor, you’ll surely love this one. There are improvements to be made in the performance and bug department to be sure. But, all in due course, I suppose. The ladies with beards have struck gold once again.


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