With engaging combat, stunning open-world design and huge customisation options, Experiment 101's post-apocalyptic RPG Biomutant is one of my favourite games so far in 2021.
I was excited for Biomutant the moment I saw the first gameplay reveal more than three years ago and I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed in my 20+ hour playthrough for this review. Biomutant is one of my favourite games so far in 2021. Why? Well, it's fun and that's the most important part of any game, I think.
Fancy graphics, complex gameplay elements and big open worlds won't mean much if the game is not engaging and fun to play and boy, oh boy, I really had a blast with Biomutant.
I'm sad that this review has to start with one of the weakest parts of Biomutant but that's the cruel way we are at Altchar, guys. The story is Biomutant is okayish, to say the least. Don't expect something deep, or touching, with twists and turns that will make your brain go "WAAAAT!?" all the time.
I found most of the characters to be annoying with their motivational speeches which all sounded the same no matter where I went or who I met. Ok, I get it guys, I'm supposed to find my true self on my path to save the world and forgive those who made me suffer, you don't have to repeat that every single time I talk to you.
Anyway, Biomutant features a three-arc story which makes the game a bit longer than it really should be. If you solely focus on the main storyline you're looking at 20-25 hours of gameplay which can be a stretch but certainly not a major issue.
The first arc is about your personal story - as a child, you witnessed the death of your parents by the hand of a creature named Lupa Lupin The Meat Eater. Since I don't want to spoil anything here, I'll only mention that one of your quests is to find and confront the killer of your parents.
The second arc is about the war of the tribes which control the regions of the game's world. There's a total of six tribes and each of them have their own goal and cause. Some are the baddies that want to destroy other tribes and the Tree of Life for a full restart of the universe while the others are seeking to restore peace and unity between the tribes in order to save the Tree of Life. You can choose to join these tribes and shape relationships with them as you please but be careful, not every leader wants to talk, it's the blood and chaos they seek.
The third arc is about saving the Tree of Life, which is being "eaten" by large creatures known as World Eaters which serve as the game's major bosses. The Tree of Life basically acts like a big protector of everything in the Biomutant world, therefore it's a must to keep it alive at all costs.
As for the bosses, they are fine, not the most creatively designed bunch you'll see in video games but certainly likeable with their goofy moves and even goofier appearance. Again, since these are a pretty big deal in the game, I don't want to spoil anything, so let's move on to gameplay.
Biomutant is fun, I had a blast with this game. The combat is smooth, I was always on the lookout for more locations to clear and minibosses to fight since the options that you have in combat are plenty. From various combos, weapons both melee and ranged and dozen of special powers, Biomutant certainly delivers when it comes to allowing players to deal with enemies in various ways.
You have two types of primary attack - melee and ranged. For melee, you can choose from big, two-hand swords, maces or some "Frankenstein" weapon that you choose to craft yourself. As for the ranged weapons, you can choose from pistols and automatic rifles. You'll use both during the combat most of the time since some enemies are immune to bullets and need to be taken down with melee or special powers.
Speaking about special powers, these are called Mutations and they are split into two categories - Biogenetics - which are unlocked with Biopoints scattered all around the world and Psi-Powers, which can be obtained with points that you earn by saving civilians, interacting with shrines or making choices in the dialogue. Psi-Powers also require a certain level of Dark or Light Aura, which you gain as you make choices through the story.
With Biogenetics you can shoot toxic slush, trap enemies in bubbles or release wisps that deal small damage, among other things. Psi-Powers on the other hand allow you to, freeze or the enemy, levitate, use telekinesis or move super fast.
The exploration in Biomutant is rewarding, engaging and once again, fun. The loot is EVERYWHERE, and most of the time, it's some pretty decent stuff like crafting items, gear, weapons and other valuable stuff. If you love to create your own stuff in games, then Biomutant could become your favourite.
You can change the appearance but also the stats of weapons and gear by upgrading them with stuff you find in the wild. At first, this stuff may not look like much, but it will add a nice little bonus to your attack, critical damage and fire or cold resistance.
The game also allows you to create weapons from scratch by choosing handles, bases and other weapon elements. It's a cool system that I had a lot of fun with.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Biomutant's open world is stunning. It's breathtaking at times. I find it hard to believe that a team of 20 people managed to create such a vast, lush and diverse environments. Experiment 101, you guys are wizards!
The open-world features several biomes that all have their unique looks - from sprawling meadows with dense grass and creeks to thick jungles with high trees and other gorgeous areas that I don't want to spoil - Biomutant absolutely delivers in this aspect.
In some places, the game does not live up to the standard of its open areas but you can't have it all, especially since this is not an AAA title. That being said, some AAA titles could definitely learn from this "smaller" project in terms of art style and overall visuals.
As for the sound, I will probably sound a bit harsh but I did not notice anything special in this department. The music is fine as is the sound. It serves the purpose but it's definitely nothing memorable.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that the game features a narrator who translates the dialogue between the player character and NPCs who definitely do not talk in any language I'm familiar with. The narrator does pretty well but it can be a bit annoying with random comments. Luckily, you can turn him off in the settings.
If you love big open-worlds, smooth combat with dozens of combos and options and a ton of loot and gear variety to choose from then Biomutant is the game you have been waiting for. It has fun, on top of fun and then some more fun for you. I had a blast playing and cannot wait to see what's next from the small but talented group of people at Experiment 101.
A massive thank you to Dead Good PR for providing us with a PC copy of the game for this review.
Biomutant is officially releasing on May 25, 2021, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.