Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows (Reviewed For Xbox One)
Developer: Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Buy On Amazon
In a world on the brink of destruction do to the destructive nature of those that came before, “Biomutant” puts you in control of an anamorphic biped of your creation in hopes of stopping the end of all that is.
“Biomutant” takes cues from many classic games and genres and melds them into an experience that is somewhat familiar yet somewhat unique. There are obvious influences from the “Fallout” franchise and modern action RPGs like the “Witcher”, “Dragon Age” and even “The Legend of Zelda”.
While the gameplay feels familiar due to those influences, “Biomutant” struggles to actually find its own identity at times. One second you’re in the middle of a small scale battle, the next you’re roaming around in a mech suit collecting parts. The battle system as toted as a fun and unique experience but feels like a slight rehash of combat found in “Fable” or “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning”. Honestly, you can pretty much stay at range and use your guns for every single battle and almost never get hit.
“Biomutant” has been in development for nearly four years since its announcement and as stated by the developers it is an Xbox One/PS4 game. While it looks good playing on the Xbox Series X, it still has the look and feel of a game made for the first gen Xbox One and PS4s. They have announced that modern upgrades are coming so I’m not going to hold that against them since Experiment 101 has been transparent with their plans for the game from the start.
I don’t want to feel like this review is all about dragging “Biomutant” through the mud because after spending time with the game and its slow start building up to its open world free-for-all gameplay, there are a lot of things to like about the game. The amount of customization in the game is amazing…from character creation to the constant shifting of your overall appearance via leveling up or crafting new armor and weapons. The story is somewhat nonsensical at times but has a certain charm and urgency to it and you can choose multiple paths to complete objectives with a morality feature and with the choices of which factions to help and how to do so along the way. As I mentioned before, the game does look gorgeous with some minor hiccups and I’m very excited to see the next-gen features when they do arrive.
This brings me to my one final gripe with the game…the choice of the narrator. Here’s a game that introduces dozens upon dozens of unique mutant animal creatures that could have their own twist on various languages and dialects but instead all they do is grunt and mumble like in an old LEGO video game and everything that you hear in the world is translated through a robotic animal companion. All in-world tips and advice is also spoken by the narrator and sometimes repeated an inordinate amount of times. I feel this was a missed opportunity to add some flair to the world-building of the strange lands found throughout the game.
For me, “Biomutant” wasn’t exactly up to the sometimes unfortunately high expectations leading up to the release of the game but I feel that there is more than enough to like about the game to keep playing and supporting it. One of my first initial comparisons of the game was that it is like “Kung Fu Panda” meets “Enslaved”. With “Enslaved” being one of the most underrated games of its generation and one of my all-time favorites, I feel that the “Biomutant” IP has the potential to have that cult classic feel but with all of the mainstream success. If you’re a fan of any of the games that I’ve mentioned in this review, then you’ll surely find something to like about “Biomutant”.