Biomutant is finally here but was it worth the exceptionally long wait? Let's travel to the distant post-apocalyptic future and find out.
Biomutant is an open-world action RPG where you create a creature then explore its vast world while deciding its fate. Will you team up with folks who want to destroy the planet or give it your all to unite the lands? It's entirely up to you. In fact, you can even perform small actions that affect your karma then watch ham-fisted scenes where the embodiments of light and dark bicker. That's kind of neat... I guess? Anyway, this push-and-pull is presented throughout Biomutant and it would have been nifty if its characters and story were interesting but they are certainly not. What makes the unmemorable plot even harder to become invested in is the narrator who feels the need to constantly chime in. You see; the characters only speak gibberish so the narrator acts as an interpreter which removes a great deal of personality from Biomutant's otherwise imaginative game world. Well, we're off to a bad start but how's the gameplay?
The combat in Biomutant is accomplished via melee and long-range weapons so you'll end up hacking and slashing away at enemies while occasionally popping off a few rounds of ammo at the trickier foes. You can also dodge and parry as well as perform various abilities such as leaving a trail of fire after dashing. Although all of this adds up to a mostly competent battle system, it's still disappointingly unsatisfying for the simple fact that nearly every boss and confrontation is super-easy. I mean, simply tapping the dodge button essentially renders you invulnerable so if all you do is tap it after hitting enemies a couple times, you can emerge unscathed from the most daunting situations. If you know me, you know that I love a good challenge in any game that I play so this was definitely disappointing.
A huge redeeming quality to all of this is that Biomutant's level-up and equipment systems make customizing your character a lot of fun. Whether you're optimizing your ability loadout or carefully tuning your resistances, you'll enjoy seeing the results the next time you enter combat. Plus, gathering a wealth of weapons and armour pieces only to break them apart, enhance all the good stuff, and watch how it changes your character's appearance is rewarding stuff. In fact, doing so actually makes the otherwise easy combat rather enjoyable.
The vast majority of Biomutant's campaign will have you travel from point A to point B within its impressively large map. Along the way, you'll come across beautiful pieces of sceneries even though the character models are unappealingly dated. However, the nice-looking environments contrast with the more drab locations to create quite a cacophonous world. This is especially the case when you're in dark areas because it can be super-difficult to discern exactly what it is that you're looking at. I even perished many times without being able to see the enemies around me or by the fact that I was about to step into a poisonous pool that just looked like the floor ahead.
Another substantial downside to Biomutant is its overall feeling that nearly everything in its world is inconsequential. Sure, your karma changes and you can ally with different characters but no matter what you choose, the gameplay remains the same and the characters are so unmemorable that it doesn't feel like there's any weight to any decision nor any pressing matters to attend to. Everything and everyone just sort of exists and then you play around with it all so I couldn't help but wonder; what's the point? On top of that, there are many long stretches where literally nothing happens. You'll even be happy to fight a single under-levelled enemy at times.
Biomutant is like the potato salad at a cookout. Some folks might like it and may even come back for seconds but nearly everyone else will wonder why the heck anyone would bother, especially because there's a huge stack of juicy steaks and burgers right there.
- + Combat can be pretty fun, especially after customizing your character with cool gear
- + Occasionally beautiful scenery
- + Engaging upgrade and crafting systems
- - Gameplay loop is boring, tedious, and doesn't feel satisfying nor consequential
- - Subpar visuals / poor lighting
- - Awful narrator / uninteresting cast