Developer: Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Website: Home – Biomutant
Genre(s): Action-Adventure, Role-playing game
Platform: Xbox (also available on PS5, PS4, and PC
Age Rating: Pegi 12
Release Date: 6/9/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Ever wondered what a video game would look like if the main protagonist was Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, this is kind of that. Read on to find out about this unique adventure that has a lot on the menu.
All Of The Stuff
There is a lot to unpack with this game so try to keep up. Biomutant is an open-world RPG where you play as a kung-fu-fighting, mutant racoon-like creature. The world of Biomutant has been overcome by a plague that is threatening the ‘Tree-of-Life’, a key life source that is vital to this civilisation’s survival.
In this game, you have full control over what kind of creature you want to create, how they interact and how they want to fight. There is an in-depth character creation system that lets you get as creative as you want.
You get to decide on all the normal stuff such as your character’s weight, height and general appearance. All this though affects you in the long run. A lighter character can make you faster, a heavier creature can make you more durable in combat. One unique quirk was how a bigger head would make your character more intelligent and increase their psychic skills. Again, this is fairly normal in games such as Dark Souls and any other game that features character creation, but the unique elements were fun to play around with.
You have five different classes to choose from (Dead Eye, Commando, Psi-Freak, Saboteur and Sentinel) to build your character around. Each class has its own benefits and characteristics, for example, the class that I chose, Commando, is more suited to close-range combat and survivability when low on health. I would highly recommend doing some research into the classes before choosing as this is locked from the start.
As well as the class system you can also choose what breed (Primal, Dumdon, Rex, Hyla, Fip and Murgel) you want your mutant creature to be. The breed you pick is not as important as your class as the benefits are not that influential. The benefits vary from more health or energy. I chose the Murgel breed which gave me increased chances of better loot, and also increased bartering and persuasion skills. Again, breed choice is locked from the start.
When you finally have your character created, you are free to set off on your journey. You learn various fighting styles, can decide to wage war or unite tribes, and also meet a host of characters along the way, each with their own story that you can help. There is almost an endless list of things you can do in your time with this game.
The ultimate goal, depending on which tribe you choose at the start, Myriad or Jagni, is to either stop the threat against the Tree of Life or to ultimately leave it and let everything in the world suffer. Taking your time and doing everything in the game is estimated to be around 40-50 hours. I did some side stuff but mainly stuck to the main story and that took me just over 20 hours to complete.
Biomutant has numerous moments where it gives a nod and a wink to games the developers have been inspired by. Biomutant pays homage to games such as Ratchet & Clank and Breath of the Wild. What makes Biomutant so charming, is the way it pays homage to its inspirations, but in a way that feels distinctly unique and at the same time hits all the right notes that an open-world game should.
The games combat is another major positive feature and the combinations feel smooth against all types of enemies. The game is combat-heavy and can be repetitive at times with the amount of encounters you get embroiled in, but at least you will have fun engaging the many mutated enemies.
There is a voice-over that helps guide you whenever you enter new areas, and is also there to narrate any dialogue. There were times when I was reading the text quicker than the voice, so I was skipping through the narrations a lot. It was most effective in the quiet periods of exploration, the voice offered quips and many humorous lines that gave the game personality. Humour is common throughout Biomutant.
As alluded to, throughout the main story arc you get introduced to many side characters. Each of the ones I interacted with had their own distinct personality and their side missions had the most memorable moments over the main story. It is worth taking the time to explore the world to find these gems.
It wasn’t just the side missions though, as mentioned there is so much to do. There is a flip side to that, which will be talked about in more detail later, but there is always something to entertain you. There’s a wide range of items to collect and puzzles to complete. Many caves, bunkers and buildings to sweep through that help with upgrading your armour and weapons.
Traversing is another smooth aspect. There is the ability to fast travel to checkpoints which are normally outside outposts and villages. You can also use different kinds of mounts, which once attained, are permanently in your transport menu whenever you need them.
A Bit Too Ambitious?
The main issue with Biomutant is that it tries to be and do too much. This is a ‘jack of all trades master of none’ game. There is an open buffet of activities and quests that leave a lot to be desired.
Once I was done with the story and left with the mountain of side content, I did not feel compelled to continue on. The repetitive nature of the gameplay was extremely noticeable and I was very ready to be done with the story once I had reached halfway through the game. When the combat music kicked in and I was traveling, I tried my best to skip through to try and advance with the mission objective.
A frustrating feature when engaging unavoidable enemies is that they would be limited with the combat space they could fight in. This is normal but when up against multiple enemies, the fights do get out of hand, and this results in the combat spilling over. When this happened, 75% of the time, the enemies health would fill back up again all the way. It was an unnecessary annoyance and one I feel could’ve been avoided.
It has the classic Ubisoft open-world issue of giving you way too many tasks to complete. That may be fun for some, but personally, it was overwhelming. Biomutant performs the majority of open-world elements well, but the story they wanted to tell maybe could have been better in a more linear style, like Ratchet & Clank.
The way Biomutant presents itself stylistically is enjoyable and the wide landscapes are picturesque, but there are moments where the performance as a result is sluggish, more so when traversing on the mounts. You can feel the game trying to deal with a lot when loading in new areas, and that is where performance issues occur.
Despite the game’s many flaws, overall, there were more positives than negatives. Experiment 101 did just that and if there is to be a Biomutant 2, then I hope that the game is a lot more focused. It was a lot of fun to play initially but just got bogged down by its own creativity.
I hope there is more to come from this studio and that they reflect on changes to improve the next version.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
you can purchase Biomutant from the Xbox store here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.