When the first preview of the Biomutant game hit the web a few years ago, it was immediately on my list of the most anticipated productions, right next to Cyberpunk 2077.
Although the developers promised up to sixty hours of fun, I saw the final credits after just twenty hours. There are several reasons for this, which you will read about in this modest review. Welcome to the Biomutant game.
We start our adventure by creating our character. Although all the trailers released so far have presented an almost identical design of the main character, players are given great freedom in creating a fur warrior. Its final image will not be significantly different from the “trailer prototype,” but we decide, among others, the color of the fur and accessories. What’s more, by giving away the initial skills, we also contribute to changes in the character’s design. For example, by investing in physical strength, our hero will become more and more muscular – within the reason of a furry creature.
I admit that I did not know what to expect. Although I had been following this title for several years, the trailers promised both a very colorful and rich world and spectacular duels with melee and firearms. Such a combination could only come out very good or very bad. Therefore, when I heard the Polish narrator for the first time and saw what the Biomutant game looks like … I broke down slightly. It was not what I expected. But I didn’t know what to expect. It’s just … I was shocked …
The opening hours of the game are weird
This is the most accurate word I can describe in this title. We play the role of a furry creature, the narrator treats us like little children, and the outline of the plot that is presented to us seems quite simple and trite. I must admit that at this point, I doubted this title.
Our main goal is to stop the four light-eaters gnawing at the roots of the tree of life (located in the center of the map) and resolve the spreading conflict between several tribes. In other words – we run around the map, carry out insignificant quests, beat the encountered groups of enemies, and the main tasks end with boss fights.
The beginning was tiring. I thought I couldn’t get through two or three hours of Biomutant. The melee weapons at our disposal are not impressive. At the outset, we also do not have any spectacular combat techniques, and our firearms are not very accurate. Fighting the encountered mobs was arduous and not fun.
On top of that, the narrator was killing me, and it was like that until the end of the game. I thought changing the language to English (or even Japanese) would improve something, but it didn’t help. We can reduce the number of narrator’s comments in the options, but during the dialogues, it has to accompany us anyway because no character has their voice actors. Both the main character and other furry creatures only squeal under their noses. Dialog options appear on the screen, but the narrator explains what the conversation is about. It has been a long time since no RPG game had such an onerous entry threshold for me.
After a few hours of gameplay, however, something changed
I started having a really good time. Although the plot was still not very original and addictive, I was wandering through forests and meadows with increasing interest, and duels with groups of opponents became more and more spectacular.
Because Biomutant offers us many development paths and the experience points gained, we gain new levels. This way, our furry creature also acquires development points, mutation points, and psionic points. Forge points are used to develop basic combat techniques, both with various types of weapons and melee. Mutation points can increase our resistance to a given type of biological threat (e.g., frost or heat) and enrich our hero with biological combat techniques, e.g., a biological projectile shot. Psionic points are used to develop supernatural techniques, e.g., telekinesis or levitation. What’s more, our hero makes many good or bad decisions during the game – the balance on this thin border also contributes to the development of new skills.
Crafting is one of the biggest advantages of this title
Unfortunately, we will not go crazy in this regard at the beginning because crafting requires materials. These can be found scattered worldwide or by dismantling the useless part of the equipment/weapons.
Thanks to crafting, we can improve our equipment by attaching various elements to it and fine-tune the weapons carried at the belt. What’s more, Biomutant offers us the opportunity to create our weapons – from scratch. As soon as I saw this chainsaw, I knew it would fit my tonto-katana. As in the case of the skill arsenal, crafting will also seem more interesting in the later hours of the game when we collect more useful materials. Fortunately, our hero has no weight limit, so that you can collect anything literally.
Story sounds familiar
By the middle of the game, I had the feeling that I had seen this plot pattern many times. Conquest of new tribes, and the camps of bandits and several bosses. I thought the Biomutant was nothing more than a combination of Rage 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn, which doesn’t sound too bad, right? With time, however, it turned out that the player has a really big influence on the further course of the plot, and that’s why I mentioned at the beginning that I finished the main plot very quickly. I made the decisions that led to it. You can take a completely different path, but I will not tell you what needs to be done to squeeze out tens of additional hours of gameplay.
Well, there is also the question of side quests that can significantly extend our fun. It turns out, however, that they are very monotonous and repetitive. They mainly come down to defeating the opponent and finding something/someone. Moreover, we get very little experience for them. I deliberately left a whole list of side quests for the next stage of the game, but suddenly I realized that I would get 100 – 200 exp for them, while a regular mob at level 20 gave me more.
The game looks nice
It looks nice in screenshots. Although I was playing on the PS4 Pro console, I occasionally had FPS drops and cuts. It’s like playing in the average console port of the PC version. And I’m not just talking about fierce duels involving a few enemies; the game cuts at many random moments. It was a pain. I know that the developers promise patches, and a few of them even came out before the premiere, but this is not what a game that has been made for a few years should look like (sounds familiar?).
The map of the Biomutant game itself is very diverse, which was also justified in the plot. The player has at his disposal dense green forests and swamps where you cannot breathe, frosty catacombs in which you can freeze, rivers covered with slime, and deserts. Remember the volcano region in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where it was too hot for Link to approach without a special suit? There are many such regions in Biomutant, and each one requires different equipment. Of course, our character can evolve resistance to some extreme conditions, but only to a certain extent. We will be fully immune only with a special suit.
Biomutant offers great freedom in exploring the world
After a few hours of gameplay, I had a lot of fun. The Biomutant game offers great freedom in exploring the world, a very wide range of spectacular skills, and many means of transport. I haven’t mentioned it yet, so it’s worth revealing that our furry hero can mount a huge mech, a mechanical hand, and even a balloon apart from living animals. There are many means of transport.
The next problem is the target of this game. I do not know who it is addressed to, or rather it is tough to define it. On the one hand, we have cute furry creatures, a narrator treating the player like a child, and the names of the doremoncik (abandoned house), a choo-choo station (train station), a boss called Puchcio Kopytek, and on the other hand, we get a very extensive world map, lots of skills, crafting and elements moral influencing the plot. I can only add that if the first hours of gameplay don’t turn you down and you liked the trailers, you’ll still have a lot of fun.
The work of the Experiment 101 studio is not what you could expect. This is a game with a really strange target and a high entry threshold. However, if you get carried away by this story, you will be delighted with a very extensive world, lots of skills, advanced crafting, and spectacular fights. Unfortunately, this title also has numerous shortcomings that effectively affect the final rating. The most bothersome elements are the incessant lags and the narrator treating the player like a child.