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Biomutant A victim of its own over achievements.

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Way back in August 2017 we heard about an adventurous title promising an open world, near limitless crafting options, kung fu type gameplay, moral choices and an in-depth story to tie it all together.

This was the start of the Biomutant journey….

Biomutant, developed by a team of only 20 people at Experiment 101 and published by THQ Nordic. For the purposes of the review, I played on the Playstation 5 but this is a PS4, Xbox One and PC title.

I found it really difficult to articulate how I was going to put the below review together so from the start I will be up front and honest. I have been looking forward to Biomutant since I found out about it. Open world hack and slash third person type title is right up my alley. Unfortunately, when playing Biomutant it very quickly became a chore. For any positive I was able to glean from the game it was offset by a negative.

Biomutant is a typical open world title boasting a large map with plenty of points of interest, objectives, differing environmental areas and unique wildlife populating the post-apocalyptic landscape. Despite being set in a post-apocalyptic time the world is vibrant and colourful with a massive “tree of life” sticking up out of the centre of the world, it’s 4 gigantic roots snaking its way through the world breaking up the biomes. There are remnants of a destroyed civilisation scattered throughout giving some haunting beauty and “dead” zones giving us some insight into what has happened in the past.

The most fun that can be had is in simply exploring the world, finding hidden areas and looting all that you can. All the looting does let you make some interesting creations in the upcycle menu. You can create weapons and armour in some very unique, tongue in cheek style options so have a bit of fun with that.  

You are not short of activities in Biomutant. The character creation is enough to overwhelm some with its sheer number of options. Once you’ve decided on your own little freak of mutation you are thrown right into the deep end. Four massive World Eaters are killing the tree of life, and it is up to you to stop them. Oh, you also need the help of one of the waring tribes of the land. A war you need to try and end by joining one of the tribes and either converting or killing off the other. The a little further on you are tasked with avenging your family by killing a brute who attacked when you were a child.

All of this is told to you by a grating voice over that gets on your nerves very, very quickly. The narrator while doing a perfectly fine job is over used. He speaks for every character within the game robbing them of any individuality. Conversations quickly turn into frustration as you have to wait while the character speaks in its native gibberish for the narrator to then translate for you. I found myself spamming the X button to get through the conversations quicker and just end them. The entire narration uses baby speak that is almost condescending. It can get that bad that it takes you a minute to try and decipher what is being spoken about. This was honestly the breaking point for me. It got to a point where I just couldn’t do it anymore….

Biomutant boast near on the most side missions I have seen in recent memory but none of them were overly engaging. The tasks are not bad, merely there as filler content.

The combat should have been the saving grace at this point however it feels weak and unsatisfying early on only getting somewhat fun after a few hours of exploration and utilising the crafting system to make some more unique weapons and armour. Switching between hand to hand and gun combat while seamless again felt sloppy and you only know you’re doing damage by the health bar on the top. The implement of special abilities does add an extra layer to combat but again conjuring these abilities just doesn’t give you what you want. Combat doesn’t get hard so to speak, but it does get repetitive. Which is a shame. It looks like a lot of work has gone into the creation of the animals themselves but the combat falls flat.

Animation needs a tweak all over. Cutscenes look flat and jittery and can occasionally drop out. Backgrounds can look blurred or washed out, I assume to save resources and there is a bit of cut and past in the world that unfortunately stood out a little.

Biomutant is a game with a lot of potential but has fallen flat due to trying to be a jack of all trades but it fails to master any of them. Some fun can be had but it very quickly gets taken away with repetitive missions, an over used narrative and some sloppy gameplay.

I hate being the barer of bad news especially towards something people have poured their hearts into but I just have not enjoyed my time with Biomutant. Experiment 101 have reached a little far. Biomutant needs to pull back on trying to do so much to try and impress you with what it can kinda do and focus on its core to show us the title it can be.   

Developed: Experiment 101
Published: THQ Nordic
Code supplied for review
Reviewed on PS5, available on PS4, Xbox & PC
Reviewed by Patrick Clifford (Snoogs)

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