Biomutant Review – Exactly What I Expected, and That’s Not a Bad Thing

Biomutant is the first game from developer Experiment 101 and it’s an ambitious one, being an open world game with a deep crafting system. It seems like they tried to mesh the design of early 2000s platformers with modern game design, but how well do those things mix? Let’s see.

The game is fairly light on story but this is a positive in my opinion. It sets up the world and premise to a point where it gives you enough context to enjoy the gameplay without getting bogged down. Many open world games have that problem, where the story and gameplay seem at odds rather than complementing each other and having minimal plot definitely helps in that regard. What also helps is the charming world design, though it could turn a lot of people off.

Everything in Biomutant has a silly name, with weapons being called things like Klonkfist or Revolverino and bosses with names like Porky Puff, or the onesie clad behemoth; Pyjami Jura! Some would say it sounds like a toddler came up with them, others would say it’s reminiscent of early Rareware games. Another part of that charm is the narrator. All of the NPCs speak gibberish with a soothing narrator explaining what they’ve said.

He also narrates most of your actions in the game and though he repeats himself a good bit, there is unique voice over for just about every location you come across. I can see how this would annoy some people but they always made me smile.

Biomutant has a unique cute and creepy art style. I love it and am terrified of it.

That said, I am a little bit disappointed in the side quests. I wasn’t expecting anything as deep as Fallout New Vegas but they are still quite a bit more shallow than I’d hoped. Like the main story, the writing and plot of each side quest is minimal and there are very rarely any choices to be made. Each side quest is pretty much follows the path of “talk to NPC”- “go somewhere to get object” – “bring back object.” They’re enjoyable but they’re also forgettable most of the time. The only ones that aren’t are those that reward the player with permanent upgrades such as a new vendor with unique items or a unique mount.

But you don’t come to Biomutant for the story. The gameplay is where it really shines. Biomutant puts a big emphasis on exploring its open world and it feels really good. Even without the quests, traversing Biomutant’s lush post apocalyptic world is a joy. Early on in the game you get a glider, like in Breath of the Wild and that feeling of jumping off the highest cliff you can find and letting the world float by you never gets old. There are even ridable animals you cna get that will extend your glide range, and land based mounts that may not be super fast but they are adorable.

While exploring Biomutant’s world you’ll find various objects and side quests that will reward you with points either for unlocking psychic abilities or biological mutations. These abilities add a lot of variety to the combat while also intertwining with the traversal mechanics. For example the Blaze skill lets you dash in any direction and leave a trail of fire behind you. You can do this as many times as you like if you have the ki energy and set the whole battlefield alight.

However, it can also be used as a midair dash either to escape from enemies or to cross large gaps. The same goes for the Mushroom ability which simply summons a bouncy mushroom in front of you. You can bounce into the air to get yourself into a better position, use it to climb mountains or even summon them underneath enemies to launch them into the air, leaving them vulnerable to an aerial combo.

That’s pretty much the extent of the combo system. I’ve seen deeper puddles.

Of course those abilities are only one part of the combat. Biomutant lets you mix things up in a lot of ways. You can also use guns as well as melée weapons to defeat your enemies. As with the skills, there’s a lot of variety here too. Melée weapons can be small and quick or huge and heavy. With enough skill points you can even dual wield smaller weapons if that’s the way you like to play. There’s even more variety in the guns.

There are pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles and more. They each offer a different way of playing and you can swap between them whenever you want so combat doesn’t get tiresome. The only problem I have with the combat really is that every weapon nearly has the same combo moveset with only one notable exception for each weapon type. I would’ve like a bit more variety there but there’s still enough to keep things interesting for a long time.

What really helps with that is the crafting system. Like with the combat and traversal mechanics, crafting is tied very well into exploration. No matter where you go you’ll find new gear and pieces to craft new gear with. There is a ridiculous amount of unique stuff to find. You’ll eventually find copies of items you already have with different stats but it feels like most of the time you’ll find something you haven’t seen before.

This isn’t really relevant to the surrounding paragraphs but he’s just so adorable!

But anyway, crafting in Biomutant is much more engaging than in most open world games where it tends to be shoe-horned in just so they can put it on the back of the box. Any weapon you find is something that you can craft yourself and they’re all made of individual components. For example, each rifle has a rifle base, a stock and a magazine, with 2 other slots for optional additions. So if you find a rifle, you can just take it apart and put whatever stock and muzzle and magazine on it you like. The same goes for melée weapons though they don’t have as many slots for parts to be added on. It’s one of the most enjoyable and engaging crafting systems in an open world game I’ve ever played.

Every weapon feels special because you actually get to put it together yourself and tinker with it as you go on. You could keep the same gun you start with and just keep taking bits off and putting new parts on throughout your whole journey. They truly feel unique and I’d say it’s not a stretch to say that nobody else playing Biomutant has the same guns I do.

And I guess that’s a big part of what makes Biomutant so enjoyable for me. It really gives me that feeling of going on an epic journey in an unkown world, and that its a journey unique to me. So to sum up, I would highly recommend Biomutant if you like getting yourself lost in other worlds and going on epic journeys. Though if you’re after an amazing story of super deep combat, temper your expectations. As long as you know what you’re getting into, Biomutant can be an excellent experience that leave you with a feeling of joy and wonder as you explore its beautiful cartoony world and watch hours of your life disappear as you craft your own personal arsenal.

Biomutant is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and on Steam.

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