Biomutant has varied character designs, but I would not call them “good”. Most characters appear to be randomly generated body parts thrown together to make the world seem stranger and more exotic.
Despite having so few faces to animate an entire species sharing the same face, characters rarely show any expression, with dead eyes and motionless faces, even as they share dire news or glad tidings.
Like most aspects of Biomutant, the developers tried to do too much. As a result, they were forced to cut a few corners; unfortunately, for those looking for an immersive RPG experience, one of those corners was NPC design and animation.
Fortunately, this lack of attention to detail does not extend to clothing, which is not only high quality but incredibly diverse, with hundreds of unique item designs players can mix and match to their heart’s content creating a unique look.
Biomutant’s narrative is weak, preachy and overly repetitive.
I fully believe we need to be good stewards of our planet. We need to curb excess pollution and recycle; however, even I found the amount of “humans are bad because industry is bad” dialogue insufferable.
The story feels like it was written by Greta Thunberg and places greater emphasis on recycling and pollution than on characters and world-building. As a result, it feels more like an environmentalist manifesto than an immersive narrative.
A roleplaying game is only as good as its narrative and characters. Biomutant’s narrative is one of the weakest I have yet to encounter; a situation made all the direr by its weak dialogue and partial voice acting.
Biomutant’s dialogue ranges from bad to worse, with most characters repeating the same statements slightly differently.
So far, almost every conversation I have encountered repeats the same message with only slight text variation.
The theme of every conversation while playing as a light-aligned character.
Some conversations contain chunks of dialogue from previous conversations with other characters; this is made possible because only the narrator speaks full sentences, with all other characters repeating random jibberish.
One early cutscene has a key character dress and acts like Fonzi from “Happy Days”, and while the narrator explains to the player what is being said (as well as displaying subtitles), the actual NPC repeats “ayyeee” over and over and over for close to 5 minutes.
Even the most fluent NPC only utters 2-3 words of jibberish before looping, with many NPCs sharing the same audio.
I prefer the characters either remain mute or at least go the route of The Sims and have an entire jibberish vocabulary; seeing multiple paragraphs of text scroll by as an expressionless NPC repeats phrases such as “googly doogly do” over and over is immersion-breaking and more than that, really annoying.
While fast-paced and offering a massive amount of diversity, the combat in Biomutant, with a few exceptions, is unrewarding; battles consist of blasting away at enemies before swapping to melee while your gun reloads, and trust me, it will often reload, with most magazines holding less than two dozen rounds.
This is one thing Biomutant did right; I have never seen a better crafting system in an RPG, and being able to fully customise every part of your weapon and armour to min-max stats is a game in itself.
Unfortunately, there is little content outside Worldeaters (bosses) that provides enough challenge to make these changes worthwhile. I was able to play for roughly 6 hours with an unmodified weapon and less than three pieces of armour equipped.
Biomutant offers players dozens of ways to modify their mutant, from powerful Psi powers to damage resistance and passive abilities; unfortunately, there is little content that makes spending time optimising your build feel worth it.
Biomutant has launched without much engaging content; boss battles are fantastic but can a title survive on less than 1 hour of challenging content? I am not so sure.
So far, each boss battle has been unique and provided some of the best content Biomutant has to offer; unfortunately, these battles are short-lived, with some bosses taking as little as 5 minutes to defeat:
The mount system in Biomutant is nice, and many mounts offer utility to aid in exploration, such as clearing hazards or opening previously inaccessible locations; all the mounts look fantastic and, for the most part, have good animations.
While claiming to have an open world, much of Biomutant feels static, with most of the dynamic aspects of the open-world gameplay being front-loaded; during my first 2 hours, I encountered skirmishes between rival tribes, rescued civilians from executions and more.
Unfortunately, I have encountered none of that since, and my only interaction with others in the open world is quest events or identical groups of scavengers guarding set locations.
Biomutant has one of the strangest puzzle systems in any RPG I have ever played; every single puzzle I have encountered (around 40 in 8 hours) has the same solution, line up the yellow and white lights; it’s insultingly easy and feels like something a toddlers mobile app would offer to teach colours and shapes.
Being able to take over an enemy outpost is my favourite thing in open-world games; unfortunately, Biomutant allows little player agency in this regard, with each outpost having a gimmick associated with it and allowing players no freedom of choice when it comes to capturing it.
Some outposts are automatically awarded to the player upon completing a quest, such as disturbing hives, and others require fighting their inhabitants; unfortunately, these all follow an exact formula.
Three enemies, one game mechanic such as sniper turret or bomb lobbers, followed by the players utilising something from the fort such as an oil barrel to progress, only to face 3-4 more enemies and a final gimmick before either capturing the base outright or facing a captain who will surrender 75% of the time.
Visuals are one area where Biomutant punches well above its weight. I would not be unhappy to see Biomutant quality visuals in a 9th-generation first-party release, and Experiment 101 can be proud of what they have accomplished.
Biomutant’s world design is particularly impressive, with dynamic weather and day and night cycles making the world feel alive; unfortunately, this is the only aspect of the world that feels alive, with most NPCs and wildlife rarely moving more than a few inches from their spawn point unless in combat with the player.
For those who like to capture their journey for posterity, Biomutant includes a fully featured photo mode, allowing players to capture some truly impressive images.
The inhabitants of the world have strange names for everything, with some more humorous than others, such as ChugaChugs (trains), which I found genuinely funny, and others being downright ridiculous such as Munster Honter (Monster Hunter), Gnoat (goat) and Porky Puff (the name given to a particular Worldeater)
Biomutant’s main storyline is very short, at roughly 10 hours; this situation is made worse by two major factors.
Around two hours into the game, players are presented with a choice that essentially locks out roughly 6-8 hours of main story content for players choosing to play as a light-aligned character while offering no alternative content in its place.
In addition to this major lockout, there are multiple smaller lockouts, such as bosses surrounding an outpost being automatically awarded to the player, either due to some gimmick such as releasing bugs into the outpost or by the captain of the outpost having a change of heart and deciding to join you.
Of course, like any open-world game, there is ample side content; unfortunately, the vast majority of it is very repetitive and unenjoyable and often revolves around finding x or y, with each quest utilising identical mechanics and, in many cases, solutions.
BioMutant is a adventure video game developed by Experiment 101 and published by THQ Nordic, it was released on 25 May 2021 and retails for $59.99.
BioMutant is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox One, Xbox Series X|S.
On average Biomutant takes between 10 and 12 hours to complete.
Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Biomutant is rated PEGI 12+ and contains the following:
If Experiment 101 and THQ Nordic can pull a “No Mans Sky” and offer more challenging, engaging content, Biomutant would be a decent game for £30-40.
However, in its current state and at full price, I cannot recommend Biomutant, as it feels empty, preachy and honestly lacking.