Biomutant is a quirky hyper-stylized romp through an environment that feels both unique and familiar. The game does a ton of things very well and struggles with some others, but the sheer amount of content present offers hours of fun for any gamer.
Taking notes from other games of the RPG genre, Biomutant does an excellent job of immersing players in the game world. Each character and location has its place within the narrative, and that helps to increase the impact of player choice.
Biomutant functions much like a traditional RPG where players create their character based upon a few starting classes and then personalize their playstyle over time by leveling up. Something that Biomutant does well is make the different classes and playstyles feel diverse and rewarding to play. Abilities in the game also have applications outside of battle which can help when exploring the game’s many varied environments.
The gameplay loop in Biomutant revolves around exploration, player choice, and combat. Discovering new areas will unlock everything from new quests and weapons to NPCs and biomes.
The formula of defeating four big bosses to save the planet is not new. Still, the game pulls it off well, and the massive number of side quests and the dynamic of the Tribe war helps to make the game not feel repetitive. Players will have to align with a Tribe at the start of the story and are then tasked to either recruit or defeat the other tribes spread throughout the map.
My favourite thing about the narrative was how the war changed interactions in the open world and the dynamic between tribes. This alone was enough to make me want to play the game more than once to see the cutscenes and interactions I may have missed in my initial playthrough. Each specific tribe also has a unique weapon you unlock by defeating or recruiting them. These weapons have the broadest range of skills in the game and quickly became my favourites to use and collect.
Combat is all over the place in the best kind of way. Fighting is at the heart of Biomutant, and the game features a ton of weapons and fighting styles. Something the game does really well is lock certain weapon types behind narrative events. There are over ten different weapon types alone. Each has various skills and combos that make combat feel new and refreshing even hours into the game.
I won’t go into that much detail about each weapon because that is one of the best parts of the game. I will say, however, that there are numerous types of ranged and melee weapons that all work seamlessly together to create near-endless combat scenarios.
There are also many special combat scenarios in Biomutant tied to key plot points and player progress throughout the campaign. As the story progresses, mounts will become available that offer substantial power increases and Metroidvania-like abilities that give access to new enemies and areas of the map. On top of mounted combat, there is also an ultimate ability in Biomutant called Super Wung-Fu that is unlocked by mastering the many weapon types. Super Wung-Fu is the penultimate combat ability in Biomutant. After using three unique combat skills, the ability activates and unlocks even more attacks to choose from. The massive diversity of combat in the game is one of the main reasons Biomutant is so enjoyable to play.
While the story of Biomutant is not necessarily anything new, the game does an excellent job of using its many other mechanics and features to keep players engaged in narrative events. The world has been destroyed many years ago by the planet’s former inhabitants and their massive corporations. Pollution and greed have destroyed the environment and, in its place, leaving a mutated wasteland full of diverse creatures. These new inhabitants are cursed to deal with the fallout of the previous civilization, and drastic action must be taken to save the new mutated world. Players will be tasked with protecting this new world, and their actions will directly affect what the future holds.
Choice is a huge part of Biomutant. Almost every interaction in the game requires some kind of choice that will have an effect on the character’s aura. The player’s aura level also directly correlates to the story of the game and many cutscenes and NPC interactions. Specific abilities and perks are even restricted behind different levels of player aura. Further adding to the insane amount of content in the game is the new game+, which allows players to keep their items and progress but reset their aura.
The story of Biomutant, while not groundbreaking, offers hours upon hours of content to explore, and the thoughtful implementation of player choice makes it one of the more exciting new game+ experiences in recent memory.
I have a love-hate relationship with the graphics of Biomutant. On the one hand, the art style is like no other game, and I absolutely love the environment and character design. On the other hand, many technical aspects of the graphics seemed unpolished, and interacting with the environment was challenging at times. Models would also frequently interact in strange ways, or Super Wung-Fu would result in combos missing the target but still doing damage. The large set-piece boss battles, while enjoyable, were also plagued with frequent graphics glitches or animations that failed to line up correctly.
One of the most significant problems with the game was general gameplay performance which would hitch, drop frames and even crash in the more enemy and feature dense environments. Biomutant’s greatest challenge was clearly optimization, and it did unfortunately negatively impact my experience with the game on multiple occasions.
The many sound effects and music found in Biomutant do a fantastic job of adding to the game’s comic book-like flair and style. Each gun sounds noticeably different, and shifts in the game’s music work brilliantly to alert players of combat and other possible interactions.
The only problem I had with the audio of the game was the voice-over. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a problem, rather more a design choice I disagreed with. Using only one voice actor did become challenging, especially with how long it takes to complete the game. By the end of the main story, I was quite tired of hearing the same voice for every character.
I have to acknowledge that the game itself is aware of this possibly being an issue and has audio options that allow for the adjustment of how frequent the VO will be. The colorful and energetic designs of the game’s characters are so unique and refreshing; I feel like not giving them individual voices stifles one of the best aspects of Biomutant.
- GAMEPLAY - 85%85%
- GRAPHICS - 70%70%
- AUDIO - 85%85%
Biomutant feels like a classic game of my childhood that friends I would spend an entire summer playing and gathering every last collectible on the map. There is a ton of content within this game, and a single playthrough will not be enough to experience the many nuanced changes developers have woven throughout the game’s story.
While the game is at its heart an RPG with full skill progression and crafting, it also has a hyper-detailed take on combat that keeps the game feeling refreshing even into new game+. Mild technical issues can at times take away from the overall experience of Biomutant but are not enough to warrant skipping this vibrant title from THQ Nordic.
For more on Biomutant check out our previous coverage.